What size pack will fit me best; Standard or SL?

When sizing a pack it’s important to factor your height, body type, unique size/shape and experience and intentions for use. Together, your personal set of features are unlike any one else’s – and all should be considered when you select a pack. To accommodate the many unique bodies of outdoor adventurers, Deuter packs offer standard fit as well as an SL fit, meaning “slim line.”

SL packs were designed in close collaboration with Deuter’s female ambassadors to offer dimensions and carrying systems that fit smaller, more compact bodies. While designed to fit athletic women’s bodies better, the SL models are also great for slim men and younger guys who have shorter torsos or narrower frames. For example, a man with the classically triangle-shaped body of climber – broad, strong shoulders, very narrow, trim waist, might fit an SL pack better for its narrower back. In fact, Jordan Romero, the youngest person ever to successfully climb Mt Everest at age 13 used an ACT Lite 60+10 SL on his summit bid.

Standard packs offer a longer length for longer torsos, wider and more broadly set should straps, and wider over-all back dimensions.

Another difference between the SL and Standard packs is that the hip belt on SL models that is attached at an angle at anchor points to better accommodates the curves of hips comfortably.

Measure your torso

  • Backpacker has an excellent video to show how to do this – its helpful to have a partner!
  • Standard Deuter packs fit torsos between 17”– 22” long, approximately
  • SL packs fit torsos between 13” – 20” long, approximately
  • Note: many of our packs utilize our Variquick adjustable shoulder harness system that allows users to dial in a precise fit

Consider the Width of Your Shoulders and Back, Broad or Narrow?

  • Be sure the straps are spaced comfortably on your shoulders. Too narrow and they may cut off circulation or dig into your neck. Too wide can put uncomfortable pressure on your shoulders and cause imbalances in weight distribution.
  • Shoulder straps in SL models tend to be between ½”-1” narrower at the attachment point than Standard models
  • The best way to find the right width pack is to try one on at your local retailer, weighted to simulate the way it will feel when fully loaded.

Once you have selected the correctly sized pack, be sure it fits properly once loaded.

  • Use these directions to adjust your backpack appropriately so that most of the weight is on your hips and the pack is balanced and comfortable.
  • At the start of your hike, pull on your pack and adjust the straps for fit and comfort. About 20 minutes down the trail, stop and readjust your back to be sure it is still balanced and well positioned after the pack and gear inside has settled a bit.