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Deuter Futura 22 SL Review

A versatile option if you don't carry a lot of weight in your pack or want a supportive hip belt.
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Price:  $120 List | $64.99 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great feature set, open mesh back provides a lot of ventilation
Cons:  Heavy, small hip belt, no hip belt pockets, one size only
Manufacturer:   Deuter
By Cam McKenzie Ring and Maggie Brandenburg  ⋅  May 5, 2018
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Versatility - 25% 7
  • Weight - 25% 4
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

We found plenty to like when testing the Deuter Futura 22 SL. It has some useful features, like an included rain cover and loops for stowing your trekking poles. We also like the back panel design, which is an open mesh that keeps the rest of the pack off your back. However, the hip belt leaves a little to be desired. There is some good padding on the back, but then the hip belt ends way before your hip bones, leaving only the one-inch webbing to extend around the front. This is less comfortable than a full hip belt and it also means there are no hip belt pockets, which we've come to love in our daypacks. The open mesh back is great for ventilation though, so if you hike in hot climates, this could still be a good option for you. You can also check out the larger packs in the Futura line (24 and 26L) which do have full hip belts, with pockets!


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Great feature set, open mesh back provides a lot of ventilationComfortable, lots of good features, water reservoir includedComfortable, well-ventilated, adjustable torso length, included rain coverAdjustable torso length, very durable, great features and pocketsMoves with you, durable build, well-balanced load carry, good pockets and carry options
Cons Heavy, small hip belt, no hip belt pockets, one size onlyOn the heavy side, expensiveHeavy, ill-fitting hipbeltRuns a bit small, front stow pocket a bit smallNo hydration reservoir clip (loop only), not meant for downpours, very long torso
Bottom Line A good design that would be better with a full hip belt.An excellent option for extended day hikes and all sorts of activities. Hydration bladder included!A great pack for those who hike in wet climates and who are on the smaller side.A comfortable and durable pack that works as well around town as it does out on the trail.Comfortable to carry even over long distances when fully loaded, with great balance and good features.
Rating Categories Deuter Futura 22 SL CamelBak Sequoia 22 Osprey Sirrus 24 Osprey Tempest 20 Black Diamond Nitro 22L
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Versatility (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
6
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Durability (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Specs Deuter Futura 22 SL CamelBak Sequoia 22 Osprey Sirrus 24 Osprey Tempest 20 Black Diamond...
Weight (oz) 41 36 41 26 31
Volume/Capacity (liters) 22 22 24 20 22
Back Construction Aircomfort Sensic Back System Ventilated back panel with molded pods Ventilated tensioned mesh AirScape backpanel; large spaced padding covered by large-holed mesh OpenAir backpanel; ridged foam covered by large mesh
Hydration Internal hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve and 3L Crux reservoir included Internal hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve
Hipbelt Yes, webbing front section Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compartments 2 2 1 1 1
Rain Cover Yes No Yes No No
Additional pockets 2 7 5 8 5
Outside Carry Options Trekking pole attachment, side pockets Trekking pole and ice axe attachments, side pocket, hip belt pockets (one zip), daisy chain, hydration hose clip Trekking pole attachment, ice axe loop, side strech pockets Lidlock helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, large stretch front pocket, ice tool loop with bungee tie-off, side pockets, hip belt pockets, sunglasses shoulder stow, bike light loop Ice axe loops, dual 5-loop daisy chains, expandable side drink pockets, front stuff pocket, hip belt pocket, small zippered top pocket, four shoulder strap loops
Whistle No No Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Materials 600D polyester, 210D nylon, PU coating 200D ripstop nylon, 400D plain-weave nylon 210D nylon body, 420D nylon bottom 70D x 100D nylon body, accent and bottom 420HD nylon packcloth 210D ripstop nylon, 210D Dobby Abrasion
Notable Features Ice axe loop, trekking pole holders Hydration bladder included, multiple pockets in both hip belts, internal storage pockets, exterior pocket felt-lined Integrated rain cover, ice axe loop, trekking pole attachment, adjustable back Helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, sunglasses quick-stow, bike light loop, shoulder strap pocket, stowable ice axe loops Bike light loop, main zip opens all the way down, ReActiv shoulder straps connect to each other behind the waist and waist belt not attached to frame to facilitate twisting, front expandable pocket reinforced with internal structural foam panels

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Deuter Futura 22 SL uses 600D polyester and 210D nylon with a PU coating for added water resistance. This pack has a 17-inch torso length that is not adjustable.

Performance Comparison


Out for a hike in the Futura. We liked the exterior pockets and options for organization on this daypack but wished it had a better hip belt.
Out for a hike in the Futura. We liked the exterior pockets and options for organization on this daypack but wished it had a better hip belt.

Comfort


Our testers think the Futura 22 is comfortable for the most part, and the open back allows for great airflow. You might still get a sweaty back when hiking, but it doesn't accumulate as much thanks to the air circulation. The well-padded shoulder straps properly spaced and contoured, are all things we appreciate. There is some nice padding around the lumbar area, but that ends before your hip bones. The one-inch webbing then extends across your stomach, making this one slightly less comfortable than others with a full hip belt, particularly with a heavier load or over longer distances. This hip belt does still work at transferring the weight off your shoulders, but you'll have to crank it tight, at which point the webbing starts to dig in uncomfortably.

The hip belt stops before our hips! A little more padding around the front would be nicer and more comfortable.
One-inch webbing straight across our stomachs does not make for the most comfortable ride and we preferred to not do it up at all in most cases.

Versatility


This pack has some of our favorite features that make it versatile for just about every new adventure. The included rain cover is always a bonus, and it stays tucked away in a little pouch so you won't notice it, or forget it! We liked the side water bottle holders, which do a great job of holding our water bottle even when taking this pack on and off. The outer mesh stuff pocket is a great option for quickly stashing your layers as you take them off throughout the day, and there are two interior compartments and lots of little pockets for organizing your gear. The only thing missing is some hip belt pockets!

The stretch pocket on the front is great for stashing your layers as you heat up while hiking.
The stretch pocket on the front is great for stashing your layers as you heat up while hiking.

Weight


Weighing in at 41 ounces (2.6 pounds), the Futura is one of the heaviest packs in our review. That comes from having a substantial frame and the thicker 600D polyester used in the bottom. If you need or want a more robust pack like one, you'll have to deal with the extra ounces that come with those features. However, there are some options that are nearly as tough but have larger capacities, tipping the scales at about the same weight or even less than this one.

Ease of Use


Overall we think the Futura has some good adjustability options on the pack, but it only comes in one size, which limits the range of users who can wear it comfortably. The 17-inch back length was a little short on our 5'6" tester, so it seems like Deuter made this one with shorter people in mind.

This pack does have load lifters on the shoulder straps  though we don't find them as effective on daypacks as we do on larger backpacks.
This pack does have load lifters on the shoulder straps, though we don't find them as effective on daypacks as we do on larger backpacks.

Durability


We appreciated the super thick 600D polyester on the bottom. It should help this high-wear area last longer than the competition.

This pack uses thicker material in the bottom to protect against sharp rocks and plants. Also note the open mesh back panel  which helped keep us cooler on hot days.
This pack uses thicker material in the bottom to protect against sharp rocks and plants. Also note the open mesh back panel, which helped keep us cooler on hot days.

Value


The Futura 22 retails on the upper end of average for packs we tested, which seems reasonable given the features and quality of construction.

This is a great daypack for times when the weather is warm and sunny  and you won't be carrying too much gear.
This is a great daypack for times when the weather is warm and sunny, and you won't be carrying too much gear.

Conclusion


We've tested other Deuter packs in the past, and this one is our current favorite. The Futura 22 is slightly more comfortable, and the features are better and more useful. However, it is a little on the heavy side, and we prefer a full hip belt even on our daypacks. Maybe you don't? If so, this might be the perfect option for you.


Cam McKenzie Ring and Maggie Brandenburg