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Travel Backpack Review: Cotopaxi Allpa 35L


It’s official: My Cotopaxi Nazca 24L backpack has replaced my decade-old, cat-scratch-covered, obnoxiously red carry-on suitcase. You know, the kind of luggage that rolls not-so-gracefully over bumpy surfaces, won’t properly stand up because one of the feet is broken off, and is annoying to pack due to that metal bar in the bottom.

As wonderful as it feels to say goodbye to that old thing and embrace the functionality of a backpack-meets-suitcase “travel pack,” I was still craving something bigger than the Nazca that I could use for longer trips. I needed a durable backpack that would be versatile enough for international flights, road trips to Maine, and camping adventures.

Enter the Allpa 35L Travel Pack. This is the stuff Type A dreams are made of.

I was pretty stoked when I heard that Cotopaxi was releasing a “big sister” to the Nazca backpack earlier this year. The Allpa backpack was launched through an Indiegogo campaign, and Cotopaxi managed to smash their goal of $50K–raising over $1.3 million to kick off production. Crazy!

I’m excited to finally have my hands on one, and I’ll be road testing it over the next month or two so that I can bring you an in-depth review. For now, here’s a breakdown of the features, a sneak peek inside with my unboxing, and some initial impressions.

cotopaxi allpa 35L backpack review

Disclosure: Many thanks to Cotopaxi for sending me a sample of the Allpa 35L so that I could share it with you. As I mentioned in my post about the Nazca 24L, I’ve been following them for quite some time and love what they’re all about. Although this product was provided free of cost, I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I’m always committed to bringing you genuine content with real facts, photos, and thoughts. 

About Cotopaxi Gear

Cotopaxi goes beyond making great travel and adventure gear with their Gear for Good philosophy. In addition to funding sustainable poverty alleviation with a portion of their profits, they also ensure fairness, sustainability, and quality in every step of the manufacturing process.

The travel philosophy we embrace here in the Roaming the Americas community aligns well with Cotopaxi’s core values:

  • To get outside and see the world
  • To inspire people to give back to others

This video gives a good background about how they got started and what they’re all about (and it makes me think we should all head to a cabin in the mountains every once in awhile).


Allpa 35L Travel Pack Features

Here’s a quick rundown of the Allpa 35L features:

  • Weight-distributing, low-profile harness system
  • Carry-on-compatible 35L capacity
  • TPU-coated 1000D polyester
  • 1680D ballistic nylon paneling
  • Suitcase-style, full-wrap zipper opening on the main compartment (LOVE!)
  • Large zippered mesh compartment on the right side
  • Subdivided zippered mesh compartment on the left side (makes my Type A heart swoon)
  • Padded laptop and tablet sleeve
  • Shortcut zipper to main compartment
  • Top zippered pocket
  • Security YKK zippers
  • Carabiner lash loops (ohhh….that’s what those loops are for!)
  • Tuck-away straps
  • 4 reinforced grab handles
  • Included rain cover

There are also optional accessories you can purchase as a bundle:

  • Collapsible mesh laundry bags
  • Nylon shoe bag
  • Mesh water bottle sleeve
  • Batac Del Día Backpack (it’s the perfect size! see my unboxing video below)



>> Check out the latest prices here. <<

Allpa 35L Unboxing

Here’s a live unboxing I did so you can see a bit of the inside and accessories.

Initial Impressions of the Allpa 35L

Okay…so let’s get to the good stuff already. What do I think of the Allpa pack?

Rain Cover: I love that it comes with a rain cover–this is so important! I’m curious about whether Cotopaxi considered making this built in (this is a feature on my Lowepro DSLR camera bags), as that is something I could see making it even more convenient. The major benefit of having it built in is that you can’t lose it or forget it. It also wouldn’t take up space in one of the compartments. And, you don’t have to remember how to fold it (am I the only person who takes a photo of her tent so I know how to pack it back up?). On the other hand, not having it built into the bag itself could be convenient if you’re trying to save every last bit of space and weight possible and don’t need to take it with you.

Spacious: The main suitcase side seems really roomy and deep, especially compared to the Nazca. And it’s got compression straps, which the Nazca doesn’t have.

Durable: The material seems really durable and like it’s up for adventures. And…it’s not dog-hair-attracting–for the win!

Extras: I love the accessories that you can get with it, especially the size of the Batac Del Día. It’s such a perfect size for day trips and short adventures, so I’m excited to start using it.

>> Get more details on Cotopaxi’s website here. <<

Looking for a functional travel backpack that keeps you organized on the go AND fits TSA carryon restrictions? The Allpa 35L Travel Pack from Cotopaxi combines the portability of a backpack with the organization of a suitcase in its unique design. It's built to handle worldwide adventures!



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!