A case for Decathlon Quechua Arpenaz 15 backpack

The recently launched 10 and 15 litre Quechua backpacks have been quickly dismissed by trekkers. Most feel that a 10 or 15-litre pack is so small that it has no real-world application. Some trekkers believe that these launches highlight Decathlon’s attempt to pander to the casual camper and hiker.

Decathlon Quechua Arpenaz 15 ultra-compact, waterproof backpack

Still, I feel that these 10 and 15-litre packs have an excellent weight to utility ratio and they punch well above their weight in specific situations. There are always a few (essential) items I need to have on me and it’s great not to have to lug a bigger bag around for a quick detour.

Imagine this: - You are camped at a beautiful campsite and you want to walk a few kilometres to explore or photograph your surroundings. Do you leave everything including your wallet unguarded at your campsite or do you break camp and carry everything with you? The choice usually boils down between lugging a virtually empty backpack with a few essentials, or only carrying gear that fits in your pockets and your hands. The former is inefficient while the latter means you cannot leave your hands free or carry too little for effective exploration.

A 10-15 litre backpack is heaven-sent in these scenarios

  1. For a photographer , it provides a place to tuck in a camera and a couple of lenses and accessories.
  2. For a camper, exploring the area around a campsite.
  3. Ultralight day treks.
  4. Short yet hard scrambles over difficult terrain.

Some may argue that a waist/fanny pack serves the same purpose as a small backpack. Yet, a small backpack is more comfortable to carry than a waist/fanny pack and it doesn’t get in the way when scrambling or glissading over rocks and boulders.

If I had to choose between these recently launched packs, me pick would be Quechua’s Arpenez 15 litre ultracompact in grey, white and orange. This nifty little pack is capacious and it rolls up into a small ball that fits my trouser/jacket pocket.

Our 15-litre ultracompact pack fits –

  • Ziplock with money and identification
  • Compact camera
  • Mini tripod
  • [Himalayan emergency kit]({% post_url 2015-11-23-Emergency-Kit-For-Himalayan-Treks %})
  • 0.6-litre water bottle
  • Couple of chocolates or GORP (Good old raisins and peanuts)

A poncho, windcheater or fleece can be tucked inside the daisy chain straps on the outside of the pack.

The pack weighs 97 grammes and it is made with 100.0% Polyester (PES) which sheds water well. Quechua Arpenez 15 ultracompact is available at Decathlon India for Rs 599.