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Deuter Speed Lite CV 23: A Super Lightweight Daypack!

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I’m very particular about my backpacks. I want the perfect balance of exterior pockets, interior organizational space, packability, and comfort. And I want to to not weigh much. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. And yeah, I want it to be sustainable as well. So, I was pretty stoked when I got to test the Deuter Speed Lite CV. Specifically the 23L SL version, which is the women’s-specific model. There’s also a 25 L unisex version. And frankly, I’m pretty impressed. Honestly, this backpack might just be my new favorite day pack.

That’s because for starters, a 23L pack, to me, is just the absolute perfect size for a day pack for most hiking adventures. I mean, in the summer, I just need something that’s going to carry one extra layer, plenty of snacks because I do like to eat, all the water I need, and my first aid kit. That’s it. I don’t want a huge day pack. And in the winter, on shorter day hikes, I really just need those same things–which, granted, might be a little bulkier–plus maybe a hand warmer or two and an extra pair of gloves. But 23 L is generally still the perfect size if I don’t need to carry things like snowshoes or ice axes or really puffy extra insulating layers. In fact, I tested this pack in the winter and found it just perfect.

Deuter Speed Lite CV
The Deuter Speed Lite CV 23 SL.

The Deuter Speed Lite CV 23: The Review

First of all, the pack is called the Speed Lite, largely because it’s so dang light. I mean, empty, this baby weighs just 24oz, not ultralight, per se, but still very light. It also packs down pretty dang flat, meaning you could potentially put this in a backpacking pack for, you know, base camp-based day hikes if you’re doing that sort of thing, but it also fits well in a carry-on or a duffel bag. And I love that about it because I’m constantly traveling to places where I am not going to carry on my backpack, but I want to have it when I arrive at my destination.

Plus, it has all of the features you could ever want in a daypack. Well, that I could ever want in a daypack, anyway:

  • A huge front stash pocket that’s stretchy and plenty big enough for things like snacks, maps, a lightweight rain jacket.
  • Two water bottle pockets, one on each side.
  • Trekking pole loops; daisy-chains.
  • A hydration reservoir pocket.
  • A low-profile and breathable hip belt with one hip belt pocket.
  • A nice roomy main compartment.
  • A zippered stash pocket right at the top.
Deuter Speed Lite CV
The back and hip belt of the Deuter Speed Lite CV 23 SL.

Now, if I had to pick one thing that I didn’t absolutely love about this pack, it would be that little stash pocket because it’s located on the top and towards the back panel of the backpack. If you put heavier things in that pocket, like a pocket knife, your phone, a small first aid kit, that sort of thing, and the backpack itself isn’t stuffed full, I did find that that little internal pocket kind of flaps against the back panel. You could fairly easily remedy that by just filling up the pack, putting the heavier stuff down inside the bag, or even stuffing that pocket into the hydration reservoir sleeve, which did help alleviate the problem a bit. Is that a deal-breaker for me? Absolutely not.

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Deuter Speed Lite CV
The Deuter Speed Lite CV 23 SL on my back.

As for the fit of this pack, I absolutely love how narrow and comfortable the shoulder straps are. Like I said, this is the SL version, so it’s a more women’s-specific fit with a slightly shorter torso. Now, I will say that for a woman, I have a slightly longer torso, so this was right on the edge for me of being almost too short. So if you do have an especially long torso, you might consider the non-SL version. Naturally, there’s a sternum strap, the shoulder straps are fully adjustable, there’s even an adorable little sunglass sleeve so you don’t lose your sustainable sunnies.

There are only three colors available: this gray shade in both the unisex and women’s specific version, and then a blue-gray for the women’s version and a lime green and turquoise for the unisex version.

Deuter Speed Lite CV
The interior pocket in the Deuter Speed Lite CV 23 SL.

The Deuter Speed Lite CV 23: Sustainability

As for sustainability, this pack is pretty impressive. Deuter has made a pretty significant commitment to sustainability, so this pack is made out of 100% recycled materials. Now, that is pre-consumer waste, not post-consumer (read about the difference in more detail in this post), but 100% is still impressive, so we can still totally get behind those materials. It’s totally PFC-free, and it’s Green Button certified, which is kind of the German version of Bluesign approved. Plus, Deuter offers a lifetime warranty on all of their packs, which means they’ll repair their gear no matter what happened to it. So, if it gets torn or damaged or falls apart, manufacturing defect or otherwise, you can send it back in to Deuter and they will fix it for free. That’s kind of a big deal because obviously a big part of sustainability is keeping things out of landfills. So, if it’s broke, fix it, don’t chuck it.

Deuter Speed Lite CV
The Deuter Speed Lite CV 23 SL on my back.

Bottom Line

That, friends, is the Deuter Speedlight CV 23L SL version. You should get one for yourself, but only if you need a new daypack. If you don’t need a new daypack, come on, stop with the over-consumerism already. But if you do need one, this is an excellent option, and yes, it does come in larger sizes, so if you need something with a little more space, they have that too. So grab your pack, fill it with the 10 Essentials, and wander on.

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