As an avid mountain biker and a volunteer with the East Bay Regional Parks Bike Patrol, I can easily put a product through its paces. Recently, I was given the chance through MTBR.com to evaluate the Deuter Compact EXP 8 and the Deuter Hydro Lite 3.0 hydration packs. The Compact EXP 8 is a new extended hiking/biking hydration pack that carries 3L of water and was made for those who hike or bike for greater than two hours as recommended by Deuter. The Hydro Lite 3.0 is marketed to those who will be on the trails for two hours or more. This hydration pack carries 3L of water, about 1L more than the competition.
Compact EXP 8
Like all hydration packs, this one comes with your standard, shoulder and chest straps that are fully adjustable but also include a waist strap where each side also has a zippered pouch to store small items as well. If you are looking for a hydration pack that can literally carry everything, your search is over. This one has a small zippered pocket and a large zippered pocket with key ring on the outside of the pack, plus an area to hold your helmet or jacket via adjustable straps and bike pump sleeve. Hold on, there’s more! Inside the pack where the water is stored, there is another zippered pocket and another fairly large storage pocket that is behind the water reservoir, this one unzipped. Even the area where the water reservoir is located has some additional room to store things, if needed. And if you still don’t have enough room, there is a zipper that almost encircles the whole pack to almost double the volume of storage.
Included is a mouth piece cover that is connected via a cord to protect the mouth piece from grit and dirt while you are on the trail. The mouth piece also has a built-in shut off valve activated just by turning the mouth piece clock wise by one turn. There is a tube fixation piece on the right shoulder strap for those who prefer having the tube and mouthpiece secured while on the trail. The water reservoir uses an innovative slip clip called the streamer clip to open and close the water reservoir for filling and use. There is a reflective tail light strap and Deuter uses what they call Airstripe that is supposed to hold the pack onto your back and still have airflow to keep your back cool and not sweaty. The whole reservoir system uses an anti-bacterial material that inhibits bacteria growth and doesn’t add any taste to the water.
Deuter USA warrants its products against defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product. This warranty does not cover the damage caused by extreme use, improper care, or the natural breakdown of material over time. If a Deuter product is deemed defective, clean it and return it to Deuter USA, post-paid, and we will repair or replace it at our discretion.
Advertised as 1 pound 15 ounces + 6 ounces. Using my Pelouze digital scale, the Deuter came in at exactly 1 pound 15 ounces.
Price as tested: