Kilimanjaro Gear Review: Deuter ACT Lite 35 + 10 SL

Every hike presents with different requirements, and changing your bag to suit each of them poses a challenge. Of course, the basic dichotomy is a multi-day pack and a daypack, and for the past year, I’ve used a Deuter ACT Trail 24 as my daypack and a Deuter Futura as well as a High Sierra Titan 55 as my multi-day packs. But I have found it desirable to have something in between – a 35-40 L pack that can be used as a daypack.

The need for this kind of bag was heightened during my preparation for Mt. Kilimanjaro, where bulky jackets might have to be carried in your assault pack, among others. Hence, I got myself the Deuter ACT Lite 35+10 SL.
The SL series is marketed for women (I am amused that they even attach a flower to the bags!) but many guys use it because oftentimes, it offers sizes or dimensions that are not available for the men’s series. For instance, the Act Lite 35 SL is the smallest ACT Lite that is sh-aped like a multi-day pack – tall, and not fat unlike the ACT Lite 32. Also, considering that Deuter bags are designed for Westerners, the SL series can work for men with a smaller frame.
Whe I tried it, it was a little bit thin for me, but still a very convenient bag. I used it in Mt. Kilimanjaro and I found that compared to a normal daypack (if it is to be used as a daypack), the bag has way more functional pockets and spaces. Moreover, its larger volume came in handy for bulky stuff like my down jacket, and the cameras.
As for my Europe trip, it was also a perfect companion for my overnight trips – again, its advantage is its volume — it can be a carry-on luggage in the plane. My frend Coby Sarreal has the same bag and he was also able to use it as a pack for overnight climb in Taiwan, where we didn’t need to bring tents since there were mountain huts.
It is indeed a versatile – a sort of bridge between the daypack and the multi-day bag. I recommend it as a multi-day pack for people who do not need to bring tents or food, or a daypack for people like me who sometimes end up bringing a lot of things during a dayhike, or as a third bag – a bridge for both.

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1 Comment on "Kilimanjaro Gear Review: Deuter ACT Lite 35 + 10 SL"

12 years 1 month ago

Hi Sir Gid,
Did you really used the women's version? Your photo is exact replica of my bag. I just wonder how it felt on your shoulder. The shoulder strap is quite narrow for men.

Appreciate your input.