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Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 Review

A simple but versatile pack that offers plush padding, a stout suspension, and quality durability.
Deuter Aircontact Lite 65 + 10
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Price:  $220 List | $210.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Well padded, slightly lighter than average, very durable, more torso height adjustment than most, stout suspension
Cons:  Not quite as many pockets as other models, soft padding was less comfortable with super heavy loads, warmest pack in the review
Manufacturer:   Deuter
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 5, 2019
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 16
  • Suspension and Comfort - 45% 7
  • Weight - 20% 5
  • Features and Ease of Use - 20% 7
  • Adjustability - 15% 10

Our Verdict

The Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 is a reliable, durable pack. While it doesn't boast some of the bells and whistles that other models feature, it is incredibly versatile and great for a wide range of activities from traditional backpacking to trekking, summertime mountaineering, and general travel. It's also lighter than average and still boasts the majority of features that most backpackers seek. This pack is an exceptional value that we think the thrifty backpacker should enjoy.


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Well padded, slightly lighter than average, very durable, more torso height adjustment than most, stout suspensionLight-weight, comfortable with heavy loads, perfect pocket combinationLight-weight, comfortable, supportive, functional feature setAwesome pockets, excellent ventilation, general comfortPacked full of features, great pockets, comfortable and solid ergonomic design
Cons Not quite as many pockets as other models, soft padding was less comfortable with super heavy loads, warmest pack in the reviewTiny buckles hard to operate with glovesNo lid, back-panel lacks ventilationNot supportive for loads over 40 poundsSlightly on the heavier side, not the best for super heavy loads
Bottom Line A simple but versatile pack that offers plush padding, a stout suspension, and quality durability.The Blaze 60 is a super-lightweight load hauler, that is both comfortable and full of awesome features.The ULA Catalyst blends excellent carrying comfort with arguably the best-executed set of features, all in a light-weight package.The Atmos 65 AG has earned its spot as a cult classic in the backpacking world due to having a great breathable suspension and other great user friendly features.An extremely comfortable and feature-rich design that handles heavy loads, while only being marginally heavier than average.
Rating Categories Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 Granite Gear Blaze 60 Catalyst Osprey Atmos 65 AG Osprey Aether AG 60
Suspension And Comfort (45%)
10
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7
10
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8
10
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8
10
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8
10
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8
Weight (20%)
10
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5
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4
Features And Ease Of Use (20%)
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7
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9
Adjustability (15%)
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Specs Deuter Aircontact... Granite Gear Blaze... Catalyst Osprey Atmos 65 AG Osprey Aether AG 60
Measured Weight (pounds) 4.38 lbs 3 lbs 3 lbs 4.54 lbs 5.13 lbs
Volume (liters) 65 + 10 L 60 L 75 L 65 L 60 L
Access Top + sleeping bag compartment Top Top Top + sleeping bag compartment Top + side access zipper + sleeping bag compartment
Hydration Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Materials Polyester: 35% / Nylon: 65% 100D robic nylon w/ DWR coating 400 Robic fabric Main body: 100D X 630D Nylon Dobby
Accent: 210D High Tenacity Nylon, Bottom: 420HD Nylon
Main body: 210D Nylon Dobby
Accent: 210D High Tenacity Nylon, Bottom: 500D Nylon
Sleeping bag Compartment Yes No No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 is a robust and versatile backpacking pack that will work well for a relatively wide range of applications. It is very durable and one of the most wallet-friendly on the market. When directly compared to other models in its $200 price range, it handled heavy loads the best. While it's not chock full of features, our experts found that it has the most important ones.

Performance Comparison


It has awesome adjustability and a solid suspension, putting this pack solidly in the middle of our review.

The AirContact doesn't have tons of features but our review staff felt it had all the most important ones. It has a solid suspension  cushy foam padding  durable fabrics  and a lighter than average weight.
The AirContact doesn't have tons of features but our review staff felt it had all the most important ones. It has a solid suspension, cushy foam padding, durable fabrics, and a lighter than average weight.

Suspension and Comfort


The Aircontact Lite 65+10 is a comfortable pack that works well for a wide range of users. Its padding is slightly softer than average giving it a cushier feeling ride. Besides just feeling cushier, it also conforms to the shape of its user; helping to more evenly distribute the weight across the wearer's hips and shoulders.

The softer foam is something that our testers with bonier hips particularly love about this pack's plush padding. However, it didn't always provide enough support when carrying heavier loads of over 45 pounds. While the suspension is plenty robust, the padding was just okay, and it would start to bottom out and feel less comfortable than models with stiffer foam. It is worth noting that this was not the case for more moderate pack weights that most users experience on an average 2-6 day trip.

We felt this model sported some of the cushier feeling foam in our review which is something that any tester can appreciate - especially thinner users or backpackers with bonier hips.
We felt this model sported some of the cushier feeling foam in our review which is something that any tester can appreciate - especially thinner users or backpackers with bonier hips.

All of our testers commented that its shoulder straps and waist belt kept them on the hotter side. The internal fabric was fine against bare skin, but we didn't find it as comfortable as the more breathable options. However, it felt nicer than a majority of models in this review.

The Aircontact Lite 65+10 features a pretty robust suspension that is certainly capable of handling loads up to around 50 pounds. This pack uses a "Y" shaped aluminum frame, and a plastic frame sheet to both add stiffness and protect the wearers back from hard objects.

This model featured a stretchy mesh water bottle pocket on either side of the body of the pack. While it didn't offer anything special in attempting to make it easier for its user to grab  these pockets were plenty deep and super secure (the water bottle is pulled up for the photo) and easily fits entirely inside the mesh pocket
This model featured a stretchy mesh water bottle pocket on either side of the body of the pack. While it didn't offer anything special in attempting to make it easier for its user to grab, these pockets were plenty deep and super secure (the water bottle is pulled up for the photo) and easily fits entirely inside the mesh pocket

Features and Ease of Use


This model isn't full of bells and whistles but still has a majority of the features that we want. Unlike many Deuter packs, this one features a smaller-than-average sleeping bag compartment. Though small, it is still a useful size and is suitable for separating items that you don't need until you get to camp.

The Aircontact's lid was larger than most which was nice. However  its access  which happened via a zipper on the side of the lid  was only average for ease of searching through.
The Aircontact's lid was larger than most which was nice. However, its access, which happened via a zipper on the side of the lid, was only average for ease of searching through.

All of our testers liked the stretchy beavertail pocket and found it was the ideal place for odd-shaped items like flip-flops, or a fuel bottle. We also found ourselves using it as a quick place to stash a rain jacket, whether we just took it off because the sun came out, or packed it in this pocket in anticipation of darkening skies. Its stretchy mesh fabric means it can also serve as a place to dry socks or other small articles of clothing while you're still on the trail. This arrangement was effective after jumping into a lake and while hiking on a sunny day.

Here we show the zippered mesh waist-belt pockets on the AirContact  which were the perfect place for snacks  a camera  sunblock. or any other item we may want close at hand. Unfortunately  it isn't big enough for most smartphones.
Here we show the zippered mesh waist-belt pockets on the AirContact, which were the perfect place for snacks, a camera, sunblock. or any other item we may want close at hand. Unfortunately, it isn't big enough for most smartphones.

The Aircontact Lite 65+10 also features a mesh zippered hip-belt pocket that is big enough for snacks, a few bars, or a small point-and-shoot camera. It was just barely big enough for most smartphones. There are stretchy mesh water bottle pockets on either side, but they aren't anything to write home about; fortunately, they are plenty functional and secure. If you use an ice axe with this model, take note that while the ice axe attachment system is well-designed; its location means the pick of your axe will likely be pointing almost straight back, creating a potential hazard to whoever is behind you.

This pack doesn't have any side special access other than via its primary access and sleeping bag compartment pocket. This was fine with most of our users. When out on the trail  we got used to packing items we didn't need until camp  but could then grab quickly (like a tent  sleeping bag  pad  etc) once it was time to pitch the tent without having to explode our whole pack.
This pack doesn't have any side special access other than via its primary access and sleeping bag compartment pocket. This was fine with most of our users. When out on the trail, we got used to packing items we didn't need until camp, but could then grab quickly (like a tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc) once it was time to pitch the tent without having to explode our whole pack.

The lid is also removable. This model features one large zippered pocket on top, which you can access from the outside, and a smaller, flat zippered pocket accessed from underneath the lid. The main lid pocket can hold a lot of stuff; however, since it only opens on one side, it isn't as easy to search for items in as other models.

While a small feature  our testers really appreciated this model's extra long straps  located outside of the sleeping bag compartment. These straps were perfect for a closed-cell foam sleeping pad or any other oblong funky-to-pack item.
While a small feature, our testers really appreciated this model's extra long straps, located outside of the sleeping bag compartment. These straps were perfect for a closed-cell foam sleeping pad or any other oblong funky-to-pack item.

Weight


At 4 pounds, 6 ounces, this model is a respectable weight. While it is a little heavier than some packs, a large part of that is because this model uses slightly beefier fabric that is more tear-resistant and longer-lasting.

Adjustability and Fit


This pack features Deuter's Vario adjustment system which offers the most vertical adjustment of any model in our review — up to 10 inches.

Though the waist belt doesn't offer any specific adjustment, it does have long straps, which make it ideal for a wide range of users.
This model has the vertical adjustment of any model we tested  with over 10 inches of adjustment.
This model has the vertical adjustment of any model we tested, with over 10 inches of adjustment.

The adjustment is super easy to use; it's just a Velcro tab that passes through two loops. We found it to be straightforward and easy to use.

As we mentioned there isn't any special access to this pack besides the primary opening (seen here) and the lower sleeping bag compartment.
As we mentioned there isn't any special access to this pack besides the primary opening (seen here) and the lower sleeping bag compartment.

Value


This model is also one of the better packs for the price. It features highly durable materials, especially for its price point, and will last most folks through years of use.

The Aircontact was a strong contender for our Best Buy Award but still wins a Top Pick for its overall solid performance  low weight  exceptional durability  and a cushier-than-average foam that almost anyone can appreciate but partially those with bonier hips.
The Aircontact was a strong contender for our Best Buy Award but still wins a Top Pick for its overall solid performance, low weight, exceptional durability, and a cushier-than-average foam that almost anyone can appreciate but partially those with bonier hips.

Conclusion


This option is solid and versatile at an excellent price. It offers above-average durability and tons of vertical adjustability in an otherwise simple and light design. If we knew we needed to carry heavier loads above 45 pounds, we would seriously consider this pack if we were on a budget.


Ian Nicholson