Attention holiday shoppers! The Cotopaxi Nepal 65L is, without exception, the best all-round, multi-use travel and mountaineering backpack I’ve seen. If you have someone on your list (maybe you!) who needs a single pack that can go from the trail to the terminal, this may be the one.
Why it’s great for international travel: The Nepal’s main pack design features a butterfly zippered opening, which allows travelers to find items quickly, as opposed to a top-loading system, which means lots of digging. Yes, this feature is nice when backpacking, but it’s even more convenient when traveling, and needing gear or a layer of clothing while sitting in train stations or airports. The two large front pockets and a removable top lid store smaller items you need during your typical travel day, and compression side straps help you keep the pack streamlined for air travel. Plus, at 65L, you’ll be able to pack all the clothing you need for a long getaway, without needing to find a laundromat.
Why it’s great for backpacking trips, too: We’ve been using the Nepal on backpacking trips, primarily last summer. You get an adjustable torso length on the shoulder harness, but we found it fit our 5’8″ teen best. The torso length didn’t stretch far enough to fit my 6’2″ husband comfortably. What makes the Nepal such a great all-round pack is all the extras you get to make it work in multiple situations. For instance, there’s an internal hydration sleeve that converts to a day pack. This was ideal when we set up a base camp then wanted to explore on longer day hikes, with less gear. You also get abundant side compression straps, a top rope-compression strap and attachments for your ice axe and trekking poles. Perhaps best of all, there’s an included rain cover…worth its weight in gold during bad weather days.
The padded waist belt has mesh and zippered pockets. We could stow a cell phone, car keys, or snacks here. The back panel is very padded and contoured to rest comfortably, but I do wish they’d added more mesh here…it’s not as breathable as some packs. Overall, the Nepal shines on all-round awesomeness, with just enough of what just about every type of traveler or outdoors-person will want in a pack.
Pick up the Nepal at Cotopaxi – Gear for Good for $229 in a gray/yellow color. Note: Cotopaxi does not sell on Amazon in order to keep costs at a minimum for consumers.