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Reviews > Packs > Frameless Backpacks and Day Packs > Deuter SpeedLite 24, SL22 and 24 > Test Report by David Wilkes

Test series by David Wilkes

Deuter Speed Lite 24 backpack

Initial Report - July 30 2019
Field Report - November 17 2019
Long Term Report - February 9 2020

Tester Information

Name: David Wilkes
Age: 52
Location: Yakima Washington USA
Gender: M
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 210 lb (90.7 kg)


I started backpacking in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions the Northwest has to offer.  I prefer trips on rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me. I have finally managed to get my basic cold weather pack weight, not including consumables, to under 30 lb (14 kg).

Product Information



Year of Manufacture:


Manufacturer’s Website:


$110.00 USD

Listed Dimensions:

55 / 29 / 18 (H x W x D) cm
[varified by tester]


Listed: 770 g / 27.16 oz
Measured 741 g / 26.15 oz

Product Image
Product Image

Product Description:

The Deuter Speed Lite 24 is one of seven different size packs from their "Speed Lite" series of packs. It is intended to be a very light weight but feature rich pack for fast hikes or alpine outings. It is available in 3 colors; black, cranberry-maroon (what I received), and navy-alpine green.

Initial Report

July 30 2019

StrapsPrior to receiving the pack I had researched its features and so upon receiving the pack was surprise at how light it is despite the numerous features and giving the impression of a well constructed and durable pack. The pack is constructed from "100D PA HIGH TENACITY" yarn to be very light weight while also durable. The construction utilizes a very tight weave to assist with abrasion and tear resistance. The pack is given structure with a "Delrin U-frame" to help with stability and load distribution while adding a minimum of weight. The back panel and shoulder straps are ventilated for comfort and to further reduce weight. The back panel is also textured to increase airflow. The shoulder straps include load adjustment straps, a sternum strap and a feature I have not seen before a small elastic loop for securing my glasses when not in use (NICE!). The hip belt features ventilated and light weight "hip fins" with zippered pockets but no padding. All of the zippers on the pack utilize cord zipper pulls which is something I like as I find them easier to use with stiff cold hands and less likely to be damaged. The pack consists of one main compartment which is accessed by way of a double top zipper which extends down about 2/3 the length of the pack. Inside the main compartment is a hydration pouch which the manufacturer says is compatible with 2L and 3L hydration bladders. The hydration bladder pocket includes a bright orange hook-n-loop securing loop to keep the bladder secure. (Another nice detail!) Note that the single opening for the hydration hose is on the upper left side of the pack. Along the top of the pack there is also a smaller inner "valuables " pocket (sometimes called a goggle pocket) that is accessed via a smaller zipper opening in the top of the pack. The material for this inner pocket is printed with some emergency signaling information and inside of the pocket is a strap with a small plastic clip for securing something like a key ring. There are three external pockets. On either side are stretch mesh water bottle pockets and on the back is a large pocket with stretch mesh ventilation panels on both sides. The top of this pocket can be secured utilizing the upper two compression straps. There are two daisy chain strips of webbing on either side of the large external pocket for attaching gear as well as two ice ax (or trekking pole) loops at the bottom along with adjustable elastic loops at the top.

OpeningOne notable feature of this pack is that the 4 compression straps can be connected to each other to provide additional compression or to greatly reduce the pack volume. This looks like it should help to make the pack stable and secure for a large assortment of loads from totally full to almost empty, but I would note that the lower straps pass on the outside of the water bottle pockets. This could be advantageous in helping to secure whatever is in the pockets but also means that should I have a water bottle in one and remove it, it will likely reduce the effectiveness of the compression straps. I can see pros and cons for this and so will plan to report on how it actually performs during my testing. The last feature I will mention here is that there is a small tail light strap built into the bottom of the pack which is a nice feature for bike riding. This is a feature I am quite excited about.

My first impressions are that this is a very well constructed pack with far more features and a much more durable 'feel' than I would expect given its weight. This pack seems to achieve a very nice balance between useful features, construction, and weight. The only possible drawback might be the compression straps passing over the water bottle pockets but that is only under the assumption I don't end up finding that to actually be an asset.

Field Report

November 17 2019
Use:Deer Lake
  • Day Hike x3 -  Sand Lake – Washington Cascades ~5mi / ~8km
  • Day Hike x2 – Pacific Crest trail maintenance scouting, Central Washington  Cascades ~8mi /  13km
  • Day Hike – White Pass Ski resort

With one exception the weather for all of the outings involved warm weather and sun. The Sand Lake trips were causal recreational trips along one of my favorite trails. I carried my 10 essentials (I subscribe to the REI version of the essentials), and about 1L of water in two water bottles.
For the trail maintenance trips I carried some additional snacks but otherwise carried the same load.
The last outing was a hike up the access road from the base of the White Pass Ski area up to the summit of the ridge. The forecast was for temps just above freezing and a chance of rain. In addition to my basic kit I carried my full patrol aid kit, some additional clothing and a coat for my dog. While it did not rain, at the summit it was about freezing with light winds. The trail was a mix of gravel road, mud and sections of compact snow/ice. On the way back, about half a mile (.8km) or so we took a detour to descend down a section of snow that the resort had made the week before. Footing was tricky with thin ice crust with soft snow under it, and I was not wearing the best footwear for that.

The pack has been quite comfortable. I have not experienced any issues with rubbing, pinching or chafing from the pack, and so far the harness and hip belt straps have been easy to adjust for comfort regardless if I am wearing only a thin shirt, or a base-layer and jacket under it. I have worked up a bit of sweat on some of the hikes and the pack seems to provide some air flow between it and my back. The gear I have carried has not taken up more than about half to 2/3 the volume of the pack so I have utilized the compression straps during every trip. The compression system has allowed me to ensure the gear in my pack remains stable and does not shift. This was important for the last outing because my footing was tenuous at best and had my pack shifted it would have made things more dangerous (I know because many years ago a shifting backpack caused a fall which resulted in me breaking a bone in my hand. And my kids tease me about it to this day).

Talus SlopeI have tried a few different configurations with what gear I packed and what I attached to the outside. On one trip I carried one of my trekking poles strapped to the outside of the pack, and on another I attached one of my knives to the shoulder harness. The assortment of straps and attachment loops makes the pack quite versatile. I have used the side pockets for water bottles (1 and 0.5L sizes) as well as for snacks and other items I might want easy access to. I have found it difficult to get my water bottles in/out of the pockets while I am wearing the pack, but as this is something I experience with most packs I believe this has more to do with my flexibility (or lack of) than the pack.

Since my intent is to use this pack this year as my patrol pack I loaded it up with my patrol gear for our annual refresher weekend. While organizing my gear I discovered that the sunglasses loop on the chest harness is just the right size to hold my examination light and the small upper pocket of the pack does a nice job at holding the assorted small items that I want quick and easy access to. And the external daisy chain loops provide an exelent place to attach my tape holder. All my gear fit nicely and was easy to access during our training scenarios. I look forward to using it when the season starts.

So far I really like this pack for its comfort and versatility, and have not found anything that I don't like or might want to change.
Sand LakeRefresher

Long Term Report

Feburary 9 2020
Patrol pack with shovelSince the Field Report I have used this pack in place of my old Ski Patrol pack. I used it for our annual “on the snow” (though there was not much snow so we had not opened for the season yet) refresher where we practiced treating simulated injuries and 5 patrol duty days (these include about 4+ hrs of Nordic skiing and other duties such as trail maintenance and interacting with the public). Temperatures ranged from just above freezing to well below (16F/-9C) with strong winds (gusts up to 60mph/96kmh), and snow on most of the days (rain for the refresher). For patrolling I put my primary first aid gear in the main compartment along with my personal first aid kit, and my own version of the “10 essentials”. In addition to that I carry an emergency blanket (small tarp, red on one side and reflective on the other), spare gloves and hat, and my show shovel. On at least one outing I also stuffed my down puffy into the pack and on another my rain shell. I found the upper “valuables” compartment is a convenient place to store the small items that I might need immediate access to (exam gloves, tubes of glucose, compression bandage, hand warmers, etc). The size/shape of the pack made it a bit difficult to pack my shovel blade, but I found with a bit of effort I could get the blade to fit in the outer pouch of the pack thereby avoiding putting a snow packed shovel into my pack and getting everything wet. I store the handle in one side water bottle pocket or the main compartment. I would note that while this pack is not waterproof, despite use in light rain as well as lots of snow, the contents remained dry. I have considered purchasing a rain cover but so far I have not found that I need it.

The compression straps have made it easy to adjust the pack so that my bulky winter gear, which can be different for every outing, fits snugly and does not shift. While the quick release buckles and large top opening allow me to get quick access to my aid gear. For Nordic skiing it is very important that my pack not shift or move during use regardless of what I am carrying, and as I am removing and donning my pack frequently in the course of my patrol duties I often don’t use the hip belt with my patrol pack and that has not been a problem with this pack at all. Even with just the chest strap buckled the pack has performed quite well. I also found because of the pull loops the zippers are quite easy to operate even with gloves on. Throughout the testing I have yet to experience any difficulties with the zippers (no sticking, snagging or opening on their own), straps or buckles and no loose threads.

Cold patrol dayAs for durability, I can say I am quite impressed with this pack. My shovel, being aluminum and having been used heavily (ice, rock, concrete, etc) has some sharp edges. But despite shoving it into and pulling it out of the pack multiple times it has not snagged or damaged the pack material at all. Further, and this is a bit embarrassing, but one particular icy day I managed to crash hard on a long icy slope and ended up sliding on my back (with the Speed Lite 24 between me and the ice/snow) for about 20 yards/meters. After getting up (and verifying that no one saw me) I inspected the pack but found no signs of damage whatsoever! I would also mention not a single item came loose or fell out including my water bottle that was in the side pocket. After inspecting the pack for the writing of this installment I could find no obvious signs of wear or use.

I really don’t have any complaints about this pack. It fits well, can comfortably accommodate a wide range of loads (from stuffed full to virtually empty), and has all those little details mentioned previously in this report. As of the end of this test this pack has officially replaced my old pack for ski patrol (I have already attached the iconic white cross to it), and is now my ‘go to’ day pack. (Don’t tell my wife but it has got me thinking of maybe replacing my old multi-day pack with a Deuter…)

This concludes my Report.
I would like to thank the folks at Deuter
and for the opportunity to test this product.


Read more reviews of Deuter gear
Read more gear reviews by David Wilkes

Reviews > Packs > Frameless Backpacks and Day Packs > Deuter SpeedLite 24, SL22 and 24 > Test Report by David Wilkes

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