For light-on-your-feet jet setting, nothing beats a backpack. Navigate your way through any international airport, and you’re bound to see plenty of them circling the luggage carousel or hugging someone’s spine. Strappy and cavernous (and often carry-on approved) hiking packs have been a favorite for those making tours of Europe, Southeast Asia and elsewhere. But there’s a newer breed of travel backpack that’s more streamlined and less techy, and Cotopaxi’s Allpa is one of the best in this class.
The new set of travel backpacks have shoulder straps and a hipbelt, like a hiking pack, but are unadorned and organization-focused, like a rollaboard. The Allpa, which comes in volumes ranging from 28 to 70 liters, uses a clamshell opening that reveals zippered mesh pockets for clothing, equipment and any other stray items you might haul across time zones.
But it’s the Allpa’s subtler features, like its protective weather-proof fabric, theft-resistant zippers and side-access laptop compartment (because we all travel with one these days), that have made this backpack one of our travel favorites. We’re partial to the 35- and 42-liter sizes, which we’ve found to provide more than enough space for quick trips and extended weeklong stays. Both are currently on sale, and you can take an extra 20 percent off when you use the code GEARGRAB20 at checkout.