Deuter Speed Lite 20 Review

When you are looking for a top-notch hiking backpack you can’t go wrong with the Deuter brand name. In this Deuter Speed Lite review, we'll see if the Speed Lite 20 lives up to Deuters so far well-earned reputation.

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Deuter Speed Lite 20

Our Rating: 4.7/5

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Black One Size

The Deuter Speed Lite 20 is a highly versatile daypack for the avid hiker/climber/camper/skier (delete where appropriate). It sports a lightweight frame and many useful features. Of all the daypacks that we have reviewed, this is one of our favorites, as it scores well in all categories.

With breathable mesh padding styled with durable Nylon, it is ideal for use in rain or shine. Also, it’s unique V-shape allows flexibility where many packs can cause strenuous pressure on the average hiker. Although it only comes in one size, its 5-star rating shows it’s a popular purchase among the outdoors community.

Key Features

  • Removable, lightweight plastic frame helps strengthen the pack and distribute the weight.
  • Padded breathable mesh back panel and contoured shoulder straps.
  • Hydration compatible design (reservoir sold separately).
  • Unique V-shaped pack body aids in positioning weight more ergonomically.
  • 4 Compartments plus external mesh pockets.
  • Compression straps double as attachment points for hiking poles, ice axes or even skis!

Category Scores

Weight to Volume
Ease of Use
  • PROs

    • Lightweight at only 1 lb 2 oz
    • Multiple compartments
    • Innovative compression straps/buckles.
    • Super comfortable
  • CONs

    • Thin unpadded waist belt.
Bottom-Line: Hugely versatile daypack that will appeal to hikers or climbers.

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Hands on Review

Looking for an unbiased review of the Deuter Speed Lite?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • Break down the important features of a daypack
    • Discuss the packs good & bad points
    • Give our recommendations on what is the “best use” for this pack

With all of its special features, the Deuter Speed Lite 20 truly stands out from the crowd. This daypack has padded back and shoulders straps that are both made of a breathable mesh material. The pack also features an adjustable hip belt and sternum strap to facilitate weight distribution. The hip belt is also removable.

The Deuter Speed Lite 20 is super lightweight and durable, which is a great combination for a hiking daypack. It has a removable and lightweight frame that can add support if needed. This pack is made of super durable nylon, and the bottom is reinforced with an added layer of fabric.

There are plenty of storage pockets, which helps to keep all of your gear organized.

There is a spacious main compartment to hold the bulk of your gear. There is also a large mesh pocket perfect for holding wet clothes, gloves, and rain covers. Side mesh pockets can hold your water bottle and the other small pockets can be used to stow away other valuables. There is also a sleeve for your hydration pack and a place where you can run the drink tube for easy, on the go hydration.

It also has loops that can attach to a helmet holder, which you can purchase separately. Perhaps the most unique feature of the Speed Lite 20 is the side compression straps. Compression straps can add stability to the backpack, but these straps also double as gear attachment points. Fully extended they can be used to pack your skis, tripod, ice axe, or poles.


Though this is a rather small daypack, it is surprisingly comfortable. The cushioned back pad and shoulder straps contribute greatly to the overall comfort. Plus the mesh material brings air to your back and greatly reduces the amount of sweat that usually gathers.

The hip belt is small and can easily be removed if you prefer. Torso size does not matter as the Deuter Speed Lite 20 is comfortable for a variety of different heights. Even when packed to the brim, this daypack still manages to be comfortable.Full of gear or no gear at all, the Speed Lite 20 excels in comfort.


When empty, this lightweight pack weighs just over a pound. This is still greater than some other backpacks in its class. However, this is only due to the added features. The comfort padding on the shoulder straps and back pad add weight. Some features can be removed to make the pack lighter. This includes the frame and the hip belt. The lightweight nature and smaller storage capacity make this daypack is perfect for day hikes, as well as traveling and daily use.


With its many features, the Deuter Speed Lite 20 is very versatile. This pack was designed to provide the most amenities possible while remaining a lightweight pack. However, this is still an essentials-only pack due to its small storage capacity.

It is perfect for short hikes, no more than a day long. This pack is also small enough to be used as a hydration-only pack for runs and short hikes. When it is folded, it is small and compact enough to be packed into a large pack for your longer backpacking trips.

Another feature that contributes to the Speed Lite 20’s high versatility is its compression straps. These straps can be used as gear attachment points. This makes it super easy to bring longer gear with you on your hikes, like skis and trekking poles. This daypack is also small enough that it can easily transition from the trail to everyday life. It would be perfect for carrying personal belongings to work or school, or even great for travel. Because of its versatility, you have more occasion to use this pack.

Ease of Use

With its many features, this pack makes hiking a breeze. It can hold all the essentials, plus a little bit more. You can use it in almost any situation, whether it be a regular work day or a hiking trip. With all of the additional outside storage on the pack, the gear attachment points, and extra pockets, this daypack can hold more than gear than most other 20 liter packs can. With just the right amount of special features, the Deuter Speed Lite 20 is one of the best packs for almost every situation.


This daypack is made out of durable Hexlite 210 ripstop nylon. The bottom of this pack is also reinforced with an additional layer of fabric. The zippers seal very well and keep out most water and rain. Use this pack as much as you want, toss it around, wear it in the rain, it will still be just as good as the day you got it. The Speed Lite 20 is very durable and can withstand a lot of use.

Technical Specifications

Best UseHiking
Bag StyleBackpack
Frame TypeInternal Frame
Gear Capacity (L)19.5 liter
Gear Capacity (cu. in.)1,200 cubic inches
Weight1 lb. 2 oz.
Fits Torso17 – 22 inches
Fits Waist/Hips28 – 40 inches
Material(s)Ripstop nylon
Frame MaterialDerlin POM plastic
Number of Stays1
Pack AccessPanel
Number of Exterior Pockets4 + main compartment
Dimensions19 x 10 x 7 inches

Best Applications

This pack is best used for, well pretty much any activity that involves hauling some gear. It’s design makes it perfect for climbing, hiking, skiing or traipsing around the Coliseum in Rome. It does have its limits since it doesn’t offer nearly as much storage as an external backpack but can still hold its weight on the trail.

It is made out of highly durable materials, has over 3 different key features including external storage pockets, as well as mesh padding to help regulate sweat in heated temperatures. From the material type to the number of uses this pack can endure, it is worth its price point. The Deuter will leave you without any regrets and a great hike on any trail.

Other Versions & Accessories

The Deuter Speed Lite also comes in a slightly smaller 10 & 15 liter versions of the same pack, with the same myriad of features as their bigger brother. So if you want to travel even lighter you can shave a few more ounces from your pack and get one of the smaller versions.

​Deuter also provides several accessories including it’s range of hydration bladders, called Streamer, available in 2L and 3L sizes. While the bag holds up admirably to the elements, no bag with exposed seams and zips will ever be completely waterproof, so we recommended investing in a rain cover if you expect to be exposed to inclement weather.


Osprey Manta AG 28 Hydration Pack

Osprey Manta 24 Men's Hiking Hydration Backpack , Black

This Osprey pack offers a slimmer profile while continuing the durability of its brand and versatility. Compared to the Deuter, which does not come with a reservoir, offers more size options of small/medium and medium/large, as well as multiple color options of gray, blue, or green.

The Deuter offers a better pack for beginner hikers or for people going on much shorter hikes due to its lack of storage space. The Osprey is perfect for intermediate to expert hikers due to its high-value storage options and breathable mesh material.

Osprey Escapist 25 Pack

Osprey Packs Escapist 25 Daypack

The Osprey Escapist is perfect for hikers, campers, and bikers alike due to its high storage options and durability. Where the Deuter is mainly a hiker’s go to pack, the Osprey comes with blinker light attachments, storage dividers, as well as a built-in rain cover.

Complete with zippered waist pockets and a helmet attachment it is on par with the Deuter in most aspects. The main difference being the frame types, storage selectability, as well as multiple color options. As an avid hiker, you would be comfortable with either one.

Osprey Manta AG 36 Pack

Osprey Packs Manta 34 Hydration Pack, Black, One Size

This backpack offers a variety of different sizing and colors which makes it perfect for people with slimmer or larger waist and chest sizes. Its internal steel frame makes it a more sustainable pack for hikers partaking in longer trips.

The Osprey Manta AG has better access to the storage space through the sides and top which make it easier to grab snacks and ponchos during your hike. However, nothing can beat Deuter’s extremely durable Nylon material with layered protection to protect any rips or tears from outdoor activities.

Osprey Escapist 32 Pack

Osprey Packs Momentum 26 Daypack, Orchard Green

This hiking pack is very similar to its predecessor, the Osprey Escapist 25, but offers much larger storage compartments. In relation to the Deuter, it is made for the above-average hiker with its variety of sizes and colors.

Out of all the compared packs, the size variety is where the Deuter falls behind the most. The Osprey springs ahead with its ultra-durable Nylon strength and stronger frame options. This particular pack, however, has over 11 impressive storage compartments and can carry over 30 to 32 liters of gear making it the perfect hiking pack for longer trips.

Last update on 2022-01-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Brian has been an avid hiker and backpacker since he was a small kid, often being taken out into the wilderness on trips with his father. His dad knew everything about nature and the wilderness (or at least that's how it seemed to a ten year old Brian).

After high school, he went to university to read for both a BS and MS in Geology (primarily so he could spend his time outside rather than in a classroom). He's now hiked, camped, skied, backpacked or mapped on five continents (still need to bag Antartica) & 30 of the US states.

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