Great Walks tests out Deuter's Speed Lite 28L day pack.
Deuter, a German specialist brand, manufactures quality backpacks and their Speed Lite 28L Women’s Fit ‘featherweight’ backpack promised narrower shoulder straps, a shorter carry system and curved hip fins.
My first impressions of the Speed Lite were positive. The indigo and pale grey colour was appealing (other colours are available) and the slender 28L size is ideally suited to day pack use with a load of 4-7 kilograms. I confirmed its claim of being lightweight at 840g, which is a major drawcard.
Having never had a ‘female specific’ pack before, it moulded very snugly to my shoulders, back and hips. Although thinly padded for ventilation, the shoulder straps and waistbelt were surprisingly comfortable.
The U-shaped frame transferred the weight mainly to my hips, exactly where it should be. The orange airflow pad, while comfortable on my back, is particularly suited to cooler weather but the ventilation feature can alleviate this in warmer weather.
The main stretch panel on the back is useful for placing gear for quick access. Two side stretch pockets are perfectly sized for drink bottles and can be reached without taking the pack off.
The two zippered pockets, on the shoulder strap and waist belt were handy. A stretchy pocket on the other shoulder strap was the perfect size for the handle of my hiking umbrella. There’s even a loop for sunglasses.
One compartment at the top of the Speed Lite has two easy to pull ring zips and another on the underside of the lid for valuables. There’s an elasticated compartment inside as well as space for a 3L water bladder. The pack has holders for poles or an umbrella, as well as stretchy clips to keep these in place. There’s also a key clip and compression straps.
It’s rare to find a high quality framed lightweight backpack that doesn’t skimp on comfort and features, and Deuter has delivered very favourably. The Speed Lite ‘punches above its weight’ and is a delight to use!
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Words and photo_Cathy Campbell