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June 2023

Gear Review: Deuter Aircontact Lite & Devold Lauparen

Gear Reviewer: Kieran Clarke

Three excursions later, I could not be more satisfied with Deuter's Aircontact Lite 50+10 & Devold's Laurparen Long Sleeve and Boxers. This equipment worked well in varying conditions, as I brought it on a 30°C hike up St. Mark’s Summit, a foggy hike through the night to the Squamish Chief 3rd Peak for sunrise, and an overnight trip up the steep, snowy conditions of Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout.

Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+10

After having multiple issues with my previous backpacking bag, I was delighted to hear from Valhalla about trying out a new bag. A friend I often hike with primarily uses a Deuter bag and has given nothing but positive feedback, so I had high expectations. When the bag arrived at my house, I was surprised by how lightweight it felt. I was also captivated by the interesting hue of blue, which I knew would pop nicely against the background of a white mountain-scape.


I found the Aircontact Lite 50+10 size perfect for fitting everything I needed for an overnight hike, with many features to make the most of the space provided. The 10L compartment at the bottom conveniently fit and compressed my sleeping bag, giving structure to the bottom and a good base for the stuff above it. I fit my whole packing list into the other available compartments without issue. It was helpful that they included multiple straps on the outside that served the purpose of reducing the bulkiness of the bag. Some of these compression straps also worked perfectly for attaching tripods, snowshoes, and hiking poles in various ways. The mesh bottle holder stretched enough to fit two water bottles on each side, giving me easy access to all my water. This way, I didn’t need to take extra time removing and unstrapping the bag to dig through on time-sensitive hikes. Similarly, I loved that the top lid was split into two compartments, with one accessible from the top. This made it quick for me to frequently take out or put away gloves, toques, sunglasses, hats, and other items. The hip belt pocket fit my phone perfectly, so I could check my Gaia trail GPS on the go without worrying about my phone falling out of my shorts pocket. The loops on the top lid would work for attaching bear spray with a carabiner, which is something you would not want hiding away at the bottom of your bag.


This bag boosted my standards for hiking bag comfort. With my previous bag, I suffered from mild friction rashes from the shoulder straps rubbing, but these straps were much softer. Additionally, with my last bag, the load lifter straps and shoulder straps would loosen over time, which was quite frustrating to tighten repeatedly.

This bag, however, did not have this issue, and all the straps held their place as they should. On the day I hiked in 30°C, I was thankful for the U-shaped Aircontact padding system, which helped keep my back ventilated. It allowed for a channel of air to rise to my upper back and cool me off. The hip straps were firm enough to support the bag’s weight yet made of soft material, so they did not bother me when cinched tight. I loved that all the parts of the bag that made contact with my body were comprised of breathable, padded mesh material to allow air to pass through.

Devold Lauparen Merino 190 Shirt & Boxer

I have only owned one piece of merino wool clothing before, and it was a cheap top layer from Costco. It worked adequately well, but the quality offered by Devold outmatches it by a long shot. Although merino wool is already a breathable material, this breathability was further improved upon by adding mesh panels to the shirt. The panels run along your sides up into your armpit, allowing air to enter the areas where it is most needed. Additionally, I was amazed by the natural body temperature regulating properties of this shirt and boxers. Merino wool has to be the most versatile material out there, as it helps keep you both cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I researched how this works for both temperature situations and found some interesting facts about the material.

Summer & Winter Usability

Merino wool fibers have the ability to soak up moisture, such as sweat. This helps pull the sweat away from your skin, allowing it to evaporate into the surrounding air. In warmer temperatures, when the moisture evaporates, it releases heat, effectively cooling down the air trapped between your skin and the fabric. Contrarily, in colder temperatures, wool has a fascinating ability to produce heat while trapping moisture. When the moisture comes into contact with the wool fibers, the water’s hydrogen bonds break off and bind to the chemical structure of the fibers. During this process, a small amount of heat energy is released, and the natural crimp in the fibers creates tiny pockets of warm air trapped next to your skin.


Something unbelievable about these merino wool products is that they don’t quickly get smelly from your body odor like other materials often do while hiking. No matter how much I sweat, they still smelled fine, which was really a gift to the people I was hiking with. Even after completing an overnight hike and returning to the car, the smell was still masked thanks to the absorption properties that trap bacteria inside the wool, containing the odor.


I was impressed by how comfortable the Lauparen shirt and boxers fabric felt against my skin. It was much softer than the synthetics I had previously worn as base layers. Although the material fit tight against my body, it was stretchable, so I did not feel constricted. Keeping me from feeling sticky from sweat was a huge bonus, as it absorbed all my sweat and wicked it away in the sun. This made going to bed drastically more pleasant. I hate crawling into a sleeping bag after a long day of hiking and feeling the sleeping bag stick to my sweaty body. I am excited to know I won’t have to experience that quite as much anymore.


Devold has a detailed sizing guide with measurements, but I found myself somewhat between measurements. My sizing is as follows: body length 183cm, chest 99cm, waist 84cm. I ordered a size L shirt and size L boxers, which fit me perfectly. If I had ordered a smaller size of the boxers, it might have been fine since the material stretches quite well. But if you are between sizes, I believe it is best to order up rather than down, in my experience here.