* Prices may differ from that shown
The Futura 28 rucksack is made by Deuter, a German manufacturer of rucksacks and bags. It is available in a selection of colours, the model I went for was the black/titan(grey) option.
* Description *
The Futura range comes in a range of sizes, from the 22, up to the 38 pro. The number denotes its litre capacity, hence my Futura has a 28 Litre volume. It is a medium sized ruck sack (50x34x26 cm) and is described as being for daytrips and urban use.
I bought this Deuter Futura for two main uses - hill-walking day-trips, and for day-to-day use. I should point out that my day-to-day use includes carrying gym trainers and gear to work and back daily.
Price wise, it averages about £60-80, although I got mine on sale for £50.
* External storage features *
On the outside the bag has two side pockets designed for water-bottles etc. These have adjustable straps to secure whatever is placed within, These are a decent size, and the pouches are spandex, so strechy. On the front there is a single small pocket with a plastic clip for keys inside. As the only outside pocket, I personally find it too small. If used for hillwalking daytrips, I like to keep a few small maps/guidebooks, and other items easily accesable in a front pouch, but I struggle to fit all but the smallest pocket-sized guide books in this one.
There are two adjustable compression straps which can be tightened or released to control the interior volume. There is also an elasticated adjustable loop used alongside two lower elasticated loops to secure two walking poles.
On the very bottom there is a small pouch which contains a waterproof cover. The bag its self is reasonably shower-proof, but against sustained rain, I recommend the use of the cover.
* Shoulder straps/Comfort *
The rear of the bag has two rigid plasic strips which act like a spine, and stops the bag distorting with a heavy load. In front of this is a mesh back support which separates your back from the rucksack, and allows air to circulate inbetween. In practise this does help reduce sweating on your back.
The two main shoulder straps are well designed, and have mesh covered padding all along the inside. They also have straps to adjust tension, as well as an adjustable, elasticated chest buckle. There is also a small strap to secure a pipe for an internal water pouch (not included with bag)
Attached to the bottom of the mesh support is a waist support which has adjustabel straps that can be fasteded for extra security. The back of this waist support is padded for comfort.
Elsewhere on the outside there is a grab handle, and an opening for a water pouch tube.
I have used this bag to carry a few heavy loads 10+ miles, and for this kind of distance, I have found it to be very comfortable. The chest and waist buckles are recommended for heavier loads, as they stop the straps from slipping down your shoulders, and the airspace between your back and the sack helps to cool your back on a warm day.
* Interior *
As mentioned this bag has a 28L internal volume, and I personally find this more than adequate for a day trip including an extra fleece, cagoule, food etc.
The main interior space actually has two access points: A main double-zipped top opening, and a smaller opening placed on the front bottom of the pack. This bottom access is designed to be used along with an interior compartment zipped separator, essentially giving you two possible storage compartments. This can be handy for storing wet gear, or possibly keeping food etc away from other items.
These is an internal elasticated internal pocket which is designed for a water pouch, although from a more 'urban' point of view, this can also be used to keep a small laptop/tablet secure.
* Conclusion *
Having used this bag daily for about a year, and every other weekend for daytrips, I am impressed with it. It has worn well, and still looks as new, with very little sign of fraying or wear. On short to medium walking trips it has proved comfortable to wear, and has plenty storage for two water bottles on the outside, and more than adequate interior space for spare kit. Its not really suited to anything more advanced/long distance, due to its lack of features. I would not recommend it for camping etc.
Whislt Deuter describe this suitable for urban and office use, I would say that for the average person, its a bit too big. However if like me you have to carry about a change of gear/trainers, on top of food and an occasional lap-top, its a very handy piece of luggage.
Overall, its a good compramise between light hill-walking use, and urban day to day travelling, but only if you need a lager than average back-pack.