Review: Cotopaxi Luzon Backpack
The Luzon 18L Daypack is as unique as the adventures you can take it on. The designers at Cotopaxi decided that, like snowflakes or fingerprints, no two bags should look the same. So rather than letting a robot decide what to color each bag, they let their human employees do it with their own personal touches. Each bag’s color way is hand selected by an employee in the Philippines, who then stitches the bag. The result is a rad lookin’ pack, flashier than a bag of tropical Skittles.
It’s not often that you buy a backpack without ever having seen it before. I had, honestly, never even heard of Cotopaxi before buying my first pack, but that made it feel even more special. On top of that, Cotopaxi, a Public Benefit Corporation, was selling them for charity during Outdoor Blogger Summit in Jackson Hole last October for $30 a pop, so I picked one up. Here are my thoughts.
This particular bag is almost completely made out of repurposed ripstop nylon, so it is not only a useful day pack (which I’ll get to), but it also serves an even more important function: it repurposes waste. It’s like when one of those bread twisty holder things can be repurposed as a cable management tie – that bread twisty thing just got infinitely more functional.
Seriously though, as a daypack, it holds just about everything I need for a quick day trip. It’ll hold a 60 meter rope, a shovel/probe/beacon, or simply some snacks for a quick trail run. It also rolls flat and gets out of the way when needed. The website doesn’t mention anything about water resistance, but it kept my dry clothes dry on a rainy bike ride. Inside is an internal hydration sleeve and a small pocket on the front for keys and other little necessities. The main compartment is sealed off with a draw string. And it looks fly.
Design and Aesthetic ★★★★★
Part of the appeal of the bag is the seizure-inducing bright colors. I don’t usually demand attention on my adventures, but should I ever want to, this pack would certainly help. It feels cool to sport such a unique bag. Plus these colors are brighter than my ski shell, so you can’t lose me in a white-out. So that’s a win.
One of the cool things about the bag is that it’s made out of abrasion resistant ripstop nylon, which you won’t find in other sub $50 bags. The material is thick, leaving me with no durability concerns for the pack itself. The straps, on the other hand, are made out of mesh, which is popular in many bags, but they feel a little flimsy. For that reason, I give it a 4 for durability.
There aren’t a whole lot of technical daypacks on the market for less than $50, but because this is made completely out of higher-end recycled bags, they can bring the price down. I got mine for $30 but at $50, it’s still not unreasonably expensive. I will say that I probably wouldn’t have paid $50 for this bag, but I did buy two of them for $30 (one for my mom who loves hers).
Own a piece of gear that you're dying to review? Read our submissions page and let's get it up on the interwebz!