Back to the future: Deuter Futura reinvents 1984 backpack suspension breakthrough

January 9, 2018

Aircomfort Sensic brings next-level suspension

LONGMONT, Colo. – Deuter changed the backpacking world when it invented the suspended, ventilated back system in 1984. Imitations proliferated. Improvements did not. Now, 34 years later, Deuter is leapfrogging back ahead with a new iteration of its vaunted Aircomfort backpacks, made possible by 21st century advancements in materials and ergonomics.

For spring 2018, the Aircomfort Sensic back system will be offered across the new Futura line. It incorporates innovations never before seen in other suspension back systems. Independent back panel suspension and Ergonomic Comfort Lock (ECL) hip fins bring new solutions to engineering problems that have plagued previous suspension designs in the two most important areas: the shoulder harness and the hip belt.

“I like to compare this to full-suspension mountain bikes,” said Deuter USA President Bill Hartrampf. “The early systems were great, but the tradeoff was bobbing and instability under uphill efforts and hard braking on the downhills. Eventually, those drawbacks were engineered out, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with the Aircomfort Sensic suspension on our new Futura packs.”

Aircomfort Sensic’s independent back panel suspension de-couples the suspended mesh back panel from the shoulder harness. Older designs attach shoulder straps directly to the trampoline back panel, causing bouncing with every step and shoulder movement. Aircomfort Sensic’s shoulder straps pass through the mesh suspension panel, directly to the frame, creating a solid, stable connection that eliminates shoulder-activated suspension bobbing.

Ergonomic Comfort Lock hip fins were created with design input from a highly regarded German orthopedic physician. Dual density padding in the pivoting hip belt, with stiffer foam in the upper portion, locks in over the iliac crest. Unique, narrow anchor points for the pivoting hip belt create an almost 360-degree wrap for the most even load displacement possible.

“Along with unmatched functionality and ventilation, the new Futura series offers a 5-8 percent weight reduction across the line,” said Deuter Marketing Director Becky Marcelliano. “Elegant, tonal color schemes and several strategic seam deletions create a streamlined look and feel that brings these packs to the forefront of outdoor gear aesthetics.”

While large-scale suspension innovations are the hallmark of Deuter’s new Futura line, the finer details are not neglected.

“Tension of the mesh back is optimized to actually keep the weight off the back, which separates it from similar designs,” said Marcelliano. “It’s not just there to feel soft and look good on the sales floor, then allow the weight to push right up against your back while loaded in real-world use.”

The mesh back panel is treated with a hydrophilic coating that keeps it dry and increases durability. A new, extra-fine mesh is used on the shoulder straps and anywhere that might contact skin, while coarser, secondary mesh creates maximum ventilation.

Futura packs will be available in 17 sizes including women’s specific (SL) and extra-long torso (EL) models, with a front stow pocket on panel loaders. Top loaders feature large front-zipped access to the main compartment. Futura Pro models offer a garaged ice axe loop, and the adjustable Futura Vario has integrated compression straps for a pad and tent at the lower zip access. MSRP will range from $120 to $230.

About Deuter

With 120 years of pack building experience, Deuter is one of the largest technical pack brands in the world. Developing innovative and high-quality packs, Deuter’s pack line focuses on carry comfort, ventilation and superior fit. From backpacking to bike commuting, alpinism to travel and an entire child-carrying and family line, Deuter creates a better and more comfortable pack for every conceivable use. Since establishing a subsidiary in Longmont, CO, in 2001, Deuter has made a significant impact in the US market. Deuter USA, Inc., serves more than 600 specialty doors. For more information, please visit www.deuter.com. For additional media information, contact Chris Hrenko at Pale Morning Media, chris@palemorning.com, (802) 496-6092.