From the overall fit and feel, to the littlest tiny features, the Deuter Guide Lite 24 is a thoughtfully designed pack for those looking to save weight without sacrificing functionality on technical climbs, rock or ice.
As the name suggests, the Guide Lite 24 is indeed light—650 grams to be precise. For comparison, the 30-liter model of the Patagonia Ascensionist—one of the most popular light alpine packs—is 670 grams. While the Ascensionist is obviously not much heavier despite having 25% more volume, it is designed in a more minimalist way, and it feels it. Deuter’s Guide Lite 24 on the other hand feels comfy and cushy in all the right places.
The most robust padding on the back of the Guide Lite corresponds to your back’s primary points of contact with the pack—lumbar area and each shoulder blade. Each of these areas get’s its own cushioned cutout. This lets air flow freely through the lower-relief sections of the back panel and helps with ventilation—something all sweaty-backed alpinists know is critical to avoiding overheating and then getting suddenly super cold.
The waist-belt is just a piece of one-inch webbing. This obviously keeps weight down, but I prefer something a little more robust and supportive, even on a light pack. That being said, the belt should be plenty for the loads you’ll be shouldering.
In the main compartment there is an elastic pocket against the back, good for a water bladder (with the standard slot to thread the hose through to the outside that most technical packs come with these days). The front panel has one zippered rectangular pocket for small things you might need quick access too—extra gloves, a quick snack, phone, etc.
There is one more zippered pocket located on the side of the pack, right above the wast-belt attachment point. In theory its great—the idea being that you can get to the pocket without having to take the pack off, making access to essentials even quicker and easier. In practice it can be a bit hard to reach and operate the zipper—a bit like trying to scratch an unreachable itch on your back.
My favorite feature of the pack was the brain. As a minimalist 24-liter pack, there is no traditional brain with pockets—just a thin nylon flap. It stretches over the top easily even when your pack is stuffed to the gills. The best part about the flap is its stow-ability: simply roll it up into the small rectangular pocket located next to the seam where the flap meets the pack’s body, and velcro shut.
Deuter has tried to think of even the smallest little things to help you out in the mountains. On one of the shoulder straps is a small tubular piece of stretchy elastic with a picture of sunglasses on it. This is your sunglasses holder, naturally. It wasn’t life-change having it—croakies are honestly the best solution, I think we can all agree—but it doesn’t hurt and some will certainly appreciate it.
The Deuter Guide Lite 24 is comfortable for how light it is, so I would definitely recommend for technical alpine rock or ice adventures. For anything involving longer mountain travel and long snow trudges, something with a bit more support is better.
At $130, this is a high-performance pack at a great price.
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