By Chris Chesak, VP of Business Development
Deuter’s Transit 50 is everything you’d need in a mid-sized travel backpack. Romping through Switzerland and Germany with the Transit 50, I was quickly impressed by several features, as well as by the design of the bag as a whole.
Overall, the bag design is very clean and free of all the extraneous add-on’s that come with a typical backpack. I have found that too many travel bags come with an over-abundance of compression straps, ice ax loops, and ‘bells and whistles’ that are great for hard-core trekking or technical climbing, but generally just get in the way for more common, more modest adventure travel (and those straps always seem to get stuck in overhead bins, getting in/out of vehicles, and just generally prove to be a pain). The Transit 50 provides just enough additional features – just the ones you actually need.
The design has also found a comfortable home between being a real backpack, with beefy suspension system (including well-padded hip belt, sternum strap, and contoured shoulder straps) to make it comfortable and adjustable with heavier loads, yet still being truly considerate of travel features, such as multiple, durable, grab handles around the bag for easy snatching off buses, luggage carousels, etc.
The capacity of the bag is ample, swallowing a large load of ski gear without a problem, and I really enjoyed the uncluttered, spacious size of the main compartment along and the ability to actually zip the front opening completely open in order to most easily pack and load the Transit 50. The inclusion of an honest-to-goodness separate bottom compartment was a nice surprise too. It would be perfect for a light sleeping system, or for separating your gear (keeping muddy hiking boots and used trail socks away from clean clothes, for example).
The removable day pack is a great addition for travel and I found it perfect for day trips and side hikes. I was able to keep my bulkier carry-on behind, still full of all the power cords, travel pillow and other items I need to get through long-haul flights, and just run out the door with the Transit 50’s daypack over my shoulder with water bottle, extra layer, maps, camera and other immediate essentials. I was also pleasantly surprised with the very simple, yet durable, single-zipper attachment system that connects the daypack to the main bag.
While the achilles heel of other travel bags that I’ve worn out in the past was often a weak zipper system, the Transit 50’s heavy zippers truly inspired confidence in their potential for long-term durability. I can’t tell you how many very frustrating moments I’ve had when some cool-looking molded rubber pull falls apart, leaving only the zipper head to open and close the bag. So I’m thankful for the Transit 50’s use of aluminum zipper pulls.
Perhaps the only concern I have for the Transit 50 is the small pocket outside the daypack. While it’s thoughtful to add that pocket, I found the opening to be a bit too tight when the bag is full, making it difficult to get in and out. Overall though, a minor concern for a bag that literally brought smiles to my face while on the road.
Product: Transit 50
Product type: travel backpack
Product webpage: http://www.deuter.com/en_US/backpack-details.php?category=122&artnr=35209&title=Transit%2050
MSRP (in USD): $179.00