Which brand should you choose?
You are probably a loyal customer of one of the two brands looking to explore other brands, or you are completely new to hiking and you just want the best of the best. Regardless of your story, if you love quality backpacks for hiking, then you have probably considered buying one from the two companies. Deuter and Osprey are famous backpack manufacturers that have stood the test of time, but which brand is better?
Deuter Company is one of the oldest backpack brands founded by a German, Hans Deuter, in 1898. At its conception, Deuter manufacturers supplied mailbags and post sacks to the Bavarian Royal Mail. By the beginning of 20th century, Deuter had realized an expansion to include a tent rental department. It is believed that this expansion exposed the company to a larger niche; market demand for sacks, tents as well as backpacks, especially for the military. Today, Deuter specializes in the manufacture of backpacks and bags only.
Even though the company’s headquarters are located in Germany, Deuter is in partnership with Duke since 1994, responsible for exclusively producing all backpacks and accessories in Vietnam. Similarly, since 2003 Deuter’s sleeping bags are produced in China. In later years (2008) Deuter joined Bluesign (a global environmental protection agency) to support sustainable use of resources and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Additionally, Deuter donates 1 of 3 Euros retail price of “Drecksack” bags for the conservation of oak trees.
Osprey Company is relatively a young company founded in 1974 by Mike Pfotenhauer and Laurie White in Santa Cruz, California. The company started out with Mike making custom made backpacks for avid travelers. It is well known that the company built its success through exceptional relationships: between the makers and wearers of backpacks. Years later, the demand for Mike’s backpacks increased so much that he had to move his productions to Colorado. He hired a team to work on the stitching while he focused on new designs. True to his wishes, in 1995 Osprey received an editor’s choice award from Backpacker’s magazine for the new kid’s designs. Over the years, to date, Osprey backpacks are a delight in designs and top the charts for quality and comfortable backpacks.
Purpose of Deuter and Osprey Backpacks
Deuter backpacks are offered for a variety of purposes such as hiking, bike-riding, trekking, climbing, travel, SL (Short Length) women’s backpacks, day packs, family packs, school packs and winter backpacks. On the other hand, Osprey backpacks are designed for: travel, technical works, hydration packs, active everyday activities, kids and family packs as well as specific designs for women. The unique accessories offered by Osprey include anti-gravity suspension systems, child carriers, and pack protection.
To better highlight the difference or similarity in purpose, each company has categorized its products according to the subsequent function. For example, if the purpose of the pack is carrying plenty of stuff, it is advisable to purchase a Deuter pack which optimizes weight without straining the back, as opposed to Osprey. If you are looking to purchase a backpack for the purpose of hiking, you have to define the time period needed for hiking. Specifically, it is better to purchase Osprey’s packs for a day’s long hike than a Deuter’s pack which optimizes in packaging and compartmentalization for many days of hiking.
Both companies use high-quality materials such as nylon and polyester. In making backpacks, the importance is not on the type of material used, but in the combinations of materials to bring out a stable product for an intended use. Backpacks from both companies are considered durable by product reviewers. However, Deuter is popularly known for producing durable items lasting over 5 years! This is probably because the company has been around for more than a century!
Weight and Size
In terms of weight, Deuter specializes in keeping their backpacks as light as possible. This is for ease of use by hikers, mountaineers, bikers and other high-energy athletes. Generally, the weight of a backpack is determined by product market target that is for men, women or children. In addition, weight also depends on the intended function of the backpacks.
Deuter’s trekking packs for men weigh about 1.4-2.2kg and for women 1.4 to 1.7kg. Osprey packs for the same purpose weigh an average of 1.4kg to 1.7kg for men and about 1.7kg for women. Clearly, both Deuter and Osprey packs weigh about the same for hiking purposes, and each has lighter versions of packs weighing around 700-800g but with limited space. Specifically, lighter packs have a size of 50cm by 30cm by 20cm (Height x Width x Depth) which is less than the standard size of about 60cm x 30cm x 25 cm. Wheeled travel packs by Osprey weigh more than that of Deuter at about 4kg as opposed to 3.7kg respectively. As for kid’s packs, Deuter’s weigh about 1.4kg, which is less than Osprey’s 1.6kg kid’s packs for hiking.
Osprey Company specializes in new designs of packs and thus includes various new features in their products such as suspended mesh back panel, water bottle mesh side pocket, sleeping bag on the lower compartment, laptop and tablet sleeves, wheels (carry conversion), removable daypack, gear attachments and several pockets!
Deuter, on the other hand, has design features that revolve around the shape and compactness of a backpack. To be more specific, zippered pockets, space, and wheels are among the various changes annually being improved to ensure lightweight while maintaining the classic designs. In recent times Deuter has evolved into creating features such as a pocket for easy access and safekeeping of smartphones. This is quite an interesting feature created in 2016.
However, if I was to compare from history to date, Osprey is quite the company when it comes to the creation of quality designs with new and exciting features. Additionally, the new products always get an award every now and then, so maybe I am not the only person agreeing to this.
Both of these manufacturers fall into the same price range. Deuter has a price range of $38 – $330 while the Osprey packs are: $30-$380. Therefore, it is not rational to compare the two company’s backpacks using price.
Popular Products review and rating
Deuter Backpacks rating will consider four different categories of products as listed:
- Deuter ACT Lite 45+10 SL Women’s Hiking Backpack
The SL backpacks are designed for women, considering the fact that women’s backs are not as long as that of men. The sleek backpacks have a weight of 1690g, size of 75 by 30 by 25 cm (H x W x D) and a volume of 55 liters. A key feature of the ACT Lite is an anatomic profiled X-frame which transfers all the weight to hips making this backpack suitable for trekking and mountaineering tours.
Customers review Lite SL pack at 4.2 stars out of 5, owing to the lightweight and large space offered. However, the polyester and nylon material made for this product is not waterproof. It is recommended to use the “wet pocket” accessory inside the bag that prevents water entry in case of a downpour.
- Deuter ACT Lite 65+10 Hiking Backpack
This backpack is the result of a marriage between passion for mountaineering and engineering experience built since 1898. Key features provided are compression strap, hiking pols, wet items, pockets, compartments for water (close to 5 liters of space) and even an SOS Label with life-saving tips in case of problems or accidents that may arise during hiking. The product is designed to manage all loaded weight close to the body in order to keep you walking further without any discomfort.
Users have reviewed the product at 4.7 stars out of 5 because of comfort, lightweight, and durability of the backpack. It is known that the material is made of polyamide, polyester, and polyurethane which help in preventing rip or tear. The backpack is best suited for mountaineering, traveling, hiking and camping. After buying this product, kindly check Deuter’s website (www.deuter.com) guidelines before packing this backpack, it makes a lot of difference!
- Deuter Junior
The junior is a suitable pick for children above the age of 5. Designed to look like the grown-up’s backpacks, the junior weighs 420g and has a volume of 18 liters. The key feature is a name tag kept inside the bag for custom labeling to avoid mix-ups with other kid’s backpacks. Deuter Junior is rated at 4.7 stars out of 5 because of its stylish features such as side pockets that allow for a sufficient hydration system and efficient packing. It is also mentioned that Deuter Junior is quite durable lasting for over 5 years! This product is surely worth its price.
- Deuter Speed Light 20
Speed Light 20 backpacks are reinforced with polyester and ripstop nylon for lightweight and high-performance durability. Speed light 20 is flexible especially because of the tensioned U-shaped frame which provides stability without outweighing you. Additionally, the U-frame together with the unique V-cut profile creates a compact weight carrying system weighing close to 530g. The volume of the pack is 20 liters ideal for day hikes.
Customers review this product as 4.7 out of 5 stars. This is because its sheer lightweight design and capacity make it ideal for fast endurance sports, hiking or as a summit backpack for mountaineering. Other users appreciate that the internal flexible frame can be removed so that the pack is easily rolled and stuffed into another bag.
Osprey Company backpacks review will consider the listed four products:
- Osprey’s men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpacks
The Atmos 65 AG backpack is an award-winning pack made from nylon material. The pack has five zippered pockets and three slip pockets. The key feature is the anti-gravity (AG) suspension system which delivers amazing ventilation and carrying comfort. Despite the relatively high cost of purchase, this product has received hundreds of reviews indicating high popularity in comparison to other Deuter products.
Atmos 65 is rated 4.7 stars out of 5 due to comfort (it hugs the owner); ease in packing such as angled water bottles; efficient suspension system, and durability. However, it tends to be quite heavy to carry, weighing close to 2kgs.
- Osprey’s Women’s Aura 65 AG Backpacks
Similar to Men’s Atmos 65, Aura 65 AG has an anti-gravity suspension system. The nylon pack has an adjustable harness and a hip-belt for security during mountaineering or hiking escapades. The top lid comes in handy when you have large items that would not otherwise fit into a standard backpack and can also be removed in case it is excess weight. Aura 65 has a weight of 1.8kg and size of 69cm x 38cm x 39cm (H x W x D). The pack specializes in packaging, providing enough space and pockets for whatever you need to carry. The product is rated 4.7 stars out of 5 largely due to the stylish design and space. A tip to note though is get fitted first before buying the backpack.
- Osprey’s Packs Daylite plus daypack
The Daylite plus daypack is made of nylon material and designed with a large panel to provide accessibility to inner compartments. The pack is rated 4.4 out of 5 stars by many of its customers. The rating is because of its affordable price, the lightness of its material and durability. This pack can be used for hiking, traveling, as well as any other activity that is not extreme or does not involve extreme weather conditions. The key feature offered by Daylite daypacks is the compatibility as an attachment to other backpacks by Osprey manufacturers. This is for the purpose of extra storage and ease in traveling. The average weight and volume of this pack are 500g and 2o liters respectively.
- Osprey’s Packs Talon 22 Backpacks
Other than its chic semblance, Talon 22 packs are light and very comfortable. The pack is built for speed; designed with lightweight construction for fast movers and quick sports activities. It is suitable for bikers, kayaking enthusiasts, and hikers. Additional features include side stretch mesh pockets and harness as well as a zippered pocket at the top panel.
The backpack is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, attributing to its simplicity, a weight of 850g and a great buy for its price. The disadvantage, however, is that the Talon needs more zippered pockets, but this is only for the few who would require a lot of space.
From this review, it is clear that both Deuter and Osprey have proper backpacks that have different functions. As competitors, both companies have accessed the market niche for quality products, one specializing in lightweight and comfort while the other in new designs such as antigravity suspension system by Ospreys. Your best pick probably depends on your backpack preference and purpose. As for me, a timeless pack that keeps carried weight as light as possible for many days is my best pick. I give it to Deuter! However, both manufacturers are amazing!