Deuter Aircontact Pro 70+15 / Aircontact Pro 65+15 SL
Most durable large backpack
Brand: Deuter Gear Reviews
Model: Aircontact Pro 70+15 / Aircontact Pro 65+15 SL
Overall Rating: 4.1
Suspension • 3.8
With a sturdy aluminum frame that stabilizes loads up to 60 pounds, this ultratough pack is ideal for rugged, expedition backpacking. The frame’s V shape transfers weight to the center of a wide, padded hipbelt, and a slender profile keeps loads close to the back. The only issue: Because the Aircontact Pro is so narrow, it relies on verticality for the extra storage, an issue for shorter testers. “By the time it was fully packed with enough food and gear for an eight-day trip in the North Cascades, the extended collar and toplid towered above my head,” laments one 5’4” tester who struggled with pack sway.
Comfort • 3.9
Big pores in the foam backpanel and hipbelt padding provided excellent breathability on 75°F days in humid Olympic National Park. During desert overnights in Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, testers reported minimal sweating, even while hiking in full sun.
Almond-shaped hipbelt wings wrap the iliac crest for a cozy, secure fit. Testers also appreciated the generously padded shoulder harness and easy adjustability of the pull-forward straps on the hip fins. Ding: Smaller testers had trouble getting the hipbelt cinched tight enough on the 65+15 SL (the women’s version) for effective weight transfer.
Features • 3.8
Long, gusseted pockets flank the sides of the pack (each fit a pair of camp shoes, or a 32-ounce Nalgene and extra snacks). A full U-shape zipper lines the shove-it pouch, which allows easy access to buried items. “I was thankful to be able to grab my shorts for a quick change after an afternoon temperature spike,” says one Washington tester. There are also two roomy hipbelt pockets, a sleeping bag compartment, and plentiful external attachment points. Nice touch: The pack comes with an included 10-liter daypack for summit excursions.
Durability • 5.0
Want a pack that’ll last? The Aircontact Pro will rise to the occasion. On scruffy trails, it deflected thorns and branches alike, thanks to its 600-denier polyester bottom and, on the main packbody, a 330-denier blend of polyamide and nylon 6.6 ripstop (it has the highest combined denier of any pack in the test). The waterproof PU coating had Washington testers singing its praises after rainy bushwhacks, and another tester used the Aircontact Pro for an international ice climbing trip. “I threw it down stairs and shoved it under buses—all with ice axes and crampons inside. Never a tear,” she says.