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Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 Review

A simple but versatile pack that offers plush padding, a stout suspension, and quality durability
deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review
Deuter Aircontact Lite 65 + 10
Credit: Deuter
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Price:  $220 List
Pros:  Well padded, slightly lighter than average, very durable, more torso height adjustment than most, stout suspension
Cons:  Not quite as many pockets as other models, soft padding was less comfortable with super heavy loads, warmest pack in the review
Manufacturer:   Deuter
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 5, 2019
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 16
  • Suspension and Comfort - 45% 7.0
  • Weight - 20% 6.0
  • Features and Ease of Use - 20% 7.0
  • Adjustability - 15% 10.0

Our Verdict

The Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 is a reliable, durable pack. While it doesn't boast some of the bells and whistles that some other models feature, it is incredibly versatile and great for a wide range of activities from traditional backpacking to trekking, summertime mountaineering, and general travel. It's also lighter than average and still boasts the majority of features that most backpackers seek. This pack is an exceptional value that we think the thrifty backpacker should enjoy.

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Price $220 List$202.46 at Backcountry
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$199.00 at REI
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Pros Well padded, slightly lighter than average, very durable, more torso height adjustment than most, stout suspensionLight-weight, comfortable with heavy loads, perfect pocket combinationVery lightweight, comfortable suspension, good value, great featuresLight-weight, comfortable, supportive, functional feature setLight-weight, comfortable, easily personalized, inexpensive
Cons Not quite as many pockets as other models, soft padding was less comfortable with super heavy loads, warmest pack in the reviewTiny buckles hard to operate with glovesNot very adjustable torsoNo lid, back-panel lacks ventilationlacks durabillity, not made for heavy loads
Bottom Line A simple but versatile pack that offers plush padding, a stout suspension, and quality durabilityA lightweight load hauler that is both comfortable and full of featuresThis is an awesome lightweight pack that can carry a heavier load and has a very comfortable mesh-trampoline back panelThis pack blends excellent carrying comfort with arguably the best-executed set of features, all in a light-weight packageIt may not be a heavy load hauler, but for moderate loads, this pack is comfortable and has an amazing set of features, all at a great price
Rating Categories Deuter Aircontact L... Granite Gear Blaze 60 Gregory Focal 58 Ultralight Adventur... REI Co-op Flash 55
Suspension and Comfort (45%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Weight (20%)
6.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
10.0
Features and Ease of Use (20%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
Adjustability (15%)
10.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Deuter Aircontact L... Granite Gear Blaze 60 Gregory Focal 58 Ultralight Adventur... REI Co-op Flash 55
Measured Weight 4.4 lbs 3.0 lbs 2.7 lbs 2.8 lbs 2.6 lbs
Volume 65 + 10 L 60 L 58 L 75 L 55 L
Access Top, sleeping bag compartment Top Top Top Top
Hydration Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Materials 35% Polyester, 65% Nylon 100D robic nylon w/ DWR coating 100% Nylon 400 Robic fabric Main Body: 100D ripstop nylon
Bottom: 420D nylon
Sleeping bag Compartment Yes No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 is a robust and versatile pack from our best backpacking backpack review that will work well for a relatively wide range of applications. It is very durable and one of the most wallet-friendly on the market. When directly compared to other models in its price range, it handled heavy loads the best. While it's not chock full of features, our experts found that it has the most important ones.

Performance Comparison


deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - the aircontact doesn't have tons of features but our review staff...
The AirContact doesn't have tons of features but our review staff felt it had all the most important ones. It has a solid suspension, cushy foam padding, durable fabrics, and a lighter than average weight.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Suspension and Comfort


The Aircontact Lite 65+10 is a comfortable pack that works well for a wide range of users. Its padding is slightly softer than average giving it a cushier feeling ride. Besides just feeling cushier, it also conforms to the shape of its user; helping to more evenly distribute the weight across the wearer's hips and shoulders.

The softer foam is something that our testers with bonier hips particularly love about this pack's plush padding. However, it didn't always provide enough support when carrying heavier loads of over 45 pounds. While the suspension is plenty robust, the padding was just okay, and it would start to bottom out and feel less comfortable than models with stiffer foam. It is worth noting that this was not the case for more moderate pack weights that most users experience on an average 2-6 day trip.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - we felt this model sported some of the cushier feeling foam in our...
We felt this model sported some of the cushier feeling foam in our review which is something that any tester can appreciate - especially thinner users or backpackers with bonier hips.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

All of our testers commented that its shoulder straps and waist belt kept them on the hotter side. The internal fabric was fine against bare skin, but we didn't find it as comfortable as the more breathable options. However, it felt nicer than a majority of models in this review.

The Aircontact Lite 65+10 features a pretty robust suspension that is certainly capable of handling loads up to around 50 pounds. This pack uses a "Y" shaped aluminum frame, and a plastic frame sheet to both add stiffness and protect the wearers back from hard objects.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - this model featured a stretchy mesh water bottle pocket on either...
This model featured a stretchy mesh water bottle pocket on either side of the body of the pack. While it didn't offer anything special in attempting to make it easier for its user to grab, these pockets were plenty deep and super secure (the water bottle is pulled up for the photo) and easily fits entirely inside the mesh pocket
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Features and Ease of Use


This model isn't full of bells and whistles but still has a majority of the features that we want. Unlike many Deuter packs, this one features a smaller-than-average sleeping bag compartment. Though small, it is still a useful size and is suitable for separating items that you don't need until you get to camp.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - the aircontact's lid was larger than most which was nice. however...
The Aircontact's lid was larger than most which was nice. However, its access, which happened via a zipper on the side of the lid, was only average for ease of searching through.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

All of our testers liked the stretchy beavertail pocket and found it was the ideal place for odd-shaped items like flip-flops, or a fuel bottle. We also found ourselves using it as a quick place to stash a rain jacket, whether we just took it off because the sun came out, or packed it in this pocket in anticipation of darkening skies. Its stretchy mesh fabric means it can also serve as a place to dry socks or other small articles of clothing while you're still on the trail. This arrangement was effective after jumping into a lake and while hiking on a sunny day.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - here we show the zippered mesh waist-belt pockets on the aircontact...
Here we show the zippered mesh waist-belt pockets on the AirContact, which were the perfect place for snacks, a camera, sunblock. or any other item we may want close at hand. Unfortunately, it isn't big enough for most smartphones.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The Aircontact Lite 65+10 also features a mesh zippered hip-belt pocket that is big enough for snacks, a few bars, or a small point-and-shoot camera. It was just barely big enough for most smartphones. There are stretchy mesh water bottle pockets on either side, but they aren't anything to write home about; fortunately, they are plenty functional and secure. If you use an ice axe with this model, take note that while the ice axe attachment system is well-designed; its location means the pick of your axe will likely be pointing almost straight back, creating a potential hazard to whoever is behind you.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - this pack doesn't have any side special access other than via its...
This pack doesn't have any side special access other than via its primary access and sleeping bag compartment pocket. This was fine with most of our users. When out on the trail, we got used to packing items we didn't need until camp, but could then grab quickly (like a tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc) once it was time to pitch the tent without having to explode our whole pack.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The lid is also removable. This model features one large zippered pocket on top, which you can access from the outside, and a smaller, flat zippered pocket accessed from underneath the lid. The main lid pocket can hold a lot of stuff; however, since it only opens on one side, it isn't as easy to search for items in as other models.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - while a small feature, our testers really appreciated this model's...
While a small feature, our testers really appreciated this model's extra long straps, located outside of the sleeping bag compartment. These straps were perfect for a closed-cell foam sleeping pad or any other oblong funky-to-pack item.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Weight


At 4.4 pounds, this model is a respectable weight. While it is a little heavier than some packs, a large part of that is because this model uses slightly beefier fabric that is more tear-resistant and longer-lasting.

Adjustability and Fit


This pack features Deuter's Vario adjustment system which offers the most vertical adjustment of any model in our review — up to 10 inches.

Though the waist belt doesn't offer any specific adjustment, it does have long straps, which make it ideal for a wide range of users.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - this model has the vertical adjustment of any model we tested, with...
This model has the vertical adjustment of any model we tested, with over 10 inches of adjustment.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The adjustment is super easy to use; it's just a Velcro tab that passes through two loops. We found it to be straightforward and easy to use.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - as we mentioned there isn't any special access to this pack besides...
As we mentioned there isn't any special access to this pack besides the primary opening (seen here) and the lower sleeping bag compartment.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Value


This model is also one of the better packs for the price. It features highly durable materials, especially for its price point, and will last most folks through years of use.

deuter aircontact lite 65+10 backpacks backpacking review - the aircontact offers solid performance, low weight, exceptional...
The Aircontact offers solid performance, low weight, exceptional durability, and a cushier-than-average foam that almost anyone can appreciate but partially those with bonier hips.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Conclusion


This option is solid and versatile at an excellent price. It offers above-average durability and tons of vertical adjustability in an otherwise simple and light design. If we knew we needed to carry heavier loads above 45 pounds, we would seriously consider this pack if we were on a budget.

Ian Nicholson
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