Deuter ACT Lite 50+10
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $115
The pack is light and comfortable, but because it's a 1 size fits all design, unless you're very 'average' you might find some minor modifications are required. The design is fairly basic — top loading with mesh side and back compartments and a removable cover compartment. The comfort comes mostly from the aluminum stays and fairly beefy back support and hip belt for the pack size — worth the slightly extra weight, in my opinion. With about 25 pounds in the pack, i usually didn't notice it being there.
I would recommend to a weekend heavy packer or a lightweight hiker for extended trips.
- 1 size fits all
- no front zipper
The Deuter ACT lite 50 was lightweight, comfortable. I could see hiking for very long trips with it. The following are some observations I made about the design and fit. Overall, I'm happy with it.
I just bought this pack and used it for a weekend trip with ~20-25 pounds of gear and food. I'm small - 140 pounds, 5'81/2". The pack was comfortable, though i was nearly at the ends of its adjustability. Because of this, the sternum strap wouldn't go the extra 1/2 inch I wanted it to, and the hip belt had a solid 2 feet of dangling belt webbing. Both of these are fixable with some cutting and sewing.
I also value not having to unpack my bag to get at the things in the bottom. There seem to be NO light weight (<3.5 lb) and comfortable packs on the market that add the extra zipper to make this possible. The Deuter is a replacement for my recently stolen Mountainsmith Rock-it pack, which was top and front loading. Extremely simple design - awesome pack - discontinued many years ago. Here's my plea to pack makers - add the extra zipper! I'm willing to carry the extra 3 ounces! Unfortunately, adding a zipper after the fact is likely not possible.
The top of the Deuter has an extra length of grey material that converts it from 50 to 60L. It works but makes the pack all that more annoying to get things into and out of. I found myself rolling the extension materials into a collar to make packing and unpacking easier. This constricted the top opening even more. Either a wider top opening or a front zipper would have made this pack a delight to fill.
I removed the top pocket for a portion of the hike and found that the extension tube is set up to fold over the front of the pack and hook to the two straps that normally pull the top pocket/pack cover. This worked, but i was expecting to be able to roll the extra material (there's a lot of it) like one rolls the top of a waterproof bag before clipping to the straps. this didn't seem possible. Again, minimal design change by making one of the two buckles on a strap and the pack cover & extension a male would make this possible.
The internal hydration pocket was great to have - as well as the hip pocket, though I can tell the hip pocket zipper won't last very long - maybe it's a quality issue or just my bag. The zipper size seems appropriate for the pocket, and the pocket worked well for carrying a camera and a few other small things.
Design: front-loading internal
Max. Load Carried: 40+ lbs
Height of Owner: 6'5"
Price Paid: $150
I heavily researched and tested different packs before finally settling on this one. After 1 year of numerous trips, I still absolutely love this pack (enough so to write my first web review). I have taken it on trips from overnights to week-long, ultra-light solos to family pack-mule. The ACT 50+10's variety of uses and luxury options set it apart from other packs.
-Durability: All major straps are re-enforced for longevity. I haven't experienced any wear even after numerous 'bushwalking' trail-less trips.
-Variety: Cinches down on small (day)loads or extends to handle huge (full week) loads.
-Torso range: was a huge selling point for me. It can be changed on the fly (10" no problem). It allows me to introduce hiking to friends with this good pack while I use an older one and ups the resale value if I ever sell it.
-Organization: Tons of pockets of different sizes, a zippered shelf allows you to separate the sleepbag compartment or have it all open.
-Nice Bonus: S.O.S./survival guide patch on bottom of top lid.
-Comfort: Never had an ache due to the back.
-Weight: Most packs that have the above features weigh 4.5 lbs. This pack allows the features and higher max weight allowance without weighing as much. While I am more of an ultralight backpacker, when I go hiking with my wife and kid I obviously have to carry WAY more stuff and weight than an ultralight could handle. This pack swallows it all without a hickup. Also most ultralight packs are not as durable.
however there are some minor setbacks
-Hipbelt pocket: while I like it, it is small (I DIY added another large one on the other side- so no biggy)
-Side Pockets: While wearing pack, grabbing a bottle out of pack is ok but putting it back is a pain to impossible (depending on how full your backpack is).
-Back Venting: I sweat a ton when I hike, while the vent system does help, it is not as airy as some other companies.
Conclusion: I almost bought a Gregory Z-55 (a nice award winning pack), but decided on this one. Greater durability and torso adjustment on this pack is what set it apart. I have never regretted it and have loved having this pack!
After owning this pack and reading forums about the Appalachian Trail I came across a guy that used the Gregory Z-55 on a tru-hike. It fell apart on him (he admitted he is hard on gear). In a trail town he bought a Deuter ACT lite pack and had no problems for the rest of the trip! That says it all.
Have a good one and keep enjoying life and the outdoors :)
Design: internal frame
Size: 3000 cu. in./ just a little bigger than that
Number of Pockets: two inside, or can convert to one cavernous. one on each side, lid has great design with a few pockets
Max. Load Carried: 35 lbs, according to a fish scale at a trail head.
Height of Owner: six foot three
this pack is awesome. After rollin' out with hand me down packs for six years, I went and bought this guy at the local gear store and I couldn't be happier.
super comfortable. the air-contact system really does work as advertised. I bought the deuter add-on pockets, which are a little hard to get on the bottom strap, but manageable. I use these for stove/fuel and rain gear. buying these boosts this packs range considerably and are detachable for shorter trips.
I have been trying to upgrade my gear to ultralight, and I am about halfway there. This means that some of my stuff is easily compressible, small, and light weight and some of my stuff is, to put it nicely, it is old school.
The pack fit this mixture pretty well. but if you have a lot of "old school" gear, you should probably buy a larger version of this pack.
I have been on two week-long trails and three overnighters with this pack and it performed above expectations.
NO complaints and I would recommend this pack to anyone in the market for a new pack.
Size: 29 x 17 x 11 inches
Max. Load Carried: 35
Height of Owner: 5'7"
Price Paid: $150
This is my first "brand name" backpack. I'm a boy scout from way back who has recently witnessed a rebirth in his interest in backpacking. In other words, I'm a bit wet behind the ears when it comes to gear. Example: I bought a trekking pack when I really didn't need those little ice axe loops...
Nevertheless, I took the ACT Lite 50+10 out for its maiden trip last week, to the Sipsey River Wilderness in northeast Alabama. When you hear "river" you think "wet," right? Wrong. Summer is dry in Alabama. Luckily the pack comes hydration compatible. Unfortunately buying the Streamer 3.0 adds another $25 to the price. It is easier than carrying a gallon jug up hills, however.
The pack is designed with one feature that make it pretty darn comfortable and convenient. Since I was on my first trip it took a few times to get the Vari-Quick Harness System just right, but once I did the weight distribution felt great.
Size: 3600 inches
Max. Load Carried: 35 pounds
Height of Owner: 6'1"
Price Paid: $150
I generally use my trusted Dana Designs Teraplane. Carries huge loads for multi-day trips and mountaineering. Not always good for summer one or two day trips though. Picked up the Deuter literally on the way out of town and repacked at the trailhead. Short weekend...3700 foot vertical hike over six miles...worked brilliantly! Would recommend for small loads, summer trips and climbing.