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Deuter Race EXP Air pack Review
This Deuter Race EXP Air backpack comes from German backpack experts Deuter and will certainly suit the commuting runner over those of you who run endurance or ultra events. Strong, light and very durable, this expandable bag will serve you well for many years.
Deuter Race EXP Air Key Features
- Sternum Chest Strap.
- Wet Pocket inside.
- Pocket for valuables.
- Side pockets (for water bottles).
- Raincover included.
- 12L capacity with expandable volume (3L extra).
- Hydration bladder compatible.
- Size: 47 x 24 x 22 cm.
Material and Ventilation
Honestly one of the most important thing you should look for a running backpack is ventilation. The Deuter Race EXP Air pack has an internal frame called the Air Comfort Flexlite System which prevents the contents inside the bag from meeting your back. This of course means less sweating and sticky tops which something which we all want to avoid!
Deuter themselves say this about the system:
“Twin-frame construction gives the Aircomfort Flexlite System its special lightweight properties at the same time as guaranteeing excellent flexibility and ergonomic fit. The secret lies in the combination of complimentary round and flat spring steel frame profiles. It easily follows body movements and transfers the load perfectly to the hip fins. It also gives the back mesh a stable tensioned platform for the patented Deuter 3-sided ventilation system.”
The Deuter Race EXP Air pack has shoulder straps which are made from an airy mesh material. This encourages ventilation circulates and prevent moisture buildup. The shoulder straps come with a sternum strap which helps to provide extra stability when running along. The bag also comes with a hip strap which gives you extra stability on hips as you run. These are fitted with anatomically shaped, sturdy hip fins to help transfer the load from the bag to the hips. You will really see the benefits of this when running on rough or difficult terrain or if you’re practicing sprints for example.
The rucksack is constructed using Deuter’s own Ripstop 210 material along with Hexlite 100 which have fibres woven into the nylon material to increase tear strength and add more stability to the bag. These materials will repel light rain but in case of a sudden downpour there is a rain cover included to cover the bag this is stored at the base of the pack in a separate pocket.
The bag is quoted as having a 12 L capacity, which is great on its own but the Deuter Race EXP Air (EXP stands for Expandable) can be enlarged by an additional 3L using the zips on the side. The overall size of the bag is small, 47cm high by 24cm wide and 22cm deep.
The weight of the Deuter Race EXP Air is quoted as 870 g, although we found the actual weight slightly over this. This is a very respectable weight to have achieved, but that comes at the expense of less internal dividers for your kit. As mentioned above if you carry lots of small items or laptop this might become annoying. There is room for an iPad or Macbook and some shoes if you’re using the bag for a commute to work. You might have to think creatively about the rest of your work clothes and be picky about what you do take or leave at work! The front zipped pocket has dividing areas for things like your wallet or phone, very handy for quick access.
Unfortunately that the aforementioned frame is curving in nature so this is going to make carrying a laptop in the back difficult. The trade-off of this means that the frame gives a consistent feeling on your back whatever you side put into the bag. What you will have to be aware of these items are moving around in the bag, something you might be able to solve by the addition of a jackets or a jumper
There are a couple of options for carrying water with this bag with side bottle pockets. There is also an internal sleeve for a hydration bladder. The Deuter Race EXP Air does not come with a bladder fitted but these are sold separately so you can pick the required capacity. As with most backpacks in this category there are attachments on the shoulder strap for the hydration bladder hose.
Clearly you buy a backpack for a specific purpose and with the Deuter Race EXP Air you are getting a strong and dependable bag which will certainly last a number of years. This bag is definitely going to suit the casual runner getting to work and back each day rather than the endurance or ultra runner looking for a full hydration pack. This is not to say the Deuter Race wouldn’t have some uses in endurance running. I have certainly used backpacks on runs up to around 15 miles to carry additional fluids and energy coursesm plus any wet weather gear (definitely needed in the UK!).
- Comfortable rucksack for running
- Excellent Aircomfort Ventilation System
- Raincover included
- Limited volume for work commuting
- Needs more internal compartments
- Hydration bladder not included