When it comes to the world of alpine sport packs, Deuter seems to have it dialed. The classic Guide 35+ has been my staple bag, for everything, for years. But now there’s a new contender in my gear closet!
Enter the Guide Lite 32+…
An ultralight reform, offering the functionality and versatility of the classic Guide, but in a super lightweight form – Just 1200g. A heavy-hitting contender in “fast-and-light”. An adaptable bag for the alpine, whether you’re ski-touring, climbing, making a summit push, or whatever else you could want to throw at it.
I’m pretty hard on my packs, and it’s rare that any bag joins my line up with a single use in mind.
I was stoked when Live Out There gave me the chance to give the Deuter Guide Lite 32+ its first run back in December 2015 on a 7 day summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, Africa.
The Guide Lite served as a great carry-on during flight. At full capacity it fit in over-head luggage bins and in the under seat storage – With limited leg room mind you, but it serves in a pinch when over-head space runs out.
On safari things got pretty dusty, but the Guide Lite kept my camera gear and other essentials clean and safe from dust and damage. One main access point means minimal areas for dust and un-wanted’s to get in.
And on Kilimanjaro, this was my trekking day pack for 7 days. My minimum load each day was:
- 3L camelback & 1L Nalgene
- Canon 6D w/24-105mm, and 100-400mm lenses
- ALL of my camera kit and accessories (two tripods, Goal zero power station, backup batteries/charging station/cleaning kit, etc.)
- Rain gear and several layers
- First Aid kit/emergency supplies
There was more weight than bulk in that load. Which for me is often the case when I’m on the go to shoot. It’s amazing how much weight water and camera gear can eat up!
I was really impressed with how the Lite, like its predecessor, handled a heavier, unbalanced load. It cinches well around the upper-mid section to keep things just a little more secure inside your pack. Since I tend to pack this way often, I’m quite a fan of the taller, slimmer design, compared to come bags.
Tip: If you are like me and tend to over pack the lid without filling the whole bag, pack your rain gear and a warm layer last. Cinch the hood and stuff it down inside the pack. Fill the hood with your layers, and use the second cinch to secure them. This can create a nice, light volume on top of your pack to balance your hood.
The durability on this bag thus far has been very impressive. Africa saw a lot of rock, rain and airport stress. Post-Africa, this bag became my winter backcountry and hiking pack; It carried my clothes, camera kit and nearly all my essentials to fly in to Utah for our Moe’s Valley Bouldering adventure this spring; It serves as my crag day and multi-pitch pack – Capable of packing my 70m rope, harness, draws, anchors, etc. PLUS my camera kit, and lunch. The bottom line – This pack has gone on nearly every venture with me outdoors since December, at the end of the day it still looks new.
Climbing with a taller bag certainly takes some adjusting, but knowing your bag’s got your back if weather takes a turn is a comforting feel up high. At first glance you may underestimate the pack, but don’t… This is one rugged bag.
- Ultra lightweight & Rugged design (210D Ripstop & 500D Duratex face fabric) at 1200g
- Minimal break-in time require
- Slim profile allows freedom of movement and doesn’t restrict in the trees or on rock
- Taller bag design can limit head movement when fully packed
- Lid fixed to pack – Somewhat limits flexibility with expandable hood
Conclusion: Fast n’ light, rugged n’ tight. A must-have pack for any outdoor arsenal.