Cotopaxi Del Día Collection Review – Exploring Sustainability and Style in the Allpa 42L Travel Pack

The Cotopaxi Del Día Collection offers a unique and sustainable approach to adventure gear. Crafted with 100% repurposed fabric, each piece is a one-of-a-kind creation, adding an element of surprise and individuality to your gear collection. The Del Día bags, including the Allpa 42L Travel Pack, are not just about style; they embody a commitment to eco-consciousness and thoughtful design.

Allpa 42L Travel Pack

Functionality and Versatility:

The Del Día Collection, with its packs and duffels, is designed to seamlessly blend into a variety of travel scenarios. Whether you’re embarking on a backpacking adventure, a camping trip, or a globetrotting journey, these bags excel in both functionality and style. The Allpa 42L Travel Pack, a standout in this collection, caters to those with longer trips in mind.

Allpa 42L Travel Pack – Del Día: Ultimate Adventure Companion

Allpa 42L Travel Pack

Cotopaxi sent me their Allpa 42L Travel Pack to test.

The Allpa 42L Travel Pack is tailored to accommodate trips lasting two weeks or more. Built with versatility and durability in mind, this pack boasts features that enhance its usability and performance.


  1. Comfortable Carry: The padded, mesh suspension system and load lifter straps ensure a comfortable carry, even during extended walks or airport dashes.
  2. Organization Made Easy: The suitcase-style, full-wrap zipper opening on the main compartment makes packing and organization a breeze. The internal mesh compartments further assist in keeping your belongings neatly arranged. And it has enough space for clothing to make sure you’re covered (literally!) for up to two weeks.
  3. Tech-Friendly: With a padded 15″ laptop sleeve and a 12.5″ padded tablet sleeve, the pack caters to the tech-savvy traveler. I can easily fit in my HP Laptop, iPad, and Kindle.
  4. Quick Access: The shortcut zipper to the main compartment allows easy access to your essentials without having to open the entire pack.
  5. Thoughtful Design Elements: The inclusion of a top zippered pocket for small essentials, exterior water bottle pocket, carabiner lash points, and reinforced grab handles highlight the pack’s well-rounded design.
  6. Anti-Theft Zippers: The YKK security zippers on all closures enhance the pack’s security.
  7. Sustainable Aesthetic: The one-of-a-kind Del Día colors are not only visually appealing but also showcase the bag’s commitment to repurposing materials.
  8. Rain Cover Included: The added rain cover ensures your gear stays dry during unexpected downpours.
  9. TSA Compliance: The pack’s carry-on compatibility makes navigating airports and flights a smoother experience.


  1. Random Selection: While the surprise factor of the Del Día colors can be exciting, some users might prefer to choose the color or pattern themselves or have a pre-fabricated bag from Cotopaxi.
    Allpa 42L Travel Pack

    Personally, I love the random color and pattern selection on the bag Cotopaxi sent me to test. It’s a vibrant collection of blues, oranges, reds and pinks. I love how unique it is, which is the purpose of this collection. Because of the random selection, each bag will be uniquely yours.

    Final Thoughts:

    The Cotopaxi Del Día Collection, exemplified by the Allpa 42L Travel Pack, is a standout choice for adventurers seeking both functionality and eco-friendliness in their gear. With its blend of comfort, organization, and sustainable design, this pack is well-suited for long journeys, outdoor escapades, and beyond. The Del Día concept not only reduces waste but also adds a touch of personalization to your gear ensemble. For those who value practicality, style, and responsible manufacturing, the Allpa 42L Travel Pack is a compelling option that encourages conscientious exploration.

    Conquering the Rockies with the MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    I recently had the opportunity to put the MEC Vista 70L Backpack to the test during a challenging 5-day backpacking trip into the Rocky Mountains.

    MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    As someone who values durability, comfort, and organization in a backpack, I was eager to see if this pack could meet my expectations. I’m happy to report that it not only met but exceeded them.

    First and foremost, the MEC Vista 70L Backpack is built to last.

    MEC Vista 70L Backpack
    MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    The main fabric is an abrasion-resistant 420-denier nylon with a PFC-free DWR finish and a PU coating, providing superior weather resistance.

    Throughout the rigorous trek, the pack held up exceptionally well against the rugged terrain, brushing against rocks and trees without a scratch.

    Carrying a heavy load for long distances can be challenging, but the Vista 70L Backpack excelled in terms of comfort.

    The airmesh backpanel allowed for maximum airflow, preventing excessive sweating on hot days.

    The padded hipbelt, made with EVA foam, provided a comfortable carry, alleviating pressure on my shoulders and distributing the weight evenly.

    MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    The load lifter straps on the shoulders allowed for fine-tuned adjustments, ensuring a personalized fit. Additionally, the padded, contoured ergonomic shoulder straps and height-adjustable sternum strap further enhanced the pack’s comfort.

    One aspect that truly impressed me was the organization features of the MEC Vista 70L Backpack.

    MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    The long U-shaped zippered opening made it incredibly convenient to access items inside the pack without the need to unpack and repack everything. This was especially handy when I was searching for snacks during the day.

    The lid of the backpack included a top pocket with a key clip and an underlid zippered mesh pocket, providing easy access to essential items.

    MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    The large front stretch mesh pocket and dual side mesh water bottle pockets were great for stashing items on the go, such as a jacket or hydration bottles.

    The side compression straps and sleeping pad straps ensured a secure and compact load, and the attachment loops and shock cord loops were useful for securing my trekking poles. During winter, these loops would be perfect to hold an ice axe.

    MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    During the trip, I also appreciated the inclusion of a hydration sleeve with a hanger hook and elastic routing strap on the shoulder straps. During the 60+ mile trip, there were only two options for refilling water, so I was glad I could carry my 3-liter bladder easily.

    Additionally, the built-in Recco® Rescue System reflector was a reassuring safety feature. While I didn’t need a rescue, these reflectors would allow ski patrol and mountain rescue teams to detect and locate the backpack under snow if necessary.

    The other safety feature the Vista Backpack included was a whistle that was attached to shoulder straps. This safety feature I did have to use and it worked great to startle a bear that was on the trail at a lower elevation.

    MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    With a volume of 70L, the MEC Vista Backpack provided ample space to carry everything I needed for the 5-day adventure in the Rocky Mountains. Its dimensions of 63cm in length, 29cm in width, and 35.5cm in depth were well-suited for accommodating my gear without feeling overly bulky or cumbersome.

    Overall, the MEC Vista 70L Backpack proved to be an exceptional companion for my backpacking trip. It withstood the demanding conditions of the Rocky Mountains and comfortably carried a substantial load while hiking 10-15 miles per day across 15,000 feet of vertical change. The durability, comfort, and organizational features of the pack exceeded my expectations, making it an excellent choice for multi-day adventures and adventure travel.

    MEC Vista 70L Backpack

    MEC, a brand with a long-standing reputation in the outdoor gear industry, has once again delivered a reliable and high-quality product.

    With their focus on comfort, value, and sustainable materials, the MEC Vista 70L Backpack embodies the spirit of outdoor exploration and is sure to accompany hikers and backpackers for many years to come on trails from coast to coast.

    Gear Review: Showers Pass Cross Country Short

    Showers Pass Cross Country DWR 11.5” Shorts are an amazing short to ride in. They are loose enough where you can move around freely, but not so loose that it catches and snags on the saddle.

    Showers Pass Cross Country Short
    Showers Pass Cross Country Short

    The waistband has a silicone grip to make sure it doesn’t slide down.

    Over the testing period, I found myself using them for more than just biking. Just like some of our other Showers Pass reviews, I’ve seen myself use the same products for trail-running and hiking. These were no exception. When I was training for a 50K, I had to get a run in on an exceptionally rainy day, so I wore these shorts instead of my go-to running shorts. They held up. From the waist down I was dry and the contents of the insides of my pockets were dry, as well.

    At night, these shorts compliment the Hi-Vis Torch Jacket when riding. At the base of each leg, there’s a reflective to provide subtle visibility. 

    With long runs, these shorts are comfy, but there’s no additional padding. But while I felt seat sore, it wasn’t because of the shorts. Even after several hours, my legs were comfortable. There wasn’t any rubbing or irritation, either. 

    Showers Pass Cross Country Short
    Showers Pass Cross Country Short

    For storage, there are two side pockets—large enough for a couple Gu’s or an energy bar—and stud-fastened rear pockets.

    These features and comfort, make the Cross Country short a winner.

    The Best Backpacking Food Ideas for Each Meal & Diet

    With so many fancy food options out there, finding good, nourishing food that fits your diet can be challenging, even cooking in your kitchen at home! Throwing in a camping stove and a dirt-floor kitchen certainly doesn’t make things any easier. Below, find a collection of backpacking food ideas for your next overnight, three-day or thru-hike!

    Recipe Ideas for Vegetarians


    Egg bombs! Beat some eggs, throw in your favorite omelette ingredients and throw it all in the oven in a muffin tin. You also could bake them in a pie crust for a mini-quiche. Eat them cold while on the run or throw them, foil and all, into a fire or over a stove to warm them up and eat from your sleeping bag!

    Trusty instant oatmeal. When backpacking, I like to spice mine up with fresh fruit, nut butters, powdered milk (great for longer trips) and instant coffee when I really need some help. I also find the runnier it is, the less I mind the stickiness of instant oats.

    backpacking food ideas peak refuel granola

    Freeze-dried breakfast. Several days into a trip, another bowl of oatmeal can look like an uphill battle. So, I will occasionally treat myself. Peak Refuel makes a good strawberry granola (it has berries in a bag! Just add cold water), and many other brands make egg-based breakfasts worth trying.


    Veggie cheese wraps. They got me through almost the entire Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. 2,700 miles of bell peppers, soft cheese and seasoning salt wrapped in a hearty tortilla. Of course, ingredients are limited by logistics, but we found cucumbers and bell peppers were robust enough for two to three days of wraps. A soft, white cheese is also important, as no one wants to eat a ¼ pound of cheddar for lunch.

    Leftovers. On the first day of any backcountry trip, I treat myself by reheating whatever leftovers I had in the fridge that morning. Hearty dinners are a favorite of mine, and the best backpacking food out there, so anything hard to cook on a camp stove can be a treat. Just reheat and eat.


    Instant rice, refried beans, cheese and spinach. I try to keep my dinner simple to prepare and simple to cook. Cook the rice, dump everything in and enjoy all the major macronutrients and some fiber to boot. There are a thousand permutations on this one. Starch, protein, fat, green is my formula, and it rarely steers my wrong. I also find myself cracking eggs into just about everything. Just be careful when you pack the eggs! Plastic egg cradles work, but I find myself leaving them in the cardboard and swaddling them with clothes.

    Vegan Backpacking Food Ideas


    Sweet porridge. We’ve all eaten enough oatmeal in our lives, so in the backcountry I mix it up. Common favorites are grits, halwa (made with semolina flour), and polenta. Adding additional fat, usually olive oil, and chia seeds keeps everything tasting like the yummy stuff I eat at home without all the heavy ingredients like coconut milk.


    Powdered hummus. It sounds like an abomination, but it genuinely is pretty rad. Especially days into an adventure that fresh hummus just isn’t tough enough for, the powdered stuff is worth its weight in gold. When I’m out of backpacking food ideas, I mix it up and eat it on its own or mix it in with other cooked ingredients for a high-protein sauce in other endeavors.

    Backpacking Food Ideas for Dinner:

    Grain bowls. Especially for longer trips, whole grains are a very important part of my food planning. Dense and shelf-stable, they are a constant in my pack. Beyond the grain, it all comes down to preference. My dinners, diet to diet, vary in substance but not structure. I try to include a starch, fat, protein and green in each dinner. For vegans, that can look like farro, kalamata olives, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes some fried tofu (if I’ve got any left after nibbling), and a light sauce based on the sun-dried tomato oil. Depending on the trip, I might pre-cook the tofu or broccoli, but if I intend to eat it on the second or third day of a trip, I’ll toss everything into the boiling water sequentially, steaming everything together.

    backpacking food ideas hobo dinner

    Hobo dinner. If you’re in a place where fires are permitted and convenient, an excellent, low-input option is tossing a potato (sweet is my preference) wrapped in foil into the fire. Once it smells good, pull it out! This works for most vegetables, but if you’re going to throw a container of broccoli in the fire, make sure to oil it a bit first. Once you’ve got the potato cooked, load it up like a baked potato with vegan cheese (if you roll that way), tasty veggies, and maybe some avocado. The meltier the toppings get, the better! And no stove required.

    Keto Backpacking Food Ideas


    Eggs bombs! If you can’t tell, I love eggs. Similar to the vegetarian version, throw all the meat, vegetables and cheese you can fit in, then warm them up in foil over a stove. The cheesier they are, often the better they stand up to time in a backpack.


    Chicken salad. Especially if it’s avocado-based, it’ll keep well in a backpack longer than cream-based options. Celery is a great add to keep it crunchy on the second or third day.

    Bacon Avocado Power Bowl. This is a friend’s invention, mashing crispy bacon, avocado, sauteed greens and sometimes salmon together. The mixture becomes dense, but always tastes so freaking good. Make sure to cook the bacon ahead of time; it gets messy doing it in camp!

    Backpacking Food Ideas for Dinner:

    backpacking food ideas meat and veggies

    Meat and Veggies. If I’m only going out for a day or two or camping somewhere cold, I’ll bring some pre-cooked steak or pork chops. After a long day, it doesn’t matter much if they’re warm or not, but a quick rewarm is easy enough. On longer trips, I’ll bring packet tuna, smash it with avocado and cheese, and toss with some cooked zucchini to keep it from getting too dense. This style of dinner often ends up cold, as the reheating of everything together on a single burner can get complicated.

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