GEAR TEST // DEUTER TRANSIT 65
THINK OF TRAVEL PACKS and some of us would think of a compromise not worth taking. After all, why not just go for either a dedicated travel bag or duffel, or just use a backpack when you’re travelling? Deuter has an answer for those doubters: the Transit 65. And when you consider how long this German packmaking powerhouse has been producing high quality products – 109 years if you really want to know – it make sense they’d release a product that aims to be the definitive travel pack.
The Deuter Transit 65 (the number denoting the capacity in litres) has been designed to offer the best of all worlds in regards to someone who is looking to head off on that ‘big trip’ and wants to combine a number of outdoor activities during their journey. To this end, Deuter has ensured the Transit 65 includes some of the brand’s iconic features, such as the Aircontact harness system (which zips away when not needed) and Deuter Super Polytex outer fabric (600-denier weight and PU coated).
For its size, the Transit 65 is light, coming in at just over 2.4kg in weight. This has been achieved via a combo of the Super Polytex fabric being used in high-wear areas, and Macro Lite 210 (a lighter nylon) in the areas of the pack less likely to cop scrapes and bangs. The main zip on the pack is U-shaped, allowing for excellent access to the main luggage section of the pack. The bottom zipped section is ideal for stowage of items such as sleeping bags or outer shells and is, like the main compartment, very easy to access. (All zips can be locked.)
The pack is very easy to lug around even when you’re not taking advantage of the harness system; there are two grab handles and a carry-strap (detachable) that mean you can lug it around however best suits the location/circumstances you find yourself in on your trip. For me though, I wouldn’t hesitate to always use the excellent Aircontact harness system. This is one of the best harness setup going around in my opinion, with its combo of effective ventilation, easily adjusted VariQuick system to ensure it fits your back length and comfy hip fins and what Deuter dubs “ActiveFit” shoulder straps. Add this harness system to the fact you can secure your pack’s luggage via stabilising straps inside, and walking even short distances would see me going for the back harness every time. This doesn’t mean I am dismissing the other options – the grab handles in particular seem super-strong and could most likely withstand being dragged around or used as leverage for luggage handlers at the airport and not fail.
The daypack zipped to the Transit 65 is a pretty basic jobbie but built to the usual high standards of Deuter’s gear. Plus it is, again, very easy to unzip and use straight away with no faffing around. For those days touring around towns, etc., it is also sizeable enough to fit in an outer shell, lunch, and water with room to spare for a small camera and other personal belongings.
Whenever we have tested Deuter products at AG Outdoor, they’ve always just worked and, as this writer can attest, they just keep on working; one of my high-use daypacks is a Deuter model that has been treated with a little less care than it should have been, but it just keeps doing the job. The Transit 65 seems to be of the same ilk: a welldesigned, well thought-out, highly versatile travel pack that could easily do duty as your ‘one pack’ and be just as effective on a multiday trek as it would be on a road trip – or a combo of both.
The Deuter Transit 65 is the perfect combo of travel bag and backpack, with the company’s excellent Aircontact harness a standout.