Deuter Spectro 38

In an attempt to go light and keep the air moving around your back and shoulders, Deuter launched its Spectro line. The smallest pack in the group, the 24 liter (1,450 cubic inches), weighs 2lbs, 6oz – not incredibly light. However, the 38 liter (2,300 cubic inches) is only 2lbs, 9oz.

Instead of a foam back panel separating your gear from your back, the line of packs uses stays that curve towards you. The Spectros then have a durable nylon mesh that rests against your back creating a suspension system that minimizes sweat.

The mesh-covered, holey foam shoulder pads further help with ventilation.

Deuter Spectro 38

While I haven’t had it out to test yet, the Spectro 24 seems pretty solid. Like the 38, it has adequate cinch straps, a top-loading, easy-access panel with a hydration sleeve and a stretchy stash pocket on the front.

It has a pretty hefty hip belt – unlike other comparable packs on the market – for added comfort. And it has a U-shaped zipper that gives access to nearly the entire main compartment via the front.

The one-size-fits-most Spectro 38 is currently available for $149. www.deuterusa.com

—Ryan Dionne

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.