Deuter’s Spectro AC line of backpacks is another well thought out addition to their century long practice of making solid backpacks. The AC stands for Aircomfort, a system that combines light weight materials and active 3-sided ventilation to make a pack that doesn’t trap the moisture. The key is a design that holds the pack away from a hiker’s back and puts most of the weight on the hips instead of the shoulders. They advertise that Aircomfort Flexlite back system results in 25% less perspiration than a conventional backpack. I confess, I have not attempted to capture my sweat and measure that personally, but there is a noticeable difference.
The Spectro AC 28 SL Day Pack
The 28 SL is the women’s model that is designed for slightly shorter torsos of 16-20 inches; the overall height is 1.5 inches shorter than the men’s version. The SL stands for slender and it is two and a half inches narrower than the men’s version. At seven inches, the depth for packing is also less than the men’s style, but amazingly, even with the lower volume capacity, it still is rated to tote a full 20 pounds.
Women will appreciate the padded waist belt that distributes the weight of the load comfortably. The shoulder straps also have a special slenderized and padded design. The pack by itself weighs about two and a half pounds when empty. Deuter gave the Spectro AC 28 SL a two-tone color scheme of platinum gray with arctic ice blue accents. Its clean lines are nice but not fussy.
The Spectro AC 32 Day Pack
The men’s version is designated as Spectro AC 32. It accommodates a torso measurement of 17-22 inches. With a volume of 1950 cubic inches, it has a very roomy carrying capacity for a day pack, in fact, it could easily be considered an overnighter. It is 26.5 inches high, over a foot wide, and 9 inches deep. Deuter rates it at 22 pounds of carrying capacity for warranty purposes, but it you have the stamina, it can easily handle 25.
Men will like the spring steel construction and the attachments for carrying extra gear like trekking poles, ice ax, rock hammer, or flashlights on the outside. The men’s day pack also comes in gray, but with a fiery red accent.
The 28SL and the 32 are the day packs in the Spectro series and are ideally sized for either one-day hikes or a warm weather overnight where heavy clothing won’t be packed. While this Deuter series does have larger volume packs for longer excursions, the day packs have all the features of their big siblings. Both the Spectro AC 28 SL and the Spectro AC 32 are made from 100 Hexlite Microrip Nylon that resists tearing. Both are compatible for hydration system accessories that allow you to drink from a tube. Both have side pockets and a large front pockets that are stretch woven for stuffing to the max. Both have front-entry two way zip panels that help out in those Murphy’s Law situations where the one little item you need always seems to be packed at the bottom. Both have the Aircomfort Flexlite™ back system with a suspended panel of mesh that provides all-round ventilation.
The Women’s Spectro AC 28 SL Day Pack and the Spectro AC 32 Backpack both retail at just under $140.00 each. This is slightly higher than comparable daypacks, but the ability to distribute the weight to the hip belt and its extra ventilation make it worth it. These backpacks rate a 5 out of 5.