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DEUTER 50 + 10 SL Long Term Report - Kelli

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  • ciyd01
    Somehow I got the due date on my outlook calendar for March instead of February. here I thought I was going to be on time. Apologies for my tardiness. kelli
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2005
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      Somehow I got the due date on my outlook calendar for March instead
      of February. here I thought I was going to be on time. Apologies
      for my tardiness.

      kelli

      ________________

      Deuter Aircontact 50 + 10 SL Long Term Report – February 28, 2005

      Personal biographical information
      Name: Kelli Wise
      Age: 44
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5' 0" (152 cm)
      Weight: 135 lb (61 kg)
      Torso length: 16.5" (42 cm)
      Email: ciyd@...
      Location: Western Washington, USA
      Date: February 28, 2005

      Backpacking background: I've been car camping and dayhiking for 20
      years and sport climbing for 10 years, and have begun backpacking
      over the last year. My backpacking style is lightweight but not
      ultralight. I am striving for a suitable compromise between safety
      and comfort. The majority of my hiking experience is in Western
      Washington.

      Field information: western Washington temperate rainforest and fall
      lowland hiking below 3500' (1067 m).

      Product Information
      Manufacturer: Deuter
      Manufacturer's web site: www.deuterusa.com
      Model: Aircontact 50 + 10 SL
      Size: One size.

      Listed weight: 5 lbs 6 oz (2.4 kg)
      Measured weight: 5 lbs 14.4 oz (2.7 kg)
      Listed Volume: 50 - 60 L (3050-3650 cu in)
      Color: Granite/Sun

      Features:
      Deuter touts this backpack as the "ideal sized trekking pack designed
      specifically to fit smaller frames and women." The pack feature
      Deuter's Vari-Quick harness system, The Aircontact SL suspension slim
      fit harness and pack design, bilaminate waist belt with PE
      reinforcement and zipper pocket, built in rain cover, U shape
      aluminum stay, height adjustable top lid, inside map pocket, side
      pockets, daisy chain, dual ice axe loops, zippered compartment
      separator, and is hydration system compatible.

      The Vari-Quick harness system can be quickly and easily adjusted to
      accommodate different body sizes. It appears that the Vari-Quick
      system allows Deuter to make this pack one size only. The Aircontact
      SL suspension is designed to provide shorter or slightly built people
      with a comfortable fit. The shoulder straps are narrower, shorter and
      closer together, the hip belt is proportioned to match the SL system
      and uses softer foam than non-SL belt. The countered lumbar pad
      allows greater angle in the waist belt for better hip contact. "With
      every movement, a pump effect circulates air through the breathable
      Aircontact cushions to provide all-around ventilation."

      Field Report:
      Since figuring out how to pack and adjust the Deuter 50 + 10SL, I
      have found it to be a comfortable pack to carry decent load. I'm not
      an ultralight hiker but I have mamaged to get my summer base
      packweight (sans food, fuel and water) down to between 22 and 25
      pounds (10 and 11 kg), including the pack. For fall and winter
      trips, my packweight goes up to between 28 and 32 pounds (13 and 14
      kg) and night time temperatures drop to just around freezing (32F or
      0C) and include rain, fog, drizzle, and all combinations of such.

      I have found that my impressions after long term testing are similar
      to my field report. As I said, once I figured out the best way to
      load my gear into the pack, the load rode comfortably. I keep my
      sleeping bag and spare clothes in the bottom of the pack but I don't
      use the zippered separator that divides the sleeping bag compartment
      from the main compartment of the pack. I find that it restricts my
      ability to optimize the loading of the pack and reduces the
      flexibility. On top of my soft items, I place my food bag, which is
      about the center of my back, and on either side of my food bag I
      place other dense items such as my water filter, first aid kit, and
      and tent body. On top of this is my cook kit which has all several
      small items stored inside it including stove, personal hygiene,
      lighter, spare batteries, and the like. On top of everything I place
      my folded ¾ length sleeping pad. In the top lid, I pack the items
      that I will want to access throughout the day like rain gear (if I'm
      not wearing it), gorp, hat and gloves. In the side pockets I have my
      fuel bottle, water bottle, headlamp. In the zipped pockets I keep
      my tent stakes, hand sanitizer, handkerchief to have at the ready so
      I don't have to open the main pack body if I'm just taking a quick
      break.

      The extra pockets, while adding some weight, allow me to organize my
      gear in such a way that I always know where everything is. This
      makes setting up camp a lot easier since I don't have to rummage
      through my pack to find the tent and tent stakes. It also makes it
      easy to pack everything and check that I'm not forgetting something.
      i.e. The fuel bottle always goes in the left side pocket. My
      conclusion is that Deuter has added just the right number of pockets
      without going overboard.

      One thing I've gotten to test that wasn't really possible in my field
      report was the effectiveness of the rain cover to keep the pack dry.
      None of my testing included high winds, so I can't say that the rain
      cover wouldn't blow off in a fierce storm, but I am happy to report
      that the pack cover does keep the pack dry in drizzle and pouring
      rain. The contents of the pack will absorb moisture from the
      humidity, but there was no evidence that water penetrated the coated
      fabric. I still like having the pack cover storage pocket located on
      the bottom of the pack. I don't have to open the pack to deploy the
      cover and risk getting my gear wet. I do have a problem getting the
      pack cover to fit over the sit pad (which does double duty as my foot
      sleeping pad) which is strapped to the back of the pack, but with
      enough wrangling, I can get it to fit. This is something I need to
      work on, perhaps modify my closed cell foam sit pad.

      I'm pretty easy with my gear. I don't bushwack and I'm not prone to
      hiking through Devil's Club (a local plant with 1 inch thorns), so
      I'm probably not the best person to test durabilty of a pack.
      Despite my lack of abuse, the pack shows no signs of wear although it
      has gotten dirty. The hip belt, shoulder straps, and pack bottom are
      not worn looking.

      The shoulder straps are a bit too far apart and pull against my
      shoulders and rub against my armpits more than I like. With a jacket
      or rain gear on, this doesn't cause much friction but it is still
      annoying after several hours. If Deuter is marketing the pack
      specifically to fit women, the shoulder straps should be designed for
      narrower shoulders. The haul loop rubs against the back of my neck
      and is really annoying. I keep trying to tuck it down while I'm
      wearing the pack, but it keeps popping back up. I also continue to
      have to keep tightening the hip belt as I hike.

      Summary:
      This is a good pack and one I will continue to use. I still fault
      Deuter for not including proper fit instructions, especially since
      the pack is so adjustable, and this meant that I suffered quite a bit
      in early testing. Once I got the pack properly adjusted, however,
      the pack rode well and was comfortable to wear for long hours of
      hiking.

      The pockets are the right number but the elastic on the side pockets
      is too short and makes it very difficult to get things into and out
      of the side pockets with the pack loaded. The hydration sleeve is
      nice unless I drink more than one bladder full of water. In that
      case, I have to practically unpack the pack to fill and replace the
      hydration bladder into the sleeve. This is best left as a once a day
      task.

      I can recommend this pack to those for whom weight is not the most
      important specification. The suspension is very comfortable, but the
      pack is awfully heavy for its capacity. I would really like to see
      Deuter make a version of this pack with lighter fabrics, no rain
      cover or rain cover pocket and the same suspension. Despite it's
      weight, this is a terrific pack that carries well and has the right
      capacity for 3 season hiking.

      I would like to thank Deuter and Back Pack Gear Test for the
      opportunity to test the 50 +10SL pack.
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