< Go to Backpacking Packs - Men's

Hands-on Gear Review

Deuter Aircontact 65+10 Review

Deuter Air Contact 65 + 10 Updated
Price:   $279 List | $195.30 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Exceptionally comfortable suspension, well padded, great for folks with bonier hips, lots of pockets and other features, more torso height adjustment than most
Cons:  Heaviest pack in the review, bulky hip belt, warmest pack in the review
Bottom line:  A comfortable and well padded pack that sports lots of features; it is heavier than average and has bulky padding.
Editors' Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Deuter

Our Verdict

The Deuter Aircontact 65+10 is an extremely plush pack that also happens to be one of the heaviest. It's overall scored landed towards the bottom of our review, but this pack in many ways, is the Cadillac of backpacking packs. If you love the features and the fit, it is a good value. If you have the cash, we recommend the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63, our Editors' Choice winner. If you still want a lot of pockets, but want a lighter and more versatile pack (that doesn't cost $550), go with our Top Pick winner, the Osprey Atmos AG 65. If you like the adjustability of the Aircontact but wish it was a little lighter and/or less expensive, check out the Osprey Volt 60.

Update - November 2016
The Deuter Aircontact 65+10 has been updated, with the main changes in the backsystem and the addition of more straps. New color options are also available for this season. Scroll down for a more detailed comparison of the new Aircontact 65+10 vs. the older version.

The Deuter Aircontact 65+10 pack is among the most comfortable packs in our review. We had a hard time choosing a "Top Pick" for most comfortable and the Aircontact was a contender. However, after extensive side-by-side testing, the Bora and Baltoro barely edged out the Aircontact in comfort and suspension. We did think the Aircontact had a burlier suspension and similarly comfortable shoulder straps as the Osprey Aether AG 60 and 70. Even hiking all day with 50 pounds, the Aircontact's straps and waist belt spread the pressure evenly and the pack felt exceptionally good.

Product Update — May 2017
We've checked in with Deuter and can confirm that the update we've posted below, comparing the new version of the Aircontact to the original, is still accurate. Keep reading to get all the details!


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Backpacking Packs of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
May 16, 2017

Share:

The New Deuter Aircontact 65+10 vs. The Older Version


Deuter has confirmed that the Aircontact 65+10 has been refined. The backsystem has been updated with a new design intended to ensure comfort and a perceived lighter load. Using the same Vario adjustment system, the padding has been increased and the newer version has a bigger piece from the top to the middle of the back that can be removed and adjusted according to height/length. Additional straps have been added to the bottom of the pack and up to the u-shaped zipper for the ability to strap a sleeping pad or other item to the bag. New color ways for this season include: Forest-moss and Midnight-Ocean. In addition, the list price has increased by $10.

Check out the new Aircontact 65+10 below on the left in Forest-moss; the older version can be seen on the right.
Deuter Air Contact 65 + 10 Updated
Deuter Air Contact 65 + 10
 

Here's a summary of the key differences between the new Aircontact 65+10 and the previous version:
  • New backsystem — Using the same Vario adjustment system, the new version of this pack boasts added comfort when adjusted correctly.
  • Additional Straps — Strap a sleeping pad or other lightweight items to the bag with the addition of more straps.
  • New colors — The Aircontact 65+10 is now available in Forest-Moss and Midnight-Ocean color options.

Performance Comparison


The chart below indicates the Aircontact's Overall Performance score when compared to the rest of the contenders in our fleet.


Comfort


The Deuter Aircontact is a comfortable pack that sports some of the beefiest padding in our review. Testers with bony hips particularly loved this pack's plush padding, making even 50+ pound loads bearable. However, all of our testers commented that its shoulder straps and waist belt were bulky and noticeably more on the warmer end of the spectrum. We mainly tested this pack in cool temps and still found the waist belt to be the most sweaty of all competitors. If you are using this in warmer conditions, we expect the sweat buildup would be a major drawback. The internal fabric is fine against our bare skin, but we didn't find it as comfortable as the Osprey Aether AG 60 or the Arc'teryx Bora. Our testing determined that the Osprey Atmos AG 65 kept us noticeable cooler.

Suspension


Overall, the Aircontact featured a more robust than average suspension that was certainly capable of handling loads up to and slightly over 50lbs. It was certainly more capable and comfortable with heavy loads than the Osprey Volt 60, The North Face Banchee 65, or Atmos AG 65 but our testers felt the Gregory Baltoro 65 and Osprey Xenith 75 performed slightly better (though by much).

Weight


This is really the primary factor that kept this pack from scoring significantly scoring better in our review; at 6 lbs 6 oz, it is by far the heaviest pack in our review. While it does offer a decently robust suspension and comfortable (albeit bulky padding), we'd still lean towards the Gregory Baltoro 65 or Osprey Xenith for more monstrous loads. Regardless, the Aircontact does serve up above average suspension and comfort for the user, along with a host of features.

Features and Ease of Use


The Aircontact is a fully featured pack that is solid and well-designed, but overall, our testers thought the pockets featured on this pack were only so-so. For example, the pocket on the back of this pack (which Deuter refers to as a "wet" pocket or a place to store your dirty clothes) was difficult to access as easily and as a result, couldn't pull double duty to help us with organization quite as much as other contenders. The flat zippered pocket on the side of this pack was also hard to get into, especially if you are trying to get an item bigger than a container of sunblock out (assuming your pack is full).

The top lid pocket was also so-so and its side zipper wraps a short distance around the corners (similar to Osprey's design). The lid pocket makes it easy to search for items, but was hardly our favorite design. We did appreciate the internal valuables pocket as a place to put our keys or other items we didn't want to lose. We'd often just put our keys and credit card in this pocket and then not open it again until the end of our trip. We did find that the long built-in straps were perfect for a sleeping pad or other strangely shaped oblong item; in addition, the abundance lash points were a plus, as well as the sweet detachable pack cover that is included.

The Aircontact also features a zippered pocket on the hip belt for snacks or other small items that you'd want to be easily accessible. On extended trips or for use while traveling, this pack features a large "U" shaped opening to access the contents of the pack. All of these features make it the heaviest pack in our review. If you use the features, the weight is worth it, but we generally prefer a lighter pack when backpacking.

Adjustability


This pack features Deuter's Vario adjustment system which offers some of the most vertical adjustment of any model in our review. The adjustment is super easy to use and is easily displayed on loops that are hidden behind the back panel. The Aircontact features double the amount of adjustment of most packs in our review, with the only other pack offering close to as much adjustment being the Osprey Volt 60.

Best Application


This pack is ideal for backpackers and trekkers on longer trips or people taking short trips who want to carry a lot of stuff. It's a little bulky for ski touring and technical climbing, but is a decent pack for glacier mountaineering (as long as you own a low-profile harness to fit under the waist belt). We do think this is a top-notch pack for travel where its comfort, killer access, and high level of durability will be appreciated. This pack is good for a backpacker who is slightly heavier than average, where weight won't be as much of an issue.

Value


At $279, the Aircontact is average among backpacking packs price-wise. It is certainly made from bomber materials and is more durable than average among packs we tested. We'd expect it to last longer and hold up better over time than most of the packs we tested.

Conclusion


The Deuter Aircontact is a solid pack that is built to last. It has a solid number of features and is designed with a stout suspension and plenty of padding. Its padding is a little bulky and warmer than most, but it performs well overall. The Aircontact's main downsides are its so-so pockets and the review's heaviest 6 lbs 6 oz weight. The upsides are that you get a durable pack with lots of lash points and pleasantly placed straps and a pack that is built to carry relatively heavy loads on extended trips distinctively.
Ian Nicholson

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 16, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used the Deuter Aircontact 65+10?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
 
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $195.30  -  30% off!
Amazon $223.19  -  20% off!
CampSaver $269.00  -  4% off!
Compare prices at 5 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.


Follow Us


Unbiased.