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Cotopaxi Luzon Del Dia Backpack Review

    Cotopaxi Luzon Del Dia Backpack Review

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    Most companies are in business to make money. They get to continue what they do if they make money to fund it. What happens with those profits though differs for each company. Some make money purely for the owners.

    Others, like Cotopaxi, are driven by a mission to use that money for a good cause. A certified B corporation, Cotopaxi takes 2% of revenues every year to fund grants around the world, helping active projects increase health, education and livelihoods in developing countries. They actively seek the best projects to fund and are transparent with exactly what they do with the grants each year.

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    The gear is high quality and meant to least at least 61 years, the lifespan of a person living in the developing world. “Gear for good” is their motto alluding to both their high quality, long lasting gear and their bigger mission of helping poverty all over the world.

    The Luzon Del Dia backpack is a prime example of their commitment to simple, strong gear and doing this in a unique way. “Del Dia” means “of the day” so you get a completely unique, one-of-a-kind Luzon when you order. More in the colours section about that.

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    Features

    The Luzon Del Did is a basic pack. It’s pretty simple when it comes to features.

    • 18L pack
    • drawstring top closure
    • adjustable sternum strap and webbing waist belt
    • water bladder pocket with hose port
    • mesh shoulder straps
    • small zippered front pocket
    • no frame (very packable)

    It comes in one 18L size. Being a little day pack there isn’t small, medium, or large sizes to pick. One size fits all.

    The sternum strap is adjustable up and down and is thin webbing. The waist belt is the same, just a webbing strap. You won’t be holding much weight in an 18L pack

    The water bladder just inside the back panel can hold a 2-3 litre water bladder and has a port out the top to route the hose to your shoulder straps. The right shoulder strap has a hose holder just above the sternum strap.

    The front zippered pocket is about 2 litres with a Luzon Del Dia logo inside and the Del Dia “1/1” symbol. Your Del Dia is 1 out of 1 because of the colours.

    The Luzon Del Dia colours of the day

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    “Del Dia” means “of the day”. The backpack you get is literally the Luzon of the day. The workers in the factories in the Philipines get free reign to pick the colours for each backpack. They take the scraps and rolls that would sit on the shelf forever and match them up into funky and bright backpacks that you get in the mail.

    You don’t get to choose the colours, it’s just a surprise when you get it.

    If you don’t like the idea of getting a random selection of colours in the clips and fabric, the regular Luzon backpacks have set colours that you can choose from.

    Water bladder pocket

    The Luzon has as water bladder pocket just inside the back of the backpack. It easily fits a 2-3 litre water bladder or other pieces of gear if you aren’t taking a bladder.

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    Strong clips and straps

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    The shoulder straps on the Luzon are mesh so they won’t be too hot in the warm weather. I was testing in the winter so that wasn’t an issue.

    The sternum strap slides up and down on the shoulder straps so you can place it where you want it.

    The waist belt is just thin nylon webbing. It’s not going to hold any weight on your hips but 18L isn’t going to weigh much. The webbing will be plenty to keep the bottom of the bag from swinging around too much. I’m surprised there is even a waist belt on an 18L bag but I like it. Moving fast the bag swings too much without the waist belt on.

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    1 small top opening issue

    The only issue I have with this awesome little bag is that you can’t close the drawstring top completely. You can get the drawstring pulled really tight but there’s still a slight opening. Out on a wet day, water is going to get in.

    Most of the time this opening isn’t going to be a problem. Multi -day hiking is going to require a bigger backpack. Really wet days will require a pack cover for whatever you choose. This really only applies to the times that you’re out in good weather with the Luzon and the rain rolls in. You’re stuff will get a bit wet.

    Lightweight and packable with a twist

    At 300 g (10.5 oz) the Luzon is nice and lightweight. There isn’t any frame or extra features to weigh it down. The fabric is thin but feels durable. You won’t be carrying much in 18L but the pack doesn’t add much too that load either.

    Having no frame and thin fabric means the Luzon packs down really small. The pack would fit inside a nalgene bottle no problem, maybe smaller.

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    It’s not mentioned anywhere official but the whole backpack stuffs into the front pocket. The zipper isn’t double-sided so you have to use the zipper upside down to zip it up the pouch but it fits well. The “1/1 Luzon Del Dia” logo on the inside of the pocket becomes the logo on the outside of the pouch.

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    Since it packs down so well this would be a great day pack or travelling pack to take with you in your other gear. I travelled around Australia and New Zealand for 4 months with a Osprey Talon 33 litre pack stuff in the front of an Osprey Aether 70 pack. It fit but it was a bit big. The Talon 33 doesn’t have a frame but it’s got a stiff board in the back. A Luzon 18 that stuffs down really small would have been perfect for a packable day pack.

    Buying a Luzon Del Dia

    The Luzon Del Dia goes for $49 USD on Cotopaxi’s website. You can also get the regular Luzon with the standard colours from the site for $39 USD. REI is stocking the Luzon as well.

    Summary

    Cotopaxi is a relatively new gear company, only starting in April 2014, but already they’re making waves with how they’re approaching gear and the industry.

    I love the Gear for Good slogan and the idea of the Public Benefit Corporation and feel like it’s where more companies need to go. Like a percentage of every guide we sell at PureOutside, outdoor companies have a lot of power and responsibility to give back to the community and the outdoors. Cotopaxi shows us it can work well.

    The Luzon Del Dia a great little day pack that is going to start conversations and carry your day hiking gear for years. The small drawstring issue won’t cause most people any issue and the rest of the bag and features work so well you’ll forget out it. I know I’ve found a favourite piece of gear when I’m looking for excuses to use it.

    Whether you need to shake up the colours in your gear closet, or just need a very packable day pack for outdoor and travel adventures, the Luzon would be a good option.

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