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Deuter Aircontact Lite 60+10 SL - Women's Review

The AirContact Lite is a relatively inexpensive pack with a simple design and a comfortable suspension system that works well under heavy loads.
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Price:  $220 List | $210.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, adjustable, works well with heavy loads, relatively inexpensive
Cons:  Lacks features, bulky waist belt, pack is tall and bonked our heads while walking up rough terrain
Manufacturer:   Deuter
By Meg Atteberry and Jane Jackson  ⋅  May 8, 2019
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 17
  • Comfort and Suspension - 45% 7
  • Organizational systems - 20% 8
  • Weight - 20% 7
  • Adjustability - 15% 7

Our Verdict

We still love Deuter's newly updated AirContact Lite. This pack is very comfortable and able to carry large loads with ease. We love that the waistband is low profile and collapsible, making it easy to store at home or camp. The back is well-padded with extra support down low, another plus for us. We appreciate the simplicity and find it easy to pack and negotiate, even with multiple days of food, camping, and climbing gear. The pack is also highly adjustable, which is excellent for various torso lengths. Unfortunately, it does mean that the waistband and high pack frame can feel a tad bulky for smaller folks.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, adjustable, works well with heavy loads, relatively inexpensiveVery comfortable, slimmed-down waist-belt and suspension system, easy-to-remove top lid, wide range of fitting options and adjustments, good number of pockets.Roomy, inexpensive, ultra comfortable, durable.Durable, comfortable even with heavier loads, streamlined features, great attachment points at outside of pack, integrated rain coverComfortable, lightweight, good set of features, large stow pockets
Cons Lacks features, bulky waist belt, pack is tall and bonked our heads while walking up rough terrainLarge, narrow contoured waistband gets in the way when putting the pack on (some users complain it's too narrow), suspension can feel bulky, expensive.Not many bells and whistles, set adjustment points, wider pack is difficult to fit a bear can comfortably.Main compartment is a little narrow, water bottle holster is awkward, requires thoughtful packingSimple suspension, lacks support
Bottom Line The AirContact Lite is a relatively inexpensive pack with a simple design and a comfortable suspension system that works well under heavy loads.This award-winning pack has stood the test year after year with its streamlined, lightweight design and incredibly ventilated and comfortable back panel.The Osprey Renn combines comfort, volume, and price. This simple pack will take you anywhere and won’t break the bank.The Kyte 46 is a small, but mighty pack, built for a more advanced user. The comfortable wear allows you to tackle rough terrain with ease.The Octal 55 is light, simple, and still provides for tons of storage space.
Rating Categories Aircontact Lite 60+10 SL Osprey Aura AG 65 Osprey Renn 65 Osprey Kyte 46 Gregory Octal 55
Comfort And Suspension (45%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
Organizational Systems (20%)
10
0
8
10
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9
10
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9
10
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7
10
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8
Weight (20%)
10
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7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
Adjustability (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Aircontact Lite... Osprey Aura AG 65 Osprey Renn 65 Osprey Kyte 46 Gregory Octal 55
Measured Weight (pounds) (medium) 4.1 lbs 4.63 lbs 3.93 lbs 3.42 lbs 2.58 lbs
Volumes Available (liters) 40+10, 45+10, 50+10, 70+10 50, 65 50, 65 35, 45 45, 55
Organization: Enclosed Compartments Main compartment, lid, side pocket, stash pocket Main compartment, lid, front pocket, side access pockets, dual front access pockets Main compartment, lid, side pockets main compartment, lid, 2 mesh side pockets, 2 hip belt pockets, lid pocket, front mesh pocket, internal sleeping bag pocket Main compartment, lid, front shove-it pocket
Access Top, bottom Top, side Top Top Top
Hydration Hydration compatible Yes Hyration compatible Hydration compatible Yes
Women's Specific Features Women's specific fit Women's specific fit Women's Specific fit & sizing Women's specific fit Women's specific fit
Sleeping bag Compartment Yes Yes No Yes No
Bear Can Compatible Yes Yes yes - but awkward tight fit Tight fit
Main Materials 25% Polyester, 75% Polyamide Nylon 600D polyester 210D x 630D Nylon Nylon
Sizes Available One size, with adjustable torso XS,S,M One size XS/S, M/L XS,S,M
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Limited lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

The AirContact is a simple, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive pack. It is a work-horse — with the ability to carry heavy loads with no trouble. If you are looking for a pack that is simple and effective, this is an excellent option for you.

Performance Comparison


The suspension system on the Aircontact provided enough stability to move through uneven terrain with ease.
The suspension system on the Aircontact provided enough stability to move through uneven terrain with ease.

Comfort and Suspension


The AirContact Lite is a simple, single-size, adjustable backpack that we find incredibly comfortable. The padding in the back and shoulder straps is thick and comfortable. These wide straps work well for those with an athletic build. (If you prefer narrow shoulder straps, we recommend the versatile and lightweight Thule Versant). This pack also provides a ton of support and padding in the lower back, which is another huge plus for us.


Designed with women's specific sizing, the AirContact Lite has a relatively short torso and extra padding in the hip belt. The newly designed hip belt is one of our favorite features on this new pack. It is sleek and straightforward, while still providing plenty of padding. We almost prefer it to the outrageously comfortable belt on the Osprey Aura because the AirContact's belt is more streamlined and doesn't have a forced bend, but still provides plenty of cushion.

The back panel on the Aircontact Lite is supportive enough to handle heavy loads.
The back panel on the Aircontact Lite is supportive enough to handle heavy loads.

A suspension's function depends on the proper fit. Luckily, this pack offers an adjustable torso length. When fit properly, the suspension distributes weight effectively. We found that this pack can comfortably carry loads ranging from 15 pounds to over 50 pounds. It is also spacious enough to fit a ton of gear.

We prefer the Granite Gear Blaze 60 to the AirContact for heavy loads, since the frame of the Blaze sits lower and doesn't bop you in the head as you walk. The AirContact has 3D mesh on the back panel and shoulder straps, which help ventilate these areas. The pack also provides ample support in the lower back with extra padding. The X Frame and newly designed Comfort Lock hip belt help maintain a close, stable fit. We liked the stability this pack's suspension system provides, though it is not as well-ventilated as the Osprey Aura AG. We did notice that the high frame of the AirContact meant that your head is bound to clash with the back of the pack. As we plowed up burly hills and hopped over rocks and other obstacles, we kept finding that our head hit the pack, which eventually gave us a headache.

The Aircontact stands tall  but that didn't hinder its carrying capabilities.
The Aircontact stands tall, but that didn't hinder its carrying capabilities.

Weight


The AirContact Lite weighs in at 4.31 pounds, about the same as the Thule Versant 60. But because the AirContact has a simpler design than the Versant, it feels lighter. The AirContact's weight is also more functional, much of it is within the pack's well-padded back panel and suspension system. In contrast, the Versant's heft is due to the pack's extra features.


As a result, the AirContact Lite has a suspension system that can support heavy loads, while the Versant has a more minimal suspension. This difference allows the AirContact to carry loads of gear with ease.

Our Top Pick for heavy loads, the *Blaze* weighs over a pound and a half less than the AirContact while still being able to provide ample support for burly loads. If the weight doesn't concern you, but a cushy back panel does, then the AirContact is an excellent alternative.

OGL Measured Volume Bottom Line:
Total Volume = 64 L
Main Bag = 49 L
Pockets = 6 L
Lid = 9 L

Packing up the Aircontact Lite was easy due to its simplicity.
Packing up the Aircontact Lite was easy due to its simplicity.

Organizational Systems


The AirContact Lite comes with simplicity in mind, and we find it wonderfully easy to use. We also appreciate that the pack isn't over-pocketed. The fewer, but thoughtful pocket locations let us easily organize and access all of our belongings.


We especially like the size of the sleeping bag holder — which is large enough to fit our bag as well as a few puffy jackets to improve the pack's overall organization. One awkward design feature is the arched zipper that accesses the sleeping bag compartment. Its shape makes it inconvenient to open and close. Overall though, this system is easy to adjust and fine tune a fit just for you. We appreciated the simplicity and effectiveness of its design.

The AirContact Lite has only three enclosed compartments, including the main compartment. (It also has three separate access points into the main compartment.) It is one of the more uncomplicated backpacks we tested, and it keeps organizational options straightforward, which we think is incredible! This backpack offers pockets only where they were necessary.

TIP: the updated version of this pack does not have any compression straps for a sleeping pad. We were sad to see this feature go.

We loved the simplicity of this pack - with very few external pockets except for this shove-it pocket which we used all the time.
We loved the simplicity of this pack - with very few external pockets except for this shove-it pocket which we used all the time.

Adjustability


Unique in our lineup, the Deuter is a one-size adjustable backpack that allows for simple adjustments to the shoulder straps, torso length, and waist belt. The minimal and well-placed adjustment points make figuring out a proper fit easy.

Tunneling lower compression straps allow you to keep the main contents of the pack nice and tight and still utilize the side mesh pockets without much hassle. You can also remove the brain, which expands significantly to accommodate big loads, similar to the Blaze.

Sustainability


Deuter promotes a few sustainable certifications such as Bluesign (dedicated to stringent environmental factors for textile products), Fair Wear Foundation (a commitment for higher work and social standards within supply chains), and Responsible Down Standard (guaranteed animal welfare). On top of these standards, Deuter also released a social report every few years. You can learn more about their various sustainable initiatives on their responsible page.

Deuter also boasts a robust repair program where pack owners can send in their pack for (almost) any repair, granted it will not compromise the safety of you or the repair worker. Their guarantee is robust; if they cannot fix your pack, they will replace it for you.

Best Application


The AirContact Lite will best serve you on 4 to 7-day backpacking trips, especially when carrying heavy loads. This pack is a simple top-loader with only a few organizational pockets, so it is perfect for ladies who like simplicity and functionality. There are no superfluous features on this pack, and we liked it that way. The AirContact is comfortable, easy to adjust, and easy to pack.

The hip belt is comfortable and simple  though the straps were excessively long.
The hip belt is comfortable and simple, though the straps were excessively long.

Value


At a suggested retail price of $220, the Deuter AirContact Lite is a good value. It has a simple design offering few pockets, yet plenty of adjustment options on a one-size-fits-most backpack. Appropriate for both the beginner and the advanced backpacking woman, the AirContact Lite offers a solid value. There are less expensive packs in our review that offer more features, but they are often heavier or more complicated to use.

Conclusion


Deuter has been making backpacks for over one hundred years, and its women's specific AirContact Lite does not disappoint. It's a simple backpack in a single size that offers more than sufficient padding on the shoulder straps, waist belt, and back frame. It also has enough adjustment options to configure to most body sizes and preferences comfortably. Whether you're new to backpacking or experienced and are looking to simplify your systems, this model is a good value for a simple yet comfortable backpack.


Meg Atteberry and Jane Jackson