Deuter Race Exp Air £44.99
I commute to the RCUK office everyday. It’s only a short distance, around 8 miles, and therefore I don’t need to carry that much stuff with me. My list extends to lunch, a change of clothes, wallet, phone, house keys, spare tubes, patches, multi-tool and pump. A lightweight pack such as Deuter’s Race Exp Air has proven to be the perfect bag.
Starting on the outside, the pack uses Deuter’s Air Comfort Backsystem, a curved rigid structure holding the pack away from the back, while a mesh panel stretched across the structure sits flush with your back, resulting in an gap between your back and the rucksack – allowing air flow and avoiding an uncomfortable sweaty back.
This approach lends an incredible degree of comfort as well, and there are adjustable waist and chest straps, though I’ve found the Deuter sits so well on the back that they’re kind of redundant.
The EXP in the name stands for expandable. In normal mode there’s a generous 750 cubic inches of capacity, but can easily be extended by a further 150 cubic inches by unzipping the extension. This allows for an impressive amount on stowage space given the compact overall dimensions. There’s space inside for a 3 litre hydration bladder, and one small mesh-lined zipped pocket for valuables, that’s the lot for the internals.
Outside it gets more interesting, with pockets and concealed features aplenty. Two mesh pockets on the sides can take frequently used items, a gilet for example, while if it rains a bright yellow rain cover pops out of a small pocket located at the base of the pack. The front zipped pocket takes valuables or items you need to access quickly, while below lives a concealed helmet holder. On the front is a loop for hanging an LED light.