Tested: Deuter Quantum 70+10 backpack
THIS BACKPACK ENTERED my life at just the right time. I was booking and planning multiple overseas and domestic trips and hadn’t figured out how to solve the question of my recently lent-and-lost backpack. I was beginning to despair – and then I met the Quantum. Made of Deuter-Duratex, this backpack can carry 70 + 10L, at a weight of 2.98kg. Lightweight and adjustable, it was the perfect solution to my luggage woes.
I spent my first afternoon with the Quantum playing around with the adjustable frame, working on moulding it to my back and height. It features a complex back structure, which includes the Vari-Quick Velcro harness, an anatomic profiled X-frame that transfers weight perfectly, and easily repositionable contoured straps.
Once I had it set up for my frame, I packed up for a week out in northwestern NSW. Packing is simple – the expandable main pocket has a U-shaped zip, allowing you to pack quickly and neatly, and the backpack also boasts lid access that you can use to cram everything back in on the way home. There are also several internal pockets that can be used for valuables and wet stuff (perfect for a trip spent alternating between short walks and long swims), as well as accessible side pockets.
At full capacity, getting the backpack hoisted on to your shoulders can be a challenge (as it is with most fully loaded packs), but once loaded, it’s a stable system. The adjustable side compress straps keep it secure and centred, helping you stay balanced while scrambling over rocks or hurtling through an airport. They also double up as straps for attaching other gear such as boots and sleeping bags. The padded hip and sternum strap add to the security of the pack, and I was grateful for both of those in the middle of long days.
It’s an almost ideal travel set-up, though my one complaint is that it doesn’t come with an easy system for concealing the straps for stowing the bag safely, either in luggage compartments or when checking for flights. It does come with a rain cover that you can use to encase the whole backpack, but the cover, designed to accommodate a fully loaded bag, is difficult to carry if the bag isn’t at capacity. This is unfortunate, especially considering that the backpack prioritises carry-ability, with three grab handles. Deuter offers a different 70 + 10 kit – the Traveller – that does feature a concealable back structure, though it doesn’t have a rain cover so consider your destination and transport style when deciding between them.
The expandable daypack ended up being my favourite feature. The confession I have to make is that it’s the first ever travel backpack I’ve had that’s included an attached daypack, and I loved the convenience. It’s a standard set-up – it has a zip expansion, a valuables pocket and side pockets that don’t quite fit my oversized water bottle, but nonetheless it’s been my constant companion since I picked the Quantum up – and I suspect it’ll stay that way, as I’ve decided to never lend one out again.