RaceDeuter Airstripe profiles with mesh lining ensure maximum air circulation and stability. MeshTex lined shoulder straps with a contoured shape offers freedom of movement Hip belt with mesh wings provide a breathable and compact fit Airstripe foam construction offers effective air channel circulation Front pocket Interior valuables pocket Quick accessTop pocket Deuter Airstripes ventilated back rain cover included Hydration compatible pack Dimensions: 9 x 17 x 6" Color: Black/MossTotal Volume
This is a pretty nice hydration pack, with some exemplary features. The foremost feature, is their Aircomfort System, which uses thin steel springs and a mesh backing to tension the pack away from your back, providing excellent ventilation and air flow without getting a sweaty back. Everything works in tandem with mesh shoulder straps, padded hip and neck sections (where the springs attach), and waist and sternum straps. Continue reading →
Strengths: Mesh back panel is pretty awesome - keeps you back really cool. Source bladder is very nice - easy to open and close and clean. Side pockets are pretty handy (hard to reach while riding though)
Weaknesses: Two lower pads sit kinda funny on low-back and do not distribute weight very well - and shoulder straps are hard/stiff and not all that comfortable for all day rides. When your upper body moves while riding this pack does not conform at all and feels a bit "boxy"
Deuter packs are really well made (this pack seems indestructable!) and the layout is pretty nice. Rear small pocket and side pockets are nice.
The comfort is the one area that needs help. The two low-back pads are kinda hard and carry too much of the overall pack weight. The shoulder straps are heavy duty but are too hard (rubber?).
The biggest minus is the frame of the pack which supports the mesh panel (and make the pack seem very sturdy) causes the pack to feel very rigid on your back when you move while riding and also results in most of the weight sitting on the two low pads. The value is good as this pack would last forever with heavy use. Overall rating is ok given the fit/comfort issues. I would not buy it again.
Similar Products Used: Camelbak Rogue, HAWG, MULE, and Classic. Wingnut Hyper 3.0, Osprey Raptor 6
Bike Setup: Niner HT
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 12, 2008
Strengths: Mesh back panel provides lots of air to the back so you stay dry(er). Mesh shoulder straps work well.
Weaknesses: I'm being really picky here, but you asked: the zippers are a little tricky as they are rounded. If I could change something I'd make the pack a bit more square with maybe a coupla compression straps on the sides.
I found this in europe years ago and had to have it. Not sure why no one at camelback ever thought of this design. I was always annoyed at how sweaty my back was, but do not like to ride without a pack (lots of tools/water/food/protection/etc) so this fit the bill. I got another one for my wife and she loves it too. We even used them on a rim-to-river-to-rim day hike at the Grand Canyon and they carried everything we needed no problem.
Similar Products Used: Many inferior Camelback products...
Bike Setup: coupla 29ers
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: November 22, 2007
Strengths: Deuter Race X Air: I have used this pack for 7 years! Incredible quality, mesh back... so no sweat spot unless you wear a non breathable jacket, hidden rain cover underneath, one of the best designed products I've ever seen
Weaknesses: You get what you pay for, not a great deal of space... all I do is strap my body armor and jacket around the pack- seperate mesh platform enables you to run the strap in between the mesh and pack so you don't feel a thing.
German Design at its best! I can't understand why anyone would buy anything else. Worth the money trust me.
Similar Products Used: none,thinking about buying another one now in case they stop making them another 10 years from now.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Bullit
a Cross Country Rider
from Bend, OR
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2007
Strengths: This review is for the Race X Air I. Much cooler on you back than a camel back. Stays in place, comfortable. Reasonable Storage.
Weaknesses: Slight pressure spot at bottom of pack against back. Bladder?
My Mule was always stuffed full and resembled a sausage. The Hawg was great but a little more than I needed and made my back sweat. I considered a Wingnut but standard camelbacks provide some back protection. The Wingnut doesn't provide any and this Deuter provides more than normal.
The Deuter has done a good job but I haven't even tried it's bladder. I stuck with my camelback bladder. My back definitely stays cooler and the pack is comfortable. The size is right for me, right between a Mule and Hawg.
On a pack the more pockets the better and this one is reasonable. The large compartment could have more dividers and the small pocket could be a little bigger but it works for me.
Strengths: Good size, hugs in the right places considering my build which is pretty wide. cool to the back as i tend to sweat and heat up during rides as it lifts the pack's backside off my back. definitely a keeper, if i wreck this one you guys know what i'm gonna buy next.
Weaknesses: none that i know of or report about.
the best one in the market, as far as how i actually use it for. comfy and well ventilated... something other manufacturers must look into. cleverly designed but functional. will take some time getting used to and if not secured or fitted properly it tends to swish side to side, very minor hinderance but i suppose most hydration packs do this too.
Similar Products Used: haven't tried other brands but fitted most of them at the stores. and they were hot to the back, camelback fits alright though, adjustment on those are good and comfy but still hot to the back! needs more ventilation.
Bike Setup: montain bike, not the expensive and serious type yet... have to lose a few more pounds and gain a few more dollars to get a serious bike... good enough for now though. adjusted and modified with parts. it's a schwinn... i know, i know - few hundred bucks more then i can get a better one. that would be for another date.
from Aliso Viejo
Date Reviewed: August 28, 2006
Strengths: Comfy when on the bike, the design really works! Large capacity for storing all that I need, and 3liters of h2o. Neat design perks such as hose holder, key clip, and side pockets that are easy to reach while riding or negate the need to take off the pack when off the bike (snacks and tubes and such). Real easy to load up water and go.
Weaknesses: When standing up, frame of pack puts pressure on lower back area. Nothing too bad, just noticable. WIll not use for hiking!
The bladder that came with it was replaced with a Camelbak unit. Nothin wrong with it, and I will keep it and give it a try.
This review is for the Race Air X 2 (3liter)
My trusty Camelbak MULE bit the big one and was bitten by a small one (mouse who chewed up my bag and made a nest in it). As I have a couple of bags (hiking etc) I did not replace it too quickly. But the others were either too big and too much for day rides or weekenders.
I was looking for a hydration pack that would also keep my back cool and feel good (better yet if I don't feel it) when on.
The new Camelbak I tried out had ventilation but when full, it was rounded out by the bladder negating the ventilation on a rounded back.
I got a WIngnut 2.5 which is comfy, but hose routing and straps all over were not working for me. I will use this pack on occasion however as it's design and concept really work.
The Deuter fits well, feels great and keeps my back cool. After this weekends session at Mammoth, I think I sold a couple!
Similar Products Used: Camelbaks, Wingnut, SIerra Design etc.
Bike Setup: Intense 5.5 with all good bits.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 15, 2005
Strengths: aircomfort back, no more sweaty backs
I'm actually reviewing the Race X Air II. Great for long day rides, with more capacity, side mesh pockets, front pocket, with stowaway helmet holder, interior valuables pocket, 3M reflectors and attachment loop for the rear blinkers. I transfered my Camelbak Stealth bladder to the Deuter and its fine.
a Weekend Warrior
from Lakewood, Ca, USA
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2005
Strengths: Great fit, Airstripes design, Adjustabilty of straps with clips that keep straps in place, not flying in the wind. Well thought out storage compartments.
Weaknesses: NC Filler Cap and Z-Cap hanging by a string.
This review is for Deuter Hydro M3. The fit, design and function of the pack is excellent. That said, the hydration system is not so well designed, cool ideas but poor execution. Source makes the reservoir and sip tube and their design pales in comparison to the Camelback. Examples filler cap hanging by a string and does not open wide enough to empty and clean. Camelback gets thumbs up in this area. Z-Cap protective bite valve cover great idea, but hanging by a string and flappin in the wind, too hard to remove cap while riding, let alone pop it back on. I know that Camelback makes bite valve cover as well but I don't have one yet, I know it doesn't hang by a string, hoping it functions better than Source. Maybe I'm being too harsh on Source on this Z-Cap I don't know because I have not used anything like it yet. Atleast the Taste Free Reservoir is good as well as the Grunge Guard anti microbial compound, so far so good with those two. But then again Camelback has a system that works just as well. Bottom line I bought the pack because I needed something larger for carrying more stuff.This pack does a fine job of that. I didn't want to pay Camelbacks higher dollars. I found this Deuter on REI outlet and paid less, no shipping charge, pick up in store. This pack might just work perfectly if I place Camelback reservoir inside. I think I'll give it a try,Later days to hanging by a string and flappin in the wind.
a Cross Country Rider
from OTTAWA, IL USA
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2005
Strengths: nice pack for the money
Weaknesses: The bite valve is horrible it always leaks unless you put the cap back on and who has time to do that when you are flying along on some tight single track when I use the pack I usually end up getting sprayed with the water coming out of the bite valve.
The bottom line is unless you get a great deal on this pack do not buy it or unless you need a bath while riding your bike because as I stated earlier this packs bite valve leaks like crazy. If you want a good hydration pack that does not leak buy anything by camelback.
Similar Products Used: Camelback which is far superior to this pack in so many diffrent ways.
Bike Setup: 2002 stump jumper fsr xc pro
a Cross Country Rider
from Toronto, ON, Canada
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2005
Strengths: Comfortable and pretty good at cooling.
Weaknesses: none so far
Nice product very comfortable to wear, I have slightly wide shoulders for my body size and so I am hard to please with the fit of packs. It has the perfect amount of room for me to use on longer trips. It doesn't even feel overly heavy with 2 liters of water + gear, the mesh system seems to stop the weight from being uncomfortable on my back. I would have given it 5 chilis for value except MEC does not include a bladder with the pack. I am not sure it's supposed to, the other reviews made me believe it should.
So as a bonus second review I picked up a Source-Vagabond bladder (based on the always brilliant metric: it cost about $8 US) it has a funky opening at the top and some kind of wierd fold over flap and a clamp type seal which I wasn't 100% sure about. On my first trip out I inadvertantly tested the strength of the seals by promptly falling flat on my back with a full bladder of water. If it can survive me at 190lbs it should last a long time.
a Weekend Warrior
from Evansville, IN USA
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2005
Strengths: Mesh panel is much cooler than my last pack. Its not quite as cool as nothing though. Excellent construction no flaws after two years. Plenty of room for gear & tools. The pack has reflective tape and a blinker loop. I also like the large mouth design of the bladder. Very sturdy and easy to fill. There is a seperate bladder pouch inside to keep your tools from poking holes in it. COMFORTABLE!
Weaknesses: Bite valve is about done after two years. No disappointments here.
I said most of it above. Its been a little while since I bought the pack so I'm not sure on the price I paid. I got it on closeout so I got a good deal. The pack works as advertised. I have never used the rain cover. It would be cool if Deuter scrapped the rain cover and added a little more cargo room in its place. This is a 70oz pack. I'm thinking of trying a 100oz bladder in it. This pack has plenty of room without being bulky to wear.
Strengths: looks fantastic mesh frame keeps you drier very light
Weaknesses: limited cargo capacity poor bite valve steel frame pushing into the back of your neck
Camelbak and the other US pack manufacturers should take a page from the deuter book of design. This pack is gorgeous. Hardly surprising really. Why is it that Europeans have such a better sense of design? The pack really looks great. The design is nice too, though not without flaws. The mesh/spring steel frame does do a better job of keeping the pack off your back than a solid foam pad, but don't expect not to get sweaty back there. When the bladder is full, or even half full, the pack expands to fill the gap between the mesh and the body of the pack, eliminating the pocket of cool air created by the frame design. The other problem with the steel frame is that instead of a soft foam/nylon pack pressing against the back of your neck when really low on the bars, you have a steel rod there. One thing i will say for the deuter pack, the mesh shoulder straps are awesome. I don't understand what camelbak is thinking putting those solid straps on their packs. i get drenched with sweat with those things. It should be noted that deuter lists the cargo capacity of the pack as comparable to the camelbak blowfish, but they must be listing cargo capacity without the bladder. With a full bladder, don't expect to carry much. One other advantage to the camelbak: the bladder on the camelbak is in a fully enclosed pocket of its own. the race x air has a 3/4 length pouch for the bladder. On a hot day, with a cold bladder, condensation forms and your clothes etc may get wet. Lastly, the bladder while nice is no camelbak. The bite valve is a pretty design but i got tired of popping my ears trying to suck fluid through it at a good clip. The camelbak big bite valve is simpler, has a shut-off, doesn't leak as much and delivers more volume with less effort. I've also found that the deuter bladder tastes more like plastic than the c'bak.
Bottom line is I kept the pack, but if the return policy hadn't been so stringent, i might have sent it back. I will use it as a backpack (those mesh shoulder straps sell it for me), but i will use my camelbaks for hydration.
Actually a Race X Air II which I think has a slightly larger capacity but has the same design as the Race X Air.
In the 30+ degree celcius heat in Queensland, I don't find myself peeling a soaked pack and shirt off at the end of a long ride anymore. The sprung steel frame support and mesh back panel really do deliver excellent ventilation and comfort by keeping the pack off your back. The design of the harness makes the pack support a lot of its own weight on your hips which is so much more comfortable than a fully loaded pack hanging off your shoulders exclusively.
The pack itself is extremely lightweight and as mentioned earlier, when it's loaded, it still feels very light due to the way it supports itself when you're wearing it.
Bike Setup: Cannondale Scalpel 900 with LX/XT bits and Azonic Double Wall riser bars.
a Weekend Warrior
from Sydney, Australia
Date Reviewed: October 4, 2003
Strengths: Looks slick, works even better
A great little piece of kit. Designed as a streamlined unit with no bits to catch on to low branches or shrubs. The best back ventilation system by a long way. Has the volume and load strength to carrys all I need for a day ride and yet weighs very light.