Deuter Futura Pro 42 Backpack (2011)-Fire/Oyster
I purchased this at the beginning of August and wanted to take it out more than once or twice before I offered you my review.
I purchased this directly from Deuter Outdoor (Comfort 1st)
and paid $143.10 with free shipping. It arrived four days after I placed the order.
While I purchased this on line – I was familiar with the company, and the Futura line of pack. My wife has the woman’s version and loves it. With that, and finding what I believed to be my sizing on line I purchased it. The sizing was correct and fit as well as any pack I have with regards to length (hip to shoulder). I guess you would consider me tall at 6’3″ and I weigh in at 195-205 depending..
First Impressions: The reduced the weight of the fabric from what appeared on my wife’s version purchased perhaps five years earlier. I could rally behind that if it was for weight savings – but I fear it was done on the cheep. The fabric seems too thin and likely to tear (though as of the dozen hard outings so far has not). Another miss, and again, on the cheep is the lash tabs on the top pocket. It is just a loop of para-cord sewn in at the same time as the top flap was stitched. Not even over stitched or re-envorced in any way. Need to lash up your sweater? sure. Anything more? you are out of luck. I would gladly pay the extra money for a real last point. And speaking of lash points, have you heard of them Deuter? you could add a couple you know – not sure if it is for style points (sleek minimalism) or what but – you COULD put a couple on the back of the pack. If it were me I would sew in two ladders of 9/17 flat tape from the bottom up the back and tuck under the top flap, and then buckle it at the lower access area to back that up should that zipper blow out. As it is now, if you blow out that zipper you are done. Thats why true alpine packs have no such thing. One big tube of a compartment equals nothing to fail. I know this is not meant to be a mountaineers pack – but lets have a little design thought Deuter… Come on.. How can you be so brilliant at suspension and totally miss these other necessities?
The suspension – This is where this pack shines. Perhaps the only reason to own it, and perhaps reason enough to overlook it’s other (major, in my humble opinion) short comings. This is the luxury ride for long walks with moderate loads. I have been hiking, climbing, camping and backpacking for over thirty-five years now and this is by far the most comfortable pack to wear.
I do manage to cram a lot of stuff in this pack. The shape of the mesh panel and wire support do remove some capacity from a pack of this size and this one comes in at 45 liters.
Lets go down their feature list shall we? From the Deuter website –
Deuter Aircomfort Vario Pro System – That’s what makes this worth buying
Compact hip fins with Pull-Forward adjusters are easy to tighten even with a heavy load – True. Sweet system
Spacious waist belt pocket for valuables- Nope. Simply NOT there. Prior version? mis-represented? small nit.
Anatomically shaped, Wide Air-Mesh shoulder straps with stabilizer straps – They are comfy
Side bellows pockets – Yes. Nice.
Lid compartment with internal valuables pocket – True enough
Compression straps – True.
Zipped front pocket – True. Handy feature
Stretch side pockets – true
Wet clothing compartment _ I guess they mean the lower segmented compartment – and for me, thats clothing in general vs. Gear
Ice tool and trekking pole attachment loops – Crap. Ice tool? If you want to be an alpine pack, be an alpine pack. This is NOT a pack I would climb it. But I would and do wear to hike to a climb.
Top lid attachment rings –Crap. Why bother – oh, to secure your sweater –
Height-adjustable lid – Not really. To do this you need sliders on both sides. One side of the lid is sewn on – so no, if you pack it up into what I call the snow collar then you have trouble closing the lid. you need have sliders holding down the hinge and the closure.
Base section in extremely tough Deuter-Duratex – Time will tell on that – but looks OK.
Reflective attachment for drinking tube. Sure
So, there you have it –
In summary –
A good pack, a good brand with great suspension and carrying comfort though tragically lacking in simple features for reasons that elude me.