Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Deuter Act Lite 65+10 Rucksack


When I started this blog in 2007 I was using a Karrimor Jaguar 65 litre rucksack for backpacking. Looking through some recently posted old pictures from 1991, the Karrimor sack looks quite new then. I’ve recently used it in South America and on a Lake District backpack. It works fine but it’s showing signs of wear and at 1900 gm it’s a little heavy, especially after rain; these days it seems the old Cordura fabric is quite capable of absorbing moisture. Not bad for over a quarter of a century of use though.

In October 2007 I bought a Golite Quest. It worked well until the hip belt failed after three and a half years. My reviews are here.

After reverting to the Jaguar for a while, in March 2012 I acquired a Lowe Alpine Nanon 50:60. It was fine until a key shoulder strap broke last summer as I was struggling across the Spanish Pyrenees. A botched repair got me home, but the rucksack was then binned. My review is here.

Since then I’ve been happily deploying the old Karrimor Jaguar, and I’ve stopped using Neo-Air sleeping mats, having reverted to the comfort and warmth of an old closed cell Karrimat. The Karrimat wouldn’t fit comfortably inside either the Quest or the Nanon, but it’s fine in the Jaguar.

So I wanted a sack that would take a Karrimat, inside which a dry bag with the rest of my gear can sit. So it needed a bit more volume. After not a lot of research, I shortlisted the Deuter Act Lite range, and the Osprey Atmos 65. Luckily, my local retailer, Alpenstock, stocks both of these sacks. The Osprey has more ‘bells and whistles’ but is heavier than the Deuter equivalent, and it is less stable.

I found the Deuter 65+10 accommodated my gear with space to spare. It may be a bit on the big side if I don’t use the Karrimat, but I do still have an ancient but very serviceable Karrimor Alpiniste 50 litre sack to fall back on, and that has additional large removable side pockets.

So it was something of a no-brainer. The new sack is a bit heavier than its Golite and Lowe Alpine predecessors, but it seems to be of a more robust construction. Time will tell as to its durability. It’s made of ‘Ripstop 210/Duratex Lite’ and it weighs 1900 gm, the same as the Jaguar.

There’s a highly adjustable back system.


The hip belt pockets are quite roomy.


Here’s a close-up of the Vari Quick back system.


There’s actually a second shoulder strap fixing point, so if one of them breaks…. my Lowe Alpine experience won’t be repeated.


The hip belt looks very secure. Hopefully my Golite experience won’t be repeated.


Here’s what Deuter currently have to say about this product:actlite65

deuter act lite 40 10 back system

Selling Price
H x W x D: 86 x 36 x 32 cm
65 + 10 litre
Description & Details

Our freshly revised, sleek packs remain true to their lightweight credentials with their minimal weight and purist, technical design, the ACT Lite models are the perfect companions on any trekking and mountaineering tours. The new, very technical shoulder strap construction features a bilaminate foam and an exact anatomical shape.

  • Stretch front pocket
  • Compact bilaminate construction with Pull-Forward function makes the hip belt easy to fasten even with heavy loads
  • Vari Quick back length adjustment with two-layer foam construction and optimised shape
  • Anatomically shaped shoulder straps with soft edges
  • Lightweight multi-chamber aluminium X-frame
  • Separate bottom compartment
  • Height adjustable lid
  • Lid pocket
  • Internal valuables pocket
  • Zipped pocket on hip belt for valuables
  • Gear attachment loops on lid
  • Ice axe and hiking pole loops - also for foldable poles
  • Spacious stretch side pockets
  • Compression and load adjustment straps
  • Double layered base
  • SOS label
  • Hydration system compatible
  • Loops for helmet holder (accessory)
  • Wet laundry compartment
Back System
Aircontact System


  1. Stabiliser straps allow optimal positioning of the backpack. These are easily repositioned on the shoulder straps using a “Triglide“ buckle. Aircontact models above 50+10 SL sizes also have two different fixing points, depending on the back length setting, in order to optimize the load adjustor strap angle.
  2. Breathable padding with special ventilating hollow chamber foam: With every movement, a pump effect circulates air through the breathable Aircontact cushions of this direct body contact system. Extra air channel ventilation between the back cushions is very effective. (on ACT Lite)
  3. The anatomically shaped hip fins are made from multiple layers. The inner side has a layer of soft foam with 3D AirMesh lining for heightened comfort. The firm foam on the outside is modelled to the anatomic shape and transfers the load to the hips. Side compression straps on the fins regulate the load and increase stability. On the compact ACT Lite fins this bilaminate construction is perfectly balanced between weight reduction and load transfer ratio. Aircontact models designed to carry heavier loads, maximise stability and load transfer thanks to the additional synthetic reinforcement in between foam layers.
  4. Head molding provides freedom of head movement. Effective on models Aircontact 50+10SL and up.
  5. Contoured shoulder straps with 3D Air mesh lining.
  6. Vari-Quick system for easy adjustment to any back length.
  7. The anatomic profiled X-frame offers a balance of torsional rigidity and flexibility to follow your body movements, and transfers weight through it's perfect back fit.
  8. All Aircontact models are fitted with Deuter’s Vari Flex System, leaving the generous hip fins fully mobile. The Vari Flex hip fins follow even the most complex movements allowing tricky sections to be negotiated without losing your balance – especially important when carrying a hefty load.

Lots of more detailed reviews are available, not necessarily showing this rucksack as a ‘best buy’. But having compared it with others, I think it’s suitable for my requirements. I hope so, and it’s going to be thoroughly tested over the course of the next two weeks.

I’ll add to this posting during the course of this rucksack’s life…

Friday, 7 December 2012

A-Z Adventure Atlases

 A-Z White Peak Atlas

Maps from A-Z – see here - £5.45 including postage if you use discount code TRMB250

I was fortunate enough a few days ago to be approached by ‘A-Z’ to review a new product that they have launched.  Their ‘Adventure’ series of maps comes in the ‘A-Z’ booklet form that is familiar to many of us who over the years have used their Street Plans.

The ‘atlases’ are at 1:25,000 scale and utilise the latest Ordnance Survey mapping data.  They come in a 24cm (9½”) x 13½cm (5¼”) format which is effectively the same as the OS Outdoor Leisure maps that cover the same areas.  They weigh in at about 140gm, compared with around 200gm for an OS laminated map.

My Peak District Outdoor Leisure maps dating from the 1990s are decidedly tatty, so ‘A-Z’ kindly sent me their 80 page White Peak product and their 60 page Dark Peak atlas.  They are a revelation, and made me realise that my old maps were long overdue for replacement.  It’s remarkable how many changes have occurred in the past 15 years, and the mapping legend is now much clearer to read, with some of the tracks that I use (for example in Macclesfield Forest) now actually shown on the maps!

The replacement OS maps are double-sided laminated Outdoor Leisure editions costing £13.99 each (discounts of up to 30% are available).  Advantages of the OS maps are their waterproof quality and the ability to lay the whole map out when planning a route.  However, the A-Z booklets score highly in that:

  • they are very competitively priced at £7.95, subject to a £2.50 discount (see below);
  • they don’t require completely re-folding when moving from side to side of the area covered;
  • they are relatively light;
  • they have durable covers with fold out bookmarks on the front and rear frontispieces, on which all the public rights of way and public access legends are printed;
  • they include a key at 1:200,000 scale to the map pages that shows the principal roads and will be useful for planning and overview purposes;
  • at the back of each atlas there’s a comprehensive and very useful index that provides the page number and square for every map feature, as well as its OS Grid Reference;
  • there’s also a section on safety and security when walking or cycling, and a list of QR codes enabling those with the latest mobile devices to scan for such useful information as the latest weather forecast.

Whilst the A-Z product is not waterproof, it does fit into a map case just like its OS counterpart, albeit you can’t view both sides of the map in its booklet form. 

Paper versus Digital: whilst I use digital mapping at 1:50,000 for much of my route planning, I usually try to carry a paper map at 1:25,000 as back up to any digital print out of my planned route, and as my digital mapping is rather dated, having the latest OS mapping data for the Peak District will be useful.

    The current range of these 1:25,000 scale atlases covers Dartmoor, the Peaks (two booklets), the Lakes (two booklets), Snowdonia, the Broads, and the South West Coast Path (5 booklets).

    Here’s an example of a page from the White Peak booklet.

    Sample page from White Peak Atlas 
    Full details of this series of ‘atlases’ can be found at:

     A-Z Adventure Atlases

    Readers can use a discount code TRMB250 which will give you a £2.50 discount off any Atlas in the range. The discounted price of £5.45 includes free postage.

    This discount code is good for any Atlas in this series and should be valid until at least 31 December 2012. (It works – I’ve bought the Lake District booklets.)


    At first sight this series of maps/atlases is an excellent innovation on the part of A-Z.  I’m delighted to have the Peak District atlases and I’ll certainly be updating I’ve now updated my Lake District maps, given that the entire Lake District at 1:25,000 costs just £10.90 including postage.

    My only significant reservations about these maps are that they don’t facilitate a detailed overview, they could be awkward to use in rain as you progress from page to page, and they won’t be as durable as the OS laminated maps.

    Great little Christmas presents!

    Later…. I used the atlas on our Christmas Lunch Walk on 9 December, and I’ve also noticed Tony Bennett’s comprehensive review here.  The bookmark flap tore slightly when I tried to keep the map in my trouser pocket, and I found having to remember the relevant page number a little tedious as I kept forgetting to use that bookmark flap.  I now agree with Tony that the atlas will be best used in an Ortlieb A5 map case, which is small enough to be kept in a jacket map pocket and will keep the map dry and in good condition.  Unfortunately the map case will cost about a tenner, plus postage.  Bob and Rose supply it as competitively as anyone.

    Finally, here’s A-Z’s take/specification on their ‘White Peak’ product:

    “The A-Z Adventure series features the accuracy and quality of OS Explorer mapping in a convenient book, complete with index.

    The A-Z Adventure series is an innovative concept that utilises Ordnance Survey Explorer mapping in a book, therefore eliminating the need to fold and re-fold a large sheet map to the desired area. OS Explorer is Ordnance Survey's most detailed mapping at a scale of 1:25 000, showing public rights of way, open access land, national parks, tourist information, car parks, public houses and camping and caravan sites.

    Unlike the original OS sheets, this A-Z Adventure Atlas includes a comprehensive index to towns, villages, hamlets and locations, natural features, nature reserves, car parks and youth hostels, making it easy to find the required location quickly. Each index entry has a page reference and a six figure National Grid Reference. At a book size of 240mm x 134mm it is the same size as a standard OS Explorer map when closed.

    This A-Z Adventure Atlas of the Peak District White Peak features 68 pages of continuous Ordnance Survey mapping covering:

    • Peak District National Park (southern part)
    • Hope Valley
    • Castleton
    • Bakewell
    • Buxton
    • Dove Dale
    • Monsal Dale
    • Lyme Park
    • Eyam

    This A-Z Adventure Atlas has the accuracy and quality of OS Explorer mapping indexed within a book, making it the perfect companion for walkers, off-road cyclists, horse riders and anyone wishing to explore the great outdoors.