We found much 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 was less comfortable than a full hip belt that covered our hipbones, like the one found on our Editors' Choice winner, the CamelBak Sequoia 22. 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!
Deuter Futura 22 SL Review
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
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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.
Our testers thought the Futura 22 was comfortable for the most part, and the open back allowed 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, all thing 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.
This pack has some of our favorite features. 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 did a much better job of holding our water bottle than the Deuter ACT Trail 22. 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!
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. If you want something lighter, the Osprey Hikelite 18 weighs only 24 ounces and still has an open mesh back.
Overall we thought the Futura had 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. The Gregory Jade 28 comes in two sizes and will fit a wider range of ladies for about the same weight as this pack.
We appreciated the super thick 600D polyester on the bottom. It should help this high-wear area last longer than the competition.
The Deuter Futura 22 SL is a great option for certain scenarios. If you hike in hot weather and hate the feel of the whole pack against your back, this would be an excellent choice to try out. Also, if you rarely use your hip belt, or don't mind a webbing one, you might like this pack as well.
The Futura 22 retails for $120, which seems reasonable given the features and quality of construction. The CamelBak Sequoia 22 retails for $150, but also includes a hydration reservoir which is usually a $20-30 value, so they are somewhat similar price wise. If both of those options are more than you want to pay for a daypack, check out the REI Co-Op Trail 25, which retails for $80 and was our Best Buy winner.
Of the two Deuter packs that we tested in this review, we like the Futura 22 better. It was slightly more comfortable, and the features were better and more useful. However, the Futura is a little heavy, 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