Ideal Day/One Overnight hiking BackPack
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Deuter Pro 36 BackPacks Review
In 2011, my partner Kevin and I climbed Denali in Alaska via the West Buttress. It was our second 6000m peak together. We carried over 120lbs of gear each up the hill from basecamp on sleds and packs. Carefully planned out ahead of time, I always knew what my summit pack was going to be. It was the Deuter guide pack. Light, simple and efficient. Oh, and comfortable. One thing I can confidently say about Deuter gear is that it is always comfortable. They clearly make this a priority.
I recently reviewed the Deuter Pro 36 pack. I am 6â1 and a medium/large size. It fits, but I would say runs a little on the small size compared to other packs Iâve used. After several trips, including a long hike on the Pacific Crest Trail and a casual cragging day of rock climbing at Index, I noticed a couple of quick things.
There is one major difference in this pack versus my others. The Aircomfort Sensic Mesh Back. Your back doesnât even come close to touching the actual pack, completely separated and free to breath. When there is heat on the forecast, and you know you will be sweating, this is the pack you are going to want. Iâve had way too many drenched shirts, backs and legs due to the heat trap that can happen between a backpack and ones body. While hiking an open section of the PCT there was a moment when I felt the wind picked up and the breeze along my shirt and instantly cool me down. The one downside of this mesh back system is that it forces you to carefully consider how you will stack your gear inside. I found having a slightly heavier and bulkier item along the bottom provides some balance with all of the lighter items (clothes, sleeping bag etc) in the center with final heavy items on top. I tried many times to set the pack down on the ground so I could grab items from the top, but it rather easily topples over. While this is not a game breaker, it was pretty annoying as I am used to setting a bag down without thought to open it up. If you plan to take this pack on and off a lot, you will need some practice to find the right balance. While this may be the case, the positive benefits of the mesh back and keeping your back dry greatly outway the annoyance of not staying upright.
Another noticeable pro is how easily the chest strap slides along. Basically every pack I have owned had a cumbersome system to moving the chest strap up and down. My wife and I were hiking with our 1 year old and took turns wearing her in her pack and wearing the Deuter pack. It was surprisingly easy for her to adjust the pack to her body and then right back to mine.
Quality: I would give this pack a solid 4 out of 5. It is a great day or overnight hiking pack, with lots of well designed pockets and access.
Features: I would give this a 4 out of 5. The mesh system is incredible for breathability, there is access from the bottom, which I always appreciate and I found the brain of the to be very spacious and not constrained even when the inside is maxed out.
Fit: Here I would say 3 out of 5, for me at least. I think someone between 5â6 and 6â0 would fit perfectly. It took me some time to get it where I felt really comfortable, especially along the shoulders and hips.
Durability: Given my previous Deuter bag going on 7 years of near daily use as my summit and gym climbing bag, I would say 5 out of 5, as Deuter makes gear to last.
Over the past decade I have mostly turned to simple, sleek, minimalist alpine packs. These work great when cutting weight matters and utility is the main concern. They all lack pockets, access and comfort. The Deuter Pro 36 is the answer. Finally I have a pack with bottom access, 2 side water bottle holders (which by the way comfortably fit a nalgene, even when the interior is maxed) and even a hip waist that fits a large cell phone (Samsung Galaxy 10).
Final word, if youâre looking for an all-access pass to breezy day hiking and overnight trips in t