Deuter Airlite 28 Backpack Review

The Deuter Airlite 28 backpack is a lightweight and comfortable backpack that’s ventilated, promoting airflow for warm-weather day hikes in warm climates.

The Deuter Airlite 28 Backpack is our first foray into the long line of outdoor and travel gear offered by this German company, headquartered in the US in Colorado. Based on our first impressions with the Airlite 28, we’ll eagerly be trying more gear from their line of hiking, backpacking and travel gear. With quality construction, function, comfort and ventilation we’ve loved using this backpack on day hikes throughout the spring and early summer months here in Georgia.

Deuter Airlite 28 review: a ventilated, lightweight day pack for warm-weather day hikes

Our Deuter Airlite 28 Backpack Review

Georgia’s terrain is spectacularly stunning and widely diverse. And the state’s climate is notoriously warm and humid. Since we spend most of our time hiking the warm-weather southeastern states, a backpack with airy ventilation is a high on our list for on-trail comfort.

The Deuter Airlite 28 is a comfortable, lightweight day pack

The Airlite’s flexed frame and mesh back support position the bulk of the pack off my back, allowing air to circulate between my back and the pack. The result? A cooler, drier fit, even when the temperature starts to swelter. And post-hike, there’s nothing worse than a soaked shirt sticking to your back after an awesome adventure – but with the Airlite’s airy fit, I’m dry and ready for a comfy ride home.

The flexed frame and mesh back support on the Deuter Airlite 28 increases ventilation

Deuter designed the Airlite with ample room for day hike necessities: we’ve loaded it up water bottles, dog bowls, extra clothing, a first aid kit, food and snacks, with room to spare.

Inside, the pack is roomy lengthwise – but unlike traditional, unframed daypacks, the flexed frame does cut down on the bag’s depth. The Airlite 28’s interior features a pocket for a 3L hydration pack pocket, and we found the space problem compounded when the bag is used with a hydration pack. (It’s really not an issue if you’re packing small-ish gear, though – and to me, the added comfort provided by the ventilation totally makes up for the bag’s restricted depth.)

Deuter designed the Airlite 28 with ample room for day hike necessities, and included a hydration reservoir pouch

On the exterior, the Deuter Airlite 28 is a durable-constructed pack featuring high quality nylon, stitching, zippers and cording. For exterior storage, the day pack features a large open pocket on the front, mesh compartments on the waist belt for smaller items and two stretch mesh pouches on the sides to keep water bottles or bear spray close at hand. There’s also a zippered pocket on the top of the pack, with a key hook for storing keys and enough room to stash valuables like a wallet, mobile phone and sunglasses. And in case the weather turns to drizzle mid-adventure, a rain cover unzips from a pouch on the bottom of the pack.

The Deuter Airlite 28 shoulder straps and waist belt are made from breathable mesh

Like the back support, the shoulder straps and waist belt are made from lightweight breathable mesh, which helps to cut down on the amount of fabric riding on my shoulders, hips and lower back. The adjustable waist belt, chest and shoulder belts and compression straps on the front of the bag keep the pack firmly set on the comfortable hip pads for a balanced, lightweight load.

Deuter Airlite 28 review: our trail tests proved this ventilated day pack to be warm-weather worthy

The pack balances the weight of the contents well and doesn’t leave any area of the shoulders or hips to bear the brunt of a moderate load. And while the backpack weighs just over two pounds (not ultralight by any means), the backpack’s frame system helps absorb the cargo weight so well, it actually feels lighter on the trail than similar-sized, lighter weight unframed backpacks.

What’s in our Deuter Airlite 28?

Check out what’s in our backpacks for day hikes on Georgia’s best trails.

Deuter Airlite 28 Review: Bottom Line

The Deuter Airlite 28’s lightweight, comfortable and ventilated design make this a great pack for warm weather day hikes. Its durable construction and attention to detail will keep this backpack on my back for years to come – and it’s sure to see some incredible adventures along the way.


While Deuter provided us with a sample Airlite 28 to test, all opinions above are our own, and based on our own, trail-tested experience.

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Rob Sollie fell in love with the outdoors while growing up in Montana near Glacier National Park. Since he moved to Atlanta in 2001, he’s made it a mission to find great outdoor adventures in Georgia and throughout the South. Rob’s favorite trails include the Conasauga River Trail in Georgia and the Deep Gap Trail at Mount Mitchell near Asheville.