Deuter is one of the top brands that make backpacks, and they design gender specific packs so you can always choose the best fit for you.
The letters SL in some of Deuter backpacks mean ‘slim line’. So these are packs built specifically for women, or for slender users in general. In the past, such Deuter packs for women used to come with a yellow flower, this is not so any longer.
So what exactly does SL mean on Deuter backpacks?
The picture below summarizes the most important features of an SL Deuter pack:
The numbers here describe the following differences:
- This is about softer edges on the straps that are also narrower, and with smaller buckles. So SL shoulder straps will prevent chafing under the arms and also eliminate pressure points on the chest.
- SL packs have a shorter torso length and range. This makes them more suitable for shorter users in general. The picture shows that the left side pack is actually shorter as a result of this design.
- The hip belt is differently shaped and differently angled. Observe also the different padding on the left as compared to the right. These are two different types of foam, but the shape of these sections is different. The one on the left is supposed to fit a female body better.
- This number is about the narrower shoulder width of a typical woman. So the shoulder harness is narrower to prevent slippage. This means the attachment of the harness is such that the distance between straps is smaller in SL packs.
- In SL packs, shoulder straps are both narrower and shorter in length.
- This is again related to the difference in male-female body shape, so the waist belt in SL packs (the left side) is of a conical shape.
Can men use Deuter SL packs?
The short answer is yes. We are all built differently, and those gender-specific backpacks are designed to fit some ‘typical and average’ person. Now, it is a question what these terms may mean.
Deuter SL packs will fit slim men and also men that have longer legs and possibly a shorter back. They are also for men that normally use clothing size in the range 44–48, which means S/M.
So in my view, the best practice is to try a backpack (with some weight inside) and to feel how it fits your body. Only then you will know if it is for you or not.
Note that some of these SL packs come in colors that are, at least for some people, more accepted as appropriate for female users. This would be the only true reason why you might want to chose carefully.
But this is not always so, and you will find many great colors among such Deuter SL packs that will be perfectly fine for both genders (or should I say for any gender?). The pack shown below, the Deuter Aircontact Lite 45+10 SL is one of them, and I do not see any reason why its color would not fit any gender.
So this is what SL mean in the name of some of Deuter backpacks, this is about packs designed for a smaller body size, and they also include a few more features that may suit a typical female body more than a male user. But there is nothing really strict here.
Here is a video about one of their SL packs, please have a look:
Check also my text about the number +10 in the name of some of Deuter’s packs, you have seen this in the name of the pack above. I wish you a pleasant day.