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In-Depth Travel Backpack Review: Cotopaxi Nazca 24L


I first heard about Cotopaxi in 2016 and have been wistfully eyeing their products since. Cotopaxi goes beyond making great travel and adventure gear with their Gear for Good philosophy, which makes me happy to spend my money with them. In addition to funding sustainable poverty alleviation with a portion of their profits, Cotopaxi also ensures fairness, sustainability, and quality in every step of the manufacturing process.

When they came out with the Nazca 24L Travel Pack, I thought it looked like a perfect fit to replace my 10-year-old carry-on luggage (ahem, the one that’s covered in cat scratches, dog hair, and falls over when I stand it up on its wheel end). The Nazca 24L promptly went on my Christmas wish list (thanks, Mom!), and I’ve had 2 mini adventures in January to give it a test run.

Here’s a breakdown of the Nazca 24L features, what I packed, and a quick review. For reference in terms of clothing size and how the pack fits my body, I’m a 5’3″ female with a small frame.

Looking for a compact travel backpack with an organized design that fits carry-on restrictions? The Nazca 24L Travel Pack from Cotopaxi is a great option for short trips! It has a suitcase-style design with zippered compartments and can be carried with a handle, over the shoulder, or as a backpack. Check out this travel backpack review for all the features, pros, and cons of the Nazca 24L. @roamtheamericas


Want carry-on luggage that's organized & compact? Check out this #travel backpack review!Click To Tweet


Nazca 24L Travel Pack Features

Here’s a quick rundown of the Nazca 24L features:

  • Water-resistant 630D nylon/cotton canvas shell (comes in black, beech canopy, or driftwood colors)
  • Suitcase-style zippered opening with internal mesh storage compartments
  • Separate zippered, padded laptop sleeve (fits 15in laptop) for easy access
  • Tuck-away backpack straps and removable shoulder sling strap
  • Zippered, fleece-lined front pocket for sunglasses and electronics
  • Fits the carry-on restrictions for any airplane
  • 19.5 x 10.5 x 5.5in (50 x 27 x 14cm)
  • 24 L
  • 2 lb. 9.5 oz.

Want a bigger version? Check out the new Allpa 35L!



NameImageVolumeStyleMaterialLaptop Sleeve
Nazca 24L Travel Pack24LConvertible Duffel, Backpack, and SuitcaseWater resistant nylon/cotton canvasYes, 15-inch
Luzon 18L Day Pack18LBackpackRipstop nylon (made from repurposed materials, custom designed in factory)No
Uyuni Travel Duffel18LDuffelRipstop nylon (made from repurposed materials, custom designed in factory)No
Cusco 26L Backpack26LBackpackWater resistant nylon/cotton canvas, suede leather bottomYes, 15-inch
Batac 16L Backpack16LBackpackRipstop nylon (made from repurposed materials, custom designed in factory)No

Carry-On Only Packing List

For my first trip, I was traveling from Pennsylvania to Florida in the winter. Temperatures were cold at home (10 – 30 degrees F) and comfortably warm at my destination (65 – 80 degrees F). I traveled for 5 days and 4 nights to visit family, so I also took some camera gear.

What I wore on the plane: Jeans and a t-shirt, zip-up hoodie sweatshirt, fleece jacket, and sneakers.

What I carried in my purse: Wallet, 2 books, a journal, zipper bag with colored pencils (for my color-coded book highlighting–don’t judge), phone charger and headphones, sunglasses, small makeup bag, and a small toiletry bag.

What I packed in my camera bag: Canon 7D with 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens, Canon 430 EX III-RT flash, LP-E6 camera battery charger. My husband carried this as his carry-on “personal item” since I already had the Nazca 24L and my purse.

What I packed in the Nazca 24L Backpack:

  • Small eBags packing cube: undergarments, socks, and bathing suit
  • Slim eBags packing cube: 2 pairs of sandals (favorite Clarks flip-flops and a pair of dressy flat sandals)
  • Bottoms: jean capris, khaki shorts, lightweight workout shorts, skirt
  • Tops: 2 t-shirts, 5 tank tops (for layering), 1 long sleeve shirt, 1 lightweight 3/4 length sleeve sweater
  • Pajamas: tank top and lightweight pants
  • Laptop and cord–My laptop is 15″ and isn’t very thin, so it was snug but fit fine. I had to pack the cord in the front pocket, though, as I didn’t have any space inside the pack.

Here’s a video walk through of how I packed for a 5-day trip in the Cotopaxi Nazca 24L!


Packing for 4-5 days was a tight fit, but I wanted to be intentional about packing light on this trip. I really thought about each piece of clothing that I took, and I had just the right amount of clothes (just 2 things I didn’t wear). My second trip was to New York City in January for 3 days and 2 nights. While I had to pack bulkier clothes for winter weather, the fit was not as tight for that trip since I just needed a couple of changes of clothes.


What I Loved About the Nazca 24L

Overall, I love this carry-on travel pack and can’t wait to take it on more trips. The overall design–an organized suitcase that converts into a backpack–is what sold me in the first place, and it didn’t disappoint. Here’s what I loved:

  • Solid, sturdy design–Of course, time will be the test in terms of quality, but the build and quality feel excellent. Plus, Cotopaxi guarantees their products for 61 years, and they offer a replacement, repair, or exchange if anything goes wrong with the product.
  • Theft-prevention zippers–To be honest, I don’t know if that’s the official term for this zipper design, but that’s what I’m calling them. The laptop sleeve and main zipper have a loop that the zipper has to pass through, which helps prevent easy access. They aren’t that challenging to get open yourself (I went through airport security twice and had to remove my laptop), but they offer a bit of extra security.
  • Padded laptop sleeve–The padding isn’t very thick, but it feels like enough.
  • Comfortable size and fit–As I mentioned, I’m petite and have a thin frame. This backpack was perfectly comfortable for me, and the waist strap was very helpful since the pack was heavy with my laptop in it. It covers my back without feeling bulky. For reference, the mannequin in the video above looks like a male with a medium build.
  • Cotopaxi’s “Gear for Good” philosophy–Can I just say again how much I love this?
  • Organized zipper compartments inside–These make my type A heart swoon. This was the first time I had used any kind of luggage with compartments (as well as my first time using packing cubes), and it was amazing. I was able to access everything efficiently and stay organized throughout my trip.

>> Check out the latest prices here on Amazon or here on Cotopaxi. <<


What I Might Change About the Nazca 24L

There’s not much I would change, but here are a couple things to think about:

  • The color that I ordered–I love the driftwood color, but it’s already attracting dog hair from my black lab. Oops. I wasn’t really thinking about the material when I picked the color since typical luggage is a canvas material that dog hair doesn’t stick to. Something to keep in mind if you have pets.
  • I would love another size option or expandable zippers–This small size is great for short trips, but I would love to have this design in a larger (still carry-on) size. (UPDATE 12/08/17: Cotopaxi has a new Allpa 35L, which looks very promising if you’re looking for a larger version of this pack. I just got my hands on one, and I’ve got my initial thoughts about the Allpa backpack here—full review coming soon!)
  • Nazca 24L meets camera bag–My dream come true would be for Cotopaxi and Lowepro to team up and give me this plus camera storage. I was able to use the Nazca 24L and my purse on this trip since I wasn’t taking a lot of camera gear, and I had my husband to carry a small camera bag for me. But if I travel solo for a trip where I’ll be photographing heavily, I don’t think I’ll be able to use it since my camera bag is a large backpack (that I always, always, always carry on). It probably won’t happen, but a girl can dream. So Cotopaxi and Lowepro, if you’re listening…


Recommended For

Depending on weather, clothing size, and packing style, the Nazca 24L can be easily used for overnight or weekend trips, and up to 4 or 5 days if you’re a light packer in warm weather. Overall, I highly recommend the Nazca 24L Travel Pack for anyone looking for a compact travel backpack with an organized design that fits carry-on restrictions. Check out the latest prices and more details here.


What’s your favorite piece of travel gear or luggage? Is a suitcase-style backpack something you’d like to try? Let me know your questions & thoughts below!

Carry-on only luggage | Convertible suitcase backpack | Travel backpack review | Cotopaxi Nazca 24L @roamtheamericas #travel #traveltips #travelgear

Carry-on only luggage | Convertible suitcase backpack | Travel backpack review | Cotopaxi Nazca 24L @roamtheamericas


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This post isn’t sponsored in any way. I just dig what Cotopaxi is all about as well as their products, and I wanted to share this one with you. Technically, I did receive the product for free because it was a Christmas gift from my mom. 🙂  But it’s definitely a product I’d invest my own money in as well.


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  • Amanda Williams

    I really love the sound of the Gear for Good philosophy of this company and can’t believe I’ve never heard of them. Your mum buys cool Christmas gifts!

    • Yeah, I love their philosophy! I’ve read quite a lot on their website as well, and they have a lot of info about how they do this and how they choose organizations to work with and fund. They’re a certified B Corp as well, so it’s been verified by a 3rd party. And they also have these events called the Questival that are 24 hour adventure races in cities all over the US. Hoping to do one this year with friends. 🙂 Anyway, they seem like a great company and looking forward to trying out some more of their products.

  • Sky Fisher

    I’m actually on the lookout for a new carry-on so I appreciate this review. Mine is starting to come apart and I’d like something slightly bigger anyway – mostly to use as a weekend bag and/or carry-on for longer trips as I still fail at packing. I think this one sounds great and I love the Gear for Good philosophy too!

    • Awesome, glad to hear it was helpful! I really like the style, personally (both the look of it and the suitcase-meets-backpack design). Best of luck in your search!

  • Niina Lehikoinen

    Nice design, I like it a lot! I’ve usually picked super practical backpacks from Osprey (not beauties), but this seems to be practical, as well, and I share the love for those organized zipper compartments. I’m waiting for that camera bag 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Niina! I’m definitely all about practicality, too (I’ve been using my beat-up luggage for over 10 years because, hey, it does the job!). I love the style-meets-practicality of this one. 🙂 Thanks again for reading and chiming in!

  • Elizabeth Bell

    I also usually give my husband the camera bag to take as “his” personal item. This time, I’m traveling with a friend instead. Have you found something like this that could also fit a camera and an extra lens or two in addition to all of the airplane necessities?

    • @elizabeth_bell:disqus – unfortunately, no. Well, not how I would design it anyway. I use this for traveling to take my camera gear, laptop, and a change of clothes (the top compartment has quite a bit of room):

      I like Lowepro for my camera bags, but I would love to see some kind of marriage between a backpack like this and camera storage (maybe something convertible so it can be used for other things). Cotopaxi does have a bigger backpack like this coming out (the Allpa), which I’m excited to try. Let me know if you find anything!

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