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Deuter ACT Lite vs Waay ligher pack question
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Courtenay Ennis
(courtenayennis) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern BC
Deuter ACT Lite vs Waay lighter pack question on 07/01/2010 11:33:01 MDT Print View

Hi! My first post!

Wondering if I should return my unused Deuter ACT lite 65+10 and get something way lighter.

Dilemma Factors:

I spent an hour walking around REI with the Deuter and 35lbs and couldn't have been comfier.

My roommate, on the other hand got an Exos 58, and has taken it out on a few one-nighters with 25lbs*.

Both trips, my roommate notices sore hips when putting his Exos on on the second day (but feels great on the first day).

I know I could cut 2 lbs by getting a lighter pack, and I can still return the Deuter unused.

I'm also just unconvinced at present that I'll be happy enough walking with a frameless or less supprted pack, even if my load is 2 lbs lighter. (Also, I have a NeoAir, so I'm not into the sleeping pad/pack support dual-use thing, at present.)

My question is:

Is it better to have a pack that is 2 lbs heavier, but fits flawlessly (so far), AND the extra 2 lbs seem to be buying you certainty of great comfort, padding/support-wise, OR

should I treat this like any other area of weight cutting and simply insist on "2 lbs lighter" because I can? (Based on the oft-repeated BPL concept that carrying 2 lbs less will always be comfier in the long run.)

I'm really looking forward to getting some experienced opinions on this!

Bonus Question:

Are the sore hips my roommate is experiencing likely to be a conditioning issue, or a "too little padding" issue? He's thin, if that matters. Like I said, his pack always feels great on the first day; it's just the next morning that his hips feel bruised.


p.s. sorry if post was too long. let me know and I'll try to UL my composition more...

Edited by courtenayennis on 07/01/2010 11:37:27 MDT.

Adam Kramer
(rbeard) - F

Locale: ATL, Southern Appalachia
had your same problem on 07/01/2010 11:44:26 MDT Print View

came from a super plush gregory baltoro....

ended up getting a granite gear. most of the weight is in the pading and frame. super comfortable, and very padded for a 3 lb pack. the new AC Escape is 3lbs and lighter if you dont use the top. Also, people love the vapor at a little over 2lbs. bottom line: there is always a good balance between comfort and weight. I think you can get great comfort for 2-3lbs.

if your pack is comfortable then why change must not be too heavy. if it was, you would be uncomfortable.

Edited by rbeard on 07/01/2010 11:52:54 MDT.

Courtenay Ennis
(courtenayennis) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern BC
Deuter ACT Lite weight: on 07/01/2010 11:58:17 MDT Print View

btw, Deuter ACT lite 65+10 weighs 3 lbs, 15 oz.

You're right--Deuter IS extremely comfortable. Dilemma is I could cut 2 lbs, here, for around $0, but am unsure if I'd be sacrificing too much comfort in doing so.

I should add that I'll be carrying at least 25 lbs, most of the time, this year, due to my insistence on a tent for my gf and I (Copper Spur UL2 - 3 lbs, 6-13oz).

Everything else we have is definitely ultralight, we just take a lot of stuff right now for comfort/safety margins due to greenness :)

Adam Kramer
(rbeard) - F

Locale: ATL, Southern Appalachia
Re: Deuter ACT Lite weight: on 07/01/2010 12:13:22 MDT Print View

but what if you are equally as comfortable or even MORE comfortable with a 2lb pack? that is the real question. i think you should try a granite gear vapor also. light and super padded.

also depends where you will be hiking...the lighter the pack the lighter the fabric most of the time, and no pack will be comfortable if it is ripped in a bad spot.

Edited by rbeard on 07/01/2010 12:15:13 MDT.

Courtenay Ennis
(courtenayennis) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern BC
Thanks! on 07/01/2010 12:29:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies!

Yes. That's a very helpful way of looking at it. I just did some reading on the Vapor Trail, and I'll check out some other options, too.

If/when I get really light, having a pack with no internal frame would probably make a lot more sense. When I'm carrying around 25 lbs, though, I'm still curious if losing the internal frame to save 2 lbs is such a no-brainer. There is nowhere else I can cut 2 lbs anywhere near as easily though (gear list eventually...)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Deuter ACT Lite vs Waay lighter pack question on 07/01/2010 13:11:09 MDT Print View

Walking is a store for an hour is a helpful indicator, but not comprehensive of how it will feel after several hours on the trail.

First thought is do you need that much capacity? I would load all your gear and see if it is too big or too small volume-wise. If it is too big, then I would research a smaller volume pack. Pack comfort is dependent on the weight of all your gear. The lighter the gear, the less feature laden pack you need. This of course leads to a discussion of a comprehensive analysis of your gear.

Sore hips or shoulders varies by individual and pack. Some people find a certain brand and model perfect, and others can't use the same pack at all. REI has a great return policy, but don't abuse it. There are some UL packs available only through the cottage manufacturers, and that might work for you... but 35lbs is pushing most of them to their limits. The good thing is that if you buy a popular UL pack, and it does not work out, they are usually very easy to sell here on gear swap.

Ultralite Hiker
Baltoro on 07/01/2010 13:50:53 MDT Print View

I also just came from a Gregory Baltoro (~5lb for pack alone), and now have a ULA Circuit. I can say that the Gregory is an EXTREMELY comfortable pack. However, there is a huge difference at the end of a 10 mile hike taking that pack off, vs taking off my new lighter pack. Before I felt like taking a mack truck off my back (even though it carried well) now I fell like taking off my college backpack (notice I said college, as I never carried any books or anything there).

In my opinion, the main thing about a lighter pack is that it allows you to travel further, and for more days in a row.

However, having just switched to a lighter pack, you want to make sure it is time. Do not switch before the rest of your gear is caught up, or you will be in a bad situation. A pack with a weak frame, and carrying 40lbs is recipe for a bad weekend.

Edited by Ultralite on 07/01/2010 13:52:07 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Deuter ACT Lite vs Waay lighter pack question on 07/01/2010 17:14:21 MDT Print View

First question: Did you wear any other weighted packs, or just the Deuter? For example, did you try the Exos on at the same time? If you tried on 4-5 weighted packs, compared them all, & decided that the Deuter was the clear winner, then it probably makes sense to stick with that pack... or go for one of their lighter models, such as the ACT Lite 60+10 at ~3 pounds.

A pack that fits better will make up for extra weight by carrying more comfortably, annoying you less, wearing on you less, and generally saving you some energy spent working against a poorer-fitting pack. That said, if you can get a pack that feels as good as the one you have, and weighs a pound or two less, changing would make a lot of sense!

Sore hips, of course, can stem from any number of issues. First question, is he wearing the belt properly? If he is, does he adjust the pack at all throughout a day of hiking, or does he always have the load lifters cranked & all the weight going to his hips all day? Part of it could just be getting used to having all that weight on the hips. I also find that a lot of people try to skimp on a pad, and their hips get sore during the night sleeping on a one-inch pad while sleeping on their side. Particularly if he's a side-sleeper, steer him toward a 2-inch pad or so... maybe like your Neo, or a Big Agnes IAC. Lastly, it could be a poor fit. Did he try on a number of packs, or just the Exos? Again, if he tried on several and the Exos felt the best, it was probably a good choice.

chris kersten
(xanadu) - F

Locale: here
pack. on 07/01/2010 17:24:02 MDT Print View

If it works, it works. Do you really need someone to tell you that? So many threads on here asking other people to agree or disagree with what I feel is right.

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: pack. on 07/01/2010 20:36:20 MDT Print View

Can't help but agree with xanadu- if it works, stick with it. It may be unorthodox, but I personally don't have any problem with a 4-5 lb pack for 20-40 lb loads if the pack still feels great at the end of the day and is well designed.

Since I'm already apostate I'll so far as to say that I've never been a fan of the Vapor suspension- I've just never been able to get a good fit with one. For that reason, I'd carry a 5 lb GG Stratus Access FZ over a Vapor Trail weighing 2 lb 5 oz any day of the week.

I would try out some other packs- if anything, you might find something you like even more in the same weight class! Can't help trying out lighter options, but you're going to be happier than your buddy if your pack doesn't have you sore by day two...

Edited by areichow on 07/01/2010 20:39:00 MDT.

Courtenay Ennis
(courtenayennis) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern BC
Re: Re: Deuter ACT Lite vs Waay lighter pack question on 07/02/2010 11:09:18 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone.

I tried the Exos and the Deuter back-to-back, and some other non-UL packs in the same week, all with similar pack weights (20-30 lbs--Deuter was the only one I put 35 in). The Deuter beat them all--I think the fine-tuning for the spine length was a factor (as I'm 6'5"). I also read a ton of reviews and the Deuter seemed to have the most happy campers and fewest cons, aside from weight.

Anyway, this was before I understood how beneficial it was to go as hardcore as one was comfortable with UL concepts out of the gate, so I decided to revisit before I took it out and rendered it non-returnable.

Thanks for the thoughts on hips--I don't think it was his sleeping pad. Looks like hip belt or conditioning or some kind of combination of the two.

Aaron, Xanadu, All:
Everyone has helped me decide to not fuss about "Deuter or not" for now; I'm gonna keep it and just get some experience, and then worry about tweaking later, if I want to.

Edited by courtenayennis on 07/02/2010 11:14:08 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Deuter ACT Lite vs Waay lighter pack question on 07/02/2010 14:52:32 MDT Print View

Hey Courtenay,

I have a smaller Deuter pack and it is well made and very comfortable. I bought it based on many good reviews of Deuter products. I don't use it much any more, because it is bigger and heavier than what I usually need. But I am keeping it because it is a great pack.

You will probably be happy with yours. And now welcome to the BPL curse, your gear closet will probably grow with a selection of packs, sleeping bags/quilts, shelters, stoves, etc. It is a curse that many spouses and signicant others just don't understand. Enjoy your trip!