Now that summer is upon us, the desire to get outdoors and enjoy nature is high on my list. Hiking, backpacking and camping are all things my family enjoys. And when German backpack manufacturer Deuter asks me to review their ACT Lite, I jump at the opportunity. Having carried my weight in the Ranger Regiment, I know the features that make the difference between a good and a not-so-good pack. Founded in 1898 by Hans Deuter, the company of the same name has been manufacturing and refining quality backpacks for over a century. One such pack is the Deuter ACT Lite 65+10.
Our family likes to hit the wood-line for a few days at a time and we’ve found that a 65L pack suits our loadout perfectly. My wife, oldest son and I each carry 65L packs with our 13-year-old son strapping on a Deuter ACT Lite 40+10. Finding a durable, feature-laden pack that remains lightweight and doesn’t break the bank is no easy task. Yet Deuter seems to have perfected this balancing act. Weighing in at 4lb 6oz, this 4580 cubic inch backpack is about the same weight as my more expensive Osprey Atmos AG 65. Plus, the Deuter ACT Lite has the unique ability to expand +10L to 75L of total volume.
The lid pocket, once opened, accesses a cavernous main compartment with a partitioned lower sleeping bag pocket. However, the partition can be unzipped to create a single large pack. An exterior stretch pocket, located on the back, is ideal for storing items that require quick access like rain gear. Found on both sides are additional stretch pockets perfect for 1 liter hydration bottles. Speaking of hydration, the interior compartment features a single hydration sleeve pocket compatible with 2-3 liter bladders. Finally, a pair of ice axe loops, (or tomahawk) and several compression straps round out the exterior of the Deuter ACT Lite 65+10.
The aluminum X-Frame transfers the weight of the load to the wearers hips. That’s where you’ll find the anatomically shaped hip wings. Providing even weight distribution, the soft padded belt features a 3D AirMesh lining offering all day comfort. Deuters Aircontact system sits close to the wearer’s back and feature pads with a special, breathable hollow chamber foam. These pads perform a pump effect prompting the exchange of air with each step. Keeping you cooler than the competition on hot days. Another unique feature is the VaryQuick adjustment of the shoulder straps. Rather than sell several backpacks with different torso lengths, Deuter has perfected an adjustable shoulder strap system to fit a wide variety of body sizes on the same pack frame.
Deuter ACT Lite 65+10 backpack details courtesy of deuter.com
- Stretch front pocket
- Compact bilaminate construction with Pull-Forward function makes the hip belt easy to fasten even with heavy loads
- Vari Quick back length adjustment with two-layer foam construction and optimised shape
- Anatomically shaped shoulder straps with soft edges
- Lightweight multi-chamber aluminium X-frame
- Separate bottom compartment
- Height adjustable lid
- Lid pocket
- Internal valuables pocket
- Zipped pocket on hip belt for valuables
- Gear attachment loops on lid
- Ice axe and hiking pole loops – also for foldable poles
- Spacious stretch side pockets
- Compression and load adjustment straps
- Double-layered base
- SOS label
- Hydration system compatible
- Loops for helmet holder (accessory)
- Wet laundry compartment
- Weight: 4 lbs 6 oz
- Volume: 3970 + 610 cubic inches 65 + 10 litre
- Size: (H x W x D) 34″ x 14″ x 13″
- MSRP $209
Final thoughts: The adjustable ACT Lite from Deuter is a comfortable, well priced backpack in the 65 liter segment. So far, its durability and build quality seem to be on par with high prices offerings. The ACT Lite seems to have tie downs and straps in all the right paces when attaching gear to the exterior of the pack. The interior has a valuables pocket under the top flap along with a handy emergency SOS label. The ability to expand the main compartment from 65 liters to 75 liters has come in handy as well. Allowing me to carry more food when needed while being able to reduce the size of the pack to 65 liters as rations are depleted. This sleek, lightweight pack is worth checking out for those multi day solo trips or a week in the woods with friends.