Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up on Deuter’s Rise Tour 45+, below, then visit us again tomorrow for more awesome gear coverage.
Camping is for the summer, right? Most of the time, yes, but sometimes a ski objective requires a night spent in the backcountry, which also requires a reliable pack with enough volume to stow all your gear but without so much bulk to weigh you down. I’ve utilized the Deuter Rise Tour 45+ on two winter camping excursions during this spring and have been supremely impressed.
Both trips involved attempts to hike and ski Mt. of the Holy Cross in the northern Sawatch Range of Colorado. Unfortunately, due to poor weather and ground conditions, both trips ended prematurely, but at no fault of the pack.
The Rise Tour 45+ boasts 45 liters of storage, plus a little more if you extend the lid of the pack via the straps that connect it to the body. It has two valuables pockets located under and on top of the hood, a zipped side pocket, water bottle pouch (which can also be used to stow, say, a pair of goggles) and a dedicated backcountry tools pocket. In total, counting both trips, I was easily able to fit my goggles, extra layers, DSLR camera body and accompanying lenses, GoPro, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camp pillow, extra socks, glove liners, camp stove, fuel, cooking pot, lighter, dry bag filled with food, water bottle, water bladder, headlamp, crampons, deodorant, toothbrush, travel-sized toothpaste, book, notebook and pen. Talk about a sh#tload of stuff, eh?
Besides easily stowing all of my gear on the inside, the pack accommodated, at various times, skis (with ski boots attached), poles, an ice axe and my helmet on its exterior. It’s a one-stop storage locker that fits comfortably on your back. How can 60-plus pounds of gear fit comfortably on your back while meandering uphill in the wilderness you ask? I’ll tell you.
Deuter’s Alpine Back System employs eight techniques to ensure the Rise Tour 45+ doesn’t break your back. The compact hip-pads hug your body but aren’t bulky, allowing them to move with you, while not restricting movement and still maintaining your center of gravity. The pack doesn’t jostle around from side to side while you’re hiking or, in the case of one of our adventures, mountain biking eight miles up a forest service road to the trailhead. A U-shaped frame also ensures rock-solid stability and load transfer without much added weight. Adjustment straps on the shoulders and hip pads help you dial-in the fit to your personal preference and sizing, while ergonomically-sound shaped shoulder straps provide a contoured fit to your shoulders for added comfort with weight on your back.
Another beneficial construction feature, which comes in handy when you’re bushwacking through the White River National Forest in an attempt to find your way back to the summer trail which is hidden by mounds of rotten snow, is the utilization of Microrip-Nylon in the construction of the pack. It’s lightweight and thin, adding a bit of breathability to the package, and also incredibly abrasion-resistant, allowing you to violently dip and dodge through and around trees and branches without worry that you’re destroying your precious gear.
The Rise Tour 45+ can be a go-to overnight pack for any backcountry skiers thinking about spending a night or two in the wilderness for the sake of bagging lines. It even has the ability to be relied upon for summer backpacking—albeit for those who prefer a minimalist packing job, as opposed to the volume of, say, a 65-liter pack.