If you’re in the market for a decent backpacking or outdoors backpack and have started doing some research, two brands that will keep coming up are Deuter and Osprey.
The debate of which is better, Deuter vs Osprey, always comes up in backpacking forums and outdoors communities.
Both companies offer a range of excellent backpacks. It’s not that one company is better than the other, it depends what you’re looking for exactly and your preferred taste in my opinion.
Some Background on Deuter
The company was founded by Hans Deuter at the turn of the century. It’s a German company, steeped in history and been through countless product designs. Today their gear is popular all over the globe.
Deuter manufactures a wide range of quality outdoor gear. Their company directive is, ‘protecting the environment and preserving nature,’ when procuring and manufacturing their products which will ring well with all outdoors enthusiasts.
Their best-selling items are lightweight backpacks. They have a great range for kids too and have a reputation for durable, quality products.
Some Background on Osprey
Company Founder Mike Pfotenhauer started making daypacks and backpacks in the Santa Cruz area when he finished University.
The company has a strong environmental message – They only make high-quality, long lasting items, they keep wastage to a minimum, they will repair before replacing, and recycle as much as they can.
Their best-selling items are lightweight daypacks and hiking backpacks, Probably their Exos, Atmos, and Farpoint models.
Osprey has a great reputation among the outdoor community. I’ve used some of their gear and am always happy to recommend them to others.
Deuter vs Osprey: A Look at How Their Backpacks Compare
Obviously, there are dozens of different backpacks in both Osprey and Deuter ranges.
As a general comparison, I thought I would look at one the best-selling backpacks from each of them that are comparable in size, cost, and intended use.
Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack
Material – Osprey uses 210D nylon double diamond ripstop accent, with 410D nylon packcloth bottom.
This material is incredibly durable and perfect for a backpack that’s going to be put to the test over the years.
Pockets/Features – Like all good backpacks, there are more pockets and hiding places that you’ll probably need.
You have an internal laptop pocket if you’re using your pack for work. A hydration pocket for your bladder, side mesh pockets, key clip, and easy access to the main compartment.
Fit/Comfort – The fit is excellent as all the straps are fully adjustable. An interesting feature is the mesh-covered die-cut foam back panel. This gives some extra breathability and comfort.
Uses – The Osprey is a great choice as a general daypack or backpack for all uses. It’s a little small for long hikes such as taking on the Appalachian Trail with its 20L capacity but won’t let you down if that’s enough space for your needs.
Looking through various customer reviews there is a decent split between people using the Daylite Plus for work/college, and outdoors activities.
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Deuter Airlite 16
Material – Deuter uses a ripstop 210 and Deuter-Microrip-Nylon to make their backpacks.
It’s a strong, durable, and smooth feeling fabric. No concerns about rips, tears, or wear being an issue.
Pockets/Features – One thing that’s always impressed me with Deuter bags is the number of storage places they manage to fit on their packs while keeping the look and feel streamlines.
The Airlite has easy access to the main compartment, with another internal storage place, valuables pocket with a key hook, mesh pockets, and more.
Fit/Comfort – The Airlite has low profile shoulder straps, the bottom of the bag curves in, and Deuter say the fit and material reduces perspiration by 25%.
Uses – Deuter says their Airlite is designed for day hikers and multisport adventurers. It seems to fit this bill being a lightweight backpack on the smaller end of the scale.
User feedback confirms it’s perfect for hiking and outdoor activities if it’s large enough for the duration of your trip.
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So, Deuter vs Osprey – Which of These Packs Is the Best?
As I said in the opening comments, with both companies making high-quality backpacks in the same niche the only reasons to choose one over the other is usually due to personal preference.
I would say that the Deuter Airlite design seems to have the edge when it comes to comfort. The angles of the backpack work better with body shape, and all the adjustable buckles and straps mean anyone of any shape and size will get a great fit.
The Osprey Daylite Plus however has a little more in the way of functionality and has an edge if you’re more serious about hiking and can take advantage of all the pockets and extra storage options.
Take a look at both backpacks and let me know what you think. Have you owned either or both of these, or any other backpack models by either Deuter or Osprey?