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Deuter Speed Lite 20 Review

A great all-around 20-liter daypack that is lightweight and designed for maximum versatility
Deuter Speed Lite 20
Photo: Deuter
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Price:  $80 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, low profile
Cons:  Thin waist belt, the front pocket is difficult to get into
Manufacturer:   Deuter
By Jacob Clark & Jediah Porter  ⋅  Oct 28, 2021
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Weight - 25% 7
  • Versatility - 25% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Deuter Speed Lite 20 presents a nice balance between low weight and simplicity, with just the right amount of features and comfort. We especially liked using it as an airline "personal item" and for long day hikes. The water bottle pockets are large and work well, and most features are easy to use. Overall, the Speed Lite is an excellent day pack with the features you need for your next adventure.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Deuter Speed Lite 20
Awards  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award   
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$55 List
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$40 List
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
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Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight, low profileLightweight, only the necessary features, comfortable suspension for the weightSimple, lightweight, versatileAffordable, minimalist design, lightweight, super packableLightweight, external accessed hydration or document compartment, breathable back panel and shoulder straps
Cons Thin waist belt, the front pocket is difficult to get intoUncomfortable with heavy loads, not durableA little small, lacks high-end featuresFew features, thin shoulder straps and hip beltOnly 2 compression straps limits lashing opportunities, no ice axe loop, size is a bit small for long days, water bottle pockets are small
Bottom Line A great all-around 20-liter daypack that is lightweight and designed for maximum versatilityThis pack is an excellent value, providing all-around performance for light and fast activities at a bargain priceA simple and lightweight hiking backpack that serves a dual purpose with a laptop sleeveA simple pack that's easy on the wallet, ultralight, and super popularThis is a simple daypack with everything you need for short hikes and for traveling
Rating Categories Deuter Speed Lite 20 REI Co-op Flash 22 Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Flash 18 Osprey Daylite
Comfort (25%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Weight (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
10.0
7.0
Versatility (25%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
7.0
Specs Deuter Speed Lite 20 REI Co-op Flash 22 Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Flash 18 Osprey Daylite
Volume (liters) 20 L 22 L 20 L 18 L 13 L
Measured Weight (ounces) 16.1 oz 12.6 oz 20.6 oz 9.0 oz 16.0 oz
Back Construction Mesh and soft foam Simple foam pad Mesh over vented foam Simple foam pad Mesh and soft foam
Hydration Compatibility Internal sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included Internal hydration sleeve Internally accessed sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included Internal hydration sleeve Sleeve for 2L bladder or tablet, bladder not included
Hipbelt 3/4" webbing, removable 3/4" webbing removable 3/4" webbing, removable 3/4" webbing removable 3/4" webbing, removable
Number of pockets 5 5 6 2 3
Description of Pockets 2 stretchy mesh side, 1 internal zippered with key clip, 1 back stuffable, 1 main compartment 1 main top loader, 2 side stretchy mesh, 1 top lid zippered, 1 outer zippered 2 stretchy mesh side, 1 interior padded laptop sleeve, 1 back zippered with internal mesh dividers and key clip, 1 back expandable waterbottle, 1 back zippered. 1 main top loader, 1 outer zippered 2 side mesh pockets, 1 front pocket
Materials Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon 210D nylon and 600D packcloth
Outside Carry Options Emergency light tab, places to mount aftermarket helmet holder, one pair of side compression straps Ice axe loop and bungee holder, daisy chains, attachment loops around back panel Side compression strap 1 exterior daisy chain 1 strap on each side, small water bottle pockets
Whistle No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other Notable Features Versatile compression, ice axe loop Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum and hip belt straps, attachment loops to add compression cords Compatible as an attachment to other Osprey packs Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum and hip belt straps Attaches to several large Osprey backpacks

Our Analysis and Test Results

This little pack sure packs a big punch. With its well-thought-out features, the Deuter Speed Lite brings home strong scores for its ability to transition through a vast amount of activities. It works well for day hikes, as well as most day-long activities like mountain biking or climbing. It just doesn't stand out in any one way, in a field of excellent products.

Performance Comparison


The Speed Lite 20 is a lightweight and comfortable daypack that...
The Speed Lite 20 is a lightweight and comfortable daypack that holds the essentials without being weighed down with features you don't need.
Photo: Jacob Clark

Comfort


For such a small pack, the Speed Lite has a well-cushioned back panel and shoulder straps. Though it may not provide as much ventilation as suspended-mesh back panels, its flexible fit remains comfortable and stable across the board for several torso sizes.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

When filled with a heavy rain jacket, group med kit, water, snacks, headlamp, and a few other necessities, the Speed Lite proved to be quite comfortable.

Weight


Weighing in at 16.1 ounces in a 20-liter size, the Deuter Speed Lite has a decent weight-to-volume ratio of 0.81 ounces per liter. It has more amenities than other similar packs, including a minimal frame structure with padded back paneling and shoulder straps, which add a little bit of weight to this pack. This weight-class of backpacks are great for traveling and work well as personal items, or can compress and fit in your luggage or backpacking pack.

Versatility


This is an essentials-only pack. It is perfect for summiting a multi-pitch climb and fast day hike missions. For fast travel and running, it may be better to look for a high-volume vest for less bounce.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

It's small enough to take the place of a hydration-specific pack, as well as being compressible and packable enough to accompany you on your next backpacking venture. There are a few outside lashing options to accommodate extras, such as your ice axe, trekking poles, and helmet. These lashing options made it a little more versatile compared to some of the minimalist packs we tested.

Ease of Use


This is a pretty simple pack with just the right amount of handy bells and whistles. Though slightly less featured than some packs, it still performs just as well. It not only held all of our hiking essentials in our pack test, but it also held a 13-inch laptop (without any room to spare).

A convenient small pocket right up top is perfect for keys or a phone.
A convenient small pocket right up top is perfect for keys or a phone.
Photo: Jacob Clark

One of the drawbacks of this pack is the thin hip belt, which only aids in some stability as opposed to carrying the load on the hips. However, it can also be removed.

The size of this pack is both a blessing and a curse, and you should be fully aware of your needs, coupled with the capabilities of the Speed Lite. If you're looking for a pack that is capable of holding a multitude of layers and gear, this is probably not the pack for you. Yet, if you're looking for something on light and fast days for trail running, multi-pitch climbing, and peak bagging then it says it all in its name; the Speed Lite is the pack for you.

Durability


Within the duration that we used and abused this pack, it proved to be quite durable. This pack has held up on many adventures; protecting camera equipment while dirt biking around the Utah desert and bushwhacking through dense forest. The zippers seal incredibly well, though are not waterproof. Without a rain cover, it held up surprisingly well to rain. While it may protect camera equipment dirt biking, maybe choose a different pack in the rain for sensitive contents. One thing to be aware of is that the buckles are Deuter's proprietary design. This means that when one breaks, it may be complicated to replace.

Value


We think this pack is a great deal. It has more features than some of our heavier packs and with extra lashing and stow options, it can carry just as much.

Conclusion


The Deuter Speed Lite 20 is your basic daypack, with a few features that set it apart. It is simple in design, but is lightweight, comfortable, and can carry all of your essentials without weighing you down.

Jacob Clark & Jediah Porter

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