By Jason Boyle
Cotopaxi is an awesome company making apparel for men and women as well as urban and technical backpacks, sleeping bags, and tents. They make gear and garments out of left over fabric leaving many designs to the sewers who are making the product. They also focus on improving social issues throughout the world; fully embracing their Gear for Good motto. You can read all about their story here.
The Veloz collection features a Veloz Waistbelt, 3L pack and a 6L pack. I will be reviewing the 6L Veloz hydration pack. At first glance it looks like a regular hydration pack, but upon further review it is much more. The first thing that stands out is the harness. The low profile Cruz harness features laminated shoulder straps that connect in the front with a triangular shaped aluminum hook. The harness is then adjusted with straps that connect to the bottom of the pack, and there is no hip belt. The back panel features air mesh to help with breathability.
The front straps feature a large zippered pocket on each strap that will hold an iPhone 6s with ease and still leave room in the pocket for gels or other nutrition. The pockets ride snugly against the ribs instead vertically like other vests or packs. There are also two stretchy cords on the front straps to hold the hydration bladder tube in place.
The main compartment of the pack is accessed with a zipper that runs across the pack. Inside the pocket there is a mesh zippered pocket for added organization. There is also a second smaller zippered pocket on the outside of the pack. Finally there is a small shove it pocket, and inside the shove it pocket there is a smaller pocket which Cotopaxi calls a light pocket. Looks like it would be a good place to stash a red flasher or something for use while biking or anytime you would want to be seen at night since it the pocket is covered with clear mesh.
The outside of the pack features blue reflective striping and also has Cotopaxi in large letters running down the pack at an angle.
The hydration bladder is included with the pack. It is a 2 liter HydraPak bladder with the zip top closure and an internal baffle to help with sloshing. The hydration bladder sits between the airmesh back panel and the main compartment of the pack. It is held in place by a small clip and strap. I like that I don’t have to access the main compartment to get to the hydration bladder.
Another unique feature of the pack is getting the right fit. Cotopaxi does a nice job of explaining how to get the right fit on their website, so I will summarize for brevity. Since the pack doesn’t have a hip belt the harness needs to hug the torso well. So all measurements for sizing are based on the torso circumference and Cotopaxi offers two sizes to help dial in the fit.
The pack can be purchased on the Cotopaxi website or at other retailers. The MSRP on the Cotopaxi website is $139 for the Veloz 6L pack.
I will generally look for the following characteristics in the pack over the next couple months. First is durability. How does the Veloz pack hold up to hiking and running? I will also look at usefulness. How much stuff can I carry in the hydration pack? Does the hydration bladder bounce while running or hiking? The third characteristic is comfort. Does the pack chafe when I run? Is the pack comfortable to run in all day? These are just a few of the questions I hope to answer.
Please check back in about a month for my update.
Thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and Cotopaxi for providing the pack for this review.