Reviews You Can Rely On

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Review

A great all-around 20-liter daypack that is lightweight and designed for maximum versatility
deuter speed lite 20 daypack review
Credit: Deuter
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $80 List | $78.95 at Amazon
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
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Weight - 25% 7.0
  • Versatility - 25% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6.0
  • Durability - 10% 6.0

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 daypack review
Awards  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award   
Price $80 List
$78.95 at Amazon
$60 List
$35.89 at REI
$63.01 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$80 List
Check Price at REI
$40 List
$39.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
63
72
68
68
67
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Lightweight, low profileLightweight, only includes essential features, comfortable suspension for the weightSimple, lightweight, versatileSimple, durable, versatile, inexpensiveAffordable, minimalist design, lightweight, super packable
Cons Thin waist belt, the front pocket is difficult to get intoUncomfortable with heavy loads, lacks durabilityA little small, lacks high-end featuresNo padded waist belt, heavy for the volume and featuresFew extra features, thin shoulder straps and hip belt
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, durable backpack for the casual to enthusiastic day hiker that is also suitable for commuting and multi-sport useA simple pack that's easy on the wallet, ultralight, and super popular
Rating Categories Deuter Speed Lite 20 REI Co-op Flash 22 Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Trail 25 REI Co-op Flash 18
Comfort (25%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Weight (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
Versatility (25%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
5.0
6.0
8.0
4.0
Specs Deuter Speed Lite 20 REI Co-op Flash 22 Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Trail 25 REI Co-op Flash 18
Volume 20 L 22 L 20 L 25 L 18 L
Measured Weight 16.1 oz 14.0 oz 20.6 oz 30.9 oz 9.5 oz
Back Construction Mesh and soft foam Removable foam pad Mesh over vented foam Contured, foam pad Simple foam pad
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 Internal hydration sleeve
Hip Belt 3/4" webbing, removable Broad, not padded. 3/4" webbing, removable 3/4" webbing 3/4" webbing, removable
Number of pockets 5 5 6 6 2
Description of Pockets 2 stretchy mesh side, 1 internal zippered with key clip, 1 back stuffable, 1 main compartment 1 main compartment, 2 mesh side bottle pouches, 1 side zippered pocket, 1 top pouch 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. 3 stretchy mesh side, 1 top zippered, 1 main compartment zippered, 1 bottom zippered for rain cover 1 cinched main compartment, 1 outer zippered
Materials Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon
Outside Carry Options Emergency light tab, places to mount aftermarket helmet holder, one pair of side compression straps Tool loop and bungee holder Side compression strap Daisy chain, ice axe, pole loops, sleeping pad straps (bottom and top) 1 exterior daisy chain, ice-axe loop
Whistle No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Other Notable Features Versatile compression, ice axe loop Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum, removeable Packmod bungee Compatible as an attachment to other Osprey packs None Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum and hip belt straps

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


deuter speed lite 20 daypack review - 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.
Credit: 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.

The well-padded back panel is quite comfortable.
The well-padded back panel is quite comfortable.
The Speed Lite has surprisingly thick and comfortable shoulder...
The Speed Lite has surprisingly thick and comfortable shoulder straps for a pack of this size.

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.

Convenient buckle compression straps make securing gear a snap.
Convenient buckle compression straps make securing gear a snap.
The big mesh side pouches are large enough for even a 1.5-liter...
The big mesh side pouches are large enough for even a 1.5-liter Nalgene water bottle.

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).

deuter speed lite 20 daypack review - 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.
Credit: 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
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More