A rucksack with two main storage compartments is the preferred option for multi-day hillwalkers, as it allows some gear to be stashed separately in the base of the pack, while the gear needed for the day is in the main compartment. The Deuter ACT Lite 40+10 for men and the women’s equivalents, the ACT Lite 35+10 (£105) or ACT Lite 45+10 (£120), are well-established classics of this design. The pack features Deuter’s VariQuick back system, which allows the shoulder straps to be adjusted up or down to suit your back length. The back is also well-padded in the body contact areas with air channels between the padding. The result is a stable, comfortable and close-fitting back system that’s great for general hillwalking. The main body has a removable divider between the top and base compartment, plus a zip entry to the base compartment and a conventional lid. The lid can be raised to accommodate bigger loads and benefits from a baffle between lid and main compartment to help prevent water creeping in when the lid is extending or hanging loose when the pack is half empty. The large stretch wand pockets are great for water bottles and can be combined with the compression straps for stashing trekking poles or tent poles. The big lid pocket is great. Like many sacks here there’s a good stretch front pocket that is ideal for stashing a jacket. The Deuter ACT Lite 40+10 is quite heavy at 1581g, though.
Capacity 40-50 litres
Internal compartments 2
External zipped pockets 2
Wand pockets yes
Compression straps yes
Men’s (unisex) back length adjustable
Women’s back length adjustable (ACT Lite 35+10 SL)
At £110 the Deuter ACT Lite 40+10 is a great sack for multi-day hillwalking trips, but it’s relatively heavy and cumbersome for scrambling and lacks the extra comfort features of some designs.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2013