About 7 months ago I purchased a Deuter Race X Air I hydration pack. The German company had always been of interest to me but I had never experienced their products firsthand. I selected the Race X Air I mainly because it has a unique mesh back. This is referred to as the “Advanced Aircomfort” system which allows near uninterrupted air flow. Poor airflow had been my primary complaint with other packs. It should also be noted that this model was awarded Mountain Biking Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award. The pack holds a 3 liter reservoir and has 850 cubic inches of storage. The empty pack and reservoir tipped our scale at 2.24lbs.
My first impression of the pack was quite positive. I immediately noticed the additional air flow across my back which was a very welcome improvement. I found the amount of storage space in the pack to be ample enough for all my gear, a thin jacket, and room to spare. The pack distributes the load comfortably even on long rides. This is helpful because the overall weight of the pack is a bit heavier than one of their non “Advanced Aircomfort” systems. The reservoir is great. It has a very smooth texture which is supposedly so bacteria can not cling to the bladder. This seems to work effectively even through my abuse. I enjoy the fact that I can get my entire hand inside the reservoir when I want to give it a though cleaning. I tend to drink water and I can not comment on how the reservoir holds up to sports drinks. I do not typically remove the bladder to fill it but when I do it takes a bit longer to remove than I would like. My primary complaint is that the bite valve sometimes drips a little when it slides forward off the hose.
Over all I like this hydration pack. You can tell it was designed by a backpacking company the way it fits on your body and the German engineers loaded the pack with lots of great little features