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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Deuter ACTLite 40+10 Spotlite Review on 02/19/2013 20:49:08 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Deuter ACTLite 40+10 Spotlite Review

Carter Croley
(cartercroley)
Pack weight? on 02/20/2013 10:37:50 MST Print View

Thanks for the review. Did you personally weigh the pack and check the volume? I think there is a spec typo at the end of the review. 1.5kg is more like 53oz. Are Australian oz different?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Framed packs on 02/20/2013 11:59:44 MST Print View

Deuter is an overlooked pack manufacturer; it's good to see a review. Vuade is another brand that deserves more attention in the UL world.

But the interesting thing to me is coverage of a heavier framed pack rather than a SUL "stuff sack with shoulder straps" design.

I switched to framed packs a couple years ago and find them more comfortable and useful than frameless designs I have come to the compromise that a little more pack weight pays off in ease of loading, acess to gear on the trail, and comfort. The weight transfer makes UL loads feel like nothing and many designs have good back panel ventilation. Carrying bulk items like bear cans can be easier with a framed pack as well.

I liken the extra weight to a preference to items like a thicker sleeping pad or stouter foot gear. I've said that any UL gear list can tolerate one heavier item and I think your choice of backpack is a good place to make that compromise. You will spend many hours wearing your pack and living out of it on the trail. It will be wheelbarrow, office and pantry for more hours than camp time; it might as well be comfortable.

Eric Gjonnes
(EKG) - MLife

Locale: Northwest
Deuter ACTLite? on 02/20/2013 18:11:28 MST Print View

Deuter says it's 3.5 pounds. Most Thru-hikers "big three" (pack, sleeping bag, and tent) weigh less than this combined. Looks like REI's idea of light. I'll stick with the American packs that are actually light in more than just name.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Weight on 02/20/2013 19:50:28 MST Print View

That makes more sense. This seemed like an awful lot of pack going on for 35oz. Looks like a simple typo that should read 53oz.

Mark Montag
(SanJuans) - M
Deuter packs..... on 02/20/2013 21:09:36 MST Print View

The Deuter packs are really great packs for carrying weight. At 40L & 3.5lbs it might not be the thru hiker pack - but add heavier camera gear, climbing/alpine gear or carrying weight for others and the 40+10 is an ideal pack. Check out that adjustability and suspension - very comfortable while carrying higher weight and built to last a lifetime.

For those looking for a lighter weight Deuter - check out the Deuter "Act Zero" - the older 60+10 (you can still find them on E-bay) is right at 3-lbs with full adjustability and the same cushy suspension - a great winter pack.

Roger - thanks for the review.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Pack weight? on 02/20/2013 23:29:18 MST Print View

Pack weight IS 1.5 kg.

I did not include an imperial equivalent myself, so I don't know where that crept in. Sorry about that!

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Deuter ACTLite? on 02/20/2013 23:37:27 MST Print View

Hi Erik

> Most Thru-hikers "big three" (pack, sleeping bag, and tent) weigh less than this
> combined.
Possibly so, but would that gear handle snow conditions in comfort?

If all your gear weighs just a few kg, then obviously a far lighter pack is fine. But we were away for 2 months and we had to be able to handle snow conditions, and we did not want to have to bale out in bad weather.

There's a saying 'stupid light'. It concerns me. One should take the gear for the conditions. One should not go up into alpine regions without adequate gear; one should not let 'SUL theory' dictate gear in isolation. But what defines 'adequate'? Often, prior experience of the same conditions.

Here endeth the sermon...

Cheers

Ron Moak
(rmoak) - F
Roger - It helps to know to whom you're responding. on 02/21/2013 09:52:00 MST Print View

Roger,

Erik and his daughter hiked the PCT in 2011, the AT in 2012 and are doing the CDT in 2013. I assure you that on the both the PCT and the CDT you'll encounter miles of high alpine areas choked with snow. Neither trail provides good options for bailing when "Things Go South".

While a 3.5 pound pack might be quite adequate for the conditions described. That doesn't mean that a lighter pack wouldn't be equally suited.

With all due respect for Andrew who is a friend. I find the phase "Stupid Light" to be frankly both meaningless and stupid.

Ron

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Roger - It helps to know to whom you're responding. on 02/21/2013 10:10:20 MST Print View

I just want to know which big three is only 3.5 lbs and can provide full bug protection and warmth in snowy conditions.

Eric - can you post?

Ron Moak
(rmoak) - F
Re: Re: Roger - It helps to know to whom you're responding. on 02/21/2013 10:51:55 MST Print View

"Snowy Conditions" can vary widely from region to region and time of the year. Depending upon the snow year, a PCT hiker may encounter a 100 miles or more of late season hard pack snow with depths up to 20' or more. While an occasional late season snow storm may come through they are rare. This is clearly not the same has hiking in winter conditions.

While you're hiking on deep packed snow, daytime temps are in the 60's and 70's and your biggest threat, aside from getting lost, is flooded streams.

My bet is that Roger isn't talking about hiking high alpine winter conditions either.

Ron

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Roger - It helps to know to whom you're responding. on 02/21/2013 11:31:31 MST Print View

Oh indeed. My definition of snowy conditions in the Canadian Rockies will be different than someone elses.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
I agree- a bit heavy for most UL uses on 02/22/2013 10:12:35 MST Print View

Well, Roger has always been a fan of packs that meet his standards of slick-sided "Europeaness." To each his own. I actually like the American-style packs with external pockets. Odd that- I'm an American. Go figure. I guess this pack isn't a BAD example of compromise between Americaness and Europeaness...

I find that having my water bottles in side pockets where I can easily access them on the go is very helpful, and to me- clearly- stowing them in the pack where they have to be dug out at every stop is absolute madness. I'm sure that those side-pockets annoyed Roger to no end. I like stowing everything that ends up wet (rain gear, shelter, wind jacket) in the front pocket where it is easy to pull out and throw across a bush to dry later. It can be mesh or solid- no opinion. Plus, then when I actually make camp it is easy and quick to pull the shelter out and set it up.

Clearly, I'm not one of the true UL fanatics, or I wouldn't have sold my Ion.

But, oddly, I detest internal baffles that divide the main pack into different compartments. That can only harm packing efficiency- I cannot conceive of how it could help. I do, however, understand how it would be helpful as Roger said for "European-style" hut camping where the only thing you really need to pull out at night is your bag. That's definitely a small minority of my treks, though. Some day I'll ski the 10th Mtn Div huts, but that's different.

(But I also detest seeing packs carrying twenty pounds of "external cargo", and with the mug and cookset swinging and clanking on carabiners. Ew. Find a pack that is the correct size.)

When I need a larger and more full-featured framed pack for bigger loads I'll stick with my 58L Osprey Exos, which has the added benefit of weighing about a pound less. OTOH, if I were doing "real" winter high-alpine stuff I'd go trad enough to fork out the fortune for a McHale. I know a bit too much about hypothermia, frostbite, hypoxia, etc., to fool around in that environment. I think that's where bombproof and heavy loads are the minimum requirement for even borderline safety, unfortunately. (Including, yes, a pimp for Roger's beloved tube tents, among others.)

Edited by acrosome on 02/22/2013 11:15:27 MST.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Nice light pack on 02/22/2013 11:40:44 MST Print View

Wouldn't be a Caffin article without the obligatory jab at America and nod to European superiority. lol

Deuter makes a decent "light" pack in the grand scheme of things. A friend of mine has a larger version for winter trips and it's comfortable with nice features, at the expense of weight of course. Its peers are TNF, Osprey, etc instead of the normal cottage makers we're used to.

P.S. - Ron, thanks for throwing that out there about "stupid light". That term is getting tiresome for me.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 02/22/2013 11:43:32 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: I agree- a bit heavy for most UL uses on 02/22/2013 12:18:13 MST Print View

Outside mesh pockets - specifically front pockets are a strange phenomenon. They snag on brush, tear easily, and hold gear away from one's center of gravity. Not to mention you STILL have to take off your pack to access the contents. I would rather just house the gear inside my pack, where it can remain dry as well.

They are simply a means to overstate usable capacity when manufacturing a smaller, and hence lighter pack.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Roger - It helps to know to whom you're responding. on 02/22/2013 13:30:49 MST Print View

Hi Ron

> My bet is that Roger isn't talking about hiking high alpine winter conditions either.
Ah well, we try not to in Europe. But we have had snow, hail, torrential icy rain, winds to 150 kph, thick fog in 100 kph wind (on knife-edge ridges) ... and glorious sun.

We really are not fussed about meeting left-over snow on the ground as you mention. That is trivial. It's when you get a decent storm around or below freezing, that's when you need a bit more gear. And I will add that we used every bit of gear we took. Nothing came back unused.

Cheers

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Nice light pack on 02/22/2013 17:58:53 MST Print View

"Wouldn't be a Caffin article without the obligatory jab at America and nod to European superiority. lol"


Which is great since he is neither

What is new on this version of the pack? Been around for 3 years.

Edited by kthompson on 02/23/2013 09:47:44 MST.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Deuter ACTLite 40+10 Spotlite Review on 02/26/2013 21:50:06 MST Print View

I think that Eric and Sunshine are going to find weather conditions on the CDT far closer to those Roger describes than to the Sierra in June, even in a record high snowpack year. I hope they don't strip down too far! I've seen temps in Wyoming's Wind Rivers down to 15*F in August, with a foot of snow at 11,000 feet. Happened two weekends in a row the last time I was there!

I personally far prefer the single compartment pack and those outside mesh pockets, for the same reason as Dean. However, I would never trust my lightweight pack (a long-since discontinued model from Ron Moak's Six Moon Designs) to airline baggage handlers, an item from Roger's review that appears to have been ignored. I've watched those guys at work, and it's scary!

Edited by hikinggranny on 02/26/2013 21:54:17 MST.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: I agree- a bit heavy for most UL uses on 02/26/2013 22:08:03 MST Print View

"Outside mesh pockets - specifically front pockets are a strange phenomenon. They snag on brush, tear easily, and hold gear away from one's center of gravity. Not to mention you STILL have to take off your pack to access the contents. I would rather just house the gear inside my pack, where it can remain dry as well.

They are simply a means to overstate usable capacity when manufacturing a smaller, and hence lighter pack."

You don't think there is convenience in putting wet gear in a mesh pocket to dry on the go?

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: I agree- a bit heavy for most UL uses on 02/26/2013 22:13:56 MST Print View

Both of my packs have fabric front pockets with drain holes. I find items dry very quickly with excess moisture draining out the holes.

With mesh, not only does it snag and tear, but if it is raining anything put in there will never dry.

It isn't the front pocket that I don't care for, it is the mesh.

Eric Gjonnes
(EKG) - MLife

Locale: Northwest
Not a Light Pack on 03/04/2013 22:04:18 MST Print View

I'm Sorry Roger but no excuses or circumstances will convince me or many others that this weight is necessary. The "lid", extra straps, zippers, superfluous pockets, and ridiculous padding on the shoulders and hips are all unnecessary. This pack robs us of all the progress UL designers have made recently and takes us back to 1989. What's up for next month... the Kelty Coyote? You mock innovative American designers like Ron for not staying in the same old rut as your beloved big brand European manufactures. This article and other writings by you may be fine backpacking techniques for traditional hikers, but this is certainly not light weight backpacking equipment no mater how many times you say it is. Perhaps you would find a better fit writing reviews for Backpacker Magazine or REI. This pack and the rest of your gear list goes against everything in Ryan Jordan's book "Light Weight Backpacking and Camping". I have been on multi month hikes and never break a 10 lb base (not that that's particularly light either). This includes trips with multi day snow storms requiring traction and self-arrest devices. Sorry if this sounds rude, but this is a light weight site and I'm frustrated that some facets of the UL movement are actually moving backward. Gear that was once getting lighter and lighter is now getting heaver and features that were long ago forsaken are now coming back by popular demand.
@ Dave U, I think you are asking about tents in your query. If so, look at the Cuben Fiber SkyScape-X. It is a double wall hybrid, fully enclosed, sheds snow well, 15 ounces, and best of all... designed by an American who continues to think outside the box to make improvements, not beating the same old tired ideas like pack lids, and sleeping bag access zippers. http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tents/ssX.html

Eric Gjonnes
(EKG) - MLife

Locale: Northwest
Not a Light Pack on 03/04/2013 22:13:02 MST Print View

Oh, I forgot to mention the adjustable harness system. How much weight did that add? That wouldn't be necessary if the buyer knew how to size themselves, something most cottage gear companies try to educate their customers in. Also the small companies sometimes make a custom fit for the individual.
See everyone on the trail,
Eric

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Not a Light Pack on 03/04/2013 22:23:41 MST Print View

Hi Eric

That's fine. To each his own.

> I'm frustrated that some facets of the UL movement are actually moving backward.
> Gear that was once getting lighter and lighter is now getting heaver and features
> that were long ago forsaken are now coming back by popular demand.
I am not sure that the UL movement is solely defined by the latest Cuban Fiber gear. To my mind, a more critical feature is the willingness to break mental barriers so that one can leave behind all the 'but what if' and 'I might need it' gear, and to take just what is really needed.

> beloved big brand European manufacturers
Oh no, I won't accept that one. I do not love any big brand manufacturers at all. I might like some bits of gear, but not the companies. Brand worship - never!

YMMV.

Cheers