This could have been a great little pack for short 3 season trips but for some reason Deuter went a little "cheap" on a key component, the HARDWARE. Seriously the hardware on my 4 yr. olds Osprey are more heavy-duty then this thing. You almost feel as if you're going to break the buckles any time you touch them.As well Deuter decided to use a VERY thin piece of rubber to attach the buckles for the top. One good nick from a branch or scuff on a rock and it'll tear faster then wet rice paper and there goes that. On the plus side it is an extremely comfortable pack, and light weight, but durability WILL be an issue. My family loves Deuter, we own 6 Deuter packs, but this is not for us. This review is for both the ACT Lite 50+10 and the women's ACT Lite 45+10.
This pack is perfect for long hikes and camping trips. I don't have much experience camping and I settled on this pack because of all the pockets and features and I couldn't be happier. It worked awesome on my first overnighter. First of all, the build quality is exceptional. I had the pack stuffed pretty tightly and didn't have any qualms about zippers breaking or pressure on any seams.I especially loved the separate sleeping bag compartment (which can be accessed from the main pack as well). I think that divider is crucial to being about to weight your pack properly and quickly set up when you get to camp. My favorite thing is all the pockets. The top pocket has plenty of space for my daily snacks and essentials and there is an inner top pocket to securely store your wallet, first aid kit, and anything else you don't need easy access to but want secured separately. The water bottle pockets were plenty big for my 1 liter nalgene and there are plenty of cinch straps.
I stumbled across this pack while looking for something different than my old military issue gear or my old mountain smith budget pack. I broke it in on a 15 mile overnighter in Kentucky's Red River Gorge, and I couldn't be happier. Its not ultra light, but with a suspension system like this I don't care. I was able to fit it to my odd body shape (5'9, 175 lbs. with a 43 chest 31 waist). Most other packs I tried on would not adjust to me with weight in them. I once carried 45 lbs. for a workout and it felt great. The expanding lid is great for when I bring the kids along and need some more room. The build quality is excellent with only one exception. The buckles Deuter uses feel flimsy, but I haven't experienced any problems yet. I would gladly recommend this to a friend.
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