Deuter backpacks and sleeping bags, shows long-lasting quality, functionality and comfort. Hard to believe that this wasn’t always the case. Change was brought around 29 years ago by Deuter veteran Bernd Kullmann. Continue reading
"Quality has top priority at Deuter. We make products that are durable, and if the customer wants, he or she can send their equipment to us to be repaired”. When the backpack and sleeping bag manufacturer was founded in1898, Bern Kullmann explains that the company's priority was not so high on quality. "when I started at Deuter in 1986 the products were in poor quality or worse. The sales people were upset because the backpacks were hanging in supermarkets, and the climbers were laughing their heads off." He let's us in on one particularly experience: "Shortly after I started at Deuter, I was on a trekking tour with two guides, an extreme climber and me of course wearing a Deuter pack. After 20 minutes, the first strap tore off leaving my buddies and I on the ground laughing. After another 20 minutes, the second strap came off and that's when I started to become ashamed! "Nevertheless Kullmann held on for two years as a rep, before being called in by Deuter to take on product development. "My motivation at that point in time was to no longer be ashamed of the company's product or the company itself. That was really the main driver, and it was clear that we had a lot to do to move forward."
From store brand to market leader in backpacks
A not insignificant hurdle was the reputation that the company at that time had - which is such an unimaginable contrast today: "We set out to have a good quality stitching and contracted with other production companies. Nevertheless, there were no rewards seen for our efforts from the selling industry. "It was terribly frustrating to continually hear remarks such as 'department store brand', 'shit quality' etc." the then Deuter CEO recalls.
Kullmann's ambition, staying power and the striving of a professional product development team finally led to a successful 180-degree turn around for the former "junk brand"into the leading backpack manufacturer that it is today. "Yes, money is an attractive motivator, but recognition - whether it be in the industry or in the mountaineering sector - is much more attractive!"
A throwback to earlier backpack models:
Deuter's "Tauern" model circa 1950 | Photo: Deuter
1985: The first backpack with patented Aircomfort mesh back allowing for better air flow. | Photo: Deuter
1991: Deuter releases the "bike One", the first specifically designed bike back to hit the market. | Photo: Deuter
"Backpacks need to be functional”
In the 29 years of operation at Deuter Bernd Kullmann has shaped the fortunes of the backpack manufacturer sustainably - as product developer, then for many years as sales and marketing manager. In 2006 he took over the management when Deuter was sold to the Schwanhäußer Group (Schwan Stabilo Group) . In 2013 Bernd Kullmann became "actively retired" and past the CO position into the hands of Martin Riebel. Deuter still remains true as a brand ambassador.
Along with the functionality and durable quality of its products Deuter attaches great importance to comfort and sensible features. Instead of fast-moving trends it is more committed to sustainable product design and stability, which is also reflected in the product lifecycle. Approximately every three years the Deuter Team revises its series. Meaning, fashionable designs give way to tried and tested classics.
Facing the current "less-is-more trend" in outdoor products, Deuter marketing chief Rainer Wenninger comments: "A minimum weight shouldn't be at the expense of quality features in a Deuter product. We would rather add a few grams more than sell an ill-fitting backpack or run the risk of a sleeping bag not having sufficient insulation values."
Deuter's popolular ACT Trail Pro rucksack series
With a clever product design Deuter makes a heavy load seem lighter than it actually is: With a movable frame geometry, the weight of the sporty hiking rucksack transfers extremely effectively on the hip fins, whereby the weight feels to the wearer much lighter than it actually is. For women the pack comess in both a 32 and 38 liter and for men in 34 liter and as a 40-liter backpack. The ACT Trail Pro is available for athletic hikers who like to pack lightly without compromising on comfort while traveling in alpine terrain.