Trekking Backpacks: “Symbium Access 70” by Quechua
1. One of the critical aspects of trekking however long/short the duration of the trek maybe remains the choice of the Back Pack. The single entity that bears all the stress and strain of the trek jointly with the trekker himself remains the backpack.
2. The correct choice of the backpack hence assumes critical importance and much thought needs to be given to the choice that one makes. There are many acclaimed Brands that have proven models available in the market but for the Indian market I would recommend ones made by Quechua. There are many reasons why I recommend this Brand; primary being ease of availability, economic, durable and proven in field.
3. The question “What volume pack should I buy?” is mostly answered with another pair of questions; “How long do you typically go out for?” and “How light do you pack?” While the later of these two questions is less quantifiable, i can give you some solid recommendations for what the majority of people use as a good place to start. 40-60L is a good volume for most people for 1-5 nights. For 2-7 night trips we would recommend 50-75L packs. Lastly, for most people taking trips one week or longer i would recommend 60-85L packs
4. I would be discussing the Symbium Access 70 series backpack as I had selected this particular model for my trekking trips. This particular model is one of the latest offerings by Quechua and is also one of the largest in terms of capacity (70 litres). Ideally this kind of capacity would be needed in case one is looking at treks which have a duration of in excess of 10 days.
5. There are a few good fundamentals you should make yourself aware of before purchasing a pack. The first one is frame size; just because you are tall doesn’t necessarily mean you should be in a longer or taller size pack. Most pack manufactures give accurate recommendations as to which torso length should be fit with a corresponding size.
6. Quechua has incorporated many features in this particular model and the discerning ones are:
- Inbuilt space for water bladder.
- Metal supports made of high durable light weight alloys which take the load that the backpack is subjected to thereby easing the strain on the stitching and fabric.Basically I would say that the suspension system designed is really good.
- Water proof light weight fabric used.
- Heavy and ample padding at critical places to take care of postural comfort ( to the spine and waist )
- Revolutionary movable chest pocket system for quick access to read maps while on the move.
- Water bottle access cavity.
- Shock absorbers connecting the shoulder strap with the backpack frame.
- Adjustable back support corresponding to the height level of the trekker.
- Separate compartment for keeping the sleeping bag.
- Multitude of pockets in order to keep a wide assortment of bits and pieces that a trekker normally carries.
- Three tier tightening mechanism, one at the waist second at the shoulder strap and third is ahead of the shoulder strap.
- Facility to attach walking stick provided.
- Ease of packing is also well thought of though the number of straps provided can be a bit intimidating to a novice.
- The size of the backpack at full capacity is immense. I always skipped a beat when I had to lift it onto my shoulder.
- The weight of a full back pack goes in excess of 15 kg and it is difficult to transport through trains, buses or jeeps.
- Generally advised for Men, for female trekkers Quechua recommends a 60 litre alternate mode
7. Finally I would like to say that there are many Brands that are superior to this but for me I am very happy for this choice because it meets most of my requirement as an amateur trekker. Do read about backpacks before deciding what would you like to settle on … Happy Trekking !!!!