FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CR: MANUFACTURING LOCATIONS, WORK SITUATION, SOCIAL STANDARDS, CHILD LABOR, FWF

Deuter works with two production partners only! All of our backpacks and accessories are manufactured in Vietnam by our partner Duke. The company has been producing our collection exclusively since 1994. Our sleeping bags are produced in China since 2003.

For more information see: Responsibility

High quality equipment that is based on technical sewing skills cannot be manufactured in Germany at a competitive price level. Plus, today you hardly find qualified staff for this kind of complex sewing work – each backpack is made up of 220 single pieces that are sewn together by hand.

Deuter is market leader in Europe and Germany is still the strongest market. From an ecological as well as economically point of view it does not make sense to ship returns over long distances. We also strive to get the repaired product back to the customer as quickly as possible. We have a very low complaints rate and can therefore afford to operate a repair service at our headquarters in Gersthofen.

Further, the material we need for our high quality backpacks, the durable rucksack material in particular, is not available in Europe. The suppliers of raw material usually follow the producers. That is exactly what happened in Asia years back. If we were to produce in Germany, we would have to import all the raw material from Asia.

We develop and design our products in our headquarters in Gersthofen/Germany, where we closely collaborate with athletes, customers and retailers. All Deuter products are handmade in Asia. For years, we have been working with two production partners only.

Find more about our development here: About Deuter

FWF stands for Fair Wear Foundation. The FWF is an independent, non-profit organization that works with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers. Deuter joined the FWF in August 2011 and actively pursues the FWF’s strict labour standards:

1. Employment is freely chosen 2. There is no discrimination in employment 3. No exploitation of child labour 4. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining 5. Payment of a living wage 6. No excessive working hours 7. Safe and healthy working conditions 8. Legally binding employment relationship

For more information see: Responsibility

The long-standing, trusting relationship with our partners gives us the opportunity to exert a significant influence on production methods and working conditions. Staff from our company HQs in Gersthofen/Germany visit the production sites in Vietnam every four to six weeks. This not only helps with internal quality control but also means that working conditions are inspected on site. We joined the Fair Wear Foundation in August 2011 and independent experts of the FWF regularly verify whether our production sites comply with the Code of Labour Practices.

For more information see: Responsibility

As a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) we have complied to their Code of Labour Standards. And the same applies for our production partners. ‘No child labour’ is one of the labour standards. The age for admission to employment shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, not less than 15 years (16 years in China). Children in the age of 15-18 shall not perform work which is likely to harm their health, safety or morals. For example they are not allowed to work night shifts or excessive working hours. The practices are monitored in FWF audits by independent auditors.

For more information see: Responsibility

The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has similar objectives than Fairtrade, namely improving working and living conditions worldwide. Yet, the two organisations have a different focus and a different approach. Fairtrade starts at the beginning of the supply chain focusing on farmers in less developed countries that are growing agricultural products such as cotton, coffee or cocoa. The Fairtrade mark is a product certificate that ensures the product complies with the Fairtrade standards.

The FWF, on the other hand, works with companies that are producing sewn products in factories. It focuses on the systems created by the companies to ensure good working conditions in the factories. As an independent non-profit organisation the FWF monitors whether the members are actually implementing the FWF guidelines within the supply chain and thus have a positive impact on improving working conditions in the textile industry.

ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION, BLUESIGN®, MATERIALS, ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS, DRECKSACK

Deuter joined bluesign® in 2008 and we have been working hard to ensure the successive resource-efficient and sustainable optimisation of our products and the entire production cycle, from the first sketches to the final delivery. As the first backpack manufacturer in Asia, our production partner Duke became bluesign® system partner in summer 2010 committing to the strict standards. Further, Duke received ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certification. Our sleeping bag manufacturer has also complied to the bluesign® standard.

The bluesign® screening was conducted in April 2012.

For more information see: www.bluesign®.com

A long product life cycle is the most efficient contribution to saving resources and therefore to environmental sustainability. If it is in any way technical possible, we repair Deuter products, bringing products that are decades old back to life. Of course, this policy is easy to fulfil with our extremely low complaints rate of 0.11%. Finally the finished product is shipped via sea transport from Asia to Hamburg and via train from Hamburg to our warehouse in Gersthofen. The products are then delivered to the retailers via DHL GOGREEN carbon neutral.

Deuter was the first German sports brand joining the "Association for Conservation" (EOCA). The EOCA started as an initiative of the European Outdoor Group (EOG) and is financed by membership fees and donations. The association supports various environmental projects with a six-figure contribution each year.

For more information see: www.eoca.de

In cooperation with the German Alpine Association’s DAV Summit Club, we have launched the ‘dirt bag’ project: “Drecksack – do good – from acorns oak trees grow”. The Drecksack is more than just a dirt bag or storage bag. It’s an ambassador for a more considered and caring approach to nature. It is available in retail stores and at young colors. 1 EUR of the 3 EUR retail price goes directly to one of the Bergwald Offensive’s projects. Neither Deuter, the DAV Summit Club nor the dealers earn a single cent from the sale.

Find more information on our environmental projects here

No high quality backpack without high quality material. However, it is not just about what material you are using, but also how you are using it: finding an efficient and creative way of combining just the right material perfectly adapted to the indended use.

We mainly use synthetic fibres: Polyamide (Nylon) and Polyester.

It was a conscious decision not to use polyester material made of recycled PET bottles in our range. We believe in expert judgements that state that closed-loop recycling and re-use are more efficient and environmentally friendly. The use of recycled PET bottles for backpacks and bags turns the closed-loop concept into a dead end. Backpacks and bags are not just made of PET, but include other components like foam and coatings. Since the different materials cannot be separated the backpack cannot be turned back into a recyclable bottle.

The bluesign® standard is the world’s strictest standard for for environmental protection, safety at work and consumer protection. It looks into all levels of the production process to improve resource efficiency. This includes an assessment of the use of raw material, energy and water as well as additives, chemicals and consumption and also the assessment of work safety.

The bluesign® standard has regulations for two different product labels. “bluesign® approved fabric” refers to the textiles used while the label “bluesign® product” includes all product components. The label “bluesign® approved fabric” identifies products with 90% of the textile area as bluesign® approved fabric. The remaining 10% must not have permanent direct skin contact and must meet the criteria and limits of the bluesign® standard substances list (BSSL).

The “bluesign® product” is the strictest label: 95% of the product’s textile fabric must be bluesign® certified (“bluesign® approved fabric”). The remaining 5% must not have permanent direct skin contact. They must further meet the criteria and limits of the BSSL restricted substance list. Also, no less than 30% of the prints, applications and accessories such as zippers or straps must comply with the bluesign® standard.

For more information on the bluesign® standard see: www.bluesign.com

The kids backpack Kikki carries the label “bluesign® approved fabric” – and we are even exceeding the bluesign regulations: 100% of the textiles used in the Kikki are bluesign® standard.

The kids sleeping bag Dreamland fulfills the criteria of the “bluesign® product” label. 95% of the textiles and 30% of the accessories (such as buckles or straps) fulfil the environmental requirements. And the fill of the Dreamland is also bluesign® standard.

The Drecksack is only available in Germany at the moment.



REPAIR SERVICE / WARRANTY, DISPOSAL, RECYCLING

To improve consumer rights, the EU implemented new regulations a couple of years ago and extended the 6 month guarantee to an EU-wide two-year minimum guarantee binding for all goods. During the first six months after the purchase, it is up to the retailer to show that any fault is down to the actions or misuse of the buyer, rather than an inherent fault in the product. After those six months the buyer may need to prove that the product was faulty.

The warranty or commercial guarantee, on the other hand, is an individual, additional guarantee offered by the dealer. Here the buyer always has to prove the inherent fault in the product. For marketing reasons, some companies may grant long-term warranties, yet check the (small print) details to see what is actually covered: e.g. it might not include natural wear and tear or faulty zippers. So make sure to check all the information provided.

Please return the product in question clean and make sure to identify the defect areas by a clear mark. We cannot repair returns that are not clearly marked – it is too time-consuming or sometimes even impossible to locate the defects.

We do our best to repair defects where possible – no matter how old the product is! Unfortunately we can only specify costs and expenses once we have received and inspected the backpack.

All returns have to be handled by a Deuter dealer. The dealer is forwarding the article to us.

Depending on the situation charges for repair, handling or shipping might arise.

If the product is not repairable charges may arise, although the item is sent back without repair (handling charges + shipping costs). Thank you for your understanding.

Find more information on our repair service here

If you have questions regarding our repair service please use our contact form.

Please try to contact your online dealer to learn more on the return procedure. An online dealer will process the claim just like a store dealer.

A backpack is made up of 220 single pieces. It features a lot of different materials and many parts cannot be separated from each other. Therefore, it is not yet possible to recycle backpacks.

We are doing a lot of research on potential opportunities of recycling so called “end-of-life” products. We are working on it in-house, but are also collaborating with other companies within the Sustainability Working Group of the European Outdoor Group (EOG). It does not make sense – ecologically as well as economically – for each company to establish its own return system.

The best way to act sustainable is to use the backpack for as long as possible – either yourself or a third party. Friends, colleagues, second-hand shops or charity recycling can be options for extending your backpack’s life cycle. Our rucksacks can also be fixed by our own repair service located in our headquarters. Please contact your dealer who will then forward the backpack to us.

If the rucksack is irreperable it should be disposed of at collection stations. Backpacks are not domestic waste! Of course you can also return your backpacks that have served their times to us for proper disposal.

The quality of zippers is just as important for us as any other material or parts. For our sleeping bags and backpacks we exclusively use zippers by market leader YKK. They are famous for their high strength and durability.

We try to repair faulty zippers, no matter how old the backpack is. Just like all claims / repairs the defect has to be processed via a Deuter dealer who will forward the backpack to our repair service. If we have to sew in a new zipper additional repair costs may arise. Unfortunately we can

only specify costs and expenses once we have received and inspected the backpack.

Find more information on our repair service here

The textile material of our Deuter products are impregnated with a water repellant treatment on the outside. On the inside the material features a Polyurethane (PU) coating which makes the textile – in particular the very fine Nylon or Polyester fabric (e.g. the one we use for our rain covers) – waterproof according to the German industry standard (water column <1400 mm). While coarser backpack material (that is commonly used on very durable products) only achieves a water column below 1.000 mm. On a new backpack rain will roll off the water repellant outer material. However, the water repellent finish wears off after time and so does the PU coating on the inside. The material is therefore no longer “waterproof” as of DIN standard.

Also, in persistent rain water will seep through the zippers and seams. We therefore recommend to additionally protect your backpack in wet conditions with a rain cover. Gear that has to stay 100% dry should be stored in waterproof stuff sacks.

View the Deuter rain and transport covers here.

A down sleeping bag has to be breathable and therefore air permeable to provide optimal sleeping comfort. Yet this means that fine down feathers may poke through the fabric. But ‘leaking down’ does not mean that the sleeping bag is defect. If a feather makes its way through the shell, work it gently back into the filling by pulling from the opposite side. The holes in the shell fabric will close itself back up.

Do not pull the feather out as you might pull more along with it. This is due to the structure of the sleeping bag’s down fill: the individual feathers are all linked together, so if you pull one out others might follow and also the hole might be enlarged.

So do not become concerned when your sleeping bag leaks feather during the night. It is normal and does not reduce the insulation performance of the sleeping bag.

PRODUCTS

The Deuter child carriers are designed for kids that can sit up independently (at around 6 months old – although this can, of course, vary).
The maximum weight (child plus gear) is limited to 22 kg. To this capacity our child carriers have been TÜV tested and approved according to European standards.
Because children grow differently, we make no height specificiations. However, the maximum capacity of 22 kg should not be exceeded.

The regulations for hand luggage depend on the airline.
We therefore recommend to check with your airline regarding hand luggage regulations.
On our website you find the maximum measurements of each product in the details section.

Find more details on care & maintenance for backpacks, sleeping bags and hydration systems.

We do not offer the single parts of the mouthpiece as replacements.
However, you can buy – or order – the complete mouthpiece at your local Deuter dealer.

There are no repair sets available for backpacks.

To repair a rucksack you need industrial, heavy-dury sewing machines – so please do not try to repair your backpack at home. Either ask your local saddler or send your backpack directly to our repair service (via your Deuter dealer).

A hole or a rip can often be fixed. Although the patch might stay visible our professional sewers are doing their best to make it usable again.

Please contact your Deuter dealer who will send us your backpack for repair.
Unfortunately we can only specify costs and expenses once we have received and inspected the backpack. Please note: If the product is not repairable extra charges may arise, although the item is sent back without repair (handling fees + shipping costs). Thank you for your understanding.

You can buy the daypacks as replacements at your Deuter dealer. If it is not in stock, the dealer can order the daypack for you. Find a list of Deuter dealers here: Dealer locator

There are no specific rain covers for our kids backpacks, since in our experience children do not use rain covers when not being told.
Thus, we have no rain covers for the packs "Kids", "Waldfuchs" and "Schmusebär". The Rain Cover Mini fits the “Junior” and is available at Deuter dealers.

On our Deuter website you find detailed product information including the respective maximum dimensions (volume + measurement with height, width, depth in cm) as well as the measurements (also volume + measurement) of the rain covers.
If you compare the volume specifications you will easily find the fitting rain cover.

In general the rain cover can be bigger than the backpack and you can use the drawstrings for adjustment. Yet, make sure the rain cover covers the empty backpack as well as the fully loaded backpack. To ensure the rain cover perfectly fits your pack, we recommend trying it when you purchase the Deuter backpack.

However, if you have any questions our customer service is happy to help!

Get all needed information regarding on-flight transportation on the ABS homepage.