I have a cabin out in the wood, and often go for short day hikes nearby. I don’t need a large pack for these hikes, but there are certain necessities I want to bring, so a smaller day pack is perfect for this sort of trek. I recently tested and fell in love with the Cotopaxi Inca Backpack!

First off, for a petite female, I often find packs of any size to be too big, cumbersome, or ill-fitting.  I have a small frame, so I need a pack that fits me well if I’m going to wear it for half a day or more. The Cotopaxi Inca backpack fits me really well because of it’s molded, fitted and adjustable shoulder straps that are curved instead of straight, allowing them to fit over my shoulders and back in a more natural position. There are also  adjustable chest and waist straps,  that really helps me snug up the pack just right if it’s full and I need a more secure fit. The waist strap is removable.

My Cotopaxi Inca Backpack is a 16L size,  longer than it is wide, and has a fairly low profile on my back so it doesn’t make me feel top heavy. It holds several pieces of clothing, such as a sweatshirt, extra pants, socks and fleece jacket, as well as a microfiber towel and some snacks. It has the perfect amount of room for essentials I might need on my day hike.

I like the generous number of  external pockets on my Cotopaxi Inca Backpack, where I can store a water bottle, bug spray, my cell phone and wallet, and possibly a small banana in the banana-shaped zippered pocket on the shoulder strap, which is actually meant for sunglasses. It has what they call “daisy chain” elastic loops on the front of the pack that allow me to stuff a hat or even walking poles in to carry on the outside of the pack and there are even ice tool loops on the pack for more rigorous adventures.

The top of the pack has an easy-to-grab handle and a small external zippered pocket (that’s where I keep my cell phone, keys, and wallet) that has a flap over the zipper to keep rain from getting into this pocket. Great idea! Once the pack is full, it can be compressed down with two small straps on either side to maintain it’s low profile shape and secure the pack. The area that rests against my back has mesh fabric so it’s wicking away any moisture or sweat and helps with airflow.

I hadn’t heard of Cotopaxi before I tried this pack: they launched in April 2014, and have some really great goals. Aside from making solid gear, they give back a percentage of profits to charitable organizations. For example, when you buy the Cotopaxi Inca backpack, part of the proceeds go towards hiring an on-staff educator at the Maria Imaculada orphanage near Tupiza, Bolivia. Learn more about this company, their gear and their noble efforts at www.cotopaxi.com.

buy-now $89, Click to shop at Cotopaxi.