Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dueter ACT Lite 65+10 Initial Impressions

I swear I think I'm the last person on my UPS driver's route.  I won this Deuter ACT Lite 65+10 backpack on eBay on Thursday.  The guy finally shipped it on Monday and lucky me, it arrived today, Tuesday.  But it was not until after 6 pm.  That was a killer wait, especially while checking the tracking number every 10 minutes to see that it was still on the truck, ready for delivery.

First a little background on the auction.  It was up for sale by a guy who had zero feedback.  The pictures, on the left and at the bottom, were fuzzy and difficult to read.  The description was "Lightly used for a season, fully functional, and clean."  That's it.  It was a "Buy It Now" auction for $82 plus $9 shipping.  The pack retails for $200.  So I was a little afraid to buy it.  No feedback, fuzzy pictures, "thin" description.  But what the heck, for $82 I thought I'd give it a shot.

I contacted the guy as soon as I bought it just so I could make sure he would respond and give me some peace of mind for the wait.  He responded right away and said he's ship it that day, and oh, by the way, he found a small hole in the mesh pocket on the side.  Oh great, here it goes.

The pack arrived today, packed very nicely, as if he'd had the UPS store box it (he didn't make money on shipping, that's for sure).  It definitely looks well used for a long season, some abrasions, scuffs, a couple of cosmetic stitches loose, and of course, the small hole in the side mesh pocket, but not just one, both side pockets, same hole, same location.  I wouldn't call it "clean" though.  It's a little grubby, some grime visible.  I had to wash my hands after messing with it.  Also had some dirt inside that I shook out.  But hey, it's been used so I'm OK with it.  I want to wash it really well when I get a chance though.

After inspecting all the zippers and buckles and finding everything was indeed functional, I loaded it up with some gear and paraded around the basement.  It surely is big enough for everything I want to take for a long hike.  The pack itself is pretty light.  I like the pockets and compression straps, and the like.  Pretty simple pack, sleeping bag storage that can open into the main compartment, lid that has three pockets, two mesh side pockets, one hip belt pocket, plus bungee straps across the back.  Overall, a very decent pack.

The Air Contact Lite harness is also very nice.  I had to adjust the "Vari-Quick" shoulder harness adjuster to

fit my torso, but once I got it set, the pack felt very nice with a light load.  I was a little worried about the Vari-Quick shoulder strap attachment after seeing it in action on YouTube videos.  I thought maybe the load would pivot or sway too much around the centrally located attachment point, but it doesn't.  Once you have everything buckled and the straps cinched, the load feels very secure and the pack like an extension of your torso.

Overall, my first impressions of the pack are positive.  This one just needs a little cleaning and light mending and it should be ready to hit the trail.  I'm half hoping for a snow-day at school tomorrow so I have time to run up the mountain behind the house and try it out (even if it means running around in sleet and freezing rain).

Tomorrow I'm expecting another package.  A new Equinox Egret 8x10 tarp that will become part of my shelter system.  My next post will be a summary of my shelter plans.  Until then, cheers!