Cotopaxi Batac 16L Review
Cons: No hip belt, no padding or support, small side pockets
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Cotopaxi Batac 16L
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$79.95 at REI
$29.15 at Amazon
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|$39.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Lightweight, easy to access contents, internal organization, fun colors||Great access to your gear, big pockets, simple yet versatile||Shockingly lightweight, padded shoulder straps, useful features, packs into own pocket||Lightweight, useful features, flap to cover cinch top, inexpensive||Insanely light, packs up super tiny, fits slightly larger people|
|Cons||No hip belt, no padding or support, small side pockets||Unsupportive hip belt, not the most breathable back panel||No hip belt, small overall size, no back padding - can feel contents||Small fit, hip belt not load-bearing||Nearly no features, only one big pocket, super thin fabric, can feel contents|
|Bottom Line||Tons of fun colors and just the right amount of convenience and functionality for casual use||A durable, versatile pack that's both easy to use and easy on your wallet||An ultralight solution that doesn't cut out all the comfort and features||A good, grab-and-go bag for smaller users, but not ideal for long hikes or heavy loads||A bare-bones ultralight pack for those really dedicated to cutting out ounces|
|Rating Categories||Cotopaxi Batac 16L||REI Co-op Trail 25...||Osprey Ultralight S...||REI Co-op Flash 18...||Sea to Summit Ultra...|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||Cotopaxi Batac 16L||REI Co-op Trail 25...||Osprey Ultralight S...||REI Co-op Flash 18...||Sea to Summit Ultra...|
|Measured Weight||11 oz.||30 oz.||4 oz.||10 oz.||3 oz.|
|Back Construction||Lightweight nylon||HDPE framesheet||Lightweight nylon||Lightly padded back panel||Lightweight nylon|
|Hydration||Internal hydration sleeve||Inner hydration sleeve||None||Internal hydration sleeve||None|
|Hipbelt||No||Yes, removable||No||Yes, removable||No|
|Outside Carry Options||Daisy chain, 2 side pockets||Pole fasteners, side mesh pockets with elastic enclosure||Side pocket||Various small loops, one tool loop (need bungee or webbing to secure poles to daisy chain)||Short daisy chain|
|Materials||75D-210D nylon (sometimes ripstop; individual pieces may vary)||Recycled nylon||40D Nylon ripstop||Recycled nylon||30D ripstop nylon|
|Notable Features||Side-opening small pocket, internal organizational pockets||Ability to add REI Trail 2 Waistpack for more storage, contoured foam harness, raincover included, bottom is reinforced to be abraison resistant||Packs into its own pocket||Removable back padding, cinch closure cover, removable sternum strap, converts into a stuff sack||Packs into its own pocket, carabiner included|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cotopaxi Batac 16L is a unisex daypack made from recycled nylon scraps ranging from 75-Denier to 210-Denier in thickness. It weighs just 11 ounces and comes in a single size and volume.
Up against fully padded models with structured bodies that cushion your body away from your gear and wide hip belts to take the weight off your shoulders, the Cotopaxi Batac looks a little bare bones. It lacks any sort of hip belt, weight-bearing, or otherwise, and its only "padding" is the recycled nylon and mesh that make it up. When empty, it's easy to see this simple pack doesn't have any support structures that might also protect your back from the contents you place inside. However, this funky little bag isn't made for hardcore treks that are gear-heavy and cover seemingly endless miles. Instead, it offers a short learning curve of careful packing that ends up making this bag reasonably comfortable to carry, with a sweatshirt for padding in the back and low-weight items over shorter distances that won't fatigue your shoulders. Its only downside is the slightly wide unisex shoulder straps that have a tendency to slip sideways off of narrow shoulders. The sternum strap helps stop this from happening, though it's barely high enough to be comfortably placed for short-torsoed women. While it lacks some of the finesse other models bring to the table, the Batac still manages to be fairly comfortable with lighter cargo and for shorter excursions.
Two large pockets comprise the body of this bag, each with additional simple organization inside. The main compartment has a laptop/water reservoir sleeve (or a great spot for your extra layer to add padding to this padless bag) and a small zippered mesh pocket with a key clip inside. However, with no hole through which to thread a hydration hose, if you're a hardcore water bladder hiker, you'll be left stringing yours through the main zipper. The second compartment zips open on the side of the bag, making it easy to access by swinging the whole thing under your right arm. It houses another small, mesh slip pocket that's just about the right size for most smartphones. The Batac has two side water bottle pockets of mesh, though they're quite small. It is possible to fit a 1L Nalgene or insulated bottle into the pockets, but only if the body of the bag isn't already stuffed to the brim. And to round out this smattering of just enough pockets and features to be useful, a daisy chain cascades down the side of the pack opposite of the side-opening pocket. The Batac's combination of pockets, size, and simple design make it a surprisingly versatile bag for everyday use, venturing into moderate outdoor exploits. And while Cotopaxi has made a name for themselves with wacky, surprising color combinations, you can also choose a premade version of the Batac if you don't feel up to spinning the color wheel of chance.
Considering each Batac is constructed of a unique combination of fabrics, the weight of the final product is never completely certain. Cotopaxi claims this pack weighs 12 ounces, while the one we tested actually weighs just 11 ounces. Considering what this brings to the table in terms of capacity, features, and pizazz, the Batac has a great weight value. It's not quite in the realm of ultralight, but it's still light, thin, and packable enough to justifiably stuff into your suitcase on your way to faraway adventures.
Ease of Use
The simplicity of the Batac makes it a bit less adjustable than many other bags we tested. It's a unisex model that's pretty small overall. The shoulder straps can be adjusted and the sternum strap moves up and down, but neither provides a women's specific fit. The shoulder straps splay wide on narrow frames and the chest strap cuts a bit low for many shorter women's busts. As for packing and accessing this back, it's easy to do. The traditional top opening zipper extends far enough down each side to facilitate rummaging for items at the bottom of the bag without necessarily having to empty it. By moving the other compartment's zipper to one side of the bag, the Batac offers a large pocket with very easy access without needing to fully remove this pack. We're fans of using this bag for heading to the coffee shop, spending a day running errands, and as a personal item in airline travel. True to what we've come to expect from Cotopaxi, the Batac is a simple piece of gear with just enough features to be useful and handy without entering into high-tech terrain.
Here again, the uniqueness of each Batac made from a random selection of recycled nylon scraps ranging in thicknesses from 75D to 210D, it's difficult to gauge the hardiness of a specific individual. Some pieces are thicker, and some are thinner; some are ripstop, and some are not. Our version lacks any double-thick patches in high-traffic areas like the bottom of the bag. However, every seam and stitch is neat and strong, and key junctures are reinforced. It's not a bag built to be heavily abused, but it's not wimpy, and we had no problems with it during our testing. While we wouldn't want to overstuff this bag or drag it across a granite boulder or through a thorny understory, it seems solid enough for most everyday applications.
Compared to so many others we tested, the Cotopaxi Batac 16 is relatively inexpensive. It lacks many of the frills and comfortable features of its spendier brethren though. If you're looking for a serious day hiking bag to fill with heavy gear and carry for miles, it's not worth saving a few bucks and trying to make this floppy bag work. However, if you don't want a hip belt, prefer a backpack without rigid support, and appreciate a modest amount of space, the Batac is a good buy for a pretty versatile, simple pack.
The Batac 16 threads the needle between the ultralight, nearly featureless packs and the beefy, bells-and-whistles bags that can comfortably cart heavy loads. It's lightweight, simple yet very functional, easy and pleasant to use, and comes in all kinds of color patterns leftover from other industry projects. For a no-nonsense, super useful, casual everyday bag to travel with, adventure with, or just head to the gym with, the Batac has got you covered.
— Maggie Nichols
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