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Full disclosure: I am a long-time fan of Deuter, and I currently own both this and the Futura 42. I tend to prefer the 42 more for longer frontcountry trips and for overnight (or short multi-day) backcountry trips. I have been extremely satisfied with the construction quality, comfort, and reliability of both packs.

The Futura 28 is a great day pack that can easily and comfortably support a day's worth of food/water/layers/etc. The excellent frame and hip belt convey the advantages of a larger pack in terms of support, but it's not overly bulky or heavy. The built-in rain cover is a plus, too.

The only downside is that---other than the bottle holders and the main compartment that divides into two---there is only one proper pocket. A better spot for valuables than the front pocket would be a nice addition.

This pack is also my go-to for daily use around the city (jacket, gym clothes, an apple, and a book). It is comfortable and stylish, as long as you don't mind the hip belt. The frame does arch away from your back a bit, which some people may dislike. Personally, that doesn't bother me. All around, it's way cooler than your roommate's North Face.

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