my new favorite backpack: the cotopaxi allpa 35l travel pack.

god bless kat netzler for introducing me to cotopaxi.

cotopaxi is all about designing the best outerwear using the best possible practices, from sourcing sustainable materials to paying living wages to giving back to communities. their gear is top-notch and also aesthetically pleasing, and they give back an automatic 1% of their profits to community development initiatives.

i learned about the company through kat and loved all of her outerwear and backpacks that she got from them. when i decided it was time to get a new medium-size pack for myself, i turned to cotopaxi.

for the last 12 years i have been using my trusty deuter 40l pack, and it has never let me down. we’ve been all over the world together, and while i still love that pack and will continue to use it, i knew it was time for an upgraded design.

memphis, tennessee. january 2020.

i perused cotopaxi’s website and discovered their allpa 35l* travel pack and immediately fell in love and knew that was the bag for me. i made myself wait a few weeks to make sure it was what i wanted, but there was no doubting it. i loved all of the features, all of the details that had been included, and could not wait to put it to use.

and now i have. i carried this pack with me on my weeklong trip to london and barcelona, on my long weekend visit to cleveland, and on my weeklong trip to new york, and it was perfect for all three adventures.

look at all those pockets! memphis, tennessee. january 2020.

let’s talk about all those features i love so much:

  • it unzips fully and opens similar to a suitcase, allowing easy access to everything packed inside
  • multiple mesh zip compartments inside for easy packing and so that things stay in place
    • i used the larger section for sweaters and shoes, the mid-size one for t-shirts and leggings, and the smaller ones for underwear and socks
  • on the front there is a zip compartment with pockets that allows for easy access to essentials like charging cords, a wallet, etc
  • a padded laptop compartment [the only thing my deuter pack is missing]
  • a side zip for quick access to the large interior compartment in case you need to grab something quickly without opening up the whole bag
  • one of my favorite things — the zippers pull through a little tab that secures them in place, so if you have the pack on your back and someone tries to unzip your bag, you will feel the tug
  • the shoulder straps can be tucked away and the waist belt can be removed if you need to stow it
  • it also has a side handle if you want to carry it that way
  • it’s compact enough that it can be carried on, which i did for all of those trips listed above [especially perfect if you have a tight layover]
  • rain cover included!! [so many packs don’t come with a rain cover included and it baffles me]
even more pockets. memphis, tennessee. january 2020.

this pack has seriously been the perfect bag for me. it is big enough to fit everything i need for up to a week away but compact enough for me to have navigated buses and subways and long walks with no issue. the pockets and compartments allow me to keep everything organized, and it is so easy to haul it around. it is durable and colorful, so it checks all my boxes.

cotopaxi runs some great sales and bundles, so in addition to this pack i have** a fleece, a down jacket, a duffel bag [which i use for the gym and for shorter trips], a smaller day pack, a fanny pack, a dopp kit, a water bottle, a face mask, and probably something else that i’m forgetting. oh, and their customer service is friendly, responsive, and extremely helpful.

if you’re on the hunt for a new pack – or any of the other things i listed above – keep cotopaxi in mind.


*they also have a 42l pack that came out quite literally 2 weeks after i purchased my 35l, if you want a slightly larger size.

**their designs tend to be unique and change quickly since they use recycled and repurposed materials, so other than the allpa pack and the duffel the links are to the most similar item they currently have as of september 2020.

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