Quechua Forclaz 30 Air (2016)

Features

Ignore the price for a moment if you can and look at the features, as the Quechua Forclaz 30 Air is ideal for most hillwalkers. You get a stiffened back system with padding and mesh so you get reasonable comfort. Then there is a proper hipbelt to take the load, and you get top tensioning straps to stabilise it. Plus a proper buckle lid, plus compression straps. I would say 908g is plenty light enough for walkers. 5/5

Fit

There is just one version of this pack – in other words no women’s option and no choice of sizes. There are however top tensioning straps to help with stabilising the load. It felt a little short on my back, and as there is quite a well-padded lumbar area this gets uncomfortable if you let it ride up too far; but it was still acceptable. 3/5

Comfort

The back system has mesh over the padding so you get some airflow. That lumbar area is well-padded but does impact on comfort if you don’t get the fit right. The hipbelt is well-padded as are the shoulder straps, but higher-priced options are even more comfortable. There are lighter-weight sacks too of course. But still it is comfier than some. 4/5

In use

On the hill, assuming it fits you, the Quechua Forclaz 30 Air is a great sack. The main compartment is protected by a drawcord collar and a conventional buckle lid, which is great. The lid buckles extend to create side compression straps and these can combine with the mesh side pockets to stow trekking poles. It’s a pity the lid pocket is too small to easily take an OS map, though; and other packs have additional pocket options. 4/5

Value

The price is remarkable for what you get and if £25 is your budget I’d happily recommend this for hill and mountain walkers. 5/5

Verdict

The Quechua Forclaz 30 Air is a very practical hillgoer’s rucksack that is outstanding for the price; but if you pay more you do get even better performance and weight advantages. It wins Trail’s ‘approved’ accolade. 4.2/5

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Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2016