I was nearly 30 before I owned a backpack in my adult years. I just wasn’t a backpack person. Even when we went gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, I used my trusty lightweight Patagonia messenger style bag. And it worked just fine, I may add.
But there comes a point (err…perhaps when someone else isn’t carrying your bag), that a proper day pack is in order for travel and hiking. So, as I gift, I asked for–and received–the Deuter ACT Trail 24 Pack, after someone on one of our trips had a Deuter pack that seemed to be both sleek looking and highly functional.
(Mine is slightly older than the current version, which you can find here).
Unsurprisingly (but I’m sure to my mother’s amusement), my first criteria in looking for a proper adult backpack was style. Sorry, but it had to look cool. I knew if I got a pack that I didn’t really like that I would always find an excuse not to use it. Second, it had to be functional. In particular, I wanted the waterproof cover already built in (because seriously, who remembers to bring a separate waterproof cover for their backpack)?
The Deuter Act Trail 24 Pack fit all of these characteristics. It is a 24L pack and weighs 1100 grams, which is about 2.4 pounds. It’s a great size for me, and I even used it to pack all my clothes for a quick 5 days in Europe.
Here are my favorite things about this bag:
Easy Zip Into Main Compartment
This means no more having to pull out every single thing in the bag to get to the thing in the bottom. You just unzip the side, and there you go. It actually unzips around the entire bottom. Brilliant!
Handily tucked away in a small zip pouch at the bottom of the bag, it’s not only already built in, it’s easy to get out in a hurry and easy to store, too.
Lots of pockets. In particular, I wanted somewhere easy to get to (but not too easy) to put valuables in that couldn’t be unzipped if I had the bag on my back in a group of people or a crowd.
While I’m not a huge CamelBak fan, it is nice to have the compatible bag that fits a bladder and a hose easily.
Packaway Waist Strap
This is one characteristic I didn’t see on many other bags–the waist strap actually tucks away back into the bag so that it doesn’t get in your way when you don’t need it. The waist straps are also made of a tough, durable coated material so they don’t get all sweaty and gross.
In addition to all these things I just mentioned, the should straps are super comfortable, even when packed full/heavy. They also do not get sweaty very easily, and Deuter’s aircontact system really does keep your back pretty darn cool.
This backpack has already been to three continents, and is on its way to a third when we head to the Galapagos! It will be perfect to pack a change of shoes, raincoats, sunscreen, and camera gear for both DH and I. Plus, if we share a bag, then we also share carrying time! Even though I love the bag, I won’t complain about someone carrying it occasionally. Just embracing that little lazy streak…
So, just in case you are in the market for a new daypack for hiking or travel, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this Deuter bag (the REAL bag…not the fake Deuter bags you can find in Asia and elsewhere). It hasn’t had a hard life with me, but it’s exceptionally functional and held up very well thus far.