Field Notes: Deuter is a leader in the technical backpack market. Design and function are not an afterthought in a race for market share; rather the technical backpack brand starts with performance to build packs to serve nearly every conceivable use. The Groden is a departure from the technical prowess and performance-oriented designs, yet it parallels the ethos in many ways. With a heritage look and modern carry system, the Groden pulls together function and fashion in a way no other brand seems to capture. On first inspection, the Groden appears a heritage design yet it carries a full technical pedigree.
Built on the Deuter AirComfort chassis, the Groden features an off-the-back carry system, which uses flexible aluminum stays and a mesh trampoline. This is an ideal system for hot climates and allows for copious airflow between pack and back. The Groden is a top loader with a drawstring and cord lock closing mechanism. Five external pockets, two in the hood, held items we needed easily accessible when out testing. The size of this pack would easily allow it to be used on overnighters for those who can pack light, but it’s designed to be a day pack.
For those in wet climates, a cleverly hidden rain cover pulls out from a zippered pocket at the base of the pack. Large, padded, wrap-around hip fins work in conjunction with anatomically-curved shoulders straps to lighten large loads, providing the best carry comfort we tested in this series of day packs. Rounding out the features are loop and shock cord gear attachment points for trekking poles and a vertically sliding sternum strap for stability in sketchy terrain.
Pros: This is a large pack at 32 liters, which is well matched with the sturdy and comfortable back system. Well-built with sturdy craftsmanship.
Cons: One of the heavier packs in the Active Junky test.
Tester Comments: “Cleverly combining form and function, the Deuter Groden has quickly become my go-to pack for longer day outings, especially during summer when the AirComfort back system keeps me cool in humid environments.”
Key Attribute: Carry Comfort
- Equipped with contoured, padded shoulder straps
- A durable spring steel frame creates a flexible and light structure
- Mesh back improves ventilation and dissipates hot air from both sides
- With ventilated hip belt pads for better carrying comfort and stability
- Anatomically shaped design with soft-edged shoulder straps
Weight: 2 lbs 9 oz
Size: 30-45 liters