Deuter Aircontact Lite 40+10
The Aircontact Lite 40+10 – other sizes are available – is a superbly evolved conventional pack that’s not as feathery light as the Berghaus, but still lighter than most. It has a traditional lid with pockets plus a separately-accessed sleeping bag compartment, but also gets handy stuff pockets, hip-belt ones and an extra 10 litres of capacity from the raisable, ‘floating lid’ arrangement. The back system is easily adjustable for length and gives a plush, comfortable carry with a central air channel to help cool your boiling spine. It was super happy with our lightweight backpacking test load, but will also happily cope with denser, heavier loads if needed and with poles and ice axes for winter mountain outings. I particularly liked the huge hip-belt pockets, ideal for a GPS or compact camera. Everything about the pack is well thought out and it simply does the job.
A brilliant balance of weight, load-carrying comfort and well thought-out, comprehensive features.