Deuter Goes Bikepacking: Waterproof Cabezon Sequence Evaluation

Deuter is not any stranger to creating good luggage. With a storied lineup of German-engineered climbing backpacks, the corporate’s signature clear strains and no-fuss aesthetic are a typical sight on day and thru-hikers alike.

The model took its first foray into the bikepacking area this spring with the Cabezon sequence. How do a long time of bag-making expertise translate throughout disciplines? I put the baggage via 200+ miles of testing, from errand commutes to in a single day campouts, on the tarmac, gravel roads, and single observe, with the intention to discover out.

In brief: The Deuter Cabezon luggage are light-weight, spacious, absolutely waterproof, and chic of their simplicity. The body bag and handlebar bag stand out as the highest performers. They hit the correct mix of minimal options for optimum advantages. The saddlebag, whereas efficient, may gain advantage from safer attachment factors to scale back sway on single observe and high-effort climbs.

Deuter Cabezon Baggage Evaluation

Deuter Cabezon Series bags on the author's gravel bike
(Picture/Matthew Medendorp)

The Deuter Cabezon sequence consists of 4 items: the Cabezon Handlebar Bag 14 ($130), Cabezon Saddle Bag 16 ($140), Cabezon Body Bag 4 ($105), and the Cabezon Body Bag 6 ($115).

Every pack is waterproof and constructed from hard-wearing 220-denier polyamide and 600-denier polyester, and has taped and welded seams, in addition to TPU-coated zippers. The handlebar bag and the saddle bag are every two-part techniques consisting of a harness and removable bike dry bag. This makes them useful for unpacking across the campsite however much less suited to making changes on the bike on the fly.

Every bag is available in two colour choices, a glossy darkish slate blue and a desert-inspired tan.

4L and 6L Body Baggage

Deuter Cabezon Series frame bag
(Picture/Matthew Medendorp)

The Deuter Cabezon body luggage are no-frills, consisting of 1 dry-bag-like primary compartment, a TPU zipper, and 4 straps to safe it to the body. The highest of every bag accommodates modular adjustment factors, permitting you to maneuver the straps to higher match the size of your high tube.

The principle compartment is actually a peculiar-shaped drybag, having little substance by itself. It depends on the bike’s geometry and the burden of the gear to supply form. I’ll confess that whereas I put in the bag, I used to be skeptical of its efficacy. I normally want a extra structured bag like Revelate Designs Tangle Body Bag or Oveja Negra’s ½ Pack.

However, my preliminary skepticism disappeared after testing. Merely put, this bag can match so much. It’s the bikepacking equal of Patagonia’s favored Black Gap duffel. It is a ludicrously capacious bag, to cite an web joke I’m definitely weeks too late on.

On lengthy coaching rides, it simply dealt with a pump, spare layers, software roll, and loads of snacks. It swallowed a hefty hardcover ebook on an errand journey to the publish workplace. And saved it bone dry in a Michigan spring downpour, no simple feat. And it loaded effectively with a range, gasoline, and different heavy necessities for the in a single day check. 

When stuffed to capability, the body bag tended to run vast, which didn’t trouble me on my bike. However when my spouse strapped the smaller 4L body bag onto her Canyon Grizl 54cm body, she needed to alter her using to maintain her knee from rubbing the pack. A part of that is simply the wrestle that riders with smaller bikes face throughout any bag setup, nevertheless it’s value noting.

Additionally, the shortage of inner pockets can result in objects sliding round with out correct group.

14L Handlebar Bag

Deuter Cabezon Series handlebar bag
(Picture/Matthew Medendorp)

The Handlebar bag was the standout success of the gathering for me. Up to now, I’ve used varied kinds of handlebar luggage and located none that hit the candy spot of becoming onto my drop bars but having sufficient capability to be definitely worth the wind drag and sacrificed hand positioning. The Cabezon stepped proper up into that hole.

The 14L drybag has twin roll-top openings and a valve to bleed the air out, guaranteeing a compact and streamlined pack. It had sufficient capability to suit my present bikepacking tent, the Sea to Summit’s Telos 2. It slot in its entirety, and there would have been room so as to add additional gear alongside if wanted.

The harness hit an optimum ratio of rigidity and adaptability. I didn’t lose an undue quantity of steadiness or need to manhandle my bars round curves, and it dealt with the Telos’ weight with stoic impressiveness.

It barely shifted over a lethal mixture of Michigan gravel street potholes and twisty native singletrack. And the harness’s bungee strap was impressively tight, holding gloves, power waffles, and briefly, valued sun shades.

The set up course of was simple, although Deuter does have overview movies on the location. The froth spacers are meaty and useful for many who want additional actual property for his or her fingers, as I do. And the simplicity-to-effectiveness ratio of the straps hits the Goldilocks zone. It was a no-fuss Velcro set up that held true regardless of the terrain and reasonable weight inside. 

16L Saddle Bag

Deuter Cabezon Series saddlebag
(Picture/Matthew Medendorp)

The saddlebag can be a two-part system consisting of a harness and a dry bag. The harness threads via the saddle rails and closes with a buckle, cinching and adjusting rigidity via the decrease harness. It additionally has a big Velcro strap that attaches to the seat publish, with segments of cloth that overlap or sandwich the seat publish.

The harness is the piece I had probably the most hassle with. Whereas I loved the tool-free set up, it wasn’t definitely worth the tradeoff of safety. I respect the safety that comes with techniques like Ortlieb’s comparable Seat Pack or Revelate’s Spinelock.

The (literal) rub was the mounted factors on the highest of the harness that threaded via the saddle rails. Even with most rigidity from the underside of the harness, there was wiggle as a result of mounted high straps. Whereas we’re speaking centimeters, not inches, I nonetheless would have liked to crank the strain there.

Though I by no means anxious the bag would fall off, it had an uncomfortable sway throughout standing efforts on large climbs or root-filled single-track. This didn’t have an effect on efficiency however made me take into consideration wasted effort counteracting the bag’s movement. And, I used to be aggravated feeling weight shifts when requiring optimum focus.

The bag’s exterior bungee additionally carried out effectively.

Deuter Cabezon Series saddlebag harness and dry bag
(Picture/Matthew Medendorp)

Like all saddlebag dry luggage, the drybag is tapered in form to suit the harness. This tapered form is the distinctive problem of all saddlebags or seat publish luggage. The dry bag has to suit throughout the prescribed area however nonetheless be helpful.

I discovered that the Cabezon’s drybag, with its valve for bleeding out air, was as spacious as the remainder of the gathering. It simply swallowed my present sleep setup — Sea to Summit’s Spark II Sleeping Bag and Ether Mild Sleeping Pad — with room to spare for additional layers for each on and off the bike.

I underpacked it for my in a single day check, not anticipating the subfreezing temperatures and spring frost blanketing the bottom come morning. However that was a person error, as a lightweight down jacket and pants would have match with room to spare.

I did discover that packing out the bag absolutely multiplied the sway encountered from the harness. And a poorly packed bag, one the place the smallest a part of the tapered finish wasn’t exactly crammed, drastically elevated sway. 

Deuter Cabezon Baggage: Conclusion

Bikepacking campsite
(Picture/Matthew Medendorp)

Light-weight and pretty priced, the Deuter Cabezon assortment permits for critical efficiency on gravel rides — particularly for riders to go gentle and quick with out spending an additional fortune on solely ultralight or aero luggage. It’s a robust outing from an organization with a historical past of spectacular merchandise that keep true to the Deuter DNA.

Its minimalist building will not be excellent for bikepackers who prefer to consistently take issues out and in all through the journey. However it’s well-suited for many who would slightly pack effectively as soon as and get using.

The Cabezon’s tool-free set up and nothing-but-the-essentials design work in its favor. This optimizes area and hauls extra gear than they give the impression of being able to becoming. There are a couple of particulars to iron out, particularly across the saddlebag. However there are extra successes than failures throughout the board. I’m wanting ahead to placing many extra miles on mine, Michigan climate be damned.