Review: Deuter Futura Vario hiking rucksack

Strap this beauty to your back and you’ll immediately look like someone off on very big adventures. Here’s my review of Deuter’s Futura Vario 45+10l rucksack, £145. Could it be the Goldilocks size of trekking bags?

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Product Description: “The Futura Vario is a comfortable luggage transporter with air conditioning for long mountain hikes or trekking. The combination of its lightweight, round spring steel frame and the Vari Flex hip wings provide fantastic flexibility and carrying comfort. The Vari Fit System makes it super easy to adjust the system to suit the individual back. Futher, the two –way, all-round front zip offers rapid access on the entire content even with the lid closed.”

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On your travels: Ahh, a new rucksack, full of possibilities. What will you pack in it? What adventures will you have together? If you’re planning a big adventure on foot over hills, through jungles, into snowy mountain passes and via a grotty hostel or two, picking one good rucksack is crucial.

Deuter’s Futura Vario seems to me to be designed with the longer term traveller in mind – it’s very roomy, fitting myriad rolled up garments and belongings in its belly, lidded compartment, bottom, front pockets and side pockets. There’s even a (genius) wet laundry compartment for smelly socks. You could easily plan a big expedition or backpacking extravaganza and pack all the clothes and personal bits and pieces you needed, but if you’re headed to warmer climes or for a shorter adventure, the Vario’s smaller Futura siblings might be a more compact option.

Happy hiking: The Vario will do you proud on long treks. The steel back frame looks ominous but feels light when on, and the shoulder straps distribute weight well and don’t overheat, due to a breathable mesh. Deuter’s SL range, recognizable for their yellow lily symbol, are designed to fit womens’ bodies, and the Futura seems to do a good job molding to mine. A few tweaks to the length of the steel frame and you’ve got a customised rucksack. Like most bags, the hip fins are useful support on long walks, a massive flappy hassle for shorter sprints. The backpack’s cheerful cherry-red material is tough but doesn’t claim to be fully waterproof, which is a pity (although a removable rain cover is included).

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Verdict: The Vario is the perfect size for longer adventures, gap year and sabbatical travels, and manages to be comfortable and light to wear, too, even over long distances. If you need to pack camping kit choose something bigger, if you’re planning a weekend trek plump for something smaller. But if you can only afford to buy one versatile travel rucksack, the Vario, like Goldilocks, is just about right.

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