Deuter Speed Lite 20 Review

When it comes to hiking gear you can rarely go wrong with the Deuter brand name. In our Deuter Speed Lite 20 review, find out if this lightweight hiking backpack lives up to its usual reputation.

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Deuter Speed Lite 20 Review

Our Rating: 4.7/5

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Black One Size

In our Deuter Speed Lite 20 review, we found a versatile daypack for the avid hiker/climber/camper/skier (delete where appropriate). With a lightweight frame and many useful features, this is one of our favorites scoring well in all categories.

It has breathable mesh padding styled with durable Nylon, ideal for use come rain or shine. Also, its unique V-shape gives flexibility that many packs lack and that can cause strenuous pressure on the average hiker. A popular purchase among the outdoors community this excellent bag does exactly what we want it to.

Key Features

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

Category Scores

95%
Comfort
99%
Weight to Volume
96%
Versatility
93%
Durability
94%
Ease of Use
  • PROs

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

    • Thin unpadded hip belt could use extra padding
Bottom-Line: A versatile little pack with a variety of storage compartments that will appeal to hikers or climbers.

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Hands-On Review

Looking For An Unbiased Review Of The Deuter Speed Lite 20?

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

    • We break down the most important features of a daypack
    • Discuss this packs pros and cons
    • Our recommendations on the “best use” for this pack

In our review of the Deuter Speed Lite 20, we found this pack to be super lightweight and durable, a great combination for a hiking daypack. With all of its special features, it truly stands out from the crowd.

The pack itself is made of super durable nylon, and the bottom is reinforced with an added layer of fabric. It has padded back and shoulder straps, both made of a breathable mesh material and also features an adjustable sternum strap and hip belt to facilitate weight distribution. The hip belts are detachable. Its lightweight frame is also removable and so can be added to give extra support if and when needed.

There is a spacious main compartment to hold the bulk of your gear with a large mesh front pocket perfect for holding wet clothes, gloves, and rain covers. There are plenty of other storage pockets as well to help keep all the gear you have organized with side mesh pockets that can hold water bottles, a stash pocket at the top with key clip, and various other small pockets to stow away valuables. There is also an internal hydration sleeve for your hydration pack and a place where you can run the drink tube for easy, on-the-go hydration.

More features of the Speed Lite 20 include gear loops that can attach to a helmet holder (purchased separately) as well as side compression straps. Compression straps can add stability to a backpack but they also double as gear attachment points. Fully extended they can be used to pack your skis, tripod, ice axe, or poles.

Comfort

Though this is a rather small pack, 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 there.

The hip belt is small and can easily be removed if you prefer. Also, torso size isn’t an issue 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 when it comes to comfort.

Weight

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

Versatility

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

It is a great daypack for short hikes and is also small enough to be used as a hydration-only pack for runs and hikes. When 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 which can be used as gear attachment points. This makes it super easy to bring longer gear, such as skis and trekking poles, with you on your hikes. This daypack is also small enough that it can easily transition from the trail to everyday life, perfect for carrying personal belongings to work or school, and is even great for travel. Because it’s highly versatile, you’ll have more occasion to use this pack.

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Ease Of Use

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

Durability

This daypack is made out of durable Hexlite 210 ripstop nylon with the bottom reinforced with an extra layer of fabric. The zippers seal well and keep out most water and rain. Use this pack as much as you want, toss it around, wear it in the rain, and 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
HipbeltYes
Dimensions19 x 10 x 7 inches
GenderUnisex
Deuter Speed Lite 20 stats

Best Applications

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

It is made with highly durable materials, and has a multitude of key features including external storage pockets and mesh padding to help regulate sweat at elevated temperatures. From the material type to the number of uses this pack can endure, it is worth its price point. The Deuter Speed Lite 20 will leave you with no regrets and a great day out on any trail.

Other Versions & Accessories

The Deuter Speed Lite 20 also comes in two smaller versions at 10 & 15 liters, 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 by getting one of the smaller versions.

Deuter Speed Lite 10 Daypack

​Deuter also provides accessories for this pack including its range of hydration bladders called Streamer, available in 1.5L, 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.

Alternatives

Osprey Escapist 25 Pack

The Osprey Escapist is perfect for hikers, campers, and bikers alike due to its high storage capacity 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 Speed Lite 20 in most aspects. The main difference is seen with the frame types, storage selectability, and the much higher price. Either one is suitable for an avid hiker.

Osprey Escapist 32 Pack

This hiking pack is similar to its predecessor, the Osprey Escapist 25, but offers much larger storage compartments. In relation to the Deuter Speed Lite 20, we would recommend it for the above-average hiker due to its ultra-durable Nylon strength and stronger frame options.

Out of all the compared packs, size variety is where the Deuter backpack falls behind most. 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 2022-07-02 / 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 Antarctica) & 30 of the US states.

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