Deuter Futura Air Trek 45 +10 SL Backpack Review

Deuter Futura Air Trek 45+10 SL Backpack Review

The Deuter Futura Air Trek 45 +10 SL is an adjustable-length ventilated trekking backpack, designed to carry heavy loads over long distances. Its ease of use and multiple entry points makes it an ideal pack for traveling and long tour trekking and for carrying heavier loads.

Specs at a Glance

  • Gender: Women’s
  • Type: Top lid
  • Ventilated: Yes
  • Adjustable Torso Length: Yes
  • Pockets: 8 (including hip belt)
  • Load lifters: Yes
  • Weight: 2000 g (4.4 lb)
  • Volume: 45 + 10 Liter
  • Rain Cover: Included
  • Material: 210D recycled polyester, 600D polyester

Backpack Storage and Organization

The Deuter Futura Air Trek 45 is a wide, top entry pack that is incredibly roomy but is still hip-hugging to help the weight close to your frame and balanced. The “45 +10” in its name, means that it has an expandable collar which when unfurled, can add an extra 10L of capacity. It tucks nicely out of the way if not needed.

The Futura Air Trek is a top loading pack. Note the curved frame which directs the load to the hips.
The Futura Air Trek is a top loading pack. Note the curved frame which directs the load to the hips.

Similar to most trekking packs, it has a large volume, top zippered lid pocket as well as a flat zippered pocket on the underside of the lid for valuables.

There is a large, internal hydration pocket and hanging loop that will easily hold a 3L bladder. I personally do not enjoy having hydration systems inside my pack and so close to my items, but this sleeve is really large and roomy and made removing and filling a bit easier than other packs I have used.

An oversized hydration pocket makes it easy to refill the reservoir even when the pack is packed.
An oversized hydration pocket makes it easy to refill the reservoir even when the pack is packed.

A second zippered entry opens into a separate lower compartment, handy for sleeping bags, or when traveling, for dirty and wet gear and such, and is separated from the upper pack compartment by a zippered nylon panel. This panel can be unzipped if you need to carry tall items that run the full length, such as a bear canister.

A third entry is via a large U-shaped zipper into the front of the pack. This is handy for when you wish to lay your pack down and explore/retrieve contents without having to empty the pack. I could imagine folks really liking this when traveling abroad, etc., as it opens much like a suitcase.

The front panel unzips revealing the full contents of the pack.
The front panel unzips revealing the full contents of the pack.

A custom-fit, rain cover is included in its own zippered pocket on the bottom. It appeared to me to be both lightweight and durable.

There are two, lateral zippered pockets, one on each side. My other packs do not have these pockets, and I had to decide what to use them for. When trekking, these would be handy for items you need to be separate from the rest of your gear, and/or for items you need quick access to. These pockets lie under the compression straps.

The pack has a stretchy front mesh shove pocket. I found it ample enough for my rain gear and camp crocs, which is my preferred use for this pocket.

There are two stretchy mesh water bottle pockets, one on each side. These were snug enough to hold a variety of sizes of water bottles from slipping out, as well as large enough for Nalgene-styled bottles. But the design of the pockets meant that I could not retrieve my water bottle without taking the pack off.

The internal gear shelf can be unzipped to create a large internal cavity.
The internal gear shelf can be unzipped to create a large internal cavity.

Completing the storage system are two roomy zippered hip belt pockets, great for snacks, bandana, a knife, etc., and large enough for many small digital cameras and most cellphones.

Backpack Frame and Suspension System

SL stands for “Slim Line,” or Deuter’s women’s specific packs. Women tend to have shorter backs than men, and thus the SL line is a bit shorter than their standard “unisex” backpacks. When carrying heavier loads, women need a carrying system that can correctly transfer weight to the hips, which is accomplished via this shorter carry system; narrower, S-shaped shoulder straps; and a curved hip belt with “fins” that nestle on a women’s hips. I found the hip belt to be exceptionally well contoured and padded, and yet not overly padded (some packs have hip belts so heavily padded that they become stiff and unable to contour).

The Futura Air Trek has an adjustable length ventilated frame
The Futura Air Trek has an adjustable length ventilated frame.

This pack allows you to completely adjust the torso length using Deuter’s VariSlide system. While easy to adjust once you know how, I did visit the website below to find clear directions and suggestions for properly adjusting the pack. As this pack is designed to allow you to carry heavy loads, it would be essential to ensure your proper fit. https://www.deuter.com/us-en/advice/how-to-adjust-a-backpack.

Helping to keep its shape and support the load is Deuter’s Aircomfort system. This consists of airy mesh stretched across the steel frame.

The hipbelt is designed to wrap around female hips.
The hipbelt is designed to wrap around female hips.

Once adjusted properly, the pack did an excellent job transferring weight to my hips, and its Aircomfort system ensured I had a large air channel allowing airflow against my back.

Load lifters and an adjustable sternum strap complete the suspension system.

Compression and External Attachment System

As you should expect on a trekking pack, there were both upper and lower compression straps on both sides. The sleeping pad or tent compression straps on the outside bottom can hold items, and/or be used to cinch/compress the bottom of the pack. I was glad they are not “under” the pack as I do not like anything to hang below my lower back.

The pack has numerous points where you can attach gear externally.
The pack has numerous points where you can attach gear externally.

The packs also includes bungee trekking pole attachments, a sunglass/eyeglass holder, ice axe attachment, and tool loops that you can tuck away if not needed.

Misc

Deuter designed this pack to be durable and rugged, using fabric on the bottom of the pack that is heavier and more durable than the main body. It makes sense to have this as the bottom is always the high wear area from taking the pack off and on and placing it on the ground.

Large hipbelt pockets make it a breeze to carry snacks and electronics.
Large hipbelt pockets make it a breeze to carry snacks and electronics.

It’s also worth noting that 50% of the yarn used came from recycled raw materials. And finally, let’s not forget Deuter’s free, lifetime repair promise.

Recommendation

The Deuter Futura Air Trek 45 +10 SL has been carefully designed to be a comprehensive trekking pack for women. It has all of the features that one would need for long-distance hiking and/or travel abroad when you might be apt to be carrying more items over long distances.

I was able to make simple yet precise and secure adjustments for my smaller frame size, which in turn, allowed me to carry a heavy load efficiently and safely.

I enjoyed the expandable storage space, ease of entry via multiple entry points, and the organizational pockets. The trade-off for the storage pockets, organizational features, multiple entries, and durable fabric, of course, is that this pack weighs more than an ultralight pack that would be devoid of many of the elements that make this pack so versatile.

Disclosure: Deuter gave the reviewer a pack for an honest review.

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Last updated: 2021-07-14 02:31:16

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About the author

Beth Zimmer is an expert backpacker who’s backpacked all over New England and Eastern Canada, with a long list of hiking accomplishments to her name. She’s section hiked the New Hampshire Appalachian Trail, climbed the New England Hundred Highest and the New Hampshire 500 highest (mostly bushwhacks), hiked all the trails in the White Mountain Guide (1440 miles), and climbed the White Mountain 4000 footers several times over. Beth also teaches GPS and off-trail navigation classes as a volunteer for the Appalachian Mountain Club and is co-chair of the New Hampshire Excursions Committee, which oversees all volunteer hiking and leadership training activities. When she’s not hiking and backpacking, Beth resides in New Hampshire where she can usually be found sipping coffee and planning her next adventure.

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