Reviews You Can Rely On

Deuter Gravity Pitch 12 Review

This compact pack is smaller than the competition
Deuter Gravity Pitch 12
Credit: Deuter
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Price:  $50 List | $53.86 at Amazon
Pros:  Light, comfortable
Cons:  Small, flimsy, not versatile
Manufacturer:   Deuter
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2018
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  • Comfort - 25% 5.0
  • Climbing Utility - 25% 4.0
  • Durability - 20% 3.0
  • Versatility - 20% 3.0
  • Weight - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Deuter Gravity Pitch 12 is the smallest small climbing backpack in our review. Some of our testers felt it was too small to be useful. While the low volume and ultralight fabric keep this pack lightweight, there is lighter competition in the review. However, this is one of our favorite packs to have on while actually climbing, and we almost never noticed it on-route. If you want to keep your harness light but don't have a lot of gear to carry, this little bag could be the right choice.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Deuter is a venerable pack manufacturer, and the Gravity Pitch 12 is the smallest of their climbing oriented "Gravity" series.

Performance Comparison

Deuter Gravity Pitch 12 climbing backpack - 100 denier nylon keeps this pack light, but makes it vulnerable to...
100 denier nylon keeps this pack light, but makes it vulnerable to abrasion.
Credit: Ian McEleney


Weighing in at 14 ounces, the Gravity Pitch is one of the lighter options. It's the only pack in our review to have any sort of rigid frame, which in this case, is a Delrin rod. This strikes our testers as overkill for a pack with a 12-liter volume, and we wonder if it's the reason this small pack is heavier than the competition.

Deuter Gravity Pitch 12 climbing backpack - this is one of the lightest packs in our review.
This is one of the lightest packs in our review.
Credit: Ian McEleney


The Gravity Pitch's 100 denier fabric is pretty wimpy in regards to abrasion resistance. However, in a few places, including the bottom of the pack, climbers at least get a double layer of fabric. The zipper openings on the outside of the pack are a smaller size coil zipper with no protective flap. In the experience of our testers, these wear out quickly, particularly if the pack is overstuffed on a regular basis.

Deuter Gravity Pitch 12 climbing backpack - the robust #10 ykk zipper on the bd bullet in yellow, and the...
The robust #10 YKK zipper on the BD Bullet in yellow, and the wimpier #5 zipper of the Gravity Pitch in blue.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Packed Size

Some packs in our review seemed to be more voluminous than their stated volume. This is not one of them. Savvy packers, climbers with small approach shoes, and those who don't drink or eat much on route will have the best results with this pack.

Its small profile and smooth exterior are a boon when bushwhacking if you botch the approach (or bushwhacking is a typical occurrence). Those qualities are also beneficial on-route. Our testers found we could leave this pack on while climbing through short squeezes or chimneys where we might have chosen to dangle a larger pack off of our harness.

Deuter Gravity Pitch 12 climbing backpack - a pair of size 10 approach shoes and a nalgene bottle quickly fill...
A pair of size 10 approach shoes and a Nalgene bottle quickly fill this pack.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Despite its light weight, we didn't favor this pack for use inside a larger one whilst on longer missions. The Delrin rod made it harder to cram this bag into a larger pack.

Climbing Utility

The Gravity has most of the conveniences we've come to expect in this category. There's a key clip in the external pocket and inside is a stretchy drop-in pocket for a hydration bladder with a Velcro loop, which keeps it upright and allows the hose to pass through. There is also a loop on each shoulder strap, just below the sternum strap. A photo on the Deuter website seems to indicate that these are for racking gear, but we found doing so to be annoying at best.

The low profile outside has four loops designed to work with an accessory flap (not included) to hold a helmet on the pack. These loops could be used to strap limited items to the outside (perhaps an ice axe or large cam) with some rigging; overall, there are few outside carry options. The loops could also be used to back up some sort of hauling rigging, as there are no dedicated haul points on the pack aside from the standard grab loop.

More than most other packs in our test, we forgot we had this one on while climbing. It might be that the low volume means that objects in the pack stay put. Additionally, the short back length insured that this pack never got in the way when we were reaching for chalk or anything else on the back of our harness.

Deuter Gravity Pitch 12 climbing backpack - hydration features include a pocket, velcro tab for holding the...
Hydration features include a pocket, velcro tab for holding the reservoir upright, and hose pass-through.
Credit: Ian McEleney


The Gravity 12 is a favorite pack for around-town use when we're not carrying much. Small laptops will fit inside, and it could also be good for lift-served skiing, mountain biking, or trail running, as long as you don't have much to pack inside. The low volume and lack of external attachments keep us from recommending this bag for any alpine pursuits or longer day hikes.


The Gravity Pitch has thin shoulder straps and a back panel that is slightly padded. Our testers think it's slightly over padded, given that we just can't put much gear into the pack.


This pack is inexpensive, which is good because you're not getting much. We think penny-pinching climbers should consider spending a bit less for a pack that's lighter but more featured or a bit more for something much more durable and useful.


The only thing the Gravity Pitch 12 really has going for it is its light weight. However, that weight comes at the cost of features, durability, and volume, and many of our testers felt this pack crossed the line of being too small for the application. If your kit for a day of multi-pitch climbing can fit in this pack, you might want to consider not bringing a pack at all.

Deuter Gravity Pitch 12 climbing backpack - the smooth exterior has no straightforward way to carry a rope.
The smooth exterior has no straightforward way to carry a rope.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Ian McEleney
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