Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Gear Tests - RRP$439.99 TESTED BY Lau­ren Smith

THIS BACK­PACK EN­TERED my life at just the right time. I was book­ing and plan­ning mul­ti­ple over­seas and do­mes­tic trips and hadn’t fig­ured out how to solve the ques­tion of my re­cently lent-and-lost back­pack. I was begin­ning to de­spair – and then I met the Quan­tum. Made of Deuter-Du­ra­tex, this back­pack can carry 70 + 10L, at a weight of 2.98kg. Light­weight and ad­justable, it was the per­fect so­lu­tion to my lug­gage woes.

I spent my first af­ter­noon with the Quan­tum play­ing around with the ad­justable frame, work­ing on mould­ing it to my back and height. It fea­tures a com­plex back struc­ture, which in­cludes the Var­iQuick Vel­cro har­ness, an anatomic pro­filed X-frame that trans­fers weight per­fectly, and eas­ily repo­si­tion­able con­toured straps.

Once I had it set up for my frame, I packed up for a week out in north­west­ern NSW. Pack­ing is sim­ple – the ex­pand­able main pocket has a U-shaped zip, al­low­ing you to pack quickly and neatly, and the back­pack also boasts lid ac­cess that you can use to cram ev­ery­thing back in on the way home. There are also sev­eral in­ter­nal pock­ets that can be used for valu­ables and wet stuff (per­fect for a trip spent al­ter­nat­ing be­tween short walks and long swims), as well as ac­ces­si­ble side pock­ets

At full ca­pac­ity, get­ting the back­pack hoisted on to your shoul­ders can be a chal­lenge (as it is with most fully loaded packs), but once loaded, it’s a sta­ble sys­tem. The ad­justable side com­press straps keep it se­cure and cen­tred, help­ing you stay bal­anced while scram­bling over rocks or hurtling through an air­port. They also dou­ble up as straps for at­tach­ing other gear such as boots and sleep­ing bags. The padded hip and ster­num strap add to the se­cu­rity of the pack, and I was grate­ful for both of those in the mid­dle of long days.

It’s an al­most ideal travel set-up, though my one com­plaint is that it doesn’t come with an easy sys­tem for con­ceal­ing the straps for stow­ing the bag safely, ei­ther in lug­gage com­part­ments or when check­ing for flights. It does come with a rain cover that you can use to en­case the whole back­pack, but the cover, de­signed to ac­com­mo­date a fully loaded bag, is dif­fi­cult to carry if the bag isn’t at ca­pac­ity. This is un­for­tu­nate, espe­cially con­sid­er­ing that the back­pack pri­ori­tises carry-abil­ity, with three grab han­dles. Deuter of­fers a dif­fer­ent 70 + 10 kit – the Trav­eller – that does fea­ture a con­ceal­able back struc­ture, though it doesn’t have a rain cover so con­sider your des­ti­na­tion and trans­port style when de­cid­ing be­tween them.

The ex­pand­able day­pack ended up be­ing my favourite fea­ture. The con­fes­sion I have to make is that it’s the first ever travel back­pack I’ve had that’s in­cluded an at­tached day­pack, and I loved the con­ve­nience. It’s a stan­dard set-up – it has a zip ex­pan­sion, a valu­ables pocket and side pock­ets that don’t quite fit my over­sized wa­ter bot­tle, but none­the­less it’s been my con­stant com­pan­ion since I picked the Quan­tum up – and I sus­pect it’ll stay that way, as I’ve de­cided to never lend one out again.

The Quan­tum 70+10 is in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile in how it can be worn and trans­ported. The de­tach­able day­pack is bril­liant as well.

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