My “Big Three” Outdoor Gear – Backpack

I have been infected with the outdoor virus for some years now and since then I bought quite some gear. Most of my gear was bought second hand (because it can get quite expensive..) or before I was aware of any sustainability issues. However, I thought it would be interesting to have a look at my own gear and find out how green it actually is.

In this series I will have a look at my biggest and heaviest items the so-called ‘big three’; backpack, shelter, and sleeping bag.

Let’s start with my backpack(s);

Osprey Aether 60

The Osprey Aether 60 is the first piece of gear I ever bought. Generally  speaking it was a good choice as it is a comfortable and durable pack. However, I definitely made a beginners mistake by overestimating my ability to carry a 60 liter pack. After a while carrying a 60l pack is just not very comfortable. I also realized that the bigger the pack the more (unnecessary) stuff you put in it. Besides, just the pack already weighs 2290 grams!

Unfortunately Osprey is not clear about its sustainability. On their About Osprey page they do communicate an Environmental Message which focuses on long lasting quality gear which is ensured through their All Mighty Guarantee. However, any data regarding their production methods or environmental impact is lacking.

A 60 liter pack was
heavier than expected

Deuter Act Trail 38 EL

After some years of using the Osprey pack the search for something smaller and lighter resulted in the Deuter Act Trail 38 EL. Yes, downsizing this much definitely pushes my limits in deciding what to take, and yes I had to update some of my other gear to make it all fit in the pack. But its save to say that this is one of my best buys. Both because I enjoy hiking lighter and taking less stuff, and because it is a comfortable and high quality pack.

Deuter scores high on the social aspect of sustainability. They are a member of the Fair Wear Foundation which is a non-profit organisation that works on improving working conditions for garment workers. Deuter has achieved ‘leader’ status, which means they are doing exceptionally well. Like Osprey, Deuter also focuses on high quality gear with a long lifespan. Additionally, Deuter is a Bluesign system partner since 2008. Keep an eye on our blog: more info on Bluesign soon follows!


I bought the Osprey pack way before I took sustainability into account, and I was able to get the Deuter second-hand. However, to be honest, I did hope that both companies would score higher in terms of sustainability.

Even though I still have the Osprey pack I started using the smaller 38 liter Deuter for most of my hikes. Which pack do you always hike with? And do you know how sustainable it is?

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please note: email address is not mandatory

There's More to read

The Green Adventurer - NEMO Fillo Pillow
Gear Review

NEMO Fillo Pillow – Gear Review

A proper pillow is something I never paid attention to. Instead, for years I used a simple inflatable one which I then tried to make comfortable with whatever gear was left in my tent. As a result I always woke up with pain in my neck and never slept well. Which is ridiculous since I

Read More »
Testing the Icebreaker #teesforgood challenge
Gear Review

Icebreaker #TeesForGood Challenge

Recently I’ve seen a lot of posts about the Icebreaker #teesforgood challenge. The challenge is to wear the same shirt for 7 days without washing it. Since most of my shirts usually start to smell after just one day I decided to give this ‘7 Days, 1 Tee, 0 Washes’ challenge a go! The shirt

Read More »
Outdoor Retailer

Sustainable Gear at Outdoor Retailer

Last week was Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, the largest outdoor tradeshow of North America. These tradeshows are the place where outdoor brands and manufacturers showcase their products for next year. Snews put together a list of the 25 coolest products presented at the show. Based on this list, here is some sustainable gear from this

Read More »

Copyright © 2020 The Green Adventurer

Crafted by Stephen Smith