A daypack is meant to be something you can swiftly grab and go. It’s a bag that is a delicate balance of compactness and storage space. It has to be tough but light and flexible enough to handle all sorts of situations. This is the anatomy of a daypack. When I had a chance to field test the Cotopaxi Luzon Del Dia 18L Daypack, I was impressed with what I saw.
Travel Gear For Good
Cotopaxi is one of a kind when it comes to outdoor retail. A lot of companies say they’re giving back to the community but these guys actually practice what they preach. Started in 2013 and seeded in the inception of the company, they’ve set off on the ambitious path of creating kickass products that inspire adventure while striving to reduce global poverty. Their focus is on the three pillars of global poverty alleviation: advance health, education, and livelihoods initiatives.
Their slogan is “Gear for Good” and it’s so fitting in the context of travel because it’s through exploration of the world we live in today that gives us a better perspective. Through that perspective is where we see the disparity which drives the need for change.
All of their gear is made in Luzon, Philippines with pride. On top of every purchase supporting the local community fund, I love how each bag has their own personalized “made in” tag which acts as a birth certificate. Employees are proud of their work and this is their way to show it.
No Two Alike
When any type of clothing or gear is made, there ends up being a lot of waste. Like wrapping a gift, you will always end up with excess that you have to throw out. The founders of Cotopaxi wanted to put an end to this and so the Luzon is made 100% of excess ripstop nylon that is leftover from the creation of other backpacks.
It doesn’t end there. The Del Dia version takes it even further. For those that don’t know Spanish, “del dia” means “of the day” and so the twist is that every bag’s color combination is in the full control a Cotopaxi employee in the Philippines. Think Google’s “I’m feeling lucky”. This means that each one is completely different and unique. It is literally 1 of 1.
While I have to say that getting a surprise colored anything is not something I’m used to unless it’s out of an M&M bag but I have to say that mine came out pretty sweet. I like my gear bright and colorful and the Luzon perfectly showcases my adventurous ways. It’s also kind of cool that I know that no one else has this exact combination.
Luzon Del Dia Features
This is a simple yet well constructed 18 liter bag. At the top you have a drawstring closure that gives you access to the main compartment of the bag.
Inside the main compartment is an internal sleeve designed for a hydration bladder and an open space to put anything you want.
On the outside, there’s a small zippered pocket where you can put quick access items.
Turn the bag around and you’ll find two lightweight and breathable mesh shoulder straps that have loops built in to feed your hydration tubing. For stability, they’ve also included adjustable straps for your chest and waist.
Compactness vs. Storage Space
As a traveller, I always appreciate gear that can shrink down when not used. When emptied, the Luzon can be flattered down and folded to almost nothing. This makes it very convenient to store into a larger backpack or even a suitcase.
Despite its small size, 18 liters is more than you think. During my day trip with the bag, I was able to fit in a 13″ Macbook, laptop charger, a sweater, some snacks, and a tumbler with room to spare. For me, it was quite the bonus that I was able to slot in my laptop because you know I’m always working on the go.
Tough But Light
Cotopaxi has done a brilliant job at selecting their materials. Despite being repurposed excess material from the factory, the ripstop nylon is as good as any I’ve seen high end outdoor gear shops use. Despite the downside of not having any padding, the bag handled all of the strange protruding angles of what was in my bag with ease.
The benefit of using this robust material is that it is also very light. Weighing only 300g (0.66lbs) on its own, it was feather light on my shoulders. With the adjustable straps, I was also able to get it to fit nice and snug.
The Luzon Del Dia is the kind of bag that you can take it wherever you want. If you’re going on a multi day trip, you can pack it full with clothes. If you’re going off hiking and want to stay nimble with a bag that can work with a hydration bladder and store snacks, this is also for you. If you just want a casual bag that you can use in the city or take it to beach, it works too!
For the traveller in me, I can see this working really well with my much larger 50 liter backpack. When I’m relocating from one place to the other, I can empty the daypack and stuff it in. When I’m spending the day exploring, I can pull it out to use as my daypack. When I’m adventuring, I can throw in my hydration system, and straight it tight to my chest and waist and run off as a hiking daypack.