Deuter Speed Lite 24
$115, 24L/1,465 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz.
With the Speed Lite 24, Deuter set out to make a pack that does it all. Weighing well under two pounds—low for a pack with this much capacity—it’s marketed as an ultralight, all-around daypack for long trail days, technical rock climbing, and even snow climbing. I wanted to see if such a light pack could fill all those roles, so I tested it extensively, including a 4500-foot, eight-mile hike up Ferguson Canyon and a 3,000-foot scramble up the South Ridge of Mount Superior in Utah’s Wasatch Range.
The Speed Lite 24 immediately impressed me with its comfort carrying weight on strenuous hikes. Despite its low weight, it features a padded hipbelt, flexible U-shaped Delrin frame, and adjustable load-lifter straps. This combo gives the pack an outsize carrying capacity—I had no issue carrying 15-20 pounds while soloing fourth- and easy fifth-class rock, as the harness controlled the weight well and prevented the pack from moving around on my torso. I’ve also carried up to 25 pounds comfortably in it while hiking, and yet the frame is still flexible enough to bend in half, making it very packable.
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The pack also features zippered mesh hipbelt pockets, each large enough to hold a couple bars. Deuter uses a novel system to angle the hipbelt buckles slightly upwards, which made the buckles easier to clip and helped prevent my shirt getting caught in them. Finally, I found that the mesh and perforated-foam back panel does a pretty good job of wicking sweat and allowing airflow, similar to other packs with those
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