Deuter Aircontact 65+ 10 Backpack
Hailing from Gersthofen, Germany, Deuter has cemented it's place as one of the leading technical pack manufacturers in the world over the past 114 years. Their new Aircontact series of backpacks are revered for their comfort and versatility and were designed with unique features such as an internal frame, pivoting hip belt, removable rain cover, and a u-shaped front panel for easy access to gear. Over the past several weeks we've gotten to know the Deuter Aircontact 65 + 10 in-and-out. We hauled it though 45 miles of pristine wilderness and at the request of the Deuter staff we didn't hold back or treat it with too much respect. It was a rough and rugged couple of treks, but we made it back in on piece and we're prepared to share our results with you!
"The Aircontact backpacks are our newest and top-of-the-line heavy-weight haulers, the Aircontact suspension is used on NOLS courses, expeditions and by people on extended backpack trips that want the most comfort, versatility and features for the trail." -Christian Mason, Director of Sales and Marketing at Deuter USA.
- Zippered Side Bellow Pockets
- Bottom Compartment Access with Internal Zip Divider
- VARIQUICK Adjustable Shoulder Harness
- Multi-Chamber Aluminum X Stays Hip Belt Pockets
- Ice Axe & Trekking Pole Attachments
- Hydration Compatible
- SOS Label
- Aircontact Back System
- VARIFLEX Pivoting Hip Belt
- Integrated, Detachable Rain Cover
- Large U-shape Front Panel Access
Design: (9 out of 10) Built to carry heavy loads long distances comfortably, the Aircontact 65 + 10 is an excellent companion for weekend camping adventures or several day excursions. As we found out, it's massive storage capabilities and thoughtful placement of pockets and straps make it easy to access gear while protecting your necessities from the elements. Deuter has incorporated many design features that are worth going over, but the one feature we felt was hands-down the best has to be the large u-shaped front pocket, which allow access to all your gear. If you've ever stuffed a backpack full to the gills you understand how hard it can be to access clothes, gear and equipment stored near the center or bottom of the pack. Typically this means stopping and unloading the majority of the pack, but with the integration of this pocket you'll never have to worry about finding that extra pair of socks again! Additionally we'd like to mention that the Aircontact back system for which the pack is named also is very effective. It channels warm air away from your back and cool air in. It's won't keep you from sweating, but defiantly made a difference on our treks. A cool back is a happy back, remember that!
Comfort: (10 out of 10) This pack is an absolute dream to carry! We're talking padding, padding and more padding! That's right... your shoulders, back and hips are surround with soft breathable materials which make even the heaviest load feel manageable. Take the time to properly fit the pack using the VARIQUICK adjustable shoulder harness as we did and you'll find that the Aircontact 65 + 10 can be adjusted to your specific torso length quite easily. This may not sound important, but it truly does make a world of difference when you're logging 10+ miles a day! Additionally we were very impressed with the simple yet truly effective VARIFLEX pivoting hip belt, which allows the load weight to stay centered over your hips as you move while not adding any unwanted or unnecessary strain to your back and shoulders.
Durability: (9.5 out of 10) Upon arrival of our test pack, we also received a note from the staff at Deuter asking us to enjoy the pack, have fun and don't be gentle... they actually asked us to use and abuse it. I guess the confident folks at Deuter don't know me very well after all and I thought that was a huge mistake on their part, but after spending a few long days making tracks I fully understand why they were so confident. This pack is ultra heavy duty despite it's relatively lightweight (6 lbs). The fabric is is extremely resistant to tears, scuffing and punctures. We were pleasantly surprised with the almost ridiculous amount of stitching. I think it's safe to say that with a minimal amount of care this pack should keep it's owner very happy for many many years to come!
Storage: (9 out of 10) With a main storage area that's large enough to pack clothing and necessities for several days the Aircontact 65 +10 is impressive at that, but what's even more impressive is it's vast array pockets and organization including a valuables pocket, map compartment, external water bottle pockets, bottom compartment designed to fit a sleeping back as well as dual easy access hip pockets. If you're the type who doesn't understand the concept of packing light, the Aircontact 65 + 10 is what you've been waiting for!
Value: (9 out of 10) Based on it's durability and versatility we see no problem paying full price for a product of this quality. If the old saying "you get what your pay for" holds any truth, then it certainly applies here.
The Bottom Line: If you're an adventurous outdoorsman or woman who wants to enjoy all that mother nature has to offer in comfort and style, we highly recommend you consider the Deuter Aircontact 65 + 10 for your all of your backpacking needs. It was built to haul medium to heavy loads, take some serious abuse. We threw all we could at it and it came back just like new!