Best backpack / rucksack for hiking photographers

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
TheBlackGrouse Senior Member • Posts: 3,142
Re: Best backpack / rucksack for hiking photographers

Chris 222 wrote:

Here's an article on the latest version of the Vario 50+10 that pretty much sums up Deuter's perfectionist approach. Group members agreed that the previous version was already best-in-class but many of us bought the new one which keeps your back even cooler and frankly is now near-perfect:

And a fun anecdote: the first time I saw this new version was on a steep hike with a few friends toward a staffed "refuge" (also called hut, shelter, etc.) that sits in the Alps, near a high mountain pass. We heard a jovial warning and two young guys zoomed by us at what seemed like supersonic speed, in spite of carrying obviously huge loads. The first one was using one of those big packs used by sherpas all around the world, and the second one had a Deuter with additional bags strapped to the top, bottom and sides. The whole assemblage was so huge we could barely see his knees!

A couple of hours later we finally got to the refuge, exhausted, and we got to meet these two guys. They were super friendly and we started talking. Turns out they were making money on the side hauling supplies twice a week from the village in the deep valley below to the refuge. Since their gear had been emptied we asked if we could have a look and that's when we realized that one of the packs was the latest Deuter Vario 50+10. We asked them how much weight they were hauling and they told us usually around 50 kilos each (about 110 pounds.) We were pretty sure that was above Deuter's official recommended max weight so we inspected the empty bag for ripped straps, busted threads, fabric tears and found... nothing. It turns out that Deuter officially rates this pack at 15 kg, so now you too know how (ridiculously) conservative they are with their specs... i.e. you can double or even triple the rated capacity and you'll still be just fine.

The next morning we watched our two compadres reload their packs with non-compostable stuff and take off RUNNING down the steep trail, a simply stunning sight. The refuge's staffer explained to us that they in fact used those hauling trips as additional training sessions since they were... members of their national ski team (these incredibly strong and humble guys hadn't said a word about that !) Anyhow, this encounters remains a fond hiking memory.

Happy trails!

Great story!

And I'll check that new version out, I have a Deuter Guide 45+, a lightweight mountaineering pack. That pack is extremely well-built and I love the Alpine Variflex suspension system because it gives me freedom to move. For instance, you can cycle with this pack even on racing bikes. Yeah, right living in the Netherlands the possibility of using a bike is important 

However, this pack is not for heavier loads and I'm always looking for new good hiking gear.

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