When climbing Mt Kilimanjaro through a service you are not required to haul a load of gear up the mountain. The only requirement for carrying gear is that you can carry wet weather clothing, perhaps an insulating layer, water and snacks, so the need for a large pack is just not there. Porters carry the bulk of your equipment in a duffel bag.
With my day pack in mind the Deuter Futura Zero 40 was an ideal choice for the occasion. When I first got the bag I was impressed by the overall appearance and the simplicity of the design. If you are looking for a day pack/overnight pack with lots of bells and whistles this is not the bag for you.
Deuter Futura 40 Features:
- Aircomfort Back System (fantastic design)
- Contoured compact shoulder straps
- Trekking pole loops
- Compression straps
- Hydration compatible
- Side mesh pockets
- Front stash pocket
- Stabilizer straps
- MSRP: $129
Deuter Futura Zero 40 Backpack Review
After I dialed in the pack to my body I didn’t really notice it, even when it was fully loaded. I used a Platypus insulated hydration bladder that worked very well with the Deuter system. I was able to suspend the bladder from the Velcro hook provided. The main thing I noticed as I wore the backpack was that I never found my clothing sweaty on my back which meant no chill when I stopped hiking and at 19,000 feet you want to avoid chill as much as possible.
The trekking poles were easy to attach and pull out anytime I needed them.
There were a couple of down sides to the pack. The first is trivial but still worth a mention, the zippered hip pocket was a little too small and positioned on the back side of your hip so that it made it difficult to use. I ended up sticking lip balm in there and I couldn’t think of much else that would go in.
The second issue relates to the design of the backpack as a whole. Because the Aircomfort system creates space between your back and the pack it also creates an arch in the pack so that when you look into it you can not see to the bottom. That arch lead to much groping around the bag to find small items that may have found their way to the bottom. It was manageable but a nuisance at times.
Good Futura Zero 40
- Light weight and comfortable
- No sweat around your back
- Waist straps are comfortable and well positioned
- 2 zipped pockets in the lid
- Trekking pole loops were easy to use and secure
Bad Futura Zero 40
- Hip pocket has little use
- Curve of the bag means it is difficult to find items
Bottom Line: Deuter Futura Zero 40 Backpack
Overall the Deuter Futura Zero 40 is a great pack that I would recommend to anyone heading out for an overnight trip or just a day hike where you need to carry a few layers. Simple yet functional and light weight.
Editor: Andrew Butterworth just returned from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. His adventure was the perfect testing ground for several great pieces of expedition-worthy equipment. This review is based on his actual use of this product while on his Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition.