Deuter Airlite 26 SL

The Deuter Airlite 26 SL brings to the daypack market a comfy, minimalist, functional sleek design at just the right cargo capacity for day hikes, peak bagging and epic mountain bike rides.

Comfort: The shoulder straps are narrow to best fit a woman‘s upper torso, and the soft, tapered edges never slipped, chafed or dug into my skin. As with any pack, the Deuter Airlite 26 SL is most comfortable when worn over a sleeved shirt (as opposed to spaghetti strap top).

Ventilation was great. But then I was in Norway where the top daytime temps were in the mid-60‘s.

Organization: The Deuter Airlite 26 SL is a panel loading daypack (my favorite). It has a zippered main compartment, two side stretch pockets, two zippered mesh hip belt pockets, soft-lined zippered stash pocket for sunglasses, phone, etc.

A large stretch outer pocket holds items you may need quick access to. A hydration sleeve inside the pack holds up to a three-liter resevoir.

Deuter Airlite 26 SL

Cargo Capacity: The Deuter Airlite 26 SL has 26 liters (1590 cubic inches) of cargo capacity. For carrying the basic day hike necessities it‘s a great balance between size and weight.

The capacity was plenty for a rain jacket, rain pants, an AMK Ultralight/Waterproof .9 first-aid kit, two packs of Glacier Gel, packs of Clif Bar Sweet Potato with Sea Salt and Pizza Margherita, a can of mackerel, box of Wasa bread and a full 100-liter Camelbak Antidote.

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Weight: The empty Deuter Airlite 26 SL weighs in at 2lbs, 4oz. When they came up with the design of this pack, Deuter asked “What are the minimum’”and only the minimum’”features that are needed on a daypack?”

Features: Those minimum’”and only the minimum’”features that are needed on a daypack are one set of compression straps and load-adjuster straps, loops to attach a set of trekking poles, and an integrated pack rain cover.

Especially the rain cover. It rained ten of the fourteen days I was in the country, and the rain cover kept pack and the contents completely dry.

What is up with the little flower? It might be Deuter‘s touch of whimsy to distinguish women‘s packs from men‘s at retail. What I do know is that it made a great rubber band to secure a plastic trash bag around an empty, oily, leaking mackerel can.

Durability: The Airlite 26 SL is made from hard-wearing and tough 210 Denier Nylon. You‘ll find it on all high quality day packs. A PU coating helps repel dirt and to make it easy to clean once you get home.

Final Thoughts: I can‘t find a single point of contention with the Deuter Airlite 26 SL. Not only is it a great day pack for hiking, it has other uses. The narrow design and low profile make it a good pack for epic mountain bike rides when you need to carry more than just a Clif Bar and small tool kit.

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