Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 | Tested and reviewed

We test this 30L daypack from Decathlon's popular Quechua range. Big on value, can it deliver on performance as well?

Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 positioned on a wall

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

Decathlon’s Quechua backpack range is difficult to beat when it comes to value for money – it offers solid-performing (but not spectacular) products at remarkably affordable prices. If saving pennies is your priority, it’s probably the best option out there.

At just £55 (at the time of writing), the MH500 is another incredible Quechua bargain. It’s a well-designed 30L hiking daypack with loads of features and two size options. It’s not as comfy or premium quality as more expensive packs, but who cares when the price is this good?


  • Great price
  • Decent features
  • Quite solid design


  • Relatively heavy
  • Basic back system

Back system: panel, frame, and harness

Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 back panel

Lower cost daypacks tend to have very simple back systems, which can be sweaty, uncomfortable and deliver poor load transfer. Not so with the MH500, which has a surprising amount of tech in its back system.

Internally there’s a steel frame providing good rigidity and stability, while the back system is a taut mesh frame net known as AirCooling. This creates an air gap between your back and the main body of the pack, ensuring good ventilation and a less sweaty experience. In use, we found this system delivered excellent comfort levels, considering the price.

Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 side view

In terms of the harness, the foam shoulder straps are nicely padded and comfy, while the contoured, pre-curved, chunky hipbelt feels sturdy and takes the weight of the pack nicely. The fit of the harness can be adjusted via various straps, although we found it didn’t hug our figures quite as well as other packs. At the shoulders and hips the fit feels a little clunky.

Back length and sizing

Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 shoulder straps

The MH500 is available in two sizes – small and large. The small is suitable for anyone shorter than 170cm, the large is designed for anyone taller than 170cm. Beyond this the packs are non-adjustable, which means the back length won’t suit all body shapes.

We found the fit of the large pack generally fine for us (5ft 9” tall), although the pack had a tendency to sit a little high on the hips and on the back in general.

Volume, shape, and weight

Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 front view

The MH500 we tested has a capacity of 30L, but it’s also available in 20L and 40L volumes. It has a standard backpack shape, albeit a tad chunkier and taller than average. It is sized 63cm (height) x 30cm (width) x 23cm (depth).

The small-sized 30L pack weighs 1,200g; the large size is 1,300g. This is relatively heavy for a 30L pack, which can reduce comfort over time. Many rivals offer a sub-1kg weight and ultralight hikers will baulk at the 1.2-1.3kg weight of the MH500.

Features: lid, straps, pockets, and weather protection

Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 hydration tube tab

The MH500 has a top lid covering the main bag opening, which is not removable. The top of the lid has a zippered pocket with an internal key chain tag, but there is no zippered pocket on the underside. Various straps are included on the exterior of the pack, including bungee cords for securing trekking poles and side compression straps for bulkier items.

Made from 600-denier polyester with a PU coating, the MH500 feels reassuringly sturdy and water repellent. The materials feel strong and thick, and can withstand a heavy shower or two – particularly if you use the integrated, bright yellow rain cover, which is housed in a zippered pocket at the base of pack. The rain cover is connected to the pack by a stretchy fabric band, ensuring it won’t fly off in a strong wind.

Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 lid

Access to the backpack’s interior is via the top below the lid, where a drawcord closes and opens the pack. But you also get a side zipper, which enables easier access to the main bag compartment. This enables you to grab that pesky pair of gloves (or pack of Haribo) without having to rummage around, elbow-deep, from the top of the pack.

Internally the main compartment has a floating zippered pocket at the top, and a sleeve for a hydration bladder. The bladder’s hose can be held in place by a Velcro loop and then threaded through a slit in the top of the bag before being secured on a shoulder strap.

Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 zips and drink bottle pouch

You also get a whopping nine pockets including two stretchy, spacious hipbelt pockets (big enough for a large smartphone), and two quick-access side water bottle pockets. These are angled forwards so that you can grab and stash your drink bottle on-the-go. It’s a nice idea, although it didn’t work too well during our test hikes. Using a 1L Nalgene, we found that we could easily grab the bottle while wearing the pack, but struggled to replace it, despite contorting our arm and elbow backwards.

It was easier to successfully do this with a thinner, more streamlined bottle, and when the pack was less full. Other pockets include a mesh stash pocket on the front of the bag and a secondary side pocket on the right-hand side of the bag only.


Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30L Backpack MH500 positioned on a wall

Decathlon's Quechua MH500 Backpack is a superbly-priced 30L hiking pack with surprisingly impressive features – but it’s heavy and doesn't sit as well as more premium rivals.

How we tested

James Forrest testing gear for Live for the Outdoors

The Decathlon Quechua Mountain Walking 30 L Backpack MH500 was tested and reviewed by James Forrest. James is one of our long-time freelance gear testers, a prolific peak bagger, and long-distance walker who’s one of the most high-profile outdoor writers in the UK.

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