The Deuter Guide 45+ Alpine Pack

SWM ISO: My Amazonian Goddess

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , by: TRuC

I see backpacks as a necessary evil to outdoor endeavors. They never fit right, are too heavy, don’t have the right bells and whistles, are uncomfortable and the list goes on. Personally I would love to have a Star Trek Transporter magically teleport my gear to the prearranged bivy/campsite anytime I hike or climb. Seeing as the chances of this actually happening (I’ll hold out and hope that I’ll eventually marry some Amazonian goddess that will schluf my gear anytime I want) are zero to nil, I am on a continuous search for the “do everything” bag. This bag would be comfortable, light weight, durable, and have just the right frills – basically, I want the perfect satchel for my gear. As you can see, there’s a reason I haven’t found my Amazonian goddess. However, I’ll settle for the current contender for my “do everything” bag - the Guide 45+ from Deuter. This all around alpine pack is made from a 1000d nylon Duratex and 420d Microlite fabric making this beefcake, well, super beefy. Both of the fabrics are PU coated, making this bag effectively waterproof (minus the occasional river dunking or typhoon conditions since the seams aren’t taped). My first impressions of the bag out of the packaging are mixed. On one hand, the bag is super durable (beefy fabric, beefy zippers, beefy…beefy) and seems to have all the right bells and whistles ( A-frame ski holders, ice tool holders, NO trekking pole holders, NO pull cord to lunch Patriot missiles, etc.), there are add-ons that seem unnecessary. This includes the side-access zippers and bottom compartment access zippers - I’d have one, but not both. As for the bottom compartment separator - I’d probably cut this out. All of these features are nice but add a lot of unnecessary zipper weight. Another feature I would like to see would be some sort of haul system using maybe a 3-point haul system for more vertical travel.

First impressions aside, I started packing the bag. Although listed as a 45L bag, I think it’s a little conservative (think far right wing conservative). I packed all my climbing gear, a rope, a bivy set up, food, stove and still had enough room for a bottle of wine. Compare that to my current 45+10L alpine pack which barely has enough room for the essentials much less enough room for a small flask of whiskey.

The Guide is also the most comfortable alpine pack I’ve ever used. Most light weight packs, the shoulder and waist straps are so trimmed down that they feel like a boa constrictor working on squeezing out your innards; leading to sore muscles and massage therapist bills. The Guide was a champ even on a 2 mile 2500ft approach.

There are plenty other things to like about the pack. Like a high priced stripper I once knew, this pack strips down to nothing but the bare necessities, the simple bear necessities. You can easily, “easily” being the operative word here, remove or put back together the pack stays, hip belt, and foam sheet - which doubles as an emergency bivy pad. On other alpine packs, I’ve found that removing these things can be easy but putting them back in can be a huge pain in the ass (I still haven’t fully gotten my Grivel Alpine Pack stay back in and I’ve had it for almost two years!!!!).Even stripped down and sans hip belt, the Guide was super comfortable. Although the “stripped down system” isn’t perfect and you can’t remove the top lid, it is by far the best system I’ve seen on a alpine pack. All in all, it's a nice alpine pack.

Pros: Über durable (no worries about punching through the pack materials with your crampons), Strips down easily, SUPER comfortable to carry, Reasonably priced at $169 (It was the cheapest pack out of all the comparable packs)

Cons: This is the heaviest pack (4lbs 4oz.) out of all the comparable alpine packs I looked at (I looked at Black Diamond, Osprey, Cilogear, and Grivel). This could easily be fixed by losing the bottom compartment opening and the internal separation flap. Neither of these changes would take away from the carrying comfort.

Bonus: Printed directions underneath the top lid on how to facilitate a rescue that doesn't involve you running around naked.

Conclusions: Amazonian goddess this pack is not (no one’s perfect) but if comfort and durability at a stellar price point is what you're seeking, then get this pack for all your alpine endeavors. Specs:

Volume: 2750-3350 cubic inches
Torso: 16.5-20 inches inches
Weight: 4 lbs. 4 oz. (3lbs. 10oz. min. weight)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 29 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches

Guest Blogger Jeremy Park can be found hiding in the alpine ranges of the Pacific Northwest and occasionally ditches a day of work to return from his adventures. As a crusty contradiction, he enjoys ice and rock of all types and more importantly, lives for general tomfoolery.