German adventure gurus Deuter make great backpacks, always with unique features and well thought through designs, and this backpack is no different. [private]
As the name suggests, this is a 20 litre capacity backpack that’s aiming itself at the ‘epic to multi-day’ rider searching for adventure. The unique feature is the inclusion of hiking pole attachment points, which work wonderfully. They are placed in such a position, that the poles stayed clear of bike and body while riding, although pending on the length of poles can tend to become annoying in bushy singletrack. Although it’s listed as a 20-litre size, it has an expanding design, which can give it extra 4 litres of capacity. This single feature came in handy when we left home riding in all our wet weather kit, and as the weather got better I expanded the sides so we could stuff them into my already full pack.
Deuter puts a lot of thought into the design, with the single goal to make its pack comfortable. The EXP Cross Air uses the advanced air carrying system, which was originally designed for the hiking backpacks. This incorporates a combination of padded shoulder straps, ventilated padding, sternum strap and the unique mesh back design. It took a few rides to get it all adjusted before it became truly comfortable, but once we got it right we hardly noticed the pack on our back whilst riding.
This is a great backpack, and shouldn’t be limited to just longer rides, as it was stable and comfortable even on quick singletrack sessions. [/private]