I recently used my new pack on a couple of four-day trips this month. Great pack for me. I'm 5'7" with average proportions. I keep the shoulder straps on the fourth bar down; however, at this height the adjusters can't be at the recommended 45 degrees, they're only ½" above the shoulder strap. The adjusters can't be used at all, if the shoulder straps are any higher than the fourth bar down, so I really don't see how someone with a longer torso could use this pack comfortably. There is a second set of shoulder strap adjusters several inches below the top ones, to accommodate someone with a shorter torso.
I found the hip padding to be quite comfortable, once an REI employee who knew what he was doing helped me with the fit. The top of the hip bones need to be in the center of the hip padding, so that the padding curves both vertically and horizontally around the top of the hip bone, putting the buckle on the bellybutton. Now that I'm sure this is the right pack for me, I'll be cutting at least 18" off the length of each hip strap, right now the ends just about reach my knees.
The small zippered pocket on the right hip is great for something small or flexible, keeping in mind that the pocket needs to curve around the hip. On the left is an open sleeve of sorts, not sure what to do with this, I think a pocket would have been more useful.
The construction seems really solid, and I've had up to 40 lbs in the pack. It carried the weight comfortably and securely, and never felt like it would buckle. It holds everything I need with the extra 10L on top. The pack has well-located compression straps to keep the contents tight and secure, and the chest strap loop to hold the drink tube is a nice touch.
I was very nervous about buying a multi-day pack online without going into the store to check for fit but - after hunting around online for hours - I took the plunge with the Deuter and am so glad that I did.
I'm 5'2" and have a small waist but average size hips. I often have a hard time finding things that fit well, but was able to adjust the ACT Lite to fit perfectly in less than a minute.
The ACT Lite is also an incredibly lightweight pack for its going price. As other reviews have mentioned, this is at the expense of some of the bells and whistles that you find on other packs, though I haven't had any trouble with the minimal loops, etc.. The only things I actually miss are 1) having two slightly larger hip pockets 2) having an integrated rain cover and 3) having a smaller, integrated, detachable day-trip pack for maps, change, etc..
That said 1) it seems like it would be easy to jerry-rig another, larger hip pocket for the left side of the bag 2) rain covers for this bag are available online at reasonable prices and 3) the Deuter carries weight so comfortably that I wouldn't hesitate to add a small bag that folds down well to my load. The Deuter also has things that other packs are missing: mesh side pockets for water bottles, maps, etc.; and the versatility of a separate bottom compartment that you can use for sleeping bags, dirty clothes, etc. or that can be opened onto the main compartment if you need to carry something larger like a tent. The bag is also a bright, easy-to-recognize-as-yours color and surprisingly attractive without being girly (though Deuter does include a bright yellow flower/hair tie with the bag ;)).
All in all: a fantastic bag that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
First backpack that I've owned in this category. Tried on a few different ones in the beginning and none of them was as catchy as this one, it's the yellow flower attached to it that really caught my attention.
First off, I needed something that has a 50L capacity and this one is a 60+10. I am 4'10' and most of the backpacks I've tried sat uncomfortably on my back. This one however, was comfy.The REI rep loaded it up with 20lbs and I strapped it on my back after he adjusted the straps according to my torso length. The padded straps are wide and thick, especially the ones that sat on my hips.
I hiked with this baby for 14miles, filled it up to about 50lbs. None of my items shifted inside my pack, everything felt balanced, backpack never moved and I definitely did not feel sweaty thanks to the "air contact" feature. Straps never bruised my shoulder, and most importantly, I did not feel any pain or other discomfort from it.
I have never hiked that long before, and never hiked with a backpack this heavy (at about 2800ft elevation gain) . For a first timer, this did not disappoint. It's cute and sturdy, got it really dirty from letting it sit on rocks and dirt but was easy enough to clean.
I placed 6 sport bottles of spring water on the very bottom compartment along with my sleeping pad, none of the items from top to bottom budged at all. It has a lot of compartments but I wish there would've been another tiny compartment for credit cards\id's etc.
I was also hoping for straps on the very bottom to tie in my sleeping bag but it unfortunately did not come with it.
Overall, this is a great, sturdy and pretty backpack. Highly recommended.
Wilderness Ranger Approved
I originally purchased this pack for personal use - overnights, weekend trips, etc. Since then it has transitioned to my work pack, and is used 4 days a week with a >50lb load. Due to its "ultralight" nature I was afraid to load it up with so much weight, but seven hitches later it is still going strong! This pack holds a full size bear canister, a sleeping bag that isn't tiny, a water pump, a full size shovel, radio and sat phone, a tent and sleeping pad strapped on either side, and tons of garbage that I pick up along the way.
This pack teaches you to pack smart and efficiently - it's definitely a "no frills" pack in that it lacks tons of outer compartments and pockets, etc etc. However if you spend time thinking about it, you'll find that it can hold everything you need. Between the giant mesh pockets and the buckles, compression straps, and misc other little areas there is enough space for everything. This pack even held up for a 7 day trip and it was packed to the MAX!
The only complaint I have about it is that a small section of the back between the padding buckles out towards my spine. This might be due to the fact that I just have too much weight in it. Overall the pack is very comfortable and has treated me well even though I haven't been as nice to it. It's a great pack for beginner or experienced backpackers, and I would highly recommend it.
More comfortable than my day pack!
This pack was so comfortable, I was happier backpacking in this than I am taking day hikes with my little day pack!
1) I highly recommend going in to a store and spending a good amount of time getting fitted. I tried out several packs, with full weight, and with the assistance of a very helpful REI salesperson. This one was obviously right for me from the moment I got it on. I am 5'3", 130 lbs., with fairly wide hips and a muscular build.
2) I have only used this on one trip so far, where we were hiking with moderate elevation and no more than 4 miles each day. However, I took on most of the weight of the group, and while I didn't have a scale to weigh it, I am sure that it was at least carrying max weight. I never needed a break, and when everyone else was breaking, I didn't even take off my pack as my body felt totally fine supporting this pack.
3) My only complaint is that I like more clips/places to clip things on the outside of my packs. This pack is pretty minimal as far as these options. Also, securing the sleeping pad was awkward, there are no straps for this on the bottom of the pack. However, these are only minor complaints, and the benefits greatly outweigh any downsides. I am very happy with my selection and hope to use this through many more adventures!
Perfect 4 someone with 2 herniated discs
I used this product to hike the first 320 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. My goal is to go as ultralight as possible and there are lighter packs available. However, I have 2 herniated discs and 2 bulging discs in my Lumbar area so I need this area stabilized and the weight distributed to my hips or pelvis. I'm worried that ultra light packs will not give the support or distribution I need. I keep the shoulder straps high to minimize the the weight and compression to my spine so my hip belt bears most of the weight and stability efforts. This pack was amazing! I carried an average of about 30 lbs. and was comfortable even when I had to carry 4 lt. of water through the desert portions of the trail. One comment complained about no place for the sleeping pad. There are straps on the side of the pack that secures the pad quite nicely. I had absolutely no back problems. For my next extended section hike, I am tempted to try one of those ultra light stripped down packs but if it doesn't work out I KNOW this Deuter 60+10 WILL work out for all my long distance hiking needs.
My one problem: I hiked in the rain for about 4 hours as I thought the pack was rain proof. Everything in my pack was soaked, even the sleeping bag in my bottom compartment. So, bring a poncho to hike in the rain.
Much Used, Much Liked
We hike the wilderness areas of the Sierra Nevada for up to 7 consecutive days, several times each year. We often must carry our food in a bear barrel, and the 44 oz Garcia fits PERFECTLY in the bottom compartment of my Deuter 60+ pack, lying horizontally, nested in the rainfly of our tent. The heavy-duty zipper on this compartment allows for a very easy and durable access. This pack is quite comfortable for my 5'7", 150 lb. frame, and is a great, lighter-weight pack that allows for a lighter base weight: very important when hiking for longer periods of time in remote regions. It rides high, rather than wide, and I strap it tightly to my body when going off trail or over boulders, to keep it from swaying sideways. This is its second season of use and it's holding up very well, with the exception of two small rips in the stretch mesh of the large outer pocket (where I keep my Nalgene water bottle): a result of being tossed around on the Sierra granite when unloading. I highly recommend this pack for the uses I've stated - if you want a pack with a lot of bells and whistles, straps and pockets (all of which add weight), you will want to look elsewhere.
love this pack!
I bought this pack to use on my first real backpacking trip, and it was fantastic! We went for a 3-day/2-night trip in Canyonlands NP. I hardly noticed the pack on my back, even during the first day when I was carrying 3 gallons of water in addition to all of my other gear. We did some scrambling over slickrock and the pack stayed steady the entire time. The pockets on either side of the backpack are deep enough to securely hold a 1L Nalgene each.
The adjustable shoulder harness helped me dial in the fit just right. (I'm pretty stocky, with broad shoulders and hips but a relatively short torso as measured in-store.) The frame sheet does come up a little high in the back, so if the pack is only lightly loaded I can't lean my head too far back. (This is only really an issue if trying to look directly overhead at clouds or something.) My back stayed (relatively) cool the whole time as well due to the awesome padding.
I'd love to have a pocket on the left hip to match the one on the right, but that's my only gripe so far.
In summary: love the pack, very comfortable and stable even with heavy loads, would definitely recommend!
Loving this pack!
I LOVE this pack. I almost bought the men's since I am a very tall female with an athletic frame and also wanted the tiny bit more space it offers. I'm glad I picked this or it would have allowed me to overpack :) it fits my boyish-female frame well also. I go on extended day hikes and it fits all that I need, and I like the less-is-more approach. The +10 option gies you a little leway when you go a bit beyond the 65.
I was a little apprehensive about the seemingly-fragile buckles, but I've beat the ish out of this pack and it loves me right back :)
I haven't been out in too much inclement weather, but it seems to be alright with the rain. Like any pack, just buy a duckback/pack cover and waterproof stuff sacks to save yourself the greif.
If it had double hip zip pockets instead of a single, and that were JUST slightly larger then it could fit more useful things. The ventilation on the back isn't so great, however, the sweat does dry off quickly in decent conditions. If these two things didn't occur, then I'd give it a 5-star rating, no doubt.
I went through two backpacks prior to getting this one. One of the previous ones' padding was so thin that it dug into my skin. I really like this one because of the excellent padding both on the shoulders and waist.
It has a nice structure that fills out nicely (with room to stuff a sweater or sandals under the top flap) but also maintains its shape well even when not filled.
There are lots of pockets in the top flap to keep a bunch of essentials ranging from your wallet, first aid kit, or some granola bars.
I love having a separate compartment for my sleeping bag but it conveniently also has a zipper inside that leads to the main compartment.
When packed properly, it sits nicely on your back and the weight is evenly distributed.
I guess my only beef is that my Camelbak reservoir takes up so much space when placed on that main compartment inside pocket, so I don't bring it along so I can make room for my food, clothes, etc.
Overall, I love the design, durability and comfort of this backpack. Very satisfied!