Life's too short to be slow.
The less weight you have on your back, the less energy you have to expend schlepping it around and the more you can focus on getting to the top so you can throw rocks down on your super-slow buddy. That's (kind of) the theory behind the Deuter Pace 36 Backpack, which doesn't really encourage rock-throwing, but totally inspires fast-and-light alpine skiing, climbing, and hiking missions. It uses Deuter's Lite Back System—an Air Mesh back panel, removable waist belt and sternum strap, and removable, flexible Delrin U-frame—to support up to 35lbs of gear without feeling stiff or heavy.
Deuter also hooked the Pace up with plenty of pockets, hooks, loops, and straps to carry everything you'll need for a long day in the backcountry. Skis attach either vertically or as an A-frame, while a snowboard straps vertically onto the front of the pack and ice axes or trekking poles slide securely into the bottom loops. There are stretch water-bottle pockets in addition to the internal hydration sleeve, a waterproof compartment for soggy gear, and a drop-in front pocket for gloves, skins, or other gear that you'd like to keep handy.
- Lite Back System (padded Air Mesh back, removable waist belt and sternum strap)
- Removable flexible Delrin U-frame
- 100D mini-ripstop with micro-ripstop reinforced base
- Two stretch side pockets, one lid pocket, and an internal security pocket
- Wet gear compartment and zippered mesh pocket on hip fins
- Ski/snowboard carry and trekking pole/ice axe attachment
- Hydration sleeve
- Compression straps and front flap skin pocket
- Light attachment, reflective details, and SOS label
- Item #DTR001D
- Q & A
Solid ski touring pack
What I like: The pack cinches down very well such that it works well for day tours despite being a little on the large volume side for less committing tours. This is in large part due to the reversed buckles so that opposite side straps buckle together. However the 36 liters will carry plenty of necessary gear for more committing tours and multi-day tours with appropriate gear selection. The pack is light and also very durable which is great. I really like the pocket layout of side pockets, expandable rear pocket, and hipbelt pocket for keeping items that I am constantly using ready at hand.
What I do not like: The routing of the hydration hose. Routing for ski packs requires a little more intricate approach to keep the hose from being sliced by the edges when carried in the A-frame position. However, the overly awkward routing of the Pace is rather annoying. If you do not use a bladder then no issue. Other pack manufactures have a better design for hose exiting the pack, such as osprey and gregory.
For sizing, I am 5' 11" at roughly 175 lbs with an athletic build. However, my height is primarily legs with a short torso. My back measurement as it relates to backpack fitting is roughly 17.5" which generally puts me in the small sizing category for gregory packs and medium or small for osprey. The Pace fits well but would fit a little better if two size options were offered such as a M/L and a S/M. Certainly for me a S/M would fit me much better than the fit-all approach.
Other things I would like to see changed: The hipbelt is not removable which runs counter to what is listed on this page. A removable hipbelt would be fantastic for climbing/glacial travel/fast-light summit attempts. Futhermore, a removable lid would also be great for lightening the pack for fast-light approaches.