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In the world of high priced gear, German based Deuter comes to the rescue with a well thought out pack at an exceptional price. The Deuter ACT Trail 32 is a day hiker's dream with easy accessibility and organizational capabilities.
Volume: 1950 cu. in.
Listed as a technical day pack this pack has been designed well, I especially like the bottom zipper which allows you to easy access to even the most buried gear in the pack. I really don't know why more companies don't jump on this concept because there have been more than one occasion that I have been stoked to have it. The beauty of having the zipper positioned in this fashion is that it really does open the pack up well, I would say better than a zipper that is oriented in the classical sense where it flaps down the pack.
Initially I was wondering about the straps and pockets and to be honest I thought it was a bunch of fooey, but as I used the pack I really felt that this was one of the best thought out day packs I had ever used. In fact I can comfortably make this pack a multi-day pack for my light and fast trips and really not feel that I am lacking anything. This pack comes with the standard fare as far as hydration compartment, and a rain cover, one thing I really did not care for is the zippered compartment on the left side (as worn) of the pack. When the pack was fully loaded it was a real bear to stuff anything in it, but once I figured that out I would simply load it first.
Now this pack does lack the bottom straps where I would strap in a sleeping pad, or tent but I was able to use the straps on the side/bottom of the pack for the same function. The hip belt is sufficiently padded and offers one zippered pouch which is just the right side for a small camera and a snack on the right side. The shoulder straps have enough support to make weights up to about 25 lbs comfortable. In reality you could carry up to 35 lbs in the pack but I doubt it would be very comfortable for long.
Even with it's relatively light weight the ACT 32 has ample stash pockets both on the sides and front which allows you to have your gear compartmentalized and well organized. The side compression straps allow you to really tighten this pack down to help minimalize bounce or shift should you decide to climb with it or feel the need to dash down the trail. Add to it all the ice axe or trekking pole loops and wham bam you have a great all season pack.
All in all I would say that this pack should be one that is seriously considered if you are in the hunt for a new pack. After using it at the crag, on the trail, and deep in the back country this pack has done the thinking for you and trust me Deuter has it figured out.