Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack Review
The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack ($190) is a thoughtfully-designed travel backpack built to withstand years of use. It is available as a standalone backpack, as well as with accessories ($210) and with accessories and Cotopaxi's Batac Del Día daypack ($250).
Cotopaxi provided the backpack, free of charge, for testing and review.
The Allpa has a capacity of 35 liters and weighs in at 3 pounds 7 ounces. The dimensions of the closed bag are 20 x 12 x 13in (51 x 30 x 33cm).
I took the Allpa 35L on 3 separate 3/4-day trips involving air travel: a ski trip to Tahoe, a quick visit to southern California, and a trip to Seattle.
I've been curious about trying the Allpa since Cotopaxi's Indiegogo campaign in 2017. I'm so glad I finally got the opportunity, because it is hands down becoming my favorite bag to travel with for a number of reasons: its clever organization, the amount of space it has, how comfortable the harness is, and its thoughtfully-designed features.
I love how easy it is to organize and see all the things I've taken on a trip when using this bag. I used to be quite a disorganized traveler, throwing my belongings into a duffel or suitcase and later having to pull just about everything out to find a single thing. Since then, I've come to appreciate packing cubes and small bags within duffels or suitcases, which have sufficed until the Allpa.
It seems like the Allpa has a place for just about everything, with cleverly sectioned space separated by built-in zippered mesh and pockets for smaller things. It's got padded sleeves for a laptop and tablet against your back, and a very spacious outside pocket that's good for quick access to a phone, wallet, and even a Nalgene.
One thing that sets the Allpa apart from using packing cubes and duffels is that each of the zippered pockets can fit one or two layers of stuff. This makes it so easy to see most things in your bag at once. I really appreciate this feature for reigning in my messy packing without needing to think--the designers did all the thinking for us.
The Allpa holds a good amount of clothing and trip essentials--I can see it working for a weekend trip all the way up to a weeklong trip depending on whether you're packing snow gear or clothing for hot, sunny conditions. I was able to pack enough clothing for a 4-day long ski trip (my skis and boots went in a separate bag), including snow pants, a midlayer, and hardshell.
The only downside with all the space that this bag provides, some users have found that it can get a bit heavy. I haven't yet noticed this issue, but it's something to keep in mind. I find that the harness is quite good at distributing weight if you use the hipbelt. Wearing it using just the shoulder straps has also been a comfortable option.
One of my favorite things when trying new gear out is discovering the thoughtful touches that the designers have included, and the Allpa definitely exceeds my expectations in this area.
For example--intending to open the laptop sleeve, I accidentally found the shortcut zipper to the inside of the bag. This was awesome! I like putting a light jacket and toiletries near this opening for easy access in the airport/plane.
The Allpa is designed to work as a carry-on, but if you need to check the bag, you can tuck all the straps into the padding of the backpack and carry the bag like a duffel from one of its 4 reinforced handles.
Each of the outside zippers has webbing sewn at the top end as an anti-theft feature. I have in the past caught a pickpocket trying to open my non-Allpa backpack by very gently and gradually opening the zipper over a minute's time or so. I think these anti-theft loops would do a good job of making it difficult for someone to go unnoticed doing the same.
The Allpa 35L is a comfortable, thoughtfully-designed travel pack that makes it easy to organize your belongings on trips. Its large capacity makes it a good fit for multi-day to weeklong trips, depending on what's going to be packed. The accessories available for the Allpa also integrate seamlessly for a comprehensive travel kit.