Deuter Guide 44+8 mountaineering pack review: a masterpiece of minimalism, superlight but superstrong

The Deuter Guide 44+8 is the even lighter, even more comfortable 2023 version of Deuter’s well-respected backpack for Alpine mountaineers and hill walkers

Man wearing Deuter Guide 44+8 mountaineering pack
(Image: © Phoenix-media-services.co.uk)

Advnture Verdict

Lightweight, well-designed and impressively robust, Deuter’s new and improved Guide range lets you comfortably carry big weight in the mountains. Stripped down and cleverly minimalist, this pack is suitable for everything from hillwalking to Alpine climbing, and comes with some seriously impressive eco credentials to boot.

Pros

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Very comfortable

  • +

    Detachable hip belt and hood

  • +

    Environmentally friendly manufacturing

Cons

  • -

    Fits tight to your back

  • -

    No bottom storage compartment

  • -

    Few pockets

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Deuter Guide 44+8: first impressions

The Deuter Guide 44+8 is a seriously well-put-together backpack designed speifically for mountaineering. Sleek and minimal, it comes with few bells and whistles; it’s been optimally designed with only features you’ll actually use.

Specifications

• List price: $220 (US) / £165 (UK)
• Weight: 1,270g / 45oz
• Hydration bladder compatibility: Yes
• Colors: Redwood-Papaya / Wave-Ink
• Volumes available: 42+8, 34+8, 32+8, 30, 28, 24, 22
• Recommended load: 6kg-15 kg (13lbs-33 lbs)
• Compatibility: Hiking, mountaineering, backpacking

This includes numerous compression straps and attachment loops on the outside of the pack to help you better carry the things you need, and a singular large compartment in the body of the pack. This comes with both top-lid access and a full length L-shaped zipper, so you can more easily access the contents of your pack without having to pull everything out. Additionally, the pack comes with a storage compartment in the detachable lid and a hip belt pocket on the right-hand fin.

Thanks to this minimalism, the pack is also decidedly lightweight. Alone, it weighs only 1,270g (2.7 lbs), which is incredibly impressive for a pack that can comfortably carry up to 15 kgs (33 lbs). For weight-conscious backpackers, however, all packs in the Guide series can be made more minimal still, with options to remove the hip fins and the top compartments to shave even more grams off your pack weight. 

In regards to its size, I found that the 44+8 pack offers more than enough storage capacity for you to comfortably carry kit on multi-day trips – as long as you’re conscious of how you pack, that is. For me, I took the Deuter Guide 44+8 on a three-day wild camping trip through Eryri National Park and found the capacity of the pack to be more than ample for what I needed.

Deuter Guide 44+8: on the slopes

Man wearing Deuter Guide 44+8 mountaineering pack

For such a large pack, the Deuter Guide 44+8 is impressively lightweight and comfortable to carry (Image credit: Phoenix-media-services.co.uk)

The Deuter Guide 44+8 is manufactured from a 420D recycled ripstop polyamide material, which makes for a lightweight yet incredibly robust pack. The material feels as abrasion resistant and durable as that used on my heavier packs, and mine still looks good as new, despite having been snagged on rocks, trees and bushes, and put through a fair bit of abuse in the mountains. 

Additionally, all of the lashings, compression straps and zips have been manufactured to an exceedingly high quality. Nothing ever snagged once, even when things got filthy, and everything can be easily cinched down or adjusted without any faff whatsoever. The latch that holds the top lid compartment down onto the top of the bag is also manufactured from a lightweight metal. This is a nice touch, as it lets you pull everything properly tight without having to worry about anything snapping, ripping or coming apart.

Deuter Guide 44+8 mountaineering pack on white

The Deuter Guide 44+8 comes with various options for carrying extra pieces of kit, including a helmet net and compressible side straps for mounting everything from rope to sleeping pads (Image credit: Deuter)

Overall, the Deuter Guide 44+8 might just be one of the best all-round packs on the market today in my opinion. I’d just as happily carry this pack on the most challenging climbs as I would on a weekend bimble in the Shropshire Hills. It’s incredibly comfortable, versatile and – thanks to the numerous options to cinch it down – lends itself well to trips when you’re carrying both tons of kit or just out for a day hike. 

Granted, it might not come with all of the bells and whistles that you might be used to on a more backpacking-oriented pack, but I didn’t miss a single thing when carrying the Deuter Guide – and I was appreciative of the lighter load.

Deuter Guide 44+8 mountaineering pack on white

The main compartment of the Deuter Guide 44+8 is cavernous, and can easily carry everything you need for many days out in the mountains (Image credit: Deuter)
Craig Taylor

Growing up just south of the glorious Brecon Beacons National Park, Craig spent his childhood walking uphill. As he got older, the hills got bigger, and his passion for spending quality time in the great outdoors only grew - falling in love with wild camping, long-distance hiking, bikepacking and fastpacking. Having recently returned to the UK after almost a decade in Germany, he now focuses on regular micro-adventures in nearby Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, as well as frequent trips to the Alps and beyond. You can follow his adventures over on komoot, or visit www.craigtaylor.co for more info.