My collection of back-companions ranges from a small-ish everyday Osprey sack, a couple of mid-sized bags made by Berghaus and Deuter, to my Macpac and Osprey expedition rucksacks…in this Gear Review we will look at the Deuter Guide 35+ .
Without doubt my favourite rucksack and ‘go-to’ bag is the Deuter Guide 35+; I purchased it in 2009 when I saw it on offer, and what a great buy it has turned out to be! Considering the number of rucksacks I own, stating that this is my ‘favourite rucksack’ is a pretty bold statement…here is why; throughout all our shared journeys in the UK and overseas we have experienced so many highs and lows, in terms of temperature and hardship. From baking heat in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco to freezing conditions on Cairngorm in December…it has withstood some pretty tough abuse. Simply, there is not a thing that I don’t like about it!
The Deuter Guide 35+ has a very comfortable and stable VariFlex back system, giving control and excellent weight carrying capability. Combine this with a super comfortable and easy to fit and adjust hip belt…my carrying options are suitably covered.
There are several load adjustment straps for the shoulders, that are great for cinching in the bag for a comfy and secure fit.
The main compartment easily takes my kit for an overnight camp or bothy adventure. The internal back pocket comfortably accomodates my 3 litre Osprey water bladder, without any issues. With the good size internal volume for all my kit and the various group kit I carry, I rarely have to extend it. However, this can easily achieved by using the full height of the snow skirt and with the lid adjusting straps fully extended.
For years now, I have always packed all items of my kit into coloured Exped dry bags, thus, I know what is in each…it is a little nerdy, but it works! To be double safe, I then stow all of those filled dry bags into a big volume Exped Ultralight Fold-Drybag. that sits well in the main compartment, and can still be folded over for added protection against water ingress. Even with the full sized dry bag in situ, using the full length side zip I can still access my flask, and in winter conditions the probe and snow shovel. Equally, if I didn’t use the big volume dry bag, the side zip would give me access to contents at the bottom of the bag with ease.
This rucksack, like many others, is also fitted with side compression straps, which for the main part I don’t use to reduce volume; however, I have used them to attach a wet tent outer, and have seen them used for attaching snowshoes.
External is a reinforced handle, which is great for both drying and for hanging up, even with heavy loads. The main material used is robust and has withstood the wear and abrasion rigours from rocks, sand, gravel, snow and ice, as well as lots of sunshine over the years; and to be honest looks as great today, with little sign of deterioration or sun bleaching.
There are a couple of simple yet effective safety features. Under the lid, there is a handy SOS guide, with instructions for ‘who to call‘ in various countries (always check before you travel!), and ‘what to do‘ in case of a helicopter-rescue. The chest strap, like many others, has a whistle integrated into the fastening buckle (six blasts over a minute, wait a minute…repeat, until rescue is actually with you…don’t stop blowing!).
If you are looking for a good…nay, great rucksack for UK or alpine trips & treks then the Deuter Guide 35+ would be a super addition to your adventures.
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