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Deuter ACTLite 40+10 Spotlite Review


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Deuter ACTLite 40+10 Spotlite Review

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  • #1299480
    Stephanie Jordan
    Spectator

    @maia

    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to:

    Deuter ACTLite 40+10 Spotlite Review

    #1956384
    Carter Croley
    Member

    @cartercroley

    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?

    #1956439
    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member

    @dwambaugh

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    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.

    #1956615
    Eric Gjonnes
    BPL Member

    @ekg

    Locale: Northwest

    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.

    #1956656
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    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.

    #1956694
    Mark Montag
    BPL Member

    @sanjuans

    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.

    #1956732
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    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

    #1956734
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    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

    #1956844
    Ron Moak
    Member

    @rmoak

    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

    #1956849
    David Ure
    Member

    @familyguy

    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?

    #1956867
    Ron Moak
    Member

    @rmoak

    "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

    #1956896
    David Ure
    Member

    @familyguy

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

    #1957382
    Dean F.
    BPL Member

    @acrosome

    Locale: Back in the Front Range

    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.)

    #1957409
    Ryan Smith
    BPL Member

    @violentgreen

    Locale: East TN

    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

    #1957425
    David Ure
    Member

    @familyguy

    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.

    #1957450
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    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

    #1957513
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    "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.

    #1959117
    Mary D
    BPL Member

    @hikinggranny

    Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge

    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!

    #1959120
    Randy Martin
    BPL Member

    @randalmartin

    Locale: Colorado

    "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?

    #1959122
    David Ure
    Member

    @familyguy

    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.

    #1961563
    Eric Gjonnes
    BPL Member

    @ekg

    Locale: Northwest

    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

    #1961565
    Eric Gjonnes
    BPL Member

    @ekg

    Locale: Northwest

    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

    #1961569
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    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

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