Deuter Trans Alpine 30

The Trans Alpine 30 is Deuter’s ‘favourite all-rounder’. I have been putting this to the test for the last season.

My incumbent go-to bag for mountain bike riding and guiding has been the Evoc FR Trail, which is 20 litres of low profile, extremely well thought out and well made bag. The Trans Alpine 30 is in a different category as far as capacity goes and to pitch the TA30 against the Evoc for general single day riding would be unfair. However, for guiding purposes, I have happily used either.

Guiding

For me, this would be the main purpose of the bag.

The TA30 came in to my hands just in time for guiding Saddle Skedaddle‘s Awesome Ambleside mountain biking weekend. It settled in to this role well, comfortably swallowing all my guiding kit including spare layers and a small group shelter with room to spare. The extra space of the 30 litre bag was well appreciated, yet it still manages to maintain a fairly low profile.

Something I especially like about the TA30 is the main compartment has a (zippered removable) divider towards the bottom, with the lower section being accessible from below. This feature is simple but so very handy in practice; I use this section to store my first aid kit, making it very easy to get at and keeps it separate from everything else in the bag.

I also really appreciate the presence of waist strap pockets, which I use to store a few tools in one side and snacks in the other.

What I found strange was the unusual omission of a whistle integrated in to the sternum strap buckle. Interestingly, this is a feature on other Deuter bags such as the smaller Attack 20, making its omission even more baffling. A small whistle slipped into one of the waist strap pockets alleviates this.

However, possibly most importantly, this bag is stable and comfortable when riding. By distributing weight well, the TA30 is well up to the task of carrying a full mountain bike guiding load all day. The weight is held well through tight corners and there is no ‘swinging’.

General Travel

Part of the ‘all-rounder’ quality that Deuter attaches to the TA30 suggests to me it should be at ease with general travel duties. With the amount of road riding trips I guide, the TA30 was destined to spend quite a lot of time in such a capacity.

A fun video of packing it can be found here!

It’s also seen use lugging some sport climbing gear around between work assignments.

The H x W x D of 54 x 28 x 24 cm means the Trans Alpine 30 should be hand luggage ready. To test this, I took a four night trip to Reykjavik, with this as my only bag. Here it is stowed safely under the seat in front of me:

Comfortably taking a couple of changes of clothes and a few other travel essentials, the TA30 passes this test. It performed well as a day to day bag both around town and on hikes to hot springs, with ample room for food and clothing. Those side pockets came in extra handy for bottles of water, too. None of my other bags have them, and in most other situations I wouldn’t care much for them, but they really complement the all-rounder ethic of this bag. The waist strap pockets were also a very useful place to store hotel keys.

The verdict so far

I have been using the TA30 for a few months now; with useful features and a good size it has quickly become a familiar travel companion and comfortable, capable riding sack. I’ll happily keep testing it out!