Deuter ACT Lite SL: Gear Review


Simplicity, ruggedness, comfort, and ease of use. Those are the things you really need in a mountaineering pack. Take away the extra features, and you’ll still have a reliable pack that you can trust with your life when you’re out there in the wild. You can find all of these packed in Deuter ACT Lite Series.

Perfect for minimalists, the Deuter ACT Lite boasts of a no-nonsense, purist, and technical design. The design is so effective that the ACT Lite won the Top Tipp in Germany’s Wanderlust Magazine.

Aircontact and VariQuick Back System

Let’s start with the Deuter ACT Lite’s most important element—its dorsal interface. The pack uses the patented Aircontact Lite system, which features a stabilized, anatomic aircraft aluminum internal X-frame. The frame is designed to transfer most of the pack’s weight to your hips and to sway with your body’s movements. The ACT Lite comes with a VariQuick system, which allows fast, easy adjustment to the wearer’s back length.


Pads made of 3D AirMesh breathable hollow-chamber foam provide a pump effect, allowing hot air to go out and cool air to stream in. This results to a cooler, more comfortable load.

Like many other Deuter backpacks, the ACT Lite has SL models that are specifically designed for the female anatomy. However, they are also ideal for men who have shorter, more slender torsos such as Filipinos and other Asians.


Another cool feature of the Aircontact Lite System is the set of light, slim, and anatomically shaped hip wings that comfortably hug your hips. Properly placed, these hip wings take most of the load off your shoulder and transfer it to your hips, allowing a longer, more comfortable hike. The side compression straps and the front pull-forward straps add extra stability.

One of the hip wings has a pocket where you can store coins, valuables, or a small digicam.


3D AirMesh Padded Shoulder Straps

Shoulder straps with fat 3D AirMesh paddings prevent chaffing and provides great ventilation and cushion. On top of each shoulder strap is a load adjuster that allows you to stabilize and position the load closer to your center of gravity. The sternum strap is adjustable to suit all chest sizes.

Smaller Velcro straps firmly secure hydration pack streamer tubes.


210 Denier Nylon Fabric Construction

The ACT Lite is made of tough, rip-proof, water resistant 210 Denier nylon, a robust material used in the production of Deuter’s highly technical packs. Top-quality PU coating resists harmful UV light. Like many standard mountaineering packs, the ACT Lite is divided into 3 main compartments—the top-loading main compartment, sleeping bag compartment, and lid. The main compartment can be accessed via double drawstring-type openings and secured with a clip-on strap, which doubles as a lash for a climbing rope. The main and sleeping bag compartments are divided by a load separator, which can be unzipped.

Inside the main compartment is a sleeve that is large enough to hold a 3-liter hydration bladder. The streamer tube goes out through the back of the pack just behind the haul loop and to the shoulder straps.

The elastic front pocket allows you to store quick-grab essentials such as helmets, harnesses, and raincoats as well as things you don’t want inside your pack such as trash or dirty laundry. There are also elastic cords for attaching trekking poles and loops for attaching a helmet holder.


The ACT Lite’s lid compartment can accommodate a first aid kit, a wash bag, energy bars, and other quick-grab essentials. The lid is height-adjustable so you can store more items in the main compartment. It also has four elastic loops on each corner where you can attach straps to secure gear externally.

Underneath is an internal pocket where you can store valuables such as keys, wallets, and important documents. Printed on the bottom pocket is an SOS label that reiterates important tips and signals for emergency situations.


Compression Straps

Multi-purpose front and side compression straps reduce pack volume, improve stability, and can be used to attach and fasten extra gear such as tent poles. You can secure water bottles in side pockets located on both sides of the pack.


There are minor cons though. Unlike other Deuter models, the ACT Lite doesn’t come with an integrated rain cover; you have to buy a separate rain cover. Also, the lack of extra features such as side pockets and daisies may frustrate outdoorspeople who need to utilize these features.


The Deuter ACT Lite has been our companion in the mountains and on our multi-day trips. It is quite difficult to imagine us adventuring without this dependable pack on our backs. Overall, the Deuter ACT Lite is an ideal beginner and minimalist pack. The simple yet sleek design makes it light and comfortable—characteristics that are sought after by any trekker or mountaineer. Get one now, and enjoy the outdoors in comfort!


If you are looking for top-quality and reasonably priced travel and outdoor accessories, adventure backpacks, and urban bags, then look no further than Deuter. Deuter products are available at their concept store at the second level of Active Zone, Ayala Center Cebu. They are also distributed nationwide by Chris Sports. For inquiries and details, send a message through the Deuter PH Facebook Page.


Disclosure: Affiliate links are present in this blog post. Every time you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission. We only recommend high-quality products that we use. The money we earn is used for the maintenance of Adrenaline Romance. Thank you!

About Gian and Sheila

Rock climbers. Mountaineers. Sweethearts on adventure. Adrenaline Romance is a photoblog that belongs to a loving couple who has an eternal lust for adventure. The blog contains experiences, tips, itineraries, and other useful information regarding adventuring in the Philippines and beyond.

33 comments on “Deuter ACT Lite SL: Gear Review

  1. Years ago I bought a Habagat backpack and until now it still is in good shape. But I guess this one here is worth the try.

  2. Wow, I’m a huge fan of Deuter as well and I’m currently using two deuter bags, one is my backpack where I use it for my backpacking trips and the other one is my office bag. I truly love the design of it and of course the quality. Thank you so much for this gear review, will surely buy ACT Lite SL soon.

  3. This backpack seems so practical and useful, mainly because it is designed for the female anatomy. I should definitely consider buying some of the Deuter products.

  4. Seems like a great pack. I love that they make two different types; one for women and one for men. Our bodies are so different it is nice to get a pack made for my body.

    • Hi Kitty,

      Indeed! Actually, most of Deuter’s backpacks have an SL version for women. We believe that makes them quite unique as a brand.

      We live by their products; we have been hardcore Deuter users before we became their product ambassadors. Their products are very high quality.

  5. This hike looks amazing! And that pack looks really amazing. I love to hike so this would be super helpful!

  6. Did a lot of research before we picked up one from REI and another by Tortuga. Deuter and Osprey were our Plan B and Plan C.

  7. Just received my own ACT Lite 40+10 in the mail a few days back and I’m so excited to use it when I go back home. Thanks to your recommendations. πŸ™‚

  8. Wow,seems like the right trekking gears for the adventure.

  9. I am actually evaluating various rucksacks to take one. So, there couldn’t have been a better timing to get to your article. Thanks for the detailed review..I will like to check this one. We don’t trek that much but with a small kid, there’s a lot to carry and that’s why we are looking to shift some of our luggage load to our backs πŸ™‚

  10. These really look like a good quality gear, and nice looking as well. At the moment, we carry also a baby in our backpack, but later we will need a new backpacks like these. It’s always easier to buy when you have a recommendation on something.

  11. I like that is designed for a shorter torso. I hate backpack that ride low. They kill my back! The side pocket is a nice touch, too.

    • Hi Pack Your Baguios,

      Indeed! Sheila likes the SL series because the length is just right for her.

      Years before, she bought a locally designed backpack with too low a waistbelt. The back actually rested on her butt! Very uncomfortable and stiff.

  12. Very thoughtful design for trekkers and mountain climbers. Long walks with rucksacks on often strain shoulders.

  13. Hi, thanks for the review. How do you compare ACT Trail and ACT Lite? I was eyeing on ACT Trail 38 due to it’s round zipper, but ACT Lite 35+10 is currently on promo. Thank you!

    • Hi Sherly,

      It actually depends on how you use your backpack.

      For instance, if you are self-sufficient when climbing mountains, carrying a heavy load, or doing multi-day treks, then the ACT Lite is probably the best for you, considering its features and large capacity. As you can infer in its design, ACT Lite is designed for the mountains and the wilderness.

      But if you’ll be doing overnight treks, carrying light loads, sharing your load with others, or just do the typical traveling, then the ACT Trail is good. It’s more of an all-around backpack.

      Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

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