The Quechua Arpenaz 10L Ultra Compact is as the name suggest a very light and packable backpack with a small but still usable 10 litre capacity. It’s about half the size of the Sea to Summit Day pack which I usually use and a fraction of the price. It’s also the same capacity of size to the Quechua Arpenaz 10 which is my current day bag.
In comparison to the Sea to summit bag the Arpenaz 10L Ultra Compact is not quite as strong or durable, and nor would you expect it to be at a price of 2 pounds or about USD$2.50. It’s made from a polyester fabric which doesn’t feel anywhere near as strong or durable as the Sea to Summits cordura ripstop fabric. In comparison to its non compact brother the Arpenaz 10 you can see that the 10 has more padding, has an extra pocket and more comfortable padded straps.
Where the Arpenaz 10L Ultra compact really excels is as a stowaway bag. Something to keep in your main bag or even as a backup bag while shopping. Sometimes however I feel that the 10L ultra compacts capacity is a bit limiting with what you can put into it. It fits a light jacket, water bottle and maybe a snack before it starts to get too full. Also due to the lack of rear padding you need to be mindful of where you place solid items because they can dig into your back while you wear the bag.
The polyester material repels water but the water will definitely get into the seams and through the zipper. So I wouldn’t suggest using this bag in the rain. The construction of the bag is quite good although the straps are quite thin and some areas do look a little roughly cut. Such as the tab holding the inner carry case for example. For the price however it’s really unbeatable.
In terms of its packability it is very lightweight at 48 grams. It’s quite quick and easy to collapse and stow too. The stowing design is much like the Sea to Summit day bag’s design where it has an inner case to stow itself into. Overall the Arpenaz 10L ultra compact is a great and ultra affordable stowaway backpack that you can’t afford not to buy even if just to keep it somewhere as a backup.