I couldn’t be more excited that Deuter has a women-specific line of backpacks. Since 2006, their product development team, consisting of female athletes and designers, have been working hard to create the Deuter SL Line and for this coming year, it’s bigger and better than ever before (especially for lady climbers!) Keep reading—there is an exciting announcement at the end!

May 04, 2018-3
Hanging at the Bridger Jacks last spring. Photograph by Jason Gebauer.

About the Fit

Deuter SL Line is a collection of female-specific packs. Because packs are often designed to fit the average athletic build, women are often left in the dust to “make do” with whatever options are out there. Standard packs often are built for longer torsos, wider shoulders, and over-all, wider back dimensions.

Deuter’s response to this problem: create a line of women’s backpacks that offer dimensions and carrying systems that fit smaller, more compact bodies. This line was designed with women’s bodies in mind, however, the SL models are a great fit for any body, male or female, that has shorter torsos or narrower frames.

Designed for shorter torsos in mind

The Specs

This back/carrying system is designed with the female anatomy in mind, therefore much shorter than normal packs. The shoulder straps on the SL Line are closer together, narrower, and anchor to the pack a little bit lower. They are slimmer towards the ends, tapering down for a better fit around the shoulders. They have an S-shape that is better adapted for female or slimmer shoulders, and the edges on the straps are way too soft—I don’t want to compare it to wearing a cloud, but maybe like having a really soft golden doodle rest its head on your shoulders.

The hip fins are an anatomically adapted design that allows the ends of the hip belt to come together in an upward position, which perfectly hugs the hips. One of the main differences between the SL and Standard packs is the way the hip belt attachment on SL packs is attached at an angle at anchor points, which will accommodate hip curves.

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The Big News

Deuter is releasing a new Gravity SL series for female alpinists and climbers. From sport to the alpine climber, there is a pack for everyone. The Gravity series is a line of backpacks specifically for climbers, but now for my smaller-framed female friends, there are even more options. In 1959, Deuter came out with the “Female Tauern Backpack” which changed a lot in the history of backpacks. The Gravity Series continues to make waves with the release of its own SL versions.

Gravity SL will include everything from small and lightweight for swinging leads on multi-pitch, ultra-light alpine packs with freedom of movement, to ultra-light packs with necessary volume. Stay tuned for reviews of all of the above!


In 2005, Angela Vögele, head of Deuter’s SL Team, spoke with then-CEO Bernd Kullmann about backpacks developed especially for women. Until that time, there were only a few SL versions that were optimized for smaller or slimmer people. That’s where the SL comes from: “slim line”. A year later, a full-fledged female line emerged. — Deuter

Disclosure: I am currently an ambassador for Deuter, however, all opinions are honest and my own, as always.

Unless noted otherwise, all photographs courtesy of Deuter.

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