The bike season has finally begun. We are ready for long enduro tours, because now even the weather is pleasant again. So, it is the perfect timing to test the protector backpack Attack 14 SL (SL = Slim Line, fit for women) by deuter. I am (to be honest) not a fan of MTB backpacks at all and usually ride without a backpack or hip belt. Constant slipping and an annoying back protector have always kept me away from wearing one of these. However, I wanted to give the women’s version of deuter’s backpack a chance to convince me.
Viewed from the outside
The backpack immediately creates a good impression. I like the color very much and the workmanship is incredibly good. This is what women see right away 😉 There are many options on the straps, the chest strap, and the hip belt to adjust the backpack individually to your body. First conclusion: fits very well, although I am quite thin (1.68m – 53 kg).
One notices the special women’s fit immediately. Women have a slightly shorter back than men, so the women’s versions of the backpacks are cut a little shorter, too. The shoulder straps also have an adapted shape – they are slightly narrower and by being closer together, the more they fit to female shoulders. The so-called hip fins also adapt perfectly to the female hip.
Lots of features – the inner values
In the rear compartment is the removable TÜV/GS certified protector. Due to the optimal padding of the back it does not disturb you at all! I would say you may not even notice the additional protection. deuter calls this design: contact back. It fits deliberately close to the back and is designed to have the backpack’s weight at the body’s center of gravity and thus guarantees an effective load transfer.
The outer compartment at the front is divided into countless smaller compartments made of mesh material to store and order all the small items you need during a big tour. From multitool to bars, patch kit, spare tube and so on. Right above this compartment is the padded compartment for sports glasses. I even fitted my goggle in there – so there is enough space. The largest, middle compartment has enough room to carry additional items like a rain jacket, knee pads, and other stuff you might need.
The small cell phone zip pocket on the side is quite cool – you always have the phone in reach. The integrated rain cover at the bottom of the backpack can be quickly and easily pulled over the backpack. The ability to carry another helmet with cleverly placed straps and helmet clips is simply brilliant. On the left carrying strap is a small glasses holder, where you can quickly and easily plug in your glasses. I personally do not need the additional “Carrying Guard” for bike carrying passages, but in alpine terrain this is mandatory. (A Switzerland experience last year showed that.) The backpack is compatible with a hydration bladder of up to 3 liters, which is not included.
Backpack and jumps – does it match?
In use, the backpack performs instantly very well. For the first time I can go to my home jump spot with packed backpack plus fullface (I had the enduro helmet on). The additional helmet has not bothered me at all due to the special holder. It is perfectly attached to the backpack. On the ascent, the backpack fit optimally and I have not sweated more than usual. However, the backpack still must take the most important task: the trails! So many small jumps, steep descents … so quickly change the helmet … backpack back on and go!
And there it is: a protector backpack that fits and does not slip. On large and small jumps it remains tight on the back, in steep passages it does not slide up, in curves not to the side. These are all the things that have bothered me in many other backpacks. Even after a very long day, including a photo session, the backpack has not bothered me. I packed it completely full to keep the test realistic. The weight is spread nicely and I didn’t have any pressure marks on my shoulders, nor was the chest strap or hip belt too tight.
There are a few features that I personally liked the most. They are small things, but crucial for me. My keys and tissues are packed from now on exclusively in the small handy pockets on the hip belt, so I never have to search for them again – haha. The same goes for my cell phone, the side pocket is really great. Now on I will always have an extra pair of glasses and a jacket with me. There is space enough! Even I, an old tool grump, have no more excuses and from now on always have everything with me – even a small first aid kit. The additional protection of the back protector, which, by the way, I have not even perceived as annoying throughout the day, one should also not disregard.
Whoosh – the backpack conclusion
The protector backpack is with about 200 € relatively expensive, however it has convinced me. It performs very good, fits well, and offers an enormous plus in safety. The features and the fit leave almost no wish unfulfilled. So even the missing hydration bladder does not bother me very much, because it can be purchased separately if necessary. The backpack will accompany me on many tours.