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Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Journey Backpack Evaluation

Cotopaxi has made a reputation for itself with high-quality, brightly-colored baggage and out of doors attire that’s sustainability-focused. I’ve additionally heard a number of good issues about Cotopaxi’s new Allpa 42L Journey Pack so like every good backpack nerd I needed to try it out for myself… which is precisely what I did.

On this real-world Cotopaxi Allpa 42L backpack assessment, I’ve personally examined this funky backpack to seek out its strengths and weaknesses to see if it’s the appropriate backpack on your travels.

How I Examined The Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Journey Backpack

On the Prague prepare station with my Allpa 42

To check the Cotopaxi Allpa journey backpack I headed out on a two-week solo journey to Prague and Berlin.

I used my Allpa as my solely piece of carry-on baggage on the flight from the US after which I traveled by way of prepare from Prague to Berlin. I’ve additionally used my Allpa throughout varied shorter home journeys and I’ve all the time used it as a carry-on backpack.

Okay, let’s get into my assessment…

I’ve personally examined practically all the preferred journey backpacks available on the market. Learn my information to the greatest journey backpacks to see the remainder of my favourite picks.

A Fast Overview Of The Cotopaxi Allpa 42L

A have a look at the Allpa 42L by way of Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi designed their Allpa 42L journey backpack to be an attention-grabbing, weather-resistant backpack for multi-day/week+ city adventures. It’s loaded with sensible organizational options like pockets for all of your gear and mesh dividers for the primary compartment to maintain all of your stuff simply accessible.

Right here’s how Cotopaxi describes the Allpa 42L:

The Allpa 42L Journey Pack protects and comfortably carries all of your gear, whether or not it’s in your again, strapped to the roof of your automobile, or within the stomach of a puddlejumper. The Allpa’s extremely burly shell repels the weather and abrasion, whereas its padded, mesh suspension system and cargo lifter straps present a cushty carry throughout lengthy walks to the hostel or all-out airport dashes.

By way of Cotopaxi.com

Cotopaxi says the Allpa 42 is designed for journeys lasting 2 weeks or extra however I nonetheless suppose 42L additionally works for shorter journeys. That mentioned, the Allpa additionally is available in a 35L and 28L variations in case you’re searching for one thing smaller—go to REI to see the model Allpa variations.

Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Journey Backpack Specs
PRICE: $220 – Buy at Cotopaxi and REI
DIMENSIONS: 22″ x 14″ x 11″
WEIGHT: 4lb 2oz
COLORS: Blue, black, oak, or multi-color
PADDED LAPTOP & TABLET SLEEVE: Suits 15” laptop computer
CARRY-ON SIZE: Carry-on compliant (home)

Suitcase-style with full-wrap zipper on the primary compartment

Weight-distributing, adjustable hipbelt (detachable)

Strong YKK zippers with anti-theft safety features

Rain cowl included

Waterproof TPU coating

WARRANTY: Lifetime guarantee

Fast Be aware About Cotopaxi’s Values

One of many issues that attracts lots of people to Cotopaxi is their firm values. Along with being a licensed carbon-neutral firm, they’re a Licensed B Company—which implies they meet excessive requirements of verified efficiency, accountability, and transparency on components from worker advantages and charitable giving to produce chain practices and enter supplies. They allocate 1% of our income to the Cotopaxi Basis, which helps nonprofits just like the Worldwide Rescue Committee (IRC) and United to Beat Malaria.

My Full Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Journey Backpack Evaluation

On the prepare station and on the prepare within the Czech Republic with my Cotopaxi

Okay people, let’s get right down to the nitty-gritty options of the Cotopaxi Allpa—together with areas the place the Allpa excels and the place I believe it might probably enhance.

Appears and Aesthetics of the Allpa 42L

General, the Cotopaxi Allpa is a modern and classy backpack. There aren’t a ton of dangling straps or cumbersome pockets so you may transfer round with ease. The llama silhouette emblem on the again is noticeable however not excessive—I recognize that they didn’t stick an enormous “Cotopaxi” below the emblem.

Now let’s transfer on the Allpa’s to a number of colorway choices…

Cotopaxi is known for its trademark shiny and attention-grabbing colours. The Allpa at present is available in round 5-6 shade combos—together with a particular “Shock Pack” model that’s constructed with a number of random-color items so each bag is totally different (you additionally received’t know what the bag seems to be like till you obtain it so you would find yourself with a fairly funky-looking bag).

NOTE: I’ve seen that the Cotopaxi web site usually runs out of sure colorways after which restocks them later so that you might need to examine again in case you don’t see the colour you need.

I actually recognize how every shade combo options high-contrast zippers—which allow you to rapidly differentiate between the primary compartment and the opposite compartments.

I’m an enormous fan of all the colour choices since most manufacturers provide only one or possibly two colours. I went with the “Indigo” shade because it’s slightly extra enjoyable than the usual black I usually go together with nevertheless it’s nonetheless pretty refined.

The material on the again of the Allpa has a rubbery coated shell which provides slightly extra visible curiosity (in addition to including further safety and climate resistance)—I’ll cowl the bag materials in additional element later on this article.

Harness System, Shoulder Straps, and General Consolation

All of the bells and whistles imply nothing if the backpack isn’t snug to hold—fortunately I discovered the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 to be a lot snug so I had no actual points when hauling this factor round Europe.

The padded backpack straps function load lifters and the straps are curved to higher match the contours of your physique—each of which assist hold the bag near your shoulders. The high-density foam used within the shoulder straps is barely thinner than what I’ve discovered on different comparable journey backpacks however I nonetheless discovered it snug.

Allpa 42 with the detachable hip belt hooked up (included)

The Allpa additionally options mesh padding that covers your entire again of the bag. The mesh helps promote air circulation to make sporting the bag extra snug.

Now I’ll say that the Allpa doesn’t have as superior of a suspension system (i.e. shoulder straps) as different journey backpacks I’ve used. For instance, the suspension techniques on the Osprey Farpoint and Aer Journey Pack 3 extra carefully resemble what you’ll discover on a mountaineering backpack in order that they cradle your shoulders higher.

That mentioned, the Allpa 42 remains to be a lot snug and I didn’t have any points whereas sporting it—however I needed to level it out since there’s room for enchancment.

The Allpa with all its straps tucked away

The Allpa 42 comes with an simply detachable hip belt (I eliminated mine earlier than the journey). It’s a reasonably minimalist hipbelt so it received’t provide a ton of additional assist nevertheless it’s a pleasant addition. The backpack’s shoulder straps can be simply tucked away—which is sweet for carrying it by means of slender prepare/aircraft aisles and for stowing the bag within the overhead compartment.

As well as, the Allpa comes with a detachable duffle bag-style shoulder strap which helps you to carry the bag like a duffle bag.

Supplies, Zippers, {Hardware}, and General Development

One of many first issues I seen concerning the Allpa was its sturdy development and high-quality supplies—after having used a number of backpacks you begin to rapidly discover the place firms minimize corners. It simply feels good. I imply… Cotopaxi gives a lifetime guarantee on their luggage so it is sensible that their stuff is well-made.

The outside again shell of the Allpa is made out of a really sturdy “rubbery” TPU-coated 1000D polyester which is scuff and weather-resistant—I’ve by no means seen this on some other bag however I believe it really works effectively (and it seems to be cool). The remainder of the bag’s exterior paneling is constructed from light-weight but sturdy 840D ballistic nylon. Each these materials can face up to loads of abuse.

The stitching high quality, sturdy plastic {hardware}, and total development of the Allpa really feel good—which additionally helps guarantee longevity.

Demonstrating the anti-theft zipper strap.

One of many weakest factors of any backpack is the zippers so Cotopaxi solely makes use of high-quality YKK zippers—together with an additional beefy zipper on the bag’s important compartment (for if you overstuff your bag… which I’m definitely responsible of doing). The zippers even have lengthy zipper pulls and the zipper motion is clean.

The Allpa contains a novel, low-tech anti-theft safety strap that covers the outside zippers—that are designed to stop the zippers from being simply opened (see the picture above).

I’ve conflicting views on this safety function because it’s a easy but efficient approach to hold your zippers safe nevertheless it additionally makes opening/closing the zippers considerably of a ache. I do, nevertheless, like this method higher than utilizing these little baggage locks. So, total it’s a minor annoyance and might be a internet optimistic.

One of many smartest options of this backpack is the multi-colored zippers (i.e. the primary zipper on this bag is orange and the others are blue). That is tremendous helpful for serving to rapidly differentiate which zipper to make use of—most backpacks solely use black zippers so it’s onerous to inform which compartment you’re opening since all of the zippers look equivalent.

Exterior Group Pockets and Laptop computer Sleeve

Stash pocket (prime) and side-access laptop computer sleeve (backside)

As I discussed earlier than, the Allpa is a comparatively minimalist journey backpack so there aren’t a ton of exterior organizational pockets. A number of luggage I check go overboard with pockets and compartments which provides to the bag’s weight so I recognize Cotopaxi’s restraint.

On the entrance of the backpack, you’ll discover a small organizational stash pocket. It’s nothing loopy nevertheless it’s excellent for carrying just a few smaller gadgets like a pockets, small pocket book, telephone/digicam, and different stuff you would possibly must rapidly entry. There’s a smaller zippered mesh compartment inside and a helpful key clip for added group.

There may be additionally a stretchy water bottle sleeve on the facet of the bag (that may simply maintain a wine bottle… I can personally attest to this).

The Allpa 42 simply matches my 15″ Macbook Professional laptop computer

One in every of my greatest criticisms of the Allpa is its laptop computer compartment.

On a optimistic notice, I do just like the facet entry zipper as this makes taking the laptop computer out of the bag a breeze—which is tremendous helpful on the airport.

However Cotopaxi didn’t construct a false backside into the bag’s laptop computer compartment so the one factor between your laptop computer and the onerous floor is slightly bit of material. Subsequently, in case you drop your bag or neglect to set it down gently, there’s a probability your laptop computer will smack the bottom. I like to recommend sticking a rolled-up shirt below your laptop computer nevertheless it’s slightly annoying it’s important to do this.

Nevertheless, there’s a pocket for a pill that’s protected so all good there—I personally attempt to keep away from touring with a laptop computer anyway.

Primary Storage Compartment

I actually like the best way Cotopaxi designed the primary storage compartment on the Allpa 42.

First, the Allpa has a “clamshell” type opening—which is only a fancy method of claiming it opens like a normal suitcase. That is precisely what you need in a journey backpack because it makes packing/unpacking a lot simpler.

Second, the Allpa 42 has roughly 42L of cupboard space so it might probably maintain a surprisingly great amount of stuff.

Third, in contrast to many different journey backpacks, the primary storage space of the Allpa 42 is break up into two zones—the bigger “important” compartment on the appropriate facet of the bag and two smaller compartments on the left facet of the bag.

I used to be stunned how a lot I ended up liking the bag’s strategy to compartmentalization. For instance, I’d hold smaller issues like socks and underwear on the left facet of the bag and bigger gadgets (shirts, pants, and so on.) on the appropriate facet. This made discovering what I wanted a lot simpler.

Moreover, every compartment has a sturdy zippered mesh flap so it’s nearly just like the bag comes with built-in packing cubes. Nevertheless, I nonetheless suggest utilizing packing cubes with this bag for further group.

Aspect entry zipper

The Allpa additionally has a zipper on the facet of the bag that opens to the backpack’s important compartment. This can be a helpful function since there are sometimes instances if you need to get one thing out of your bag however you don’t need to open your entire bag.

Different Options of The Allpa 42

The Cotopaxi Allpa had seize handles on the highest of the bag, on each side, and the underside—so it’s tremendous simple to seize regardless of how the bag is saved away. This can be a nice function if you put your bag within the overhead compartment because you don’t have to consider storing it in a sure place.

The Allpa additionally comes with a rain cowl to make your bag rainproof—it’s a pleasant bonus since many firms cost further for a rain cowl.

My Closing Thoughs on The Cotopaxi Allpa 42

After utilizing the this common journey backpack for just a few weeks in Europe, I’m completely satisfied to say that I used to be pleasantly stunned with the Cotopaxi Allpa 42.

It’s well-constructed, the supplies are good, it’s snug, it comes with a lifetime guarantee, and it holds a number of stuff. I imply, what else may you ask for?

The 42L measurement works effectively for longer 10-14+ day journeys nevertheless it’s additionally nice for shorter journeys (the Allpa does are available in smaller sizes as effectively).

If I needed to nitpick, I’d prefer to see Cotopaxi give the Allpa a extra superior suspension system/shoulder straps to offer it slightly enhance in consolation however the present idderation remains to be fairly good. Once more, it’s a minor grievance.

In any other case, the Allps ticks all of the containers in what you need in a stable journey backpack.

Extra Journey Suggestions From The Savvy Backpacker

I’ve been writing about Europe journey ideas since 2010 and listed below are just a few of my hottest articles that can assist you plan your subsequent journey:

James Feess
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