We got our mitts on a "his and her" set of backpacks a couple months ago—the Deuter Futura Vario 50 + 10 (for him) and the Deuter Futura Vario 45 + 10 (for her). The size and feature set of these packs make them perfect for everything but a multi-day expedition. The AirComfort System means they are perfect for hot summer day hikes.
We've had the pleasure of reviewing several items from Deuter over the years. If you want a sampling, check out our impressions of the Deuter Futura Pro 40 or Deuter ACT Lite 65 + 10 packs, and Deuter Neosphere 10 Sleeping bag. The company got its start making mailbags for the Royal Bavarian Mail in 1989. In other words, when it comes to packs, they know their stuff!
Here, below, is the men's version: the Deuter Futura Vario 50 + 10. The nifty hiking pole attachment is fully deployed on a recent hike up to Silver Spray Cabin here in the Kootenays. For the full review, be sure to click on the little arrow on the left side of the yellow bar below this photo.
As mentioned, there are male and female versions of the pack. We'll be looking mostly at the men's version, but... fear not. We'll definitively get into some of the female features that make the Futura Vario 45 +10 so special. My hiking partner loves her Deuter—and for more than just the flower that comes with.
Here is the front and back of the pack. You can see it better in the first picture above but the size of the pack is really nice. I find that if I have a bigger pack, I just tend to fill it up. 50 litres is a good size for a two or three day trip. The "+10" refers to the fact that you can get an extra 10 litres out of the pack if you extend the pack's top and fill up the "spindrift" collar. The clean lines of the pack are apparent as is the AirComfort System. Let's dive into some of the details next.
Here you can see the pack's bottom compartment, which is separated and perfect for a sleeping bag. Note the flap, straps and fastex buckles that keep things protected contained and cinched.
I haven't upgraded my backpacking pack in a long time so I am very impressed with the current feature set of the Deuter Futura Vario. I think the biggest plusses for me are the mesh back, the adjustable torso length and the stretchy outside pockets. Perhaps because they address clear issues people have had in the past—improper fits, sticky/sweaty backs, and nowhere to stash stuff on the pack's outside. It should go without saying but good gear presents solutions to people's problems—the Futura Vario does just that.
We took the men's and women's model out for multiple hikes in the East and West Kootenay—two of them we two nighters. The packs were remarkably comfortable and easily fit our supplies. Before this, I had a bigger backpack (90L) that I somehow managed to fill every time I went out. It's true, we humans fill whatever space we have at our disposal. The 50 + 10L size means the packs feel more like a part of your body and won't knock you off balance if fully loaded.
The women's version has subtle differences that make a big difference in fit and performance. Good on Deuter for including features and sizing that take into account a women's physique. This is one of the many reasons I'd recommend the brand to anyone looking for a pack. The fact that they've been making packs for more than 120 years helps too.
Price: $319.99CAN / $230US
Sizes: One size fits all
Volume: 60L (men's) 55L (women's)
Weight: 2080g / 4.6lbs (men's) 2020g / 4.45lbs (women's)
Colours: Black, Blue (men's). Black, Blue (women's)
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. You'll need to login or register before you can comment but it only takes a few seconds, then you're good to go.