Cotopaxi Inca 26L Backpack

When you’re on a mission to bag a few peaks or walk the city streets, take the Cotopaxi Inca 26L Backpack along. I’ve found that it’s the perfect go-to for day trips and weekend getaways of all kinds.

I had the opportunity to test the Inca 26L technical daypack from Cotapaxi this fall. If you haven’t yet heard of the Utah-based Cotopaxi, they launched in April of 2014 with great inspiration behind their company. They make their gear with ethics in mind by donating a portion of the profit from each product sold to support a humanitarian cause. With each purchase of a Inca 26L backpack, Cotopaxi helps funds an on-staff educator at the Maria Imaculada Orphanage near Tupiza, Bolivia.




Cotopaxi’s Mission: “We sell amazing outdoor gear and give back to humanity. We want to disrupt the outdoor industry and inspire companies to do more for the world.”

Cotopaxi gear is only sold directly from their website, helping to deliver exceptionally designed and fairly manufactured gear without traditional retail markups.



Cotopaxi Inca 26L BackpackThis pack is extremely versatile with great comfort. It bridges the gap between adventure needs and recreation travel. I used it on numerous hikes up mountains, training workouts for mountaineering, as well as as a traveling pack for weekends in Vancouver. It has a simple, yet thoughtful, design, including one main compartment, a hydration/laptop sleeve, a stretchy front panel (great for snacks/water) and a boxy top pocket. The hip belt is removable and each side of the belt padding (not removable) has a zippered pocket. They even color-coded the main compartment zippers to make it easy to get into the right compartment. Because its framesheet is flexible (vs. a rigid internal one), the back panel can bulge a bit when you load it to capacity, but the unique part of this is that the bulge falls in line with the natural curve of your back.


On the Trail:

The Inca 26 is the perfect size to carry everything for a long day hike, including food, water, trekking poles, clothing layers, sunglasses, a first aid kit, map and compass and headlamp. I’m a huge fan of pockets, and this pack is well thought out. There are two zippered hip pockets in the hip belt as well as one on a pocket in the left-side strap. Perfect for your phone (smaller phones), a small tool, keys or snacks. This made it very convenient, because I didn’t have to keep taking off my pack to take a picture, fuel up, etc. There is also a large external pocket that is ideal for stuffing outer-layers, hats, or pretty much anything you want to be able to grab quickly.

Cotopaxi Inca 26L Backpack


Off Trail:

The Inca 26 works very well on the trail and also travels equally as exceptionally. I took this to Vancouver for a few weekend trips and was very pleased. Perfect for city life. There is a sleeve in the back pouch that serves as a hydration pouch or laptop sleeve. It worked wonderfully for my Macbook Air, protecting it nicely.









Bottom Line:

The Cotopaxi Inca 26L Backpack makes for an easy go-to in any situation with its versatility. From Pacific NW trails, to summit views, to the streets of Vancouver, I was pleased to have this pack with me. It has a thoughtful and clean design with great function and sturdy construction. Cotopaxi has done a top-notch job with balancing all of these needs in a good pack, and their charitable endeavors top it off.

I highly recommend this pack for anyone looking to purchase a bag that is well crafted with the perfect balance of function and a design that is comfortable in the woods or in the city. I especially like knowing that I’m supporting a great cause.

Cotopaxi Inca 26L Backpack

Tech Specs:

Volume – 26 liters

Weight – 1 pound 11 ounces

Materials – Combination of 210D ripstop nylon 66 and 210 dynagin nylon

MSRP: $109

Available Colors: Classic Blue & Dark Shadow


  • 210d nylon ripstop shell fabric
  • Padded, highly breathable backpanel and shoulder straps
  • Adjustable chest, waist and shoulder straps
  • Internal hydration sleeve with hang loop (can also be used as laptop sleeve)
  • Two side water bottle pockets
  • Large zippered cell phone pocket on shoulder strap
  • Dual waist belt pockets
  • Stowable ice axe loops and side trekking pole attachments
  • Felted sunglasses pocket
  • Daisy chains for gear attachment

Cotopaxi Inca 26L Backpack











  • Comfortable suspension system
  • Durable materials
  • Well designed for the technical adventure to weekend travel
  • Easy to access, twin water bottle pockets with a slight forward lean and an elastic panel


  • Shoulder strap pocket is a little small for new smartphones
  • Zipper flaps create minor difficulties in zipping

Leave a Reply