Kasia Baldwin tests out the Provoke 16 pack from Deuter…
When given this little pack to try out I was thrilled as I’m already a bit of a Deuter fan and a week skiing in Chamonix was calling.
The 16 litre pack, which is part of the Deuter Alpine series, comes in two colour options, Turquoise-Kiwi or Fire-Black. I personally really liked the brightness of the Turquoise and Kiwi version. At a weight of 1050g it’s not the lightest pack on the market but I think sometimes you have to balance weight with comfort and this pack was certainly comfortable to wear all day.
Size wise, made to hold 16 litres, its dimensions are 53cm high, 26cm wide with a max depth of 16cm. It’s not huge so whilst it’s not ideal for a day of ski mountaineering its perfect for a day ski touring or some off piste slope action. The slim profile meant I could also fit on a ski lift whilst wearing the pack. Another way to create a bit of storage space is to buy Deuter’s mesh helmet holder. This pack has the attachments for the holder so you can easily carry your helmet on the front. I also found this useful to store the skins for my skis when not in use.
When using the pack on an off piste day adventure, I managed to fit in a Black Diamond snow shovel, an avalanche probe, a two litre water bladder, climbing harness and an ice screw and a sling. As well as a pair of goggles some food, spare pair of gloves and a gilet. So big enough for the essentials.
So looking at the features of the bag…
There is one main pocket which has a divide for a water bladder, a mesh inner pocket for your valuables and the standard Deuter SOS label to remind you want to do in an emergency! The main compartment has two zip pulls which you can press stud together for added security. Less chance for the zips to pull open when the rucksack is stuffed to the rim. There is also a ‘sleeve’ sewn into the main compartment for stowing your avalanche probe – stops it moving around and getting in the way of your other kit.
The rucksack also has a small soft lined, padded pocket on the front to store your goggles/sunglasses. The soft lining helps to stop your goggles getting scratched. I also found I could store some lip balm and a cereal bar in there for quick access instead of routing around in the main compartment.
One of the great features of this bag is the fact that whether you’re a skier or a boarder this little bag can carry either skis or a snowboard. I had no trouble attaching my skis on the walking sections at the start and finish of the Valle Blanche. I used the A-frame method though you can opt for a front diagonal carry if that’s your preferred method. I’ve not tried attaching my snowboard as yet but I’m sure it’s simple enough to work out. The bag also boasts one adjustable ice axe loop which can be stuffed neatly away when you don’t need it – saves it flapping about or getting caught on things.
Other features include side compression straps an emergency whistle on the chest strap and a ‘neoprene tunnel’ which is integrated in the right shoulder strap to feed through your water bladder tube so it doesn’t freeze. This tunnel has a little zip so you can stowaway the end of your tube when not in use. I found this could be a little fiddly at times but no major hassle.
Overall I really rate the bag for single days out skiing, whether you’re playing on the slopes, going off piste or doing some ski touring. Whilst I’ve already mentioned it’s not the lightest bag around, I’d rather have something a little heavier that didn’t dig into my waist or shoulders. As well as feeling comfortable it also felt secure on my back and didn’t feel to get in the way at all so I could concentrate on enjoying myself. A great pack which I’m sure I’ll use for carting bits of kit around town as well and not just on the hill.
- RRP: £80
- Find out more at the Deuter website.