The Deuter Act Lite 65+10 pack is most closely compared to REI brands or the Osprey and often preferred. Although this pack is recommended for
“Purists” and favors a streamlined appearance without a lot of bells and whistles, the ingenuity of users in the sheer amount of objects they can attach and store in this midweight pack makes it a serious contender for the trail. Read on for our complete review on the Deuter Act Lite 65+10 pack, from fit and weight to appearance and function.
Fit and Weight
The Deuter Act Lite 65+10 features a suspension system designed to balance most of the weight throughout your hips via a belt. The shoulder harnesses are soft and adjustable, and this pack boasts a wide adjustable range that many of its’ competitors don’t.
For example, several packs come in men’s sizes that range from regular to tall depending on torso length, but the range of torso length on the Act Lite is so comprehensive that one size is able to fit almost all wearers. In particular, this sizing works for those who would be considered in between sizes, such as teenagers or men with slighter builds.
It is also comprehensive enough that even though the pack is designed and sized for men, women can certainly find a comfortable fit for themselves within the packs adjustment range.
This pack weighs in at 4 pounds and 6 oz, which is something to consider for hikers who intend to pack heavy for the trail. As we know, every pound counts. However, the weight distribution on this pack is superb quality and makes the additional pounds workable. The weight capacity is considered 65 lbs, but most users stay within 45-50 comfortably with no complaints about weight.
One major plus about this particular pack is its benefit for those with back problems. Multiple users who suffer from previous back injuries like slipped discs or sciatica had no soreness or pain after miles and miles on the trail. If back or shoulder pain is something you’ve suffered before, this backpack gets better reviews than its competitors for protecting these regions.
Appearance and Function
The Deuter Act Lite 65+10 has a very streamlined appearance, which can be hit or miss for avid backpackers depending on their preference. Most pack designs are trending this way to the dismay of some and the delight of others. The pack comes in two color combinations. Arctic/ Granite, which is a mid-shade of blue and grey, and Pine/ Granite, which is an olive green and grey.
Although the pack is streamlined, what is fascinating about it is the sheer amount of stuff people manage to fit both inside and outside of the pack.
The pack is compartmentalized into three sections, which helps to make packing a little more strategic.
One user walked us through his favorite packing methods and we were pretty surprised with what could fit into each compartment. A sleeping bag, inflatable pillow and chair can fit in the 10 liter lower compartment. This compartment is also segmented away from the rest of the pack, which means nothing will slide down from the top to the bottom and leave you digging and digging for what you’re looking for. Furthermore this part of the pack extends out, and when not in use will compress to save valuable space.
The main compartment can easily hold clothing, a two-person tent, bottles and bladders of waters, a cooking device and tools. The top compartment is roomy enough for a medpack, flatware, toilet paper and personal items. Of course, the combination of items may change for any packer, but the underlying message is you can pretty much fit everything you need into this pack very easily.
Don’t even get us started on the outside. Though it doesn’t have tons of loops, straps and knicknacks hanging off the outside, it has four loops that offer a variety of options. A sleeping pad can easily be rolled and attached underneath the pack, and the other loops hold bear canisters, hiking and climbing equipment and footwear.
The only compartment option that falls short are the two pockets on the hip belt. These are too small to really carry as many items as you’d wish. This is a common complaint of many hip belts on Deuter Act Lite competitors as well.
Though the pack has a rain guard on top, you should invest in a full cover. The petite rain guard won’t protect your gear from prolonged rain. It’s really only substantial for a slight drizzle.
The only other major con of this pack is potentially the hydration reservoir. The hydration reservoir is inside the pack but set very deep, so it should be loaded before all your other items or else you’ll have to remove everything and start again. However, you must also be careful of how you pack items around it, as a wrongly placed tent can cut off the water flow and be very frustrating on the trail.
What stands head and shoulders above competitors is the Deuter “Aircontact Back System.” If you happen to sweat excessively or run hot, this ventilation system in the shoulders of your pack is a wonder. It transforms hot air into cool air, and will withstand the worst humidity with only mild dampness. Out of this packs set of competitors, this ventilation is reported to be the absolute best.
Overall, the pack does everything it's supposed to do and is geared towards an elite hybrid of comfort and convenience on the trial. For a price tag of $209 it’s also less expensive than its’ brand name competitors, and also outperforms in several fields.
Users who advocate for this pack have taken it out for one day trips, weekend trips and in the case of one ambitious hiker… a six month trip through the Appalachians. We would say with confidence that for the price and the performance, this pack is worth snapping up wherever you can get your hands on it.