Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider, Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
I’ve been using the Cotopaxi Allpa 35 ($190) for two years as my go-to luggage for domestic and international trips.
It’s a hybrid backpack-duffel carry-on that’s tough, comfortable, and a seemingly bottomless pit for belongings.
Recently, it held two weeks’ worth of clothes for a European trip — and I paid zero in checked-bag fees.
Since joining the Insider Picks team in 2017, I’ve tested thousands of products. This means that in the past two years, I’ve replaced my own skin-care products, robes, exercise leggings, hot tools, and credit cards with the superior options I’ve discovered along the way. But, in the past two years, I’ve had one remaining constant: my carry-on travel bag.
The Cotopaxi Allpa 35 ($190) has been my reigning champion of luggage for two years of product testing. It’s tough, comfortable, and seemingly bottomless — like the magic handbag Hermione Granger stuffs outdoor tents and spellbooks into. And it’s perfectly sized for a carry-on, which means I can save on checked-luggage airline fees, avoid losing bags, and sidestep tedious carousel lines without needing to pack fewer outfits. It’s easily the best travel accessory I’ve found in years.
The biggest perk to the Allpa 35 is spaciousness. The 35 in its name alludes to 35 liters, a nod to its capacity. It’s fit enough gear for a nearly two-week-long European vacation, as well as both legs of a trip that started with snowstorms in Minnesota and ended with beach hopping in Belize — and I’ve never had a problem fitting it into the overhead compartment. I’m also not a particularly lean packer.
You still have to be selective when relying solely on a carry-on bag, but there are some easy ways to optimize. I typically use PackPoint, an app which analyzes the weather at your destination and your planned activities, to spit out a first-draft packing list — mostly so I don’t forget adapters abroad or go unchallenged when bringing three sweaters but zero jackets. Once I have my list, I roll my clothes to fit more than folding.
Since it’s a soft shell, the Allpa 35 is more malleable than most suitcases; I’ve definitely pushed it beyond its promised limits before. And because it’s a carry-on, I’ve been able to fit overflow or bulk items like shoes or a winter coat in a larger “personal item” for no additional cost.
This thing is well-designed. It has just enough pockets — one for everything you need, and none that make you despise them for simply taking up space. The front of the bag …read more
Source:: Business Insider