User Review: Deuter Guide 45+
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130
Excellent pack for its intended use, which is multiday ski touring and mountaineering. I would recommend this pack to anyone doing similar activities.
- Ski loops
- Excellent ice ax loops and crampon patch
- Helmet and rope attachments
- Water resistant
- Does not come with rain cover
- Side zipper is a point of weakness and possible water leakage
- No hip belt pocket
- Does not use the ACT hip belt buckle system
First, let me state that I have a positive bias toward Deuter. Most packs do not sit comfortably on my back, and since Deuters' back systems make a good fit for me, I almost always end up using a Deuter pack.
I am 178cm (5'10"), and the pack fits me very well, and sits comfortably with both heavy and light loads.
The hip belt is very comfortable and is a good fit. The only issue I have with it is that it uses the old school buckle system which, after having used the system found on Deuter's AirContact lineup, I must say is disappointing. (The AirContact system uses a free-floating clip on a bite, with the buckle fixed at the sides of your waist. This makes tightening much easier with a heavy load, and is less prone to loosening. The system used on the Guide 45+ is the typical one found on most packs, with the tightening buckle being a part of the clasp.)
The hip belt gear loops are well placed and water bottles clipped on them do not bother me while hiking and ski touring. There are no pockets on the belt, which is a shame, as they make an excellent place to store a snack or a camera.
Volume: Plenty. I am somewhere between the light and ultra-light in terms of gear and packing. I have managed to do 3-day ski touring trips with this pack weighing under 14kg including water (those were hut trips, add 2kg for tent).
The spacious volume makes packing easy and quick, and the top-panel pockets are both large with wide openings.
As I don't use the side-zipper for gear access, I consider it a potential point of failure. However, it is a pretty sturdy looking zipper, and if you make sure to keep the compression straps tightened, it shouldn't fail.
I'm not a huge fan of the separate sleep bag compartment. Especially considering that my sleeping bag compresses down to 8L and that compartment can easily hold twice that. That side, there is an internal zipper allowing you to open it completely for a single compartment bag type.
The external gear attachments are excellent. The ski loops work well with my mid-fat skis, and the near ice axe loop style is much better than the old style dangly loop. This does make attaching an avalanche shovel on the outside of your pack somewhat less straight forward. Mostly I try to pack it inside anyway if I can help it.
Deuter claims that the pack is waterproof. I have taken it on a heavy-snow weekend trip, and there was some moisture inside the pack by the end of the weekend, but no serious wetness.
The used heavier materials and waterproofed the inside layer, but a good rain cover is light and fool proof, and I recommend you get one. Conveniently, Deuter makes a 30-50L one that fits beautifully (most other rain covers are 20-40L and 40-60L, being significantly floppy on the pack, and slightly heavier than absolutely necessary.)
Overall, I would recommend this pack to anyone looking to do extensive back country skiing, mountaineering, and multi-day hiking. It is even better if you replace the buckle system on the hip belts with the AirContact buckle system (much, much better), and make a strap-guide to hold the shoulder-tensioning straps in place so they're easier to find (they tend to get caught behind your back, and are quite difficult to get a hold of with gloves.)