I hate shopping for pants. They are never the right length. There are never enough pockets. There is the frustration of being too curvy, too small, et cetera. And the disappointment that follows ordering a pair online without trying them on makes my head explode. This is essentially how I feel about pack shopping as well.

It can be a heady task, but after turning up empty handed time and time again, I finally found something that worked. The Deuter Guide 40+ SL! The first and most important part: IT FIT. The waistband fit correctly, solving a huge frustration for me (I have an abnormally long torso but a little waist). The belt is anatomically cut and the entire pack is a female specific design with its body hugging fit. The straps are more narrow and easily tightened or loosened for better comfort. Overall, the pack fits like a glove.

Photograph courtesy of Deuter USA

It’s a little bit heavier than my other alpine packs, but with extra ounces comes better durability. The SL pack is great for overnight camping, all day cragging, or big alpine days in the mountains. Built to take a beating, it offers great breathability due to vertical foam strips in the back panel. There is also a removable sitting foam mat for extra support. Its bells and whistles include: daisy chain, ice tool loops, and reinforced ski straps located on the side.

I wish that it had zippered pockets at the waistband to store tiny items, but it comes with gear loops on the waist (convenient for racking loose cams).

More convenient things include a separate bottom compartment for easy access. There are compression straps that can be fastened over the middle of the pack and loops to hold a helmet and rope storage complete with an over the lid strap.

The Guide SL retails at $179.00 and for that price, you get a great, versatile pack ready for your next outdoor adventure!

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Summer days trekking through Vedauwoo, WY. Photograph by Aly Nicklas

Disclosure: I am currently an ambassador with Deuter and the gear has been provided for this review. I love the Deuter gang but, as always, I keep my opinions honest and true.

4 thoughts

  1. Nice succinct review. I have more packs than I need because I have the opposite problem, a short torso. Two of my daughters have the classic long torso (all 3 are hapa) and I spent years going back and forth to the stores getting them backpacks that fit-ha ha. I will pass on your review to them. Keep the reviews coming-better than Yelp,ha ha

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