Yes, a rolling suitcase is a lot more convenient to bring along when traveling than a monstrous-sized backpack. If you don’t mind strapping a heavy carry-on pack around your shoulders while wandering the airport halls, though, then a large backpack like the Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack, with its soft walls and flexible shape, may actually be a smarter option for travel.
Like other bags in the outfit’s Travel Pack, it’s designed to serve as a suitable alternative to carry-on suitcases – one that’s flexible enough to cram into plane compartments unlike the rigid-shaped suitcases people normally carry in flights. That way, you can actually pass it off as a free personal item for some airlines some of the time (when it’s not bursting with contents), potentially making it a more economical option for the frequent traveler.
The Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack is the biggest option in the outfit’s collection of travel backpacks, coming in at 21.5 x 13 x 9 inches (height x width depth). We know, that sounds like pushing it for carry-on luggage, although most airlines should allow it, especially since it’s a soft-sided bag whose shape can be easily contorted in various ways. At its size, we imagine you’re using this to carry a whole load of gear during travel, so it comes with a low-profile harness system to distribute the weight evenly, a detachable hipbelt, and load lifters on the shoulder straps, ensuring you have all the help you need to haul this thing without breaking your back.
Unlike most backpacks, it opens clamshell-style similar to a suitcase, giving you full access to all the contents of the bag, making it easy to both pack before leaving and unpack once you get to your destination. On the left side, it gets a subdivided zippered mesh compartment for easy organization, while on the right sits a single large zippered mesh compartment for packing clothes and large items. It also gets a padded laptop sleeve up to 15 inches, a padded tablet sleeve up to 12.5 inches, and a padded smartphone sleeve up to 6.5 inches. The main zipper wraps around three sides of the bag, although there’s also a shortcut zipper to let you quickly reach into the main compartment to grab stuff quickly.
The Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack is cut in TPU-coated 1000D polyester with 840 ballistic nylon paneling, making it suitable not just for stashing on a plane’s luggage compartment, but for strapping down on top of a bus or securing somewhere on a boat, exposed to the elements. While designed for carrying on your back, it comes with a shoulder strap for carrying like a duffel and four reinforced grab handles for carrying in various other ways. Other features include a top zippered pocket, YKK security zippers on all closures, carabiner lash points for hanging extra gear, a mesh laundry bag, a nylon shoe bag, a water bottle sleeve on the exterior, and an included rain cover.
The Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack is available now.
- Weight-distributing, low-profile harness system.