Cotopaxi Allpa 35L

I’ve Taken 5 Trips in 6 Months. My Go-To Weekender Bag Is This Surprisingly Spacious Backpack.

When I pulled out my Cotopaxi Allpa 35L backpack before a three-day trip for my friend’s wedding in Utah, I was skeptical that everything I needed to bring would fit. In theory, a weekend’s worth of clothes shouldn’t be a problem for one of our recommended weekend bags, but I was planning to pack heavy. Not only would I need to cram a bulky velvet bridesmaid dress, several pairs of heels, every hot hair tool I own, and my entire stash of toiletries into the Cotopaxi Allpa, but I also needed to pack clothes warm enough for the snowy forecast at my destination.

Somehow, after I packed all the essentials, I still had space leftover—so much that I was actually able to toss a few books in (and all hardcovers, at that). In the year since I’ve had my Cotopaxi Allpa, I’ve consistently been in awe of the amount of stuff it’s able to hold.

The deceptively roomy backpack, with its two zippered compartments and hidden pockets, has a capacity of 35 liters. Before I started using this delightful bag, I found it hard to visualize what exactly that meant in units of vacation outfits and travel essentials. Now I know it means everything I’d need to fulfill my bridesmaid duties with room to spare.

Last year was an especially hectic one for me: I traveled around the country to attend seven weddings, along with the associated engagement parties, bachelorette weekends, and bridal showers. As a result, I spent a lot of time navigating flight delays, layovers, and connections, and the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L, which I took on five of those trips, made the airport experience a little more tolerable.

The Cotopaxi Allpa’s clamshell design, which opens like a suitcase, combines the roominess and structure of a suitcase with the hands-free convenience of a backpack. Its built-in packing cubes take the stress out of organizing your things, and the hidden laptop sleeve keeps your electronics safe and snug. And because the pack has contoured shoulder straps and a removable hip belt, it’s comfortable to wear during a long day of travel, even when it’s stuffed to the gills with velvet gowns and sparkly shoes.

With the Cotopaxi Allpa, you have the freedom to travel how you like. You can wear the bag like a backpack if you want, but you also have the option to tuck those straps away if you want to carry it like a briefcase. Handles on all four sides of the bag make it easy for you to pull it down from the overhead bin or yank it out from under the seat in front of you. 

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L helped me stay organized and sane through a particularly busy year of travel, but I know that not everyone wants to wear all their belongings on their back. These other bags (all available at Adventure Clothing) are durable, well suited for frequent travel, and meet airline carry-on size limits.

Other bags to consider

Eagle Creek's incredibly durable backpack is built to hold everything you need and keep it organized in the most efficient way.


This versatile, carry-on friendly backpack lets you travel in confidence, knowing your belongings are protected by Pacsafe's anti-theft security.


Looking to expand your horizons?  Kick it up a notch with Brigg's & Riley's Baseline Global Carry-On Spinner.  The remarkable capacity and CX Expansion/Compression technology are perfect for luxurious international travel.

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