While backpacking in Yosemite I came to the conclusion that I needed a new backpack. Although Gregory is well known for making fantastic packs, my Electra simply wasn't working for me. The hip belt was very stiff and always felt painful after a few hours on the trail. The decision was straightforward but led to a dilemma of what pack next? There were just so many options, but in the end, I went with the Deuter ACT Zero 45 + 15 SL. Here are some of the reasons why I went for it...
- Deuter is a highly respected German brand that's been making outdoor equipment since 1898. Their backpacks have won numerous awards for comfort and thoughtful design features.
- I tried this pack on in store and being the women's specific version (signified by the "SL") it fit my petite (5'2") frame beautifully due to the shorter carrying frame. The hip belt and shoulder straps were also very nicely padded which had been an issue for me with my other pack.
- I wanted a smaller pack for venturing into ultra light backpacking (and to encourage me to pack less!) but this pack also allows you to stash an extra 15 liters with a special extendable top design.
- Lots of thoughtful features such as hydration system compatible up to 3.0 liters, SOS instructions label on inside of the lid, and hip belt pocket for quick assess of small items while hiking.
- Fairly light weighing in at 3 lbs 2 oz
So far I've used this pack backpacking in Yosemite and for three weeks of trekking and traveling in Nepal and India. So far I have no complaints. It's been awesome! Extremely comfortable and not showing any signs of wear or tear yet, which is good as I intend for it to be my sole pack for many years to come.