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Deuter Guide 30 | Rucksack Review

Faster, lighter, brighter, the Guide 30 is the quintessential Deuter pack within the new SS23 range boasting a range of subtle and some not so subtle improvements that put the new packs up there as the very best on the market. Perfectly sized for a day out in the UK hills, the Guide 30 sits at the fulcrum of the Guide range and will doubtless be one of the most popular options for UK mountaineers but, is it worth your money?

What's New?

Building on the foundations of the previous Guide and Guide Lite, the new Guide 30 combines many of the robust features of its previous iteration with the vastly reduced weight of the Lite version, coming in at a mere 855g. This is primarily thanks to the new framing system found on the Guide 30, the 28 SL and their larger siblings. Now constructed from U-shaped Delrin, a lightweight hardened plastic compound rather than the V-shaped aluminium frame found on the old Guide model, the latest version makes a serious weight saving without compromising comfort or overall stability. Combined with Deuter's trusty Alpine back padding system, the Guide 30 is far comfier than anything I've ever worn in this size range before, offering an incredible amount of support for a back system as streamlined and low profile.

Forgoing the classic, all-encompassing lid design featured on the larger Guide models, the 30 and its smaller siblings now come with a new, wide strap-like lid design that makes access to the main compartment of the pack faster than ever before. Crucially though, this new lid design is still incredibly functional and holds a rope in place securely whilst efficiently covering the top of the pack's internal access point. This refinement doesn't just stop at the lid however, with the front of the pack now a much cleaner space featuring the essential attachment points for the streamlined lid as well as points for ice axes and a helmet holder.

Aesthetically speaking, this is the best range of Guide packs we've ever seen, replacing the old hat, plain (read: boring) colours of the past with stylish and subtle new colourways that suit the fast and light pack style. Understated across their entire design, there's a wonderfully stylish element to the new Deuter range.

Functionality and Comfort

Ok, so it's lighter and looks great but, aren't these usually the characteristics reserved for fancy cars, not robust alpine daypacks? Well, the real highlight of the Guide 30 has actually been its superb functionality and ease of use. Having been through multiple iterations by now, the Guide is a time tested model and it absolutely shows in the latest version. Every bit of the Guide's design is intuitive, from the phone pocket down the side of the pack which is easily accessed whilst on the move to the efficient yet minimalist lid design - everything is exactly where you'd want it to be.

Whilst on the move, the Guide 30 is without doubt one of the comfiest packs I've ever worn. Sporting Deuter's awesome Alpine back system, the padding of the Guide is ideal for a real range of movement, from walking right through to grade 3 scrambles. The new Delrin frame holds the pack confidently and compliments the positioning of the Alpine back system well, keeping the pack's load centralised and evenly distributed throughout every mountainous activity. Adjustability is brilliant too with a range of options to synch in and fuse the pack to your back - the padded waist belt is particularly comfy and can be stowed so that a harness can be worn whilst carrying.

At 30 litres, the Guide is the ultimate day packing size and I used it to great effect whilst both cragging and walking to carry kit, food and a load of hardware. The main compartment of the Guide is relatively simple and with pocket options on both the front and side of the pack for valuables, this larger space can be reserved for unlimited gear. Accessing the pack is a breeze but I did find the straps to be on the thin side - easy to use in summer but they could could prove a little tricky in winter whilst gloved up.


The perfect day pack? The Deuter Guide 30 was a real joy to use, symbiotically melding to my back through every Lake District outing, proving both comfortable and functional. The faster and lighter style to the Guide range is a welcome improvement to the collection and certainly puts the Guide 30 right up there at the pinnacle of the UK's mountain day pack market, awesome!