Do you hate shopping for pants? I do. 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 without trying them on makes my head explode. Anyway, this is not a review about pants but it’s essentially how I feel about shopping for climbing packs, as well.

I’ve finally found a pack that works for me: the Deuter Guide 40+ SL. The waistband fits me correctly, solving a huge frustration (I have an abnormally long torso but a pretty small waist). The belt is anatomically cut and the entire pack is a female-specific design with a body-hugging fit. The straps are more narrow and easily tightened or loosened for better comfort. Overall, it fits like a glove!


It’s a little bit heavier than some of my 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 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.

The Guide comes with gear loops on the waist (convenient for racking loose cams) and more conveniently, it includes a separate bottom compartment for easy access. Compression straps 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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Photograph by Aly Nicklas

Disclosure: I am currently an ambassador for Deuter and the gear has been provided for this review. I love the Deuter gang but these opinions honest and my own.

Cover photograph courtesy of Aly Nicklas. All other photographs courtesy of Deuter.

6 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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