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Cotopaxi Allpa 35 vs. Patagonia Black Hole 32 vs. Osprey Farpoint 40: Comparison and Reviews 2024

Cotopaxi Allpa 35 vs. Patagonia Black Hole 32 vs. Osprey Farpoint 40: Comparison and Reviews 2024

    Whether weekend road-tripping or jet-setting around the world, a thoughtfully designed travel pack can help you organized while on the move. A good bag should not only easy to organize, but also be comfortable to carry and durable enough.With a backpack, you can easily navigate crowded streets, hop on and off public transportation, and even tackle those unexpected bumps along the way. However, with so many choice on the market, like Cotopaxi Allpa, Patagonia Black Hole and Osprey Farpoint etc., choosing a right travel backpack can be a dizzying experience. In this guide, I will be taking a closer look at the three most popular travel backpacks above by their key features, customer reviews, designs and durability to find the best option for your individual needs.

Cover Photo:cotopaxi.com

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L vs. Patagonia Black Hole 32L vs. Osprey Farpoint 40L: Overview

1. Cotopaxi Allpa 35L

Official Price: $200

Materials: TPU-coated 1,000-denier polyester, 840-denier nylon paneling

Main Compartment Access: Clamshell opening

User reviews: 4.8/5.0

The Cotopaxi Allpa is a 35-liter, carry-on compliant pack possessing many great features and design elements. While aesthetic is subjective, I love the styling of the Cotopaxi Allpa. It’s sleek, simple, and streamlined. Along with the vibrant styling and multi-colored patterning that the brand is known for, the Allpa is exceptionally durable with a mix of 1,000-denier, TPU-coated polyester and panels of 840-denier ballistic nylon.The Allpa opens suitcase-style, thanks to a full-wrap zipper on the main compartment. The main compartment organization is about as close to perfect as it comes for us. The right side consists of a sizable zippered mesh compartment and the left is subdivided into three zippered mesh compartments—one large compartment on the bottom and two smaller ones at the top. 

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Source:cotopaxi.com

If you need to access anything in the main compartment without opening the bag suitcase-style, you can do so via a shortcut zipper along the side. The top zippered pocket on the outside is well placed, easily accessible, and just the right size. All external zippers on the Allpa feature theft-proof webbing sewn across the openings, which makes it difficult for someone to grab a zipper and easily unzip the pack in a clandestine way. Handles on all four sides of this bag make it easy to grab no matter where you’ve stowed it. It’s also protected by a full lifetime warranty. My biggest gripe with this bag is the lack of water bottle pockets. I hate putting my water bottle inside the main compartment. Additionally, the lack of external compression straps makes it hard to secure bulkier loads. Overall, the Allpa is well made, stylish, and very nicely appointed for travel.

PROSCONS
Sleek, refined aestheticLack of water bottle pocket

Burly exterior material holds up for the long run

No exterior compression straps
Main compartment opens fullyPoorly ventilated back panel

Ample space and smartly-placed pockets, 

both internal and external

Expensive
Removable waist belt for transit/storage

All external zippers feature theftproof 

webbing sewn across the openings


4 reinforced grab handles provide multiple 

carry points when the shoulder straps are 

tucked away


Included rain cover
Stores flat when not in use

Where to Buy Cotopaxi Allpa?

cotopaxi.com (4-5% cashback)

scheels.com (4-5% cashback)

backcountry.com (3-4% cashback)

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2. Patagonia Black Hole 32L

Official Price: $169

Materials:  300-denier recycled polyester ripstop with a TPU laminate

Main Compartment Access:  Zippered top access

User reviews: 4.4/5.0

Patagonia’s Black Hole Line may not have all the bells and whistles of more upscale bags, but they are still very functional. The 300-denier ripstop nylon outer is newly 100% postconsumer recycled material, and has a novel recycled TPU laminate for extra durability — all coming together to make this pack 100% recycled material from the body to the lining and the straps. It utilizes a top-loading main compartment that Patagonia subtly but cleverly designed for easier access. The main compartment is large and streamlined with one mesh zippered pocket as well.  There is a verticle zippered pocket on the very front that is great for cables and a charger.   And the back laptop sleeve is well padded and will hold most 15″ laptops.There is a large double zippered pocket on top that swallows up gear.  

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Source:patagonia.com

Although Patagonia’s Black Hole is a very roomy backpack, with very little compartmentalization standing in the way of efficient packing. But the signature Black Hole gear loops are also great for tying on extra gear or wet clothes that need drying. The shoulder straps have enough padding to carry a good amount of weight.There’s also a handle between the shoulder straps for moving the Black Hole 32L over short distances (i.e., across the room). It is not waterproof per se, nor is it submersible, but for all the times I used it in snow and rain, it did just fine. All in all, the 32-liter Patagonia Black Hole pack is perfect for organizing your daily commute and rugged enough to haul around the globe.

PROSCONS
Recycled ripstop polyester rugged andenvironmentally friendly

Laptop compartment is blocked by shoulder 

straps, which slows down access

Wide and easy access despite a top-loading design

With very little compartmentalization standing in 

the way of efficient packing

Simple harness system comfortably handles the 32-liter capacity

Lacks a hip belt, so the load can feel a bit 

unsettled on your backs

The side mesh pockets are great for waterbottles

There's also a handle between the shoulder 

straps for moving the Black Hole 32L over 

short distance


The shoulder straps are thick and 

well-padded with foam


Airmesh back panel for comfort and 

increased ventilation


Where to Buy Patagonia Black Hole?

patagonia.com(Cashback temporarily unavailable)


backcountry.com (3-4% cashback)

rei.com

3. Osprey Farpoint 40L

Official Price: $185

Materials:  Bluesign-approved 450-denier recycled polyester

Main Compartment Access:  Zippered back panel clamshell design

User reviews: 4.8/5.0

The Osprey Farpoint 40L is based on Osprey’s legendary range of hiking packs. It’s built from the ground up to be comfortable to carry. It has structured hip straps, a sternum strap, and load-lifters. Unlike most travel backpacks, the Farpoint has a full internal frame made of aluminum. This makes for much better weight distribution. There are various attachment points and loops on the front of the Osprey Farpoint  pack for fastening gear. There are four small loops on the four corners of the shove-it pocket crafted from a paracord-like material and two sturdier ones near the top handle. This is ideal for attaching a carabiner or stowing a Heroclip Hybrid Carabiner Clip for safekeeping.

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Source:patagonia.com

Whereas many other travel packs stash straps away into the body of the pack,the Farpoint moves in the opposite direction with a deployable strap cover that neatly seals in the suspension for safekeeping when checked. The Osprey Farpoint pack even allows you to adjust the torso length — unheard of in the typical travel pack. The main compartment has a zippered mesh pocket. Apart from that, this compartment has no other organization. Because of this, packing cubes are essential. Two compression straps inside the main compartment help you cinch down your gear to fit more inside. As with most travel backpacks, the Osprey Farpoint has both top and side handles. The shoulder straps are sturdy and have padding and aeration to keep things comfortable. Honestly, the biggest downside for most people is going to be the style. The whole bag definitely looks a bit “outdoorsy.”

PROSCONS
Materials are durable and look sleekAlmost no internal organization to speak of

Ample size main compartment for one-bag 

travel

The hip belt isn't removable

External compression straps limit the 

volume well

No dedicated water bottle pockets

Adjustable torso fit and adjustable 

sternum strap with rescue whistle


Padded top and side handles
Large panel zip access to main compartment with lockable sliders on main compartment zipper

Large front shove-it pocket and external zip toiletry pocket help you breeze through 

security lines


Mesh-covered ridged foam AirScape® back panel allows maximum ventilation while 

keeping the load close to the body


Comfortable harness system even with a full pack

Where to Buy Osprey Farpoint?

osprey.com(6.5-8% cashback)

backcountry.com (3-4% cashback)

scheels.com (4-5% cashback)

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L vs. Patagonia Black Hole 32L vs. Osprey Farpoint 40L: Full Comparison

Before diving into my in-depth discussion, look at the table below to get a key specs of them.


Cotopaxi Allpa 35LPatagonia Black Hole 32LOsprey Farpoint 40L
Weight3 lbs. 8 oz.1 lb. 10.8 oz.3 lbs. 8 oz.
Dimensions20 x 12 x 10 inches20.5 x 11 x 8.3 inches22 x 14 x 9 inches
Gender

Unisex

UnisexMen's
Capacity (L)

35 liters

32 liters

40 liters
Capacity (cu. in.)2,136 cubic inches1,953 cubic inches2,441 cubic inches
Carry-OnYes
Yes
Yes
Number of Exterior Pockets2 + main compartment2 + main compartment4 + main compartment
Laptop Compartment
YesYes

Yes

Fits Laptop Size (in.)15 inches15 inches16 inches
iPad / Tablet CompartmentYes
/
/
Material(s)

TPU/ballistic nylon

Postconsumer recycled polyester ripstopMain: 450-denier recycled twist dobby polyester; accent: 500-denier high-tenacity nylon; bottom: 450-denier recycled twist dobby polyester (all bluesign® approved)
HipbeltYesNo
Yes

1. Materials & Durability

One place where the Cotopaxi Allpa stands out is in durability.  It is made with a blend of tough, TPU-coated 1,000-denier polyester and durable 840-denier ballistic nylon paneling. This fabric feels bomb-proof. Combined with the chunky YKK zippers, this pack is ready to take a beating. In use, I found the Allpa to be remarkably tough, and the pack also comes with a stowable rain cover for truly inclement weather.

The main material on the Black Hole Pack 32L is a 300-denier recycled polyester ripstop fabric. You can tell that the fabric is ripstop by the subtle grid pattern on the glossy parts of the outer shell. There’s no loose stitching or threads randomly dangling around, and the base is made of rougher, more abrasion-resistant fabric since it will have the most contact with the ground. There’s also a layer of TPU laminate to keep the entire bag weather-resistant. I have been using a Black Hole backpack for years now, and it still doesn't show any signs of wear or tear. For durability, it’s one of the best travel backpacks you'll find.

The Osprey Farpoint backpack  is crafted from durable 450D recycled twist dobby polyester. It features some of the most burly hardware (zippers, buckles, straps) of all the backpacks I used,  I have had no issues with it puncturing, fraying, or allowing water to soak my gear after several years used. If you ever do manage to break one of their bags, the Osprey also cover it with repairs for life.

2. Capacity and Storage

The Cotopaxi Allpa is carry-on backpacks that is compatible 35L capacity (most airlines). It also comes in 28L, 42L, 50L, and 70L capacities. But the 35 liter is, for me, the best. At 42 liters, this bag becomes heavy for most people to carry when its fully packed, and for a bag that big, we’d prefer that it had a more-robust hip belt. At 28 liters, the bag becomes a touch small for most people, and its internal organization feels fussy for any shorter trip, such as an overnight.

The midsize 32-liter workhorse pack in the Black Hole collection is perfect for organizing your daily commute. You can choose 25L capacities Patagonia Black Hole, but its water bottle is too small.

The 40-liter capacity of Osprey Farpoint is just about the sweet spot for domestic carry-on luggage limits, and make good use of the space. You could easily pack away a long weekend’s worth of travel essentials into the bag with a little space to spare. TheOsprey Farpoint is also available in a larger 55- and 70-liter capacities version, both includes the detachable daypack that can be attached to the front to maximize capacity or used separately for around-town adventures once you reach your destination. 

3. Pockets and Compartments

The Allpa has a clamshell design, which means it opens like a hard-sided suitcase: A large YKK zipper runs around three sides of the bag, letting it fall open into two halves when unzipped. On the right side is a deep compartment, spacious enough for two large packing cubes or half a suitcase’s worth of clothes (which you access through a mesh zippered flap). On the left, there’s space for one more medium-size packing cube behind a zippered flap. Above that are two smaller pockets with high-visibility backing—useful when you’re looking for hard-to-differentiate personal items. Back on the outside of the pack, there’s a nice-sized pocket on the top, which is ideal for small items like your passport, a notebook, or some packaged foods. It’s also subdivided inside for increased organization and has a key clip.The Allpa can house both a laptop and tablet, too. Opening up a zipper on the right side reveals padded laptop and tablet sleeves, with the former easily able to hold a 15” machine.

The Black Hole Pack 32L go with a top-loading design, but instead of a straight top-down opening, it has a slanted hatch that gives you a better view of the interior and its usable space. The main compartment may be lacking in terms of organization, but the relative ease of access more than makes up for it. There’s a zippered mesh pocket just below where the hatch folds where you keep tech accessories in case. Inside the laptop compartment are two sleeves, one for your laptop and another one in front of it for a tablet or some documents. But it’s on the back panel, with the zipper going around the edges so that it opens like a clamshell. The problem is that the zipper track goes under the shoulder straps, and you have to maneuver around them in order to open the compartment.  At the front of the backpack, you will find a side-opening pocket with a zipper running about three-fifths of the bag’s height. Bulkier accessories, large-capacity battery banks and winter gloves, will be at home here. There is still no organization to speak of. The top pocketcovers the entire top portion of the Black Hole Pack 32L’s hatch and is even more spacious than the one at the front.

The main compartment of Osprey Farpoint has a big, easy-access panel opening, but this pack doesn’t have much in terms of organization. The interior of the pack is rather spartan, incorporating only one zippered pocket, a laptop sleeve, and two internal compression straps. The sleeve the laptop is stored in can be found inside the main compartment, not separated by a zipper and sandwiched between it and the back panel which can protect devices up to 16" .The front of the pack has a “shove-it” pocket with no closure on the top. It can be accessed from the left or the right, and there’s a small point in the center where the access is broken in half. This is an excellent spot for more oversized quick-use items like a rain jacket. It also works well for a water bottle, as there aren’t dedicated pockets for such an item. A mesh pocket on the left side of the belt can fit a standard-sized iPhone. You can stow snacks here, too.

4. Comfort

The Cotopaxi Allpa's hip belt, which can be removed while the bag is on your back, is substantial enough that it’s comfortable to wear when you need it. While overall carrying comfort is good, there are no load-lifter straps to bring the pack closer to your body. Plus, the Allpa only has a frame sheet that is only rigid over the wearer’s spine and comes with no internal frame.This allows the contents of the pack to rest directly against your body, making for a sweaty, uncomfortable carry. I was also disappointed in how adjusting this backpack’s load lifters failed to make a noticeable difference to Allpa’s weight distribution or overall comfort.

The simple harness system doesn’t prevent the Black Hole Pack 32L from being a comfortable backpack to carry. The straps provide decent cushioning to ensure a full load feels reasonably tame. However, this backpack lacks a hip belt, so the load can feel a bit unsettled on our backs, and a bit of stability would go a long way on this pack.

No stranger to producing supremely comfortable suspension systems, Osprey injected a good bit of its tech into the Farpoint packs, which both sport LightWire frames, load lifters, and breathable framesheet and suspension straps. The back panel is structured but has ample padding and many airflow channels. There’s a large canyon down the center of the panel and many tributaries throughout, which ensures a cool carry. There’s a layer of mesh on top, too, which helps with any moisture the back panel may run into. Overall, the harness system does a superb job of dispersing the weight and keeping you cool. The Osprey Farpoint was easily the best load carrier among the three.

Verdict

The Cotopaxi Allpa, Patagonia Black Hole and Osprey Farpoint are three different backpacks with it's pros/cons.

The  Osprey Farpoint looks like it's more comfortable for sustained walking/wearing as the harness/strap/belt is better than the Cotopaxi Allpa and the Patagonia Black Hole. The Osprey Farpoint  is waay more comfortable, the supreme suspension system offers the best carry of any pack I tried, but it definitely is a different kind of bag. Almost no internal organization, so it is definitely for people that prefer packing cubes and pouches.

The greatest differences between Cotopaxi Allpa and Patagonia Black Hole are organization. The organization of the Cotopaxi Allpa is superior than  Patagonia Black Hole. It features giant catch all pocket in front is great for random things you'd need, and also having "compartments" makes grabbing things inside your pack easier. I  prefer the Allpa Cotipaxi for the internal organization, better laptop/tablet storage location.

The Patagonia Black Hole backpack is the minimalist option. It carries less, weighs less, has less structure. Use this if you want to travel light and don't mind some of the trade-offs (no hip belt, smaller laptop sleeve, little organization, etc.).

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2024-02-05 01:01146