Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Review | One Bag Travel Backpack Built For Adventure

– The Cotopaxi Allpa 42 isa 42 liter travel backpack geared towards one bagtravel and you can fit a ton of stuff inside andthere's some interesting organization as well.

I'm Tom, the founder of Pack Hacker, where we use our expertiseand real world experience to provide practicalresources and honest opinions, guiding you towards smarter travel.

So if you're new to thechannel, consider subscribing.

Mark, our video editorand I have been testing this for the last month in Michigan, Minnesota, and Kentucky.

So we definitely have alot of usage and opinions with this bag.

Let's dive into everysingle little detail now, and head over to the linkin the description below to see all the technicaldetails as well as the best buying options for this bag, too.

Let's jump into the review.

(upbeat music) If you've seen either the35 liter or the 28 liter Cotopaxi Allpa, the overallaesthetic is very similar and we did do a full review on the 35, I think maybe a year or two ago.

So make sure to check thatout if you're considering that size as well.

The 1000D TPU coatedpolyester on the back side really gives it that Cotopaxi look.

It's a weather resistantmaterial that is quite grippy and that can bea good and a bad thing.

It's good because it kinda stays in place when you set it down, but it can be bad if you're trying to jam this in the overhead compartment or slide it under the seat of an airplane.

You kind of get caughtand be a little bit grippy on those surfaces.

And because this bag is alittle bit larger at 42 liters, there are more problemsfitting it into smaller spaces when compared with the smaller35 and 28 liter versions.

As an FYI, this material isdurable and weather resistant.

However, it does mark up quite easily.

So after a month, you can see that we have somepermanent marks that have developed on the bag.

And of course, it wouldn'tbe a Cotopaxi product without the llama logo on it sowe like the shinier llama here on the more subdued matte black TPU.

On a side note, Cotopaxipicked a llama for their logo because they're happy, versatile, outdoor focused, and llamas seem to make people smile.

So it's quite a simple reasonand it's good enough for us.

At the time of thisreview, the Allpa 42 comes in two different colors.

We have the black version here, and then they also have an indigo which is a more colorful version.

Definitely a lot of colors going on.

Cotopaxi loves mixing up their color ways and you can see on other productswe've reviewed and tested like the Teca Windbreaker, and the Cotopaxi Batac packable daypack, a lotof them are very unique and they have some greatcolor options available.

We pulled our Instagramaudience on the overall look of this bag and here are the results.

Follow at Packhacker on instagramif you wanna be involved in future polls.

Wrapping up with the restof the materials on the bag, they are as follows.

We have 840D ballisticnylon on the other areas of this bag that are notthe TPU coated polyester.

So this is a durable andrugged nylon with some great flexibility for the bag.

We have durable and chunky YKK zippers, some of the best out there.

And then we have duroflexbuckles on the hardware like these sternum strapclips and the clips that attach the shoulderstraps to the bag.

(upbeat music) The harness system onthis bag is a solid one.

Starting with these straps, they have some really really spongy and cushy foam.

This makes the bag reallycomfortable to wear.

The top of the straps offerload lifters which is great for a bag of this size.

So you can kind of pull thatpack a little bit closer to your upper back.

It makes it a little bitmore balanced to carry when adjusting it with thestraps and the hip belt.

These load lifters alsohave a fabric sleeve on the front so you can stuffthe excess strap inside it just to keep a littlebit of a cleaner look and we like that little touch.

The sternum strap is niceand adjustable as well, it just slides along thesmall rail and then curves based on the design ofthe shoulder straps.

Moving down the straps, we have duroflex buckles that allow you to clip andunclip these shoulder straps from the bag and stow them easily away.

We like that the bag offers this option especially if you wannacheck the bag or just get rid of extra dangling straps whileyou're carrying it in either duffle mode or by the handles.

Hidden behind the back panel, there's also space for a hip belt.

We're really glad Cotopaxi included this for a bag of 42 liters.

It's pretty much mandatory, at least we think, on bags over 35 liters.

One of the biggest complaints and cons is that with the 35 liter Allpa, the hip belt is not adjustable at all so, or removeable so in the 42 liter version, it's actually removeableand adjustable height wise with velcro so we like you can kind of fit this to your body type.

It accommodates longer torsos much better than the 35 liter version does.

And just on this point in general, we love that Cotopaxi'slistening to reviews like ours and customers and constantlyimproving their products to make a better experience overall.

Wrapping up with the backpanel, we have a decently stiff frame sheet that gives the bag a little bit of structure.

This breathable paddedmash on the back as well to help avoid sweatyback as much as possible.

Although with backpacks, it's pretty much unavoidable.

All in all, the harness systemon the Allpa 42 is solid, adjustable, and comfortable, we really like it for a travel bag of this size.

There is one handle on eachof the four sides of this bag.

The two on the sides have thisnylon webbing-like material.

The two on the top and bottomhave a little bit of padding for a little bit moreof a comfortable grab.

No matter which handle yougrab, the weight on this bag seems to stay pretty centeredand evenly distributed.

There's one water bottle pocket on the wearer's right hand side.

This is great to have, butit is not super stretchy and it is not very large so it's optimal for smaller water bottles.

On the outside you'll see abunch of lash loops as well.

These are really handyfor attaching carabiners, or additional accessories onto the bag.

We like that the functionalityis here without making the bag look too much like anoutdoors or hiking backpack.

We did try this bag outin messenger mode as well, which you can basicallyjust attach a strap to these lash points on the outside.

And we like it a little bit, it is really bulky to wear as like a duffle or across-body on your body.

However, we have found the experience to be a little bit betteron the Allpa 42 compared to other bags of this sizethat try to do the same thing.

Lastly, there are sometheft turn zipper loops on the outside of this bag as well, which are nice if you wantto keep your bag secure.

However, often times we findourselves just not quite zipping the bag up fully sincethat loop can get in the way and it does take a while toweave the zipper in and out.

So yeah, really handyfeature if you're concerned about security, otherwiseit's a bit cumbersome.

(upbeat music) Kicking it off with thetop pocket of the bag, it's actually quite largeand it goes about one-third down the front of the pack.

We've been using this pocketto stuff in toiletries, tech gear, and anythingthat we need quick access to while we've beenusing the bag in transit.

Additionally, there'sa bit of organization inside of here as well.

So on the top flap, thereare three equally sized liner pockets with a bitof elastic at the top to hold items inside.

There's a zippered mash pocketin the back that reveals two more liner pockets.

One covers two-thirds width of the pocket, the other, one-third.

There's also a simple but robust key clip if you want to attach keys as well.

Overall, we dig this pocket.

I think it offers an amplesize, as well as some great organization going on as well.

Next up, we have the laptop compartment on the wearer's right side.

We like this pocket a bit morethan the 35 liter version.

On the 35 liter bag, wehad trouble even putting a MacBook Pro 15 inchinside without a case on it.

It was a really snug fit, and the 42 liter version, thiscompartment is way bigger.

We like that the sleeveis smartly positioned towards the center of the bag as well, which protects it from unexpected drops.

Next up, there's anotherliner pocket with a little bit of elasticity at thetop to hold tech accessories or a computer charger.

Now this is a horizontalpocket in a vertical bag.

We kind of wish there was a zipper there because without that, things can kind of get jostledaround and fall out inside to the main compartmentof that laptop pocket.

On the opposite side of thebag to the laptop compartment, there's another similarzipper that opens up into the main compartment of the bag.

We really dig that we're ableto access the bag without fully opening the clam shelland the mesh which we'll get to in a second.

However, we often foundourselves confused as to which side was the laptop andwhich side was the access to the main compartment.

So just note that and kindof create a mental model in your head if you do endup picking up this bag.

Moving onto the main compartment, it opens up fully clamshell suitcase style.

On the right side closerto the wearer's back, we pretty much have a giant bucket with this mesh compartmentalization.

To note, this is thecompartment that's accessible from that back zipper that's opposite of the laptop compartment.

We love the size of thiscompartment and it offers ample space for packing cubes, you can kind of cube itout and organize it however you see fit.

You can also put a bunch of clothes just free floating in here.

But we generally prefer packing cubes.

Make sure to go checkout our packing cubes guide if you want to learn more.

We also like these smallzipper pocket on the interior of the main bucket.

It's a nice place to put valuable items.

And the left side of this clam shell is where the bag gets interesting.

Cotopaxi didn't reallyoffer just a giant bucket on this side, there's someclever organization going on.

And it almost feels likethere's a built-in packing cube here which is nice to just put in clothes and anything else.

Of course, you could putpacking cubes inside of here as well, if you wanna haveadditional compartmentalization.

On the top flap of thispacking cube-like pocket, there was another mesh pocket as well.

Great for flatter items.

There's a shallow mesh pocket on the top, where we've been storingthe messenger strap when we were not using it, as well as the rain cover.

With this set up, it canbe tempting to overpack each side and since themesh on the top is a little bit stretchy, you can get intoa position where you overpack both sides and you can'tclose the main clam shell.

It's not the biggest deal in the world, but a good thing to be aware of.

If you're fully packing each side, you're gonna have a littlebit of trouble closing the main clam shell.

(upbeat music) As mentioned earlier, Mark and I have been testingthe Cotopaxi Allpa 42 in Minnesota, Michigan, andKentucky over the past month.

Generally, we like the improvements we've seen on the 42 liter version, compared to the 35 liter version, like the adjustable hip belt and the improved harness system.

We do have some qualmswith the size of the bag and how it packs out, though.

It can start to feel bulky really quickly.

There's gonna be a lot offabric and points going on, that can make some partsof the bag stick out and others not.

We typically prefer forbags over 40 liters, to have a little bit of structure to them.

At one point, I had thisbag fully jammed out on a flight to Minnesota, and I had a piece up here likea little bit of a tech pouch.

There was a lot going on inside of here and this was sticking out a little bit.

And it actually made it hardto shove in the overhead bin.

If I were to spend a littlebit more time making sure everything was completely flat, that would have been easierbut with a more padded and structured bag, there's no way that happens because the bag holds its shape no matter what you put inside.

So to wrap this thing upwith some pros and cons, there was a great removableand height adjustable hip belt to accommodate different body types.

Overall, the harnesssystem is comfortable, even with a bag of this large size that you can really load up.

There's useful internal organization.

Cotopaxi didn't go for astandard two giant buckets on each side of the clamshell, and we like that.

(upbeat music) Onto some of the cons, the bag can get bulky quicklyand can lose its shape based on how you pack it out.

The lockable zipper featuresend up getting in the way more often than they're helpful, at least in our testing.

The internal mesh dividersstretch and don't compress.

This can make the clamshell hard to close, depending on how you packed it.

(upbeat music) We dig this next iterationof the Allpa pack compared to the 35 literreview we did a while back.

Cotopaxi seems to belistening to their customers and we like the improvedfeatures like the larger sized laptop compartmentand adjustable hip belt.

However, the size of thisbag with the overall design can make it bulky to use anda bit cumbersome if you're not very strategic with everyaspect of your packing.

Overall, this is a solid additionto the Cotopaxi bag line, and really rounds up thechoices between the 28 liter, 35 liter, and now the 42 liter bag.

So there you have it, our review of the Cotopaxi Allpa 42.

We would love to hearwhat you think of this bag in the comments below, so be sure to let us know.

And as always, thanks forkeeping to hear at Pack Hacker, your guide to smarter travel, we'll see you in the next video.


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