Summer has abruptly ended, the chill has set in and the leaves are starting to turn. It was a good one, despite being away for work I snuck in a variety of climbs, ranging from alpine rock to glaciers and ice. Some long multi day trips with grueling approaches, the kind were no matter what pack you use it rubs and pulls and makes it feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders. Not this summer!
I have been trying out the new Deuter Guide pack made specifically for women, the Deuter Guide 40+ SL. It has been dreamy. It is streamlined which means it carries well, where my previous packs would start to rub under a heavy load the Guide 40+ SL never rubbed and the weight stayed off my shoulders no matter how much I overloaded it. When leading on ice it never hindered my movements, in fact I forgot I was wearing a pack all together. The two ice tool attachments work smoothly and allows you to access your tools easily. I also used the built-in sit pad on several occasions to keep my butt of the snow, and when I got caught out in heavy rains the water resistant material did a great job at keep my things dry inside.
The only complaint is the size, on multi day trips which requires both overnight gear and a variety of technical climbing equipment it was snug. I would pack, re-pack, and pack again to try and squeeze it all in, and once fully loaded the zipper to get into the bottom compartment was rendered useless as there was no way anything could be placed back into the bottom compartment after accessing it. The men’s version is a 45+ liter pack which seems like a more sensible size for an alpine pack.
Overall, however, this is a great pack that I will continue to use for years to come, it performs particularly well in technical terrain and carries beautifully.