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Cotopaxi Inca 26

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Cotopaxi Inca 26 daypack (under 35l)


Price MSRP: $109.00
Current Retail: $125.00
Historic Range: $44.00-$125.00
Weight .94 kg / 1 lb 11 oz
Volume 26L


1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Comfortable bag for traveling in the woods or around town. A wonderful balance of features and function. Quality construction and design make this pack a solid pick for anyone looking for a bag to use every day for a number of applications. As an added bonus, Cotopaxi works with charities around the world and links each product to a specific charitable product.

Highly recommended for a pack that bridges the gap between recreational and work travel.


  • Comfortable suspension system
  • Durable materials
  • Designed for the trail and town


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


The Cotopaxi Inca 26 is the day/overnight pack I have been looking for to bridge the gap between time on the trail and time spent traveling for work.


  • Volume – 26 liters
  • Weight – 1 pound 11 ounces
  • Materials – Combination of 210D ripstop nylon 66 and 210 dynagin nylon


  • Trekking pole carrying system
  • Harness pocket for cellphone
  • Felted sunglasses pocket
  • Daisy chains for gear attachment
  • Stash-able ice tool holders
  • Breathable pack panel
  • Hydration sleeve which doubles as a laptop sleeve (for thin and narrow laptops)
  • Dual waist belt pockets


Cotopaxi designed a pack with the perfect amount of adjustment and padding for a 26 liter bag. The waist and hip adjustments are better designed and provide more fine tuning than on any other pack I have used in this size range. Additionally there are lifters on the shoulder straps which are easy to adjust and are a nice feature on a pack this size.

As someone who runs hot, breath-ability on my back is something I look for in packs. The perforated foam back panel cushioned loads while providing a nice amount of airflow.



This pack is advertised as being capable on the trail or in the city. My work has required me to travel to the city for long stretches the last few months which has allowed me to test the Cotopaxi Inca 26 in a range of places, from the trails of New Hampshire to the streets of Washington, D.C., and Chicago, to the coast of California. I must say that I was glad I had this pack for all locations.

In the woods, the Inca 26 is the perfect size to carry everything for a long day hike including water, trekking poles, extra layers, snacks, sunglasses, water bowls for the dogs, a first aid kit, map and compass, and headlamp.

To help with organization there are two large volume pockets and a small pocket for keys, wallets, sunglasses, etc. In addition to the zippered pockets there is a large external pocket perfect for stuffing hats, outer-layers, dog dishes, or anything you want to keep separate or grab quickly. There are also two hip pockets perfect for dog or person snacks or small multi-tools.


The waist belt hugged my hips very well providing load carrying support that was stable and easy to adjust.

The shoulder straps contain a similar foam to the back panel and proved to be very comfortable under load. There is also a pocket large enough to fit an iPhone 4. I did find that an iPhone 5 had trouble fitting inside this pocket which means that new generations of phones may have trouble based on the current trend of ever increasing phone dimensions.


The ripstop nylon has held up well to the narrow and rocky trails in New England.

To help prevent rain from penetrating the zippers, the Inca 26 has extra material overlapping the zipper area. While this does help with rain protection, it also makes the zipping and unzipping of the pack a little challenging.


By far my favorite feature of the Inca 26 is the integrated trekking pole carriers. On other day packs I either need to stash my trekking poles inside my pack or I need to stuff them into a side pocket and sacrifice water bottle storage. Cotopaxi provides an additional zipper pouch on the edges of the pack which, when unzipped, hold the bottoms of trekking poles. The poles themselves slide through the compression straps and are held secure to the sides of the pack.

Not only did Cotopaxi think about an easy way to store and carry poles, they also recognized that trekking poles are typically muddy and dirty and by providing a small pouch for the business end of the pole I was able to keep the dirt off my other equipment.


Off trail the Inca 26 performed equally as well. The hydration sleeve doubles as a laptop holder, assuming you have a modern laptop, which I do not. Because of my "vintage" technology I found the back compartment was too narrow for my laptop but the front compartment provided more than enough space and protection.


I found that the pack is large enough to fit a change of clothes for quick business trips and fits well either under airplane seats or in overhead compartments.


The Cotopaxi Inca 26 liter really is comfortable in any situation. From the trails of the Northeast to the sidewalks of the Nation's Capitol, I was glad to have this pack with me.

The day pack market is filled with bags in this size range and companies need to work hard to separate themselves from the pack. I feel that Cotopaxi has really done well with the balance of design, function, features, durability, and charitable endeavors of the Inca 26.

I highly recommend this pack for anyone looking to purchase a bag that is well designed with the perfect balance of function and design that is comfortable in the words or the city.

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Cotopaxi for testing and review)


Thanks for testing this new brand, Jim.

8 years ago

Thanks for your review Jim! I've been curious about this brand.

8 years ago

Thanks for the helpful review, Jim! I've honestly never heard of Cotopaxi, but it looks like they make a nice pack. I really like that big pocket on the outside of the shoulder strap. ps, I really like the waterfall picture. Is that on the Falling Waters Trail?

8 years ago

Ashleigh, that picture is from the Falls at the end of the Coppermine Trail in Franconia. Which is relatively close to Falling Waters.

8 years ago

Thanks for the info. All of those waterfalls in that area are so pretty!

8 years ago

If you visit Cotopaxi's site, you can read about what charity each product benefits: For example, the Inca 26 helps the Maria Imaculada orphanage in Bolivia. "The orphans at María Imaculada go to local schools in Tupiza but don’t have a parent at home to help them with homework. Purchase of this pack will go towards hiring an on-staff educator at the orphanage."

8 years ago

How awesome!

8 years ago

Nice review, Jim. Love the pic with your dog!

8 years ago

Great review, sounds like a great overnight pack.

8 years ago

Jim51111, could you please further elaborate on your CONS comment "Zipper flaps create minor difficulties in zipping". Thanks!

5 years ago

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