Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Journey Backpack Overview

Cotopaxi has made a reputation for itself with high-quality, brightly-colored baggage and outside attire that’s sustainability-focused. I’ve additionally heard quite a lot of good issues about Cotopaxi’s new Allpa 42L Journey Pack so like several good backpack nerd I needed to try it out for myself… which is strictly 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 proper backpack to your travels.

How I Examined The Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Journey Backpack

On the Prague practice 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 practice from Prague to Berlin. I’ve additionally used my Allpa throughout numerous 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 in the marketplace. Learn my information to the finest 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 eye catching, weather-resistant backpack for multi-day/week+ city adventures. It’s loaded with good 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 snug carry throughout lengthy walks to the hostel or all-out airport dashes.


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 if you happen to’re on the lookout 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 security measures

Rain cowl included

Waterproof TPU coating

WARRANTY: Lifetime guarantee

Fast Notice 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 provide 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 Overview

On the practice station and on the practice 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 feel it could possibly enhance.

Appears and Aesthetics of the Allpa 42L

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

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

Cotopaxi is legendary for its trademark vivid and crowd pleasing colours. The Allpa presently 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 gained’t know what the bag seems to be like till you obtain it so you could possibly find yourself with a reasonably 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 if you happen to don’t see the colour you need.

I actually respect how every shade combo options high-contrast zippers—which aid you shortly differentiate between the primary compartment and the opposite compartments.

I’m a giant 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 just a little extra enjoyable than the usual black I sometimes go along with however it’s nonetheless pretty refined.

The material on the again of the Allpa has a rubbery coated shell which provides just a little extra visible curiosity (in addition to including additional 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 comfy to hold—fortunately I discovered the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 to be loads comfy so I had no actual points when hauling this factor round Europe.

The padded backpack straps characteristic load lifters and the straps are curved to raised 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 comfy.

Allpa 42 with the detachable hip belt connected (included)

The Allpa additionally options mesh padding that covers all the again of the bag. The mesh helps promote air circulation to make carrying the bag extra comfy.

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 intently resemble what you’ll discover on a mountaineering backpack in order that they cradle your shoulders higher.

That mentioned, the Allpa 42 continues to be loads comfy and I didn’t have any points whereas carrying 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 gained’t provide a ton of additional help however it’s a pleasant addition. The backpack’s shoulder straps will also be simply tucked away—which is sweet for carrying it by way of slim practice/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 Building

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 shortly discover the place firms reduce corners. It simply feels good. I imply… Cotopaxi provides a lifetime guarantee on their baggage so it is sensible that their stuff is well-made.

The outside again shell of the Allpa is created from 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 feel 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 general 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 most important compartment (for if you overstuff your bag… which I’m actually responsible of doing). The zippers even have lengthy zipper pulls and the zipper motion is clean.

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

I’ve conflicting views on this safety characteristic because it’s a easy but efficient method to hold your zippers safe however it additionally makes opening/closing the zippers considerably of a ache. I do, nonetheless, like this technique higher than utilizing these little baggage locks. So, general it’s a minor annoyance and might be a web constructive.

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 useful for serving to shortly differentiate which zipper to make use of—most backpacks solely use black zippers so it’s laborious to inform which compartment you’re opening since all of the zippers look an identical.

Exterior Group Pockets and Laptop computer Sleeve

Stash pocket (high) 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 baggage I take a look at go overboard with pockets and compartments which provides to the bag’s weight so I respect Cotopaxi’s restraint.

On the entrance of the backpack, you’ll discover a small organizational stash pocket. It’s nothing loopy however it’s good for carrying a number of smaller objects like a pockets, small pocket book, telephone/digital camera, and different stuff you may have to shortly entry. There’s a smaller zippered mesh compartment inside and a useful key clip for added group.

There may be additionally a stretchy water bottle sleeve on the aspect 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 among my largest criticisms of the Allpa is its laptop computer compartment.

On a constructive word, I do just like the aspect entry zipper as this makes taking the laptop computer out of the bag a breeze—which is tremendous useful 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 laborious floor is just a little bit of cloth. Due to this fact, if you happen to drop your bag or overlook to set it down gently, there’s a likelihood your laptop computer will smack the bottom. I like to recommend sticking a rolled-up shirt below your laptop computer however it’s just a little annoying it’s a must to try 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.

Fundamental Storage Compartment

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

First, the Allpa has a “clamshell” fashion opening—which is only a fancy means of claiming it opens like an ordinary 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 space for storing so it could possibly 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 “most important” compartment on the proper aspect of the bag and two smaller compartments on the left aspect of the bag.

I used to be shocked 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 aspect of the bag and bigger objects (shirts, pants, and so on.) on the proper aspect. 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 additional group.

Facet entry zipper

The Allpa additionally has a zipper on the aspect of the bag that opens to the backpack’s most important compartment. It is a useful characteristic since there are sometimes instances if you need to get one thing out of your bag however you don’t need to open all the bag.

Different Options of The Allpa 42

The Cotopaxi Allpa had seize handles on the highest of the bag, on either side, and the underside—so it’s tremendous simple to seize irrespective of how the bag is saved away. It is a nice characteristic 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 additional for a rain cowl.

My Ultimate Thoughs on The Cotopaxi Allpa 42

After utilizing the this in style journey backpack for a number of weeks in Europe, I’m completely satisfied to say that I used to be pleasantly shocked with the Cotopaxi Allpa 42.

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

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

If I needed to nitpick, I’d wish to see Cotopaxi give the Allpa a extra superior suspension system/shoulder straps to provide it just a little enhance in consolation however the present idderation continues to be fairly good. Once more, it’s a minor criticism.

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

Extra Journey Ideas From The Savvy Backpacker

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

James Feess
Newest posts by James Feess (see all)

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