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Cotopaxi Batac 16L Review

Tons of fun colors and just the right amount of convenience and functionality for casual use
Cotopaxi Batac 16L
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $60 List | $60.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, easy to access contents, internal organization, fun colors
Cons:  No hip belt, no padding or support, small side pockets
Manufacturer:   Cotopaxi
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2020
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Versatility - 25% 7
  • Weight - 25% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

Somewhere between a packable backpack and a full-featured technical daypack lies the Cotopaxi Batac 16L. This medium-sized unisex bag is lightweight without being ultralight, comfortable without much structure or padding, and just wild enough to stand out from the crowd. Just the right number of pockets provides basic organization with easy access just by swinging the pack under one arm while on the move. It features a sternum strap (but no hip belt) and a hydration or laptop sleeve (but no hose-specific hole). Not our first choice for a full day geared up for long miles, the Batac is a great casual bag that can be adapted for a wide range of colorful uses.

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Cotopaxi Batac 16L
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Cotopaxi Batac 16L
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Price $60.00 at AmazonCheck Price at REI
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$40 List
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Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight, easy to access contents, internal organization, fun colorsAdjustable torso length, very durable, great features and pocketsShockingly lightweight, padded shoulder straps, useful features, packs into own pocketLightweight, useful features, flap to cover cinch top, inexpensiveInsanely light, packs up super tiny, fits slightly larger people
Cons No hip belt, no padding or support, small side pocketsRuns a bit small, front stow pocket a bit smallNo hip belt, small overall size, no back padding - can feel contentsSmall fit, hip belt not load-bearingNearly 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 useA versatile, durable, and comfortable pack that works just as well on the trail as in townAn ultralight solution that doesn't cut out all the comfort and featuresA good, grab-and-go bag for smaller users, but not ideal for long hikes or heavy loadsA bare-bones ultralight pack for those really dedicated to cutting out ounces
Rating Categories Cotopaxi Batac 16L Osprey Tempest 20 Osprey Ultralight S... REI Co-op Flash 18 Ultra-Sil Day Pack
Comfort (25%)
6.0
7.0
3.0
5.0
3.0
Versatility (25%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
4.0
5.0
Weight (25%)
8.0
6.0
10.0
9.0
10.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
5.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
8.0
4.0
5.0
3.0
Specs Cotopaxi Batac 16L Osprey Tempest 20 Osprey Ultralight S... REI Co-op Flash 18 Ultra-Sil Day Pack
Weight (oz) 11 oz 31 oz 4 oz 9 oz 3 oz
Volume/Capacity (liters) 16L 20L 18L 18L 20L
Back Construction Lightweight nylon AirScape backpanel; large spaced horizontal padding bars covered by large-holed mesh Lightweight nylon Lightly padded back panel Lightweight nylon
Hydration Internal hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve None Internal hydration sleeve None
Hipbelt No Yes No Yes, webbing and removable No
Compartments 1 1 1 1 1
Rain Cover No No No No No
Additional pockets 3 8 2 1 0
Outside Carry Options Daisy chain, 2 side pockets Lidlock helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, large stretch front pocket, ice tool loop with bungee tie-off, side pockets, hip belt pockets, sunglasses shoulder stow, bike light loop Side pocket Daisy chain, various small loops Short daisy chain
Whistle No Yes No Yes No
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Materials 75D-210D nylon (sometimes ripstop; individual pieces may vary) 70D x 100D nylon body, accent and bottom 420HD nylon packcloth 40D Nylon ripstop Ripstop nylon 30D ripstop nylon
Notable Features Side-opening small pocket, internal organizational pockets Helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, sunglasses quick-stow, bike light loop, shoulder strap pocket, stowable ice axe loops Packs into its own pocket Internal storage pockets, removable back padding, cinch closure cover, removable sternum strap 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.

Performance Comparison


From travel to lightweight adventures, the Batac is a simple...
From travel to lightweight adventures, the Batac is a simple, versatile pack with a unique aesthetic.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


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.

The sternum strap holds the wide-set shoulder straps in place, but...
The sternum strap holds the wide-set shoulder straps in place, but is a challenging fit for shorter women, as it might not go high enough for chest comfort without loosening the shoulder straps and letting the pack ride lower.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


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.

The side pockets are barely large enough for this 1L insulated water...
The side pockets are barely large enough for this 1L insulated water bottle -- and only works when the pack isn't over-stuffed.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Weight


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.

The lightweight Batac offers more features than ultralight options...
The lightweight Batac offers more features than ultralight options without weighing as much as its technical cousins.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

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.

Side access makes it easy to quickly locate items you may need out...
Side access makes it easy to quickly locate items you may need out on the trail.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


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.

The Batac has just enough pockets to be useful.
The Batac has just enough pockets to be useful.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


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.

You can never be quite sure how thick the nylon comprising your...
You can never be quite sure how thick the nylon comprising your Batac bag may be, so treating it carefully on sharp surfaces is highly recommended.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Conclusion


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.

The Batac makes a quick after-work jaunt on local trails a cinch.
The Batac makes a quick after-work jaunt on local trails a cinch.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg