Is a 28 on the ACT good

Deuter ACT Trail 32 put to the test: the all-rounder hiking backpack

The ACT Trail from Deuter as a 32 liter version is a light and versatile all-round backpack with a wide range of uses. On various mountain tours with Martin Cymorek, he was able to prove whether he is unreservedly suitable as a companion.

Deuter promises with his hiking backpack ACT Trail 32 super comfort, little sweating on the back and enormous versatility with 32 liters of packing volume. My requirements for a backpack are quite high, as I often have back problems and also work up a sweat easily. In addition, it is important to me that I can organize myself well with my backpack during the tour. I also expect that an all-round rucksack with a packing volume of 32 liters can easily cope with a multi-day tour. And last but not least, good workmanship and an attractive design are important to me. With these expectations in mind, I went on a test tour with the Deuter ACT Trail 32.

The Deuter ACT Trail 32 at first sight

The workmanship of the ACT Trail 32 is - typically Deuter - first class. The seams are all neatly processed, the material makes a high-quality and solid impression. All zippers are pleasantly smooth and the buckles can be easily opened and closed with one hand. Particularly stressed elements such as the lid buckle are reinforced again.

I like the shapely and modern design of the hiking backpack - the honeycomb structure pattern of the outer material just looks fresh and robust at the same time. I have the ACT Trail 32 in a bright red (fire-cranberry). The model is also available as a subtle variant in black (black-anthracite), and sizes with a packing volume of 24, 28 and 30 liters are also new in the series.

One of the most important properties of every backpack is comfort. In my opinion, it is best to be able to completely forget about your backpack on a tour. Deuter relies on this for the ACT Trail 32 Deuter Aircontact Trail Systemthat promises good load distribution and ventilation on the back. I am particularly interested in the development of sweat in the model, as it is a body contact backpack that lies directly on the back.

Consideration for the back - the wearing comfort in practice

The practical test should show how the Deuter hiking backpack feels on your back. I packed the backpack full on each of my test tours and also took my girlfriend's things with me to use up the full volume. It was really heavy to lift, but the ACT Trail is hardly on your back when it feels better.

After a few adjustments to the anatomically shaped shoulder straps, the upper adjustment straps and the hip belt, the backpack sits nicely close to the back. He uses the entire length of the back, which means that the load is distributed very well. I am 187 centimeters tall and accordingly have a long back, so this backpack is optimally cut for me. For women there is also a women's version of the ACT Trail, which adapts to the female anatomy with the shorter SL back length.

Video: How to adjust a Deuter backpack correctly

On the way in the mountains, the Deuter ACT Trail 32 behaves as hoped. You hardly notice the burden on your back. Thanks to the flexibly tensioned Delfin® U-frame, it follows every movement without any problems - it stays in its position even when bending down. Because of the closeness to the body and the narrow cut, you never have the feeling that the back load is pulling you backwards. I find this very important for via ferrata tours or exposed passages. The anatomically shaped shoulder straps are very comfortable and leave enough space around the neck. However, additional clips would be required on the hip fin. The excess webbing dangles in front of the thighs, especially with slim people.

Back climate on the mountain

In addition to load distribution, ventilation is also an important point when it comes to wearing comfort. With the Aircontact Trail System, Deuter promises 15 percent less sweating compared to conventional body contact backpacks. With the help of two Aircontact cushions made of special hollow chamber foam, a pumping effect is to be created that leads to an exchange of air. The air can then escape through the ventilation channel between the Aircontact cushions. I sweat a lot when I'm hiking on the mountain.

During my test tours, I had bright sunshine, cloudy, dull conditions and sometimes snow. Of course, when I was exerting myself on the Deuter ACT Trail 32, I also sweated my back, but actually felt a little less. However, this is a subjective perception and is of course also related to the functional clothing on the body. The Aircontact cushions made of 3D mesh are definitely super comfortable on the back. They cushion the load and soak up the sweat. In my opinion, the back climate is balanced in all weathers and I find that very positive.

Hiking backpack for multi-day tours with a practical front opening

The Deuter ACT Trail 32 shines with many pockets and compartments. In the center is the main compartment with a large opening at the top. In addition, this can be opened completely over the front. This gives you a great overview of the entire content. I like that very much, especially on hut tours you can easily access your hut sleeping bag through the front opening and you can organize yourself well. The placement of the front zipper might have been a little cheaper, especially when you are out and about you have to loosen two buckles to open the zipper completely.

There is also a zipped side pocket in which you can stow various small items. Unfortunately, it turned out a little too shallow. If the main compartment is full, the side pocket can no longer be used optimally. On the other side there is an elastic outer pocket. Here you can stow a water bottle or the hiking guide, for example, so that you have them to hand. This pocket is very generous and deep. In addition to the inner compartment for valuables, there is also another pocket on the outside of the lid. Both offer enough space for wallet, keys, sunscreen, compact camera, etc. Optionally, you can put some of these things in the small but sufficiently large compartment on the right hip fin.

Versatile equipment

The open pocket on the front is a big plus on tour. Here you can quickly stow your softshell jacket or wind stopper in changeable weather. When the sun is shining, this bag can also be used as a wet laundry compartment. Here, the sun's rays dry clothes quickly.

Of course, an all-rounder like the Deuter ACT Trail 32 should not be without the ice ax and hiking stick holder. The areas around the breakpoints are also made more robust and appear very stable. I always had hiking sticks with me on my tours and could rely on the holder. The sticks are secured even in a stooped position.

What would a Deuter backpack be without its rain cover in the bottom? The ACT Trail also has a removable rain cover that perfectly encloses the entire backpack.

I also think it's very good that there is space for hydration bladders of up to three liters in the all-rounder. Overall, the storage options are absolutely convincing. Everything finds its place, I had no problems organizing myself with my backpack on my tours and I didn't have to do without anything.

Test result for the Deuter ACT Trail 32: Faithful companion

The Deuter ACT Trail with 32 liters of packing volume is a real all-rounder. The wearing comfort with a body-hugging load distribution and the good ventilation via the soft 3D mesh padding is very good. Wearing it for hours is no problem. In terms of equipment, the Deuter backpack definitely convinced me. In my opinion, it offers everything an all-rounder needs. The Deuter ACT Trail 32 is well suited for hikes and multi-day tours with overnight stays in a hut to more special uses on via ferrata or as a companion in alpine terrain. You can even use it as comfortable hand luggage on a city tour or for shopping. In any case, I have found a new companion in him.

More about backpacks in the Bergzeit magazine