Deuter Kid Comfort Pro Review
Pros: Vari-flex waistband, day pack, comfy for baby
Cons: Expensive, harder to use
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
the Deuter company was launched in 1898 by Hans Deuter. The company supplied mailbags to the Bavarian Royal Mail. By 1905, they were making tents and saddlebags for the army. Deuter created the first nylon backpack in 1968 and in 1970, Germany recognized them as the leader in backpacks. Deuter engages mountain guides and bikers to help create products, and in the 1990s they created a backpack for biking. Deuter has had a USA location since 2010.
The Pro is very comfortable for the wearer with multiple features designed to make wearing and moving with a heavy pack more comfortable and ergonomic. While it doesn't earn top honors in this metric, it is still comfortable compared to much of the competition.
This pack has padded shoulder straps similar to other Deuter packs. They are flexible, pliable, and they adjust smoothly without a problem. The pack offers two load lifters for a more custom fit. The lower half of the straps are ventilated for increased airflow and the straps are comfortable with no pressure points.
The waistband on the Pro has a new feature called "Vari-flex." This feature allows the pack to move somewhat independently from the waistband so it can move with you as you walk for a more ergonomic feel. The waistband is padded and somewhat structured to support the weight of the passenger and pack. The waist feels secure, supportive, and somewhat contoured. Some testers remarked that the pack can get uncomfortable on the hips when carrying heavier children which can't be resolved with adjustments. We do like the pull forward tightening adjustment.
The back padding is better than average and it has some breathable mesh to help with the airflow. The torso length is adjustable with a 4.5-inch range for a custom fit.
Child comfort is where the Pro really shines with its highest score in any metric.
The cockpit on the Pro is roomy but with sides that pull in, it feels secure and keeps little ones in place.
The padded seat can raise and lower with an adjustment hidden under the face pad (above left). This pack has a 5-point harness to keep your baby in place (above right). The 5-point harness has a center chest clip that keeps the straps from falling to the side and makes it more comfortable for your child.
The face pad is thick and good for napping. It is removable and can be washed which is good for spit up and drool.
The Pro has useful stirrups to prevent dangling legs, but if little ones put too much pressure on them they can extend on their own making them sort of useless.
This pack includes a canopy to block the sun and light rain or snow. The canopy stows in a pocket all its own and attaches easily to the pack with clips.
Ease of Use
The Deuter Pro is relatively easy to use compared to the competition despite its lower score as none of the options are easy to use.
The shoulder straps and load lifters are easy to use and can be adjusted on the fly. The waistband is also easy to adjust with forward-pull straps and micro-adjustments that change how well the Vari-flex system works.
Torso adjustment takes both hands (one to lift release lever and another to pull loop) and could be difficult if you have large hands as they need to fit behind the mesh where that isn't a lot of room. It is best to make adjustments before putting the pack on. The strap loop, lever, and adjustment settings are red, a contrast color against the blue backpack, which helps make them more visible.
The child seat moves up and down and can be done with your child in the seat with relative ease. the lift lever is under the face pad and moves smoothly. The child harness is also easy to move and the clips work well.
The Pro has a single carry handle (above left) on the back of the pack in front of the face pad. The leg brace (above left) is somewhat stiff to push out and in but is stable in position to prevent the pack from collapsing or tilting.
The Deuter Pro has a significant amount of storage that rivals much of the competition. With a variety of pockets and a separate day pack, the Pro has space for almost everything.
The Pro has a water bottle pocket on either side of the pack that passengers can reach to stay hydrated. It also has a place for a hydration bladder in a special pocket and loops on each shoulder strap so you can run the tube on either side. You'll need to buy your own bladder, but it is nice that the pocket exists.
This pack has two waistband pockets (one on each side). Given the slim design, large smartphones won't fit or you won't be able to use the zipper. One belt pocket holds a mirror (above left) you can use to spy on your passenger and the other pocket has a built-in keychain. The pockets require some effort and time to fit an oversized iPhone (above right) into the belt pocket when the waist strap is cinched tight. The belt pockets curve when the waist strap is tightened, which makes it hard to get larger items in.
The main storage compartment is large and deep enough for all your essentials. The pocket is accessible when the backpack is off or by a helper. The compartment has an elasticated strap that cinches and a plastic hook/loop at the top. The pack also has a medium-sized pocket on the back. The pocket is fairly deep and closes with Velcro.
The detachable daypack stows (above left) inside the main compartment and is a handy way to keep diaper changing supplies on hand. The daypack is simple with one pocket inside; it can be used by an adult or child. There is also a dedicated pocket for canopy storage on the back near the cockpit (above right).
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz