Product Review – The Cotopaxi Taboche

Cotopaxi Taboche

The Taboche is so hot, snow can’t handle it.

I don’t know how it happened, but I have too many backpacks and not enough backpacks all at once. I have a DaKine that’s alright for a quick hike to hold some snacks, the dogs’ bowl, and a healthy supply of water. I have a small Herschel that’s just fine for running to the coffee shop with my laptop and a couple books. I have a Poler that’s a rugged, every-day sort of beast, but it doesn’t hold THAT much, there’s no sternum/hip straps, and the thick canvas is pretty heavy. My Canon camera backpack just doesn’t hold everything anymore. While each are OK for holding a few things, none of them seem to be able to hold a weekend’s worth of adventure supplies. When Cotopaxi offered to let me try out their 55L backpacking backpack, the Taboche, I eagerly accepted. What’s one more backpack? The answer? EVERYTHING.

Cotopaxi Taboche

Nice day for a hike, don’t you think?

With the recent snow in California’s mountains, I felt it was a good chance to see what the Taboche could do. In went:

My  15″ laptop & charger
A pair of jeans
Two pairs of socks
A pair of underwear
A pair of base layers (one top, one bottom)
A sweater
A scarf
A pair of gloves
Two books (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and Salt, if you were interested)
Power bank/phone charger
Polaroid camera and a few packs of film
Toiletries (Flonase (WHICH IS THE JAM), deodorant, toothbrush, cologne, etc)
Gozer’s exceptionally adorable camp bandana
Turbo’s exceptionally warm quilted parka

Cotopaxi Taboche

The Taboche in its element.

And I still had room. IT STILL HAD ROOM.

It had room for my tripod.
It had room for my Canon & two zoom lenses. Though, in the interest of gear protection, I traveled with out of the pack.
Two camera batteries & a charger
My camera remote
And it had room for my water bottle in a sweet side pocket.

Poor Cal probably didn’t realize how much stuff I jammed into the backpack, but with the adjustable frame, sternum straps, hip straps, and compression straps galore, she said the weight wasn’t a problem at all. What a champ.

Now, I admit, while up in wonderful town of Big Bear, CA, I wouldn’t be roughing it by any means. We have regular access to a cabin owned by Cal’s parents; the aptly named Tranquility Base. As such, I didn’t try to go through and load the Taboche up with Jet Boils and TP and food and all the other necessities of backpacking, but I can tell you, based on the superfluous amount of crap I brought up, the Taboche is up to the task. AND, it’s sooooo pretty.

While it may not be quite the everyday renaissance (wo)man I am still looking for, it sure as heck is an amazing pack for weekends away from home (especially if you’re sleeping under the stars). If you’re looking for a mid-sized backpacking pack, I highly recommend giving the Taboche a try.

Cotopaxi Taboche

Cal looking mighty pleased with 3,457lbs strapped to her back.

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