Ah, the Cotopaxi Allpa 42l. What a trusty travel companion for hiking, work and vacation travel. This bad boy can fit everything but the kitchen sink, and as someone who always tries to bring the kitchen sink, that’s saying something. In this review, I am so excited to share my detailed review of the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack, pictures of its features and design, pros and cons.

From daypacks to backpacking packs, I have tried them all. However, I recently came across the Allpa 42 travel pack and I must say, it has become my new adventure, one bag travel backpack.

Introduction to the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 bag

hiker showing mesh backpanel of backpack
The backpanel features a suspended mesh backpanel for maximum breathability and comfort, while the shoulder straps and hipbelt are padded and adjustable to ensure a customized fit.

This thing is a beast. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife on your back – but way cooler. The Allpa 42L features are just as impressive as its name.

Let’s start with the fact that it’s 42 liters. That’s a lot of stuff you can cram in there. And trust me, you’ll want to cram all your essentials in because this bag is durable and built to last. The weather-resistant material will keep your belongings dry even in the gnarliest of storms.

Also, there are so many compartments and pockets that you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store. And the best part? It’s comfortable to wear. And, wait for it, it’s got a suitcase-style opening, which means you don’t have to dig deep to find what you’re looking for. Genius, right?

A person with Cotopaxi 42 l opened travel pack in a natural setting
Cotopaxi Allpa 42l travel pack opens up suitcase style with mesh compartments

Not only is it spacious enough to fit all your essentials, but it’s also compact enough to fit in those pesky overhead bins. Yes, you heard me right, no more struggling to shove your bag into that tiny space above your seat.

mesh compartment of allpa 42 l inside travel pack
On the right side, you’ll find a large zippered mesh compartment for storing bulky clothing, while the left side features subdivided zip mesh compartments for organizing smaller items.

One of the things I love about the Cotopaxi Allpa 42l is its colorful design. The bag has a full wrap zipper opening, which makes it easy to pack and unpack. It also has four zippered compartments inside, including large, medium, and two small-size mesh compartments inside.

person with hand in backpacks water bottle pocket
With easy access to a water bottle pocket, you can quickly grab what you need without stopping

Cotopaxi Allpa 42L: Carry-On Friendly

Review of Pack Features of the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 l

The Cotopaxi Allpa 42 l Travel Pack has a number of features that make it the perfect backpack for adventure travel. Some of these features include:

  • Durable Material: The Allpa 42 is made from a combination of high-quality TPU-coated 1000D polyester and 840D ballistic nylon paneling, making it strong enough to withstand the rigors of travel.
  • Spacious Interior: The Allpa 42 has a spacious interior that can hold up to 42 liters of gear. This means you can pack all your essentials and still have room for more.
  • Multiple Compartments: The backpack features multiple compartments and a padded laptop sleeve that can accommodate up to a 15-inch laptop compartment
  • Comfortable Straps: The Allpa 42 has padded backpack-style and messenger-style shoulder straps, a removable padded hip belt, and load lifters making it comfortable to wear even for extended periods of time.
  • Padded Mesh Backpanel: this design feature means no sweaty backs
  • Security Features: The backpack has theft-proof webbing around the zipper pulls, making it harder for thieves to pickpocket you from behind.
  • Exterior water bottle pocket
  • Ykk Zippers
  • Both backpack-style and suitcase-style carrying versatility
FeaturesBenefitsProblems Solved
TPU-coated polyester rain shellRepels inclement weatherProtects gear from getting wet
Padded, mesh suspension systemProvides comfortable carryReduces discomfort during long walks
Load lifter strapsHelps distribute weight evenlyReduces strain on shoulders and back
42L capacityFits all the necessary gearAllows for longer trips without needing to repack
Multiple compartments and pocketsOrganizes gearReduces time spent searching for items
Stowable strapsEasy to storePrevents straps from getting tangled or caught during transport

Detailed review of the features and design of the Cotopaxi Allpa 42l Travel Pack

The Allpa 42 bag has several features that make it stand out from other adventure backpacks in the market.

Here are some of its key features:

Comfortable to wear

The Allpa 42l travel pack has a padded back panel, adjustable hipbelt suitcase style (removable too!) and stowable shoulder straps, with load lifters, making it comfortable to wear for extended periods. The load lifter straps shorten or lengthen, allowing you to customize the fit to your body.

man pulls on load lifter straps on backpacks shoulder straps
I adjust the weight distribution by using these load lifters on the backpack’s low-profile harness system

Versatile carrying options

The bag has multiple carrying options and comfortably carries a couple of hiking pants, hiking shirts, a light jacket, two pairs of underwear, one button-down shirt, hiking socks, and toiletries. Not to mention the multiple ways to carry this bag, backpack straps, shoulder straps tucked away, and four reinforced grab handles.

The backpack straps can be stowed away which I did when running through the airport. For reference, I’m 6’1″.

travel pack worn messenger style review of cotopaxi allpa 42
Worn messenger style, the shoulder strap stows away when worn as backpack


The Allpa 42 is made from weather-resistant materials, including TPU-coated 1000D polyester and ballistic nylon paneling. This makes the bag durable and able to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Removable hip belt

The removable hip belt is a game-changer. It’s like having a little support system for your lower back that you can take on and off whenever you please. It’s like having a personal chiropractor with you at all times!

Okay, maybe not quite, but you get the idea. Plus, it’s super easy to remove and reattach, so you can adjust it to your liking on the go.

Recommended read: https://thehikingadventure.com/choosing-hiking-pants-for-curvy-figures

man holding both ends of a backpack hip belt showing back panel
Adjustable and removable. To remove, slide hipbelt out.
review of removing hip belt from cotopaxi allpa 42l
Hip belt slides out easily so that you can wear this messenger style

Ample storage space

First of all, let’s talk about the multiple mesh compartments! The zippered opening of the main compartment of the bag opens and lays flat. Inside, the internal organization has several zippered mesh compartments, a large zippered pocket, and two smaller ones, ala packing cubes style making it easy to keep your hiking essentials neatly organized.

On the right side, you’ll find a large zippered mesh compartment for storing bulky clothing, while the left side features subdivided zippered mesh compartments for organizing smaller items.
hand under mesh showing visibility compartment pocket cotopaxi allpa 42 review
Several different sized compartments, so I can travel organized and know where everything is

Brightly colored zippers

One of the many favorite things I love about the Allpa 42 is its multi-color zippers. This detail not only adds a pop of color to the backpack but also makes it easy to identify different compartments.

YKK zippers and security webbing on Allpa 42 travel bag
YKK security zippers on all closures make it harder for pickpockets to access your stuff

Zippered Mesh Pockets

This backpack is a game changer with its spacious compartments and durable material. But what really sets it apart is the zippered mesh pockets! The backpack has a total of eight pockets, including a padded laptop pocket, a top zip pocket with organization pockets, and a side pocket for a water bottle.

unzipping pocket on top allpa 42l travel pack
Top zip pocket offers easy access to important grab-and-go items
top compartment of cotopaxi backpack allpa 42L
View of Top zippered pocket to Cotopaxi Allpa 42l Bag

To clarify, the top zip pocket and three pouches, these handy little pockets are perfect for storing your small items like GPS gavigator, keys, phone, wallet, and backpacking snacks.

No more digging around in the depths of your backpack trying to find that one thing you need. With the Cotopaxi Allpa 42L, everything has its own designated spot. Plus, the mesh material allows for easy visibility, so you won’t have to waste time rummaging around.

Quick Grab Compartments

These compartments are strategically placed for convenience, I liked that I could quickly and easily retrieve my Cotopaxi Fuego Down jacket without having to dig through the rest of my gear. It’s the little things that make a big difference, and these cool pockets are definitely a game-changer!

man uses shortcut zipper to access travel bag main compartment
Quick grab compartments, which is a game-changer for when you are on the go.

Padded laptop sleeve

The Allpa 42 has a laptop sleeve, next to the main compartment, which can fit laptops up to 15 inches. Cotopaxi are geniuses in using different colored zippers to identify the main compartment from the laptop compartment.

The orange color zipper opens the main compartment while the blue zippers gave me quick access to my laptop.

Laptop sleeve is padded to protect your tech. This sleeve provides ample protection for up top 15″ laptop or tablet
padded laptop compartment of backpack
The sleeve is located in the back panel of the main compartment, ensuring that your laptop is protected from any accidental bumps or drops.

Lash points

One of the standout features of the Allpa 42 is the multiple lash points. These are located on the front of the backpack, and are great for attaching hiking gear, such as my favorite hiking poles, solar chargers, with carabiners, to the outside of the backpack.

This is perfect for carrying items that you need to access quickly, such as a softshell jacket, hiking poles, or a water bottle. I use the carabiner lash points to secure bulky stuff like a fleece jacket, to the outside of the backpack, which frees up space inside for other gear.

Shoulder Straps

Let’s review the Cotopaxi allpa 42 shoulder straps, shall we? These bad boys, made of mesh and foam, are like pillows for your shoulders. I mean, seriously, they are so comfortable you might forget you’re even wearing a backpack. And the best part? They’re adjustable and tuck into the back panel when I wanted to carry this as a messenger bag.

tucking in shoulder straps on cotopaxi allpa 42 l
Stow shoulder straps to class it up and wear this messenger style

Rain cover

Another standout bonus of this backpack is that it comes with its own rain fly, which is a must-have for any outdoor adventurer. The rain cover is easy to access and can be quickly deployed to protect your gear from the elements.

rain cover on hiker's backpack

Personal experience using the Cotopaxi Allpa 42l bag

I recently took the Cotopaxi Allpa 42l travel pack on a weekend adventure trip, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. The bag was comfortable to wear, even when fully loaded with gear. Additionally, the adjustable straps allowed me to customize the fit to my body, making it feel like a natural extension of myself.

The clamshell opening made it easy to pack and unpack, and subdivided zippered mesh compartments allowed me to organize my clothes efficiently. Moreover, the laptop’s padded sleeve was also a lifesaver, as I was able to work on the go without worrying about damaging my laptop.

Pros and Cons of the Cotopaxi Allpa 42l Travel Pack


  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Spacious, zippered interior
  • Exterior shortcut pocket
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel for comfortable carry
  • Lockable zippers and theft-proof webbing for security
  • Removable hip belt
  • Brightly colored smooth zippers


  • Expensive compared to other backpacks in the market
  • Not so many pockets

Comparison with other adventure backpacks in the market

The Allpa 42l travel pack is a premium adventure backpack, and as such, it is more expensive than other backpacks in the market. However, it is also more durable and versatile than most backpacks, making it worth the investment.

Compared to the Osprey Farpoint 40 and the Patagonia Black Hole 45L, the Cotopaxi Allpa 42l bag has more compartments, making it easier to organize your gear. It also has a quick grab items side, four reinforced grab handles, and no ugly daisy chains running down the front.

However, it is more expensive than both backpacks, which may be a drawback for budget-conscious travelers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dimensions of the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack?

The Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack measures 21.5” x 13.5” x 9” (55cm x 34cm x 23cm).

Is the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack waterproof?

The backpack is water-resistant, but not completely waterproof. It can withstand light rain and splashes, but it’s not recommended to submerge it in water

Does the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 backpack come with a warranty?

Yes, the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack comes with a 1-year warranty against any manufacturing defects.

Can I use the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack as a carry-on bag?

Yes, the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack is designed to meet most airline carry-on requirements. However, it’s always best to check with your specific airline to ensure compliance.

How much does the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack weigh?

The Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack weighs 3.9 pounds (1.8 kg).

Can I use the backpack for hiking?

Definitely yes. If this is too large, get the Cotopaxi Luzon 24L Pack Del Dia, which is a great backpack for hiking.

Can the backpack fit under an airplane seat?

Can the backpack fit under an airplane seat? Yes, the Allpa 42 is designed to fit under most airplane seats.

Conclusion and final thoughts on the Cotopaxi Allpa 42l bag

In conclusion, my review of the Cotopaxi Allpa 42 travel pack: a versatile and durable adventure backpack that is perfect for the weekend to weeklong trips. I like how comfortable it carried, the fresh design colors, rain cover, laptop sleeve and compartment for quick grab items, and plenty of storage space. Don’t forget to pack a hat for sun protection, and a water bladder if you head out hiking.

One of the best things about the Allpa 42 is its size. It’s the perfect size for carry-on luggage, making it a great option for those who like to travel light. And let’s not forget about those pesky overhead bins on planes – the Allpa 42 fits perfectly in them, so you won’t have to check bags and wait for them to arrive at baggage claim.

So, whether you’re embarking on a backpacking adventure or just need a reliable carry-on for your next flight, the Allpa 42L has got your back (literally).

man showing allpa 42 l travel pack

Where to buy the Allpa 42 bag

The Cotopaxi Allpa 42 L travel pack is available for purchase on the Cotopaxi website, as well as on REI and Amazon.

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Joey Dang _Hiking Adventure writer

Joey Dang is the Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Western University of Health Sciences. He also works as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Central Medical Group.

Joey’s love for the outdoors was introduced to him when he was a Boy Scout. When he isn’t busy working, his favorite way to spend his free time are various ways to make great espresso drinks, photography and out backpacking, camping, climbing, and hiking.