deuter speed lite review

Deuter Speed Lite Daypack Review: Forget About the Weight

Well-positioned padding, honeycomb foam, and a pliable Delrin frame make it feel like there’s next to nothing in the Deuter Speed Lite daypack. We tested the low-profile, lightweight pack over 6 months for this review.

Deuter released the Speed Lite 24 last year for the fast-and-light audience. We used it for training missions and daylong outings. For $105 and at a very low weight, this pack is a high performer.

Deuter Speed Lite 24 pack

The Deuter Speed Lite 24 pack is a bit more than a simple rucksack and maintains useful features for quick and active pursuits. A Delrin perimeter frame keeps loads up to 20 pounds manageable even during aggressive motions, and the well-ventilated back panel limits moisture and heat buildup. The performance and features are impressive for a pack that weighs a verified 1 pound 10 ounces.

Deuter Speed Lite 24 Construction

Deuter uses 100-denier ripstop nylon for the pack body and a honeycombed foam and mesh for the back panel. Mesh also covers the contoured, padded shoulder straps (with load adjusters) and unpadded hip belt. The Speed Lite 24 opens through a #5 YKK double-pull zipper that runs around the top and two-thirds of the way down the sides of the pack.

The Speed Lite 24’s feature list is impressive for such a light pack.

Deuter Speed Lite 24 Pack

  • Internal, hydration-compatible stretch pocket on the back panel
  • A pair of trekking pole/ice axe attachment points
  • Expandable shove-it-style front pocket
  • Side compression straps
  • Stretch mesh side pockets
  • Two full-length daisy chains on the front panel
  • A pair of zipped hip belt pockets
  • Haul loop
  • Zipped top valuables pocket
  • Cycling tail light attachment
  • Sunglass keeper on a shoulder strap

The Speed Lite 24 in the Field: Review

I wasn’t expecting much load-managing capacity when I first unboxed the Speed Lite 24. The sub-2-pound weight and pliable Delrin perimeter frame didn’t inspire confidence. The Speed Lite 24 acted as my sole training pack while recovering from knee surgery; the 10-pound starter weight seemed appropriate for both the condition of my frail leg and the seemingly minimal suspension system.

deuter speed lite review

The pack’s spartan weight and flexible nature were super comfortable for steep hill repeats. I used my arms and torso a lot with trekking poles out of necessity, and the pack never hindered even the most drastic movements. Fastpacking with the Speed Lite 24 was a joy, as the pack rode close and stable, helping me keep my developing balance intact.

As I gained strength and ability, I kept increasing the load; to my surprise, the Speed Lite 24 remained stable and efficient past the 20-pound mark. Although the Deuter Speed Lite 24 was completely capable of ferrying over 20 pounds during fastpacking, I felt the sweet spot was between 15 and 20 pounds, especially when I progressed to spurts of trail running. In this load range, I would almost forget that I was carrying a training load. I gained speed, ability, and snap as the months went by, and the little Deuter matched me step for step.

The shape and padding in the shoulder straps proved perfect for my 6′ 167-pound frame, and, surprisingly, the unpadded hip belt remained comfortable to 20 pounds even in light summer clothes.

The honeycomb foam and mesh back panel did a great job of ventilating, even in the hot and humid Texas climate, while maintaining a planted feeling.

I ended up utilizing every single feature on the Speed Lite 24 over the 6 months of testing except the safety light clipping point, but I plan on using that too as I return to cycling outdoors. The pack will be a good choice as a MTB pack for carrying larger loads.

deuter speed lite review

Conclusions

The Deuter Speed Lite 24 is a great daypack for active aerobic pursuits where a larger volume is required. The minimal suspension does a remarkable job of keeping loads between 15 and 20 pounds secure and comfortable during aggressive maneuvers, and the feature list supports a variety of activities. And the low weight is an impressive bonus when every ounce matters.

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Seiji Ishii
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Seiji Ishii has enjoyed a lifetime of outdoor adventure and sports, from participant and competitor to coach and trainer, and finally as an editorial contributor. His interests have spanned cycling, climbing, motorcycling, backpacking, trail running, and training for all of it. He has also designed outdoor and off-road motorcycling gear. He lives in the woods in Wimberley, TX with his wife, daughter and a small herd of pets. Read more of his musings at seijisays.com.

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