We decided on using a rucksack instead of a regular wheeled case as we find it more useful to have our hands free to access our tickets/passports etc. As we won’t really have our large backpacks for long periods of time (only getting from the airport/station to the hotel and vice-versa) it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
So why the Quechua Escape?
Ultimately, this backpack suits our budget and also provides us with everything we need in a rucksack;
Padded shoulder straps
This was one of the most important features as not only are the straps adjustable from the front (like any regular backpack) but the whole strap can move up/down. This is really good for people like Wendy (#shorty) as it can be properly adjusted so it fits her back/height properly, thus reducing the risk of back pain.
Padded Hip Belt
Again, another important feature of any good backpack. According to some boffins, the hip belt actually carries 80-90% of the bag’s weight, so it’s uber important that your bag had a sturdy hip belt to ease the pressure from your shoulders.
This is more of a personal choice. Wendy loves a bag with multiple compartments as she feels she’s getting more out of her money. It also makes things more accessible, so you don’t have to rummage through everything and take everything out when you are looking for a specific item. An extra bonus of this backpack is the detachable hood, which can be used as an independent cross saddle bag.
It’s really important whenever you are travelling that your bags can be locked. Not only will it deter thieves (although, not sure what they will gain from our dirty laundry), but it will also prevent people from putting anything untowards in. With many old-style travel bags (the top down styles), it was impossible to lock, but as this opens like a suitcase it makes it more lock friendly.
The actual bag isn’t waterproof, but it does come with a rain cover which can be packed away when not in use. When using the rain cover, it also converts the bag into a holdall, if you want to give your back a break. It’s also great if you are checking your bag in at the airport as the straps can be tucked into the rain cover.