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ProView – Deuter Women’s Trail 28 SL

The Deuter Trail 28 SL accompanied my partner and I on my climb of Skywalker Couloir, a snow climb in the Indian Peaks Wilderness of Colorado. We hiked through several miles through backcountry forests, crossed raging streams, and ultimately climbed up 1,500 vertical feet of snow and ice topping out at a daunting 65 degree angle before reaching the summit of South Arapahoe Peak.

Deuter Women's Trail 28 SL

Product Description: The clean-cut, light backpack is very versatile. It proves to be the perfect companion on via ferratas or during challenging hikes. The functional backpack sits close to the back even during extensive moves thanks to the innovative carrying system with the Aircontact Trail contact back - and it provides pleasant ventilation. It's an excellent via ferrata backpack through innovative details like the carabiner loop on the shoulder strap.

Price: $135 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

The Deuter Trail 28 SL gets 5 stars across the board. From day hikes to technical objectives, the versatility of this pack gave me the confidence to know that whatever I was carrying would be comfortable and accessible all day long.  If you are looking for a pack that can do just about anything with ease and with style, look no further than the Deuter Trail 28 SL.

Overall
5

Pros

  • Highly adjustable for maximum comfort
  • Stylish
  • Rain cover included with the backpack

Cons

  • Only one loop for securing axes and poles
  • Helmet holder sold separately

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Performance

Created with the female anatomy in mind, the Deuter Trail 28 SL is slightly shorter than their male or unisex backpacks. The pack features cushions made from hollow chamber foam, which circulates air between your back and the pack, preventing that nasty, sweaty feeling you always end up with when carrying a heavy load. You know the one. The foam is positioned in a way to keep the weight inside the pack close to your body which prevents bad posture or hot spots from rubbing. The thicker padding made it very comfortable for wearing on long objectives.

deuter-womens-trail-28SL-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Look/Style

The Trail 28 SL rocks a feminine design with the signature Deuter flower (removable if prefered), but still includes all of the technical features you need in a hiking and mountaineering pack. If you look at other reviews of this pack on the internet, you will see the word stylish used over and over, and for good reason. It’s got a sleek design in bright colors that doesn’t look overly “strappy”.

deuter-womens-trail-28SL-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Features

I could talk all day about the features of this pack, but I’ll highlight a few of my favorites for you.

One of the biggest factors in purchasing a pack for me is whether or not it includes a strap to secure a mountaineering axe to the back and the Trail 28 checked that box. While I would have liked to see one on both sides of the pack, it is probably not necessary for most applications that this pack would be used in. I will also add that it is not designed to carry technical ice climbing axes, but I was able to find a way to secure them reasonably well and they stayed on all day!

deuter-womens-trail-28SL-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The shoulder straps feature a gear loop that would be really useful on a via ferrata climb or serve as a handy storage spot for a water bottle. There are also four loops on the back of the pack which can be used to strap a helmet on with the optional helmet holder (sold separately).

As a total safety nerd, I love that there are safety tips printed on the inside of the “brain” of the pack. It even has a space to write down the phone number of your local search and rescue so you always have it handy should you need assistance on the trails.

deuter-womens-trail-28SL-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Weight/Packability

The pack itself is very lightweight, but is large enough to pack it with a heavy load. Fortunately the hip pads and shoulder straps are highly adjustable to ensure that the weight is distributed just right for any body type.

The large front-opening flap made it easy to stuff all of my gear inside and made it equally as easy to get it back out. There is nothing worse than having to empty out your pack on a climb to dig for something at the very bottom – especially above treeline where one gust of wind could blow your belongings away. The front-opening flap made it easy to locate and access my gear no matter where it was!

deuter-womens-trail-28SL-review-dirtbagdreams.com

deuter-womens-trail-28SL-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Function/Performance

While the Deuter website gives this bag a low score as a rock climbing backpack, (but high score in mountaineering and hiking!) I have to disagree. I have brought my Trail 28 to the climbing crag several times and have not had any issues with it. The pack features a top-loading option as well as the front-loading zipper, so I found it to be easy to tuck a climbing rope underneath the lid like I would on a highly technical rock climbing pack.

Durability/Construction

Despite being lightweight, this pack is robust. With a PFC-free coating that is water and dirt resistant, this pack won’t show signs of wear until it gets a lot of love. There is a rain cover discreetly hidden in a pocket underneath the pack. Although we didn’t experience any precipitation on our climb, it was comforting to know that I would have a way to keep my gear dry if the weather took a turn for the worse.

deuter-womens-trail-28SL-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Room For Improvement

If I had to address any minor complaint, I wish it had an extra loop on the right side to accommodate carrying a mountaineering axe and hiking poles.

The Final Word

The Deuter Trail 28 SL gets 5 stars across the board. From day hikes to technical objectives, the versatility of this pack gave me the confidence to know that whatever I was carrying would be comfortable and accessible all day long.  If you are looking for a pack that can do just about anything with ease and with style, look no further than the Deuter Trail 28 SL.

Shop Deuter Women’s Trail 28 SL on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Lindsay Hastings has worked as a hydrologic technician for the United States Geological Survey for five years. As a field scientist, she has logged countless hours working in a wide range of conditions from sub-zero temperatures in the high-altitude regions of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, to record-breaking heat in the deserts of New Mexico. When she’s not working in the field, you can find her chasing her next thrill through ice climbing, rock climbing, mountaineering, camping, trail running, or practicing photography in the mountains. Lindsay is a member of the USA Ice Climbing Team and competed in the World Cup tour both nationally and internationally this winter.

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