ProView – Deuter Futura PRO 36 Pack
In 2011, my partner Kevin and I climbed Denali in Alaska via the West Buttress. It was our second 6000m peak together. We carried over 120lbs of gear each up the hill from basecamp on sleds and packs. Carefully planned out ahead of time, I always knew what my summit pack was going to be. It was the Deuter guide pack. Light, simple, and efficient. Oh, and comfortable. One thing I can confidently say about Deuter gear is that it is always comfortable. They clearly make this a priority.
Deuter Futura PRO 36
Product Description: The spacious hiking backpack is perfect for crossings and multi-day tours. The new ergonomic Aircomfort Sensic mesh back system provides maximum ventilation and a comfortably flexible fit. Agile Variflex hip fins make for energy-efficient and easy carrying of medium-size loads. Their ergonomic pads custom fit the fins on the hip for perfect load distribution.
Price: $170 MSRP
If you’re looking for an all-access pass to breezy day hiking and overnight trips in the mountains, this pack is going to be the ticket. Well-thought-out pocket design, breathability features, and access make this my go-to hiking backpack. Just be careful how you pack it to account for the steel frame arch in the middle when it comes to weight distribution.
- Well designed pockets and access
- Have to pack it carefully
I recently reviewed the Deuter Futura Pro 36 pack. I am 6’1 and a medium/large size. It fits, but I would say runs a little on the small size compared to other packs I’ve used. After several trips, including a long hike on the Pacific Crest Trail and a casual cragging day of rock climbing at Index, Washington, I noticed a couple of quick things.
I think someone between 5’6 and 6’0 would fit perfectly. It took me some time to get it where I felt really comfortable, especially along the shoulders and hips.
There is one major difference in this pack versus my others. The Aircomfort Sensic Mesh Back. Your back doesn’t even come close to touching the actual pack, completely separated and free to breath. When there is heat on the forecast, and you know you will be sweating, this is the pack you are going to want. I’ve had way too many drenched shirts, backs, and legs due to the heat trap that can happen between a backpack and body. While hiking an open section of the Pacific Creast Trail there was a moment when I felt the wind picked up and the breeze along my shirt and I instantly cool me down.
Another noticeable pro is how easily the chest strap slides along. Basically every pack I have owned had a cumbersome system for moving the chest strap up and down. My wife and I were hiking with our one year old and took turns wearing her in her pack and wearing the Deuter pack. It was surprisingly easy for her to adjust the pack to her body and then right back to mine.
It is a great day or overnight hiking pack, with lots of well designed pockets and access. The mesh system is incredible for breathability, there is access from the bottom, which I always appreciate, and I found the brain of the to be very spacious and not constrained even when the inside is maxed out.
Given my previous Deuter bag is going on seven years of near daily use as my summit and gym climbing bag, Deuter makes gear to last.
Over the past decade I have mostly turned to simple, sleek, minimalist alpine packs. These work great when cutting weight matters and utility is the main concern. They all lack pockets, access, and comfort. The Deuter Pro 36 is the answer. Finally I have a pack with bottom access, two side water bottle holders (which by the way comfortably fit a nalgene, even when the interior is maxed) and even a hip waist that fits a large cell phone (Samsung Galaxy 10).
Room for Improvement
The one downside of the mesh back system is that it forces you to carefully consider how you will stack your gear inside. I found having a slightly heavier and bulkier item along the bottom provides some balance with all of the lighter items (clothes, sleeping bag etc) in the center with final heavy items on top. I tried many times to set the pack down on the ground so I could grab items from the top, but it rather easily topples over. While this is not a game breaker, it was pretty annoying as I am used to setting a bag down without thought to open it up. If you plan to take this pack on and off a lot, you will need some practice to find the right balance. While this may be the case, the positive benefits of the mesh back and keeping your back dry greatly outway the annoyance of not staying upright.
If you’re looking for an all-access pass to breezy day hiking and overnight trips in the mountains, this pack is going to be the ticket. Well-thought out pocket design, breathability features and access make this my go-to hiking backpack. Just be careful how you pack it to account for the steel frame arch in the middle when it comes to weight distribution.
The pack is called a Futura Pro 36, necessary to say that since we have other packs with “Pro 36” in the name. Next time if we have someone over 6 ft I will send them an EL (extra long) pack! I appreciate his honesty and am glad that even though it was a little short for him he still liked the pack!
Dave Summers is an alpine photographer @davesummertimes and an outdoor enthusiast residing in the Pacific Northwest, climbing and skiing everything within a long day’s drive of Seattle or Leavenworth. Over 15 years of big mountain climbing and backcountry skiing around the world, including the Himalayas, Alps, and Alaska, he occasionally returns to his home in Boulder, CO for some good old fashioned Eldo sessions.