The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Cotopaxi Luzon 24L Review

A well-organized casual pack that's fairly versatile across activities.
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Price:  $70 List | $70.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Good organizational features, unique patterns and colors, large capacity, fits taller people
Cons:  No load-bearing hip belt, sticks out from back, untechnical
Manufacturer:   Cotopaxi
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 14, 2019
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The Cotopaxi Luzon is a fairly untechnical pack that has a lot of helpful features for everyday casual uses. With handy organization and the ability to crossover between front country and backcountry settings, we found this to be a decently versatile pack. However, with a large capacity and no weight-bearing hip belt as well as a large profile, we weren't fans of jamming this thing totally full for any adventure no matter where or how long it was. For a pack that makes a heavy load crossover a bit more gracefully, consider the Osprey Tempest 20, our Top Pick for Around Town.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cotopaxi Luzon 24L is made of remnant pieces of reclaimed lightweight nylon, making every bag a unique combination of colors and patterns. It also boasts several compartments and features that the smaller, Luzon 15 and 18 don't have, like a laptop compartment.

Performance Comparison



Testing the Luzon on the slopes in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Testing the Luzon on the slopes in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Comfort


The Luzon is fairly minimalist when it comes to specific comfort features. It has unpadded shoulder straps that instead contain a supportive internal structure, similar to that of the REI Flash 18. The back has a decent layer of padding to prevent you from feeling every corner of every object you put inside. While this layer is thicker than the Flash, it's paltry compared to something like our Editor's Choice award winner, the CamelBak Sequoia, which has super thick back panel padding. The Luzon also has a removable webbing hip belt, which helps with the stabilization of this pack, but won't take any weight off your shoulders. It also has a sternum strap to further attach this bad boy to your body, but this one isn't removable, should you decide you aren't a fan.

Minimally padded shoulder straps bear all the weight of the Luzon.
Minimally padded shoulder straps bear all the weight of the Luzon.

Versatility


Cotopaxi put some thoughtful pockets in this pack that we think make it a pretty useful bag for a lot of activities. It has one outer zip pocket, a back compartment that can fit a 15" laptop and more, and an internal zip pocket with a key clip. The Luzon is also hydration compatible, helping to make this bag a better contender for that crossover between front and backcountry living.

The back zippered pocket can fit a 15" laptop and house a hydration bladder as well. Just make sure it doesn't leak!
The back zippered pocket can fit a 15" laptop and house a hydration bladder as well. Just make sure it doesn't leak!

Weight


Tipping the scales at just under 17 ounces, this bag is on the lighter end of the spectrum of our review. That lighter weight, despite the larger capacity, is in part due to the lack of framing and padding found in most the heavier packs. 17 ounces not light enough for you? The REI Flash 18 is just 9 ounces and has a lot of similar features. Or if you like the light weight but want a little more structure (and ability to carry heavier loads), consider the Mammut Lithia Speed, that has a weight-bearing hip belt and is only 2 ounces heavier.

Not a particularly heavy bag  the Luzon can still hold 24 liters of whatever you feel like bringing.
Not a particularly heavy bag, the Luzon can still hold 24 liters of whatever you feel like bringing.

Ease of Use


We appreciate the helpful organization of the numerous pockets in this pack. However, the top-loading design of this fairly large-capacity, 24 liter bag can make it a chore to load and unload or to find something from the bottom of the bag without turning the whole thing upside down. While the Luzon is only offered in one size — 'unisex" — we found that this bag is actually large enough to still be comfortable on taller folks. That's more than we could say about the REI Flash 18.

The cinch top design does make finding bottom of the pack items more challenging.
The cinch top design does make finding bottom of the pack items more challenging.

Durability


The remnant nylon pieces used to make the Cotopaxi Luzon bags are all different, so it's impossible to say exactly what thickness each pack is. Our pieces felt somewhere in the 100D range, though many of them were different from each other as well. The vast majority of our bag is ripstop material, but this is not the case of the entire bag. Ours also has a thicker piece for the bottom panel, but again, it's impossible to say that this will always be the case, as every bag is totally unique. We experienced no durability issues during our testing. Actually, one morning we managed to spill coffee on the bag and forgot about it. Almost an hour later, the coffee was still beaded up on the outside and wiped away without so much as a wet spot left.

We forgot this coffee  spilled on our Luzon for nearly an hour. We were impressed it was still beaded up and wiped off with ease.
We forgot this coffee, spilled on our Luzon for nearly an hour. We were impressed it was still beaded up and wiped off with ease.

Best Applications


We think this bag makes a good travel bag, as it has a lot of versatility loaded into it. With great organizational pockets and a decent capacity, we loved being able to use this bag as a carry-on item and a hiking bag. If you want to carry a lot of stuff or some fairly heavy items though, we'd recommend the Gregory Jade 28 with great storage capacity and a comfortable internal frame to let you hike all day.

While it's not as well-equipped for long hikes or heavy loads  we found a lot of uses for the Luzon.
While it's not as well-equipped for long hikes or heavy loads, we found a lot of uses for the Luzon.

Value


The value of this bag depends on what you're searching for in a daypack. If you want a funky, unique bag that both makes a statement and is incredibly versatile and can be used for your city and your woods adventures, we think the $70 Luzon is a great value. If you value a lightweight versatile pack that can be shoved in another bag when you don't need it, you might consider the smaller REI Flash 18 instead, for just $40.

Conclusion


This wild, fairly untechnical bag grew on us over the course of our testing. Though it's not a great fit if you want to head with all your gear into the backcountry for a 16 mile hike with your dog, it can definitely handle a hydration bladder and your 10 essentials for a shorter jaunt through the woods. We think this bag is a pretty good crossover between urban and nature expeditions, and if you're into wacky designs, it doesn't get much wackier than the Cotopaxi Luzon.

Go from the gym to the trails (but never too far!) with this handy bag from Cotopaxi.
Go from the gym to the trails (but never too far!) with this handy bag from Cotopaxi.


Maggie Brandenburg