It is best to discuss the Deuter Aircontact Ultra backpacks series by comparing it with some other Aircontact series, so here are a few thoughts along this line.
On Deuter’s site there is a statement that these packs bridge the gap between ultralight and ultra-comfy. I do not think this is completely correct.
First, these packs are indeed in the group of ultralight so they are not in ‘the gap’. Second, the term ultra-comfy is far from clear, and it is open for discussion.
What is Deuter Aircontact Ultra?
They have launched this mini-series for the season 2022 simultaneously with their Aircontact Core and Aircontact X series. As of the moment of writing this text, there are only two packs in this Aircontact Ultra group.
So you have Aircontact Ultra 45+5 SL and Aircontact Ultra 50+5 packs. These are gender-specific packs, so the first is for women and the second for men.
The meaning of the number +5 in its official name I have described in detail in a separate text. Here just to stress that these packs offer 50 and 55 liters of volume, respectively.
The pack is designed to stay close to your body. So there are no ventilation features, the back panel is completely flat. The picture below shows how it looks. It is covered with what they call the Air Spacer mesh which is supposed to provide comfort, cushioning and a bit of ventilation. But do not expect lots of ventilation here.
Are Deuter Aircontact Ultra packs ultralight or just lightweight?
One can discuss this in a few different ways.
First, in absolute sense, the Aircontact Ultra 50+5 weighs 1.21 kg. Is this heavy? Let’s compare this with the following well-known packs:
- Big Agnes Prospector 50L Pack for Men weighs 3 lb 1 oz (1.39 kg).
- Gregory Focal 48 Pack for Men L version (52 liters) weighs 2.76 lb (1.25 kg).
- Osprey Exos 58 Pack for Men weighs 2 lb 13 oz (1.28 kg).
These packs I describe as ultralight. So you see that the Deuter Aircontact Ultra 50+5 is lighter than all of them.
Second, it is best to check its volume to weight ratio. So for the Aircontact Ultra 50+5 this means 49.6 liters/kg. Again, is this good or not?
The first two packs above give 36 liters/kg and 41.6 liters/kg, respectively. For the Osprey Exos you have 45 liters/kg. So here again, the Deuter Aircontact Ultra packs are superior.
But Deuter itself describes these pack as lightweight. I am not sure why this is so.
How about features?
Regarding features, Deuter Aircontact Ultra packs are far inferior to the other two Aircontact series mentioned above. If you follow the links given above you will realize this easily.
I would say the same holds also when you compare them with the three packs from Osprey, Gregory, and Big Agnes mentioned above.
Here are a few things that you should know about the Deuter Aircontact Ultra packs. If they are important or not, this is up to you.
- There is only one top access point. But the same holds for the Osprey Exos 58.
- The torso length is with some adjustability, but the design of this feature is not really user-friendly. The picture below shows what you have.
- There are 6 external pockets, not bad really.
- The lid is floating type to accommodate for its expandable collar.
- The straps are what they describe as a modular design. This basically means they are removable and you can use them as you wish.
- There are no separate bottom straps.
- There is no rain cover included. The same is with the Aircontact Core, but you have a rain cover with Aircontact X packs.
- The weight capacity is 12-15 kg, so this is lower than in the Aircontact Core and Aircontact X packs.
- These are bluesign approved and PFC-free packs.
Please see more in this video:
How Does Deuter Aircontact Ultra compares with Deuter Aircontact Lite?
So in case you did not know, Deuter also has the Aircontact Lite series that has been around for years already.
These are packs with far more features that include a bottom compartment as well and a full torso length adjustability. The back panel design is completely different, with lots of padding and with a central ventilation chimney.
But they are heavier. For example Aircontact Lite 50+10 pack weighs 1.75 kg, so the volume to weight ratio here is 34 liters/kg, and this pack can be described as lightweight but not ultralight.
In summary, the Deuter Aircontact Ultra Backpacks are reliable and well-built, as you would expect from this brand. This is a bit minimalist design when you compare it with some other packs from this Aircontact group.
But they still have enough features for the trail, and I would describe them as ultralight. However, if you want a ventilated pack, this is not what you would want to buy.
These Deuter Aircontact Ultra packs are available on Amazon together with many other packs from the Aircontact group.
Thank you for reading. Let me know if you have questions, there is a comment box below. Bookmark this site and keep as a reference. Check also my texts about the new version of the Gregory Baltoro series and about the Osprey Atmos and Aura AG LT backpacks. Have a nice day.