It’s not often that I get a major new piece of outdoor gear. For the past 9 months, I’ve been on the hunt for a new day pack. Recently I have been using my Patagonia lightweight travel pack for daily “day pack” use, but for actual hiking, or carrying anything more than a single lightweight jacket, it sucks – the straps are thin, it has no support, etc. For bigger trips I have my grey Black Diamond Quantum 50L pack – which is lightweight and perfect for mountaineering/light backpacking, and travel touring. But for biking, day hiking, day climbing, and just kicking around town with laptop, camera, etc I need something more than the lightweight travel pack, but not a full on mountaineering pack. A lightweight, but supportive and well featured day pack.
During the research phase of this project, I bought a TON of packs online, including these:
But finally, I went into Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder the other day, and found the Deuter Pace 30 backpack. After checking out every other pack on the market that seemed to be a good candidate, I knew right away that the Pace 30 was the pack. It’s lightweight, strong, full featured, and sleek. Here are a few brief notes.
The Deuter Pace 30.
- It’s very lightweight, but has a padded back, and a very thin, bend plastic rod that goes around the back panel. It also has a real waist belt – but made of mesh, so it’s not bulky at all, and can be tied back. So, when you wear the pack with the waist strap, the Delrin rod supports the whole pack – like a proper backpacking pack. But when not in use, it’s very minimal.
- It’s a top loader with real top lid, so you can overstuff it like a real pack – no zippers or anything. It also has an outside stretchy pocket, so you can load up lots of stuff.
- It has compression straps on the sides – like a normal pack. But with these straps, they made the buckles on each side opposite, so you can actually extend the longer straps from each side across the back of the pack and click them together, enabling you to compress the pack way way down, and/or strap on a snowboard or whatever.
- It has real foam shoulder straps – but they are only thick foam at the point on your shoulders where it touches you. Otherwise, the straps are this rubberized mesh.
- The whole pack immediately struck me as the perfect blend of ultra light travel pack that takes up minimal room when empty, low key enough to hike it around the city, with enough style (yellow accents) to be cool looking and not just a drab black piece of luggage, large enough to accomodate extra layers, water, and a bit of climbing gear/rope, and supportive enough to allow you to actually hike with it fully loaded without it killing your shoulders – it actually “rides”.
- Attached are some pics of a few of the features I mentioned.
Other reviews of the Deuter Pace 30 Pack