Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Deuter Act Lite 65+10 Rucksack


When I started this blog in 2007 I was using a Karrimor Jaguar 65 litre rucksack for backpacking. Looking through some recently posted old pictures from 1991, the Karrimor sack looks quite new then. I’ve recently used it in South America and on a Lake District backpack. It works fine but it’s showing signs of wear and at 1900 gm it’s a little heavy, especially after rain; these days it seems the old Cordura fabric is quite capable of absorbing moisture. Not bad for over a quarter of a century of use though.

In October 2007 I bought a Golite Quest. It worked well until the hip belt failed after three and a half years. My reviews are here.

After reverting to the Jaguar for a while, in March 2012 I acquired a Lowe Alpine Nanon 50:60. It was fine until a key shoulder strap broke last summer as I was struggling across the Spanish Pyrenees. A botched repair got me home, but the rucksack was then binned. My review is here.

Since then I’ve been happily deploying the old Karrimor Jaguar, and I’ve stopped using Neo-Air sleeping mats, having reverted to the comfort and warmth of an old closed cell Karrimat. The Karrimat wouldn’t fit comfortably inside either the Quest or the Nanon, but it’s fine in the Jaguar.

So I wanted a sack that would take a Karrimat, inside which a dry bag with the rest of my gear can sit. So it needed a bit more volume. After not a lot of research, I shortlisted the Deuter Act Lite range, and the Osprey Atmos 65. Luckily, my local retailer, Alpenstock, stocks both of these sacks. The Osprey has more ‘bells and whistles’ but is heavier than the Deuter equivalent, and it is less stable.

I found the Deuter 65+10 accommodated my gear with space to spare. It may be a bit on the big side if I don’t use the Karrimat, but I do still have an ancient but very serviceable Karrimor Alpiniste 50 litre sack to fall back on, and that has additional large removable side pockets.

So it was something of a no-brainer. The new sack is a bit heavier than its Golite and Lowe Alpine predecessors, but it seems to be of a more robust construction. Time will tell as to its durability. It’s made of ‘Ripstop 210/Duratex Lite’ and it weighs 1900 gm, the same as the Jaguar.

There’s a highly adjustable back system.


The hip belt pockets are quite roomy.


Here’s a close-up of the Vari Quick back system.


There’s actually a second shoulder strap fixing point, so if one of them breaks…. my Lowe Alpine experience won’t be repeated.


The hip belt looks very secure. Hopefully my Golite experience won’t be repeated.


Here’s what Deuter currently have to say about this product:actlite65

deuter act lite 40 10 back system

Selling Price
H x W x D: 86 x 36 x 32 cm
65 + 10 litre
Description & Details

Our freshly revised, sleek packs remain true to their lightweight credentials with their minimal weight and purist, technical design, the ACT Lite models are the perfect companions on any trekking and mountaineering tours. The new, very technical shoulder strap construction features a bilaminate foam and an exact anatomical shape.

  • 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
Back System
Aircontact System


  1. Stabiliser straps allow optimal positioning of the backpack. These are easily repositioned on the shoulder straps using a “Triglide“ buckle. Aircontact models above 50+10 SL sizes also have two different fixing points, depending on the back length setting, in order to optimize the load adjustor strap angle.
  2. Breathable padding with special ventilating hollow chamber foam: With every movement, a pump effect circulates air through the breathable Aircontact cushions of this direct body contact system. Extra air channel ventilation between the back cushions is very effective. (on ACT Lite)
  3. The anatomically shaped hip fins are made from multiple layers. The inner side has a layer of soft foam with 3D AirMesh lining for heightened comfort. The firm foam on the outside is modelled to the anatomic shape and transfers the load to the hips. Side compression straps on the fins regulate the load and increase stability. On the compact ACT Lite fins this bilaminate construction is perfectly balanced between weight reduction and load transfer ratio. Aircontact models designed to carry heavier loads, maximise stability and load transfer thanks to the additional synthetic reinforcement in between foam layers.
  4. Head molding provides freedom of head movement. Effective on models Aircontact 50+10SL and up.
  5. Contoured shoulder straps with 3D Air mesh lining.
  6. Vari-Quick system for easy adjustment to any back length.
  7. The anatomic profiled X-frame offers a balance of torsional rigidity and flexibility to follow your body movements, and transfers weight through it's perfect back fit.
  8. All Aircontact models are fitted with Deuter’s Vari Flex System, leaving the generous hip fins fully mobile. The Vari Flex hip fins follow even the most complex movements allowing tricky sections to be negotiated without losing your balance – especially important when carrying a hefty load.

Lots of more detailed reviews are available, not necessarily showing this rucksack as a ‘best buy’. But having compared it with others, I think it’s suitable for my requirements. I hope so, and it’s going to be thoroughly tested over the course of the next two weeks.

I’ll add to this posting during the course of this rucksack’s life…


AlanR said...

I think Deuter make good sacks Martin. They are a little on the heavy side but the back system and the twin compartments are good features. I have the 50+10 and i find it very comfortable. The hip belt is excellent although the one pocket is small on mine and is almost useless. All the webbing and buckles are heavy duty so they last. I will probably sell mine soon, not because i don't like it but i have just bought the Montane Grand Tour 55 and Sheila the 50 and so its redundant. The Karrimat will fit inside too.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Alan
I rate Deuter highly as a result of the 30 litre day sack (really a cyclist's bag) that I bought for a TransAlp bike ride and now use for day walks. It has proved to be excellent on all counts. I'm hoping the Act Lite will perform just as well. The 50+10 was rather too small for my gear, and the larger sack didn't weigh much more. But it is big!