As a backpacker, you always have a bit of a love-hate relationship with your backpack, right? You have to log it along on planes, buses, through customs and re-pack it a gazillion times. But at the same time, if you have a backpack that is of good quality, it can mean a world of difference in how you experience your life on the road.
I’ve only ever had two backpacks in my life, the first was a heavy beige, brand-less pack that I got for my very first solo trip (to Tokyo and Australia) in 2006 and the second, the Quechua Forclaz 60 Backpack I got for my second world trip in 2008, that ended up during 7 months through various countries in Asia and Oceania. After that, I ended up bringing the same backpack back to Australia when me and Nick move there to live in Sydney for two years.
Me and my backpack have been through a lot. It has seen music festivals, hiked through the Annapurna mountain region in Nepal, got lost in India and lost in Fiji, survived many border securities and got shampoo all over it on the way back from Australia to Holland. But, without this bag, I couldn’t have made all these amazing trips!
Back in Europe, we started taking more weekend breaks rather than long-haul trips and I’ve been using a trolley and recently my Standard luggage 3-in-1 carry-on backpack. But every now and then, I make a bigger trip and out the good old Quechua backpack 60L comes. And I’m still happy with it!
In this review, I tell you all about the features of this backpack. While the exact model doesn’t exist anymore, I love the quality of the brand Quechua (we also have their tent) and this review should give you a good guide on what to look for in a backpack if you’re considering buying one for your travels.
Let’s have a look!
Backpack Review Quechua Forclaz 60
(+ answering questions you’ll probably have when buying your own backpack)
What size of backpack to buy?
As I said, I bought the Quechua Forclaz 60 for my second world trip, as my old backpack was too heavy, too small and just not very practical in general. I bought the bag for around 75 Euro’s at Decathlon in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
While prize was definitely a factor, I really looked for a backpack that had a minimum of 60 Liters, as my previous backpack was a lot smaller (I think around 50 liters) and I just needed more space. When you go out in search for a backpack, I recommend looking for something between 60-70 liters as well, except perhaps if you’re either a small person (then maybe 50-60 would be enough), or big and strong (then 70-80 should be enough). There are also 90 liter packs, but I really think that’s a crazy amount of space that you don’t really need unless you go serious trekking and need to fit a tent, etc.
Be aware that the bigger bag you buy, the more (unnecessary) crap you will carry around. Even with this 60 liter bag, I sometime managed to get about 20-25 kilo’s worth of stuff in. That’s NOT fun to have to carry on your back! Stay around 15 kilo’s and you’ll really enjoy your trip more. And probably won’t even miss those things you leave behind!
Oh, and don’t forget you’ll probably will carry another day pack with your valuables/camera, etc, so you’ll be carrying another 2-5 (or in my case 10) kilo’s on top of what’s on your back…
I Japan, I had the backpack Quechua with clothing strapped to the top, a day bag AND another camera bag. What the WHAT?
No wonder my smile here is a bit forced (and my hair has exploded)
What type of backpack to buy?
Another reason I picked this backpack, was because it was designed specifically for woman. That means the frame is set on our type of torso and straps are padded to suit our body type. Another BIG plus of this pack is that you can adjust the frame and belt yourself, which means you can really make sure that when it’s fully loaded, the pressure of the straps falls in all the right places. This can mean a world of different in how the backpack feels on your back.
As I learned from my previous backpack, I knew that a backpack that you can only load from the top is a bit of a nightmare, as you have to basically take everything out when you’re looking for something on the bottom, so I also looked specifically for a ‘front loader’ backpack. The Forclaz 60 as I bought has a zipper running over the full-length of the pack, so I can open it all the way and easily look inside. This way, I can also make use of all the space inside, because if there is a mini-hole, I can use the zipper (which opens both top to bottom as the other way around) to get somewhere and stuff in another piece of clothing. And believe me, I do this a LOT, as I can never decide on what to pack :) Looking at later bags though, I think I would in future prefer a zipper that goes around the bag (instead of through the middle), so you can open it like you would a suitcase.
Finally, fabric was important to me, because my first backpack was really quite stiff, so when packing, I wasted a lot of space because the material just didn’t give much. The Quechua bags are made of flexible Polyester, so enough wiggle room.
My backpack is currently covered in country flags.. still missing quite a few thought!
What else should I be looking for in a backpack?
As I’m a serious over-packer AND I have a terrible back, wearing comfort is very important to me and luckily the Quechua Forclaz fits my body well. It has a thick, padded waist belt that gives me a lot of support (always try to pack the heaviest things in your bag closest to your waist and lower back for support), the (adjustable) shoulder straps are padded and broad enough to make sure they don’t cut me in the arms, even when the bag is heavy.
I really like the ‘thumb loops‘ at the the shoulder straps. These are little ‘handles’ hanging from the shoulder straps, which you can stick your thumb or hands in and pull a bit down. I’m not quite sure how it works, but as it releases some of the weight of the bag, walking becomes a bit easier! You really pull yourself up, so to say.
This bag has two large pockets on the outside of the bag, which are perfect for shoes, things that may leak or items you’d like easy access to (I put my contact solution here, as well as my packets of tissues and a water bottle for example. There is also a little pocket one side of the waist band, where I keep my first aid kit, as it’s a perfect fit. Both sides of the bag feature a mesh pocket, which I personally never use (I’d rather see these had a zipper and be a normal pocket), but I guess if you’re hiking with this bag, you could put your map in there.
If you didn’t have enough pockets already (hint: when travelling you NEVER have enough pockets), there is a handy big slot under the ‘hood’ of the backpack where I keep my flight bag (which I always use when checking my bag at the airport, so no straps ever get stuck, and I can lock this). At the bottom of the bag, there is a little pocket with a rain cover, so no need to worry about buying that extra, or ever forgetting it! (Some other Quechua backpacks don’t have these included, so this rain cover for example if you need it)
The bottom part of the backpack can be ‘closed off’ from the larger top compartment of the bag with a zipper, which means you could use this part to keep your dirty shoes or laundry in, or anything else you’d like to keep separate. I like that the big compartment also has a flat pocket against the bag, where you can keep documents, books and magazines, and I use this a lot for that! It runs all the way to the bottom, so good for hiding things as well as it’s not easy to get to. And finally *takes a deep breath*… there is a secret zipper pocket inside the hood of the bag, which is hard to see, so perfect for storing spare money and other important things you don’t want easy access to.
Other Quechua Backpack Types:
While the exact backpack I bought in 2008 doesn’t exist anymore (the name exists, but many improvements have been made), I had a look at all the other Quechua backpacks out there and decided to make an overview for you, so you can do your own Quechua review.
Here are all the similar packs, ranging from 50 Liters to 80 (70+10) Liters:
|Quechua Forclaz 50
Grey & Mauve
|Quechua Easyfit 50
Blue & Purple
|Quechua Escape Lockable 50
Grey & Blue
|Quechua Forclaz 60
|Quechua Easyfit Women’s 60
Light Blue & Red
|Quechua Forclaz 70
Dark Grey & Khaki
|Quechua Escape Lockable 70
Blue & Grey
|Quechua Symbium 70+10
Dark Green & Dark Blue
Quechua Backpack Comparison:
All of the Quechua travel backpacks below have Side Pockets on the outside, Compression Straps (to press your pack together), Load Adjuster Straps (on top of the shoulder straps, to move the pack closer to your body and make it lighter), Foam Straps (Shoulder Straps), a Chest Strap (to prevent the bag from moving when you walk, Thumb loops (so you can hold this for easy walking) and Pole Loops (to tie your walking poles to).
|Forclaz 50 Quechua||From £31.99||50 L||Unisex||Grey & Mauve||1.7 kg||62||32||24||YES||AMAZON & QUECHUA|
|Easyfit 50 Quechua||From
|50 L||Men||Blue & Purple||1.75 kg||67||28||26||AUTO||AMAZON & QUECHUA|
|Escape Men’s Lockable 50 Quechua||From
|50 L||Men||Grey||2.27 kg||64||39||26||NO||QUECHUA|
|Escape Women’s Lockable 50 Quechua||From
|50 L||Women||Blue||2.27 kg||64||39||26||NO||QUECHUA|
|Forclaz 60 Quechua||From
|60 L||Unisex||Blue||1.8 kg||69||33||27||YES||QUECHUA|
|Easyfit Women’s 60 Quechua||From
|60 L||Women||Light Blue & Red||1.8 kg||69||33||27||AUTO||AMAZON & QUECHUA|
|Forclaz 70 Quechua||From
|70 L||Unisex||Dark Grey||1.9 kg||73||34||30||YES||AMAZON|
|Forclaz 70 Quechua||From
|70 L||Unisex||Khaki||1.9 kg||73||34||30||YES||AMAZON|
|Escape Men’s Lockable 70 Quechua||From
|70 L||Men||Blue||2.5 kg||65||40||32||YES||AMAZON|
|Escape Women’s Lockable 70 Quechua||From
|70 L||Women||Grey||2.5 kg||65||40||32||YES||QUECHUA|
|Symbium Women ‘s 70+10 Quechua||From
|70 + 10 L||Women||Dark Green||2.6 kg||82||36||30||YES||AMAZON|
|Symbium Men’s 70+10 Quechua||From
|70 + 10 L||Men||Dark Blue||2.85 kg||82||36||30||YES||AMAZON|
|Quechua Rucksack Forclaz 50||YES||NO||NO||Easy Access||AMAZON & QUECHUA|
|Quechua Easyfit 50||AUTO||NO||YES||Adjust the bag while wearing it||AMAZON & QUECHUA|
|Quechua Escape Men’s Lockable 50||NO||YES||YES||Lockable Zipper + Hood transforms into saddlebag + Opens Flat||QUECHUA|
|Quechua Escape Women’s Lockable 50||NO||YES||YES||Lockable Zipper + Hood transforms into saddlebag + Opens Flat||QUECHUA|
|Quechua 60L Forclaz||YES||NO||NO||Easy access||QUECHUA|
|Easyfit Women’s Quechua 60L Backpack||AUTO||NO||YES||Adjust the bag while wearing it||AMAZON & QUECHUA|
|Quechua Forclaz 70||YES||YES||NO||Easy access||AMAZON|
|Quechua Forclaz 70||YES||YES||NO||Easy access||AMAZON|
|Quechua Escape Men’s Lockable 70||YES||YES||YES||Lockable Zipper + Hood transforms into saddlebag + Opens Flat||AMAZON|
|Quechua Escape Women’s Lockable 70||YES||YES||YES||Lockable Zipper + Hood transforms into saddlebag + Opens Flat||QUECHUA|
|Quechua Symbium Women ‘s 70+10||YES||YES||YES||Adapts to walkers’ movements, prevents backpack swaying||AMAZON|
|Quechua Symbium Men’s 70+10||YES||YES||YES||Adapts to walkers’ movements, prevents backpack swaying||AMAZON|
I hope you liked this Quechua backpack review! Are you currently looking for a new backpack? What is a feature you would want your bag to have most?
Looking for more backpack reviews? Make sure to check out our following posts:
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- Fjällräven Kånken Backpack Review
- Flowfold Denizen Limited Tote Backpack Review
- Arcido Faroe Backpack Review
- This Innovative Carry On Backpack Was Made To Spark Joy!
- Ultimate Carry-On Bag by Standard Luggage – Version 2.0
Also make sure to read:
- How to Use the Clever Konmari Folding Method for Travel
- 5 Unique Gift Ideas for Someone Going Travelling You Need to Know About
- Ultimate Road Trip Planner: Travel Checklist for a Long Car Journey
- Best Glamping & Camping Tips and Tricks: How To Make the Most out of your Holiday
BOOKMARK ON PINTEREST:
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