October 13, 2021

Cotopaxi Moda 20L Backpack Review

Gear Reviews

I love reviewing Cotopaxi products and agree with them when they advertise that you will love this backpack. They say you’ll love it because of its unique shape, ergonomic design, and essential features like water bottle pockets and an internal laptop sleeve.

For this product review, I tested the Cotopaxi Moda 20L Cada Día backpack which is a lightweight, everyday backpack that can be taken on a bike commute to work or out on a day hiking adventure.

The Moda is produced in the Philippines in a factory that is committed to fair social labor and environmentally sound practices. The factory also partners with Cotopaxi to reduce waste by using repurposed fabric. This is how the Cada Día collection was born. Moda is currently one of three great products in this collection.

cotopaxi moda 20l


$115.00 MSRP

Colors: Black, Spruce, Mezcal, Iris, and Graphite (in this review)

Size: 21 x 11 x 8in or 53 x 28 x 20cm (20L)

Pros & Cons

Pros: Lightweight, durable, top-loading design.

Cons: While the fabric is water-resistant, it is not fully waterproof. A rain cover is not included.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Design

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Comfort

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5) Value

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Features

Overall Rating: 4.75


I really enjoyed testing the Cotopaxi Moda 20L backpack this past week on a trip through Yellowstone National Park and on day hikes in nearby Montana.

This pack is perfect for any day hiker as well as for anyone who needs a light pack for commuting to work by bicycle.

Read on for additional details about this great backpack…


I tested the Cotopaxi Moda 20L backpack on two recent day hikes in the mountains of West Yellowstone, MT and Gardiner, MT.


The Moda has a unique shape that I noticed immediately after unboxing it. Not only is it functional, it also looks great. If you haven’t seen my unboxing video, be sure to check that out here. The cinch top is also a delightful change from the typical zipper top that can be found on most bags. Another thing that really sets this pack apart from others is the unique color combinations that are available.


The padded, adjustable shoulder straps and the padded back panel’s curved design create a comfortable combination for short hikes from the trail head or quick bike rides to/from work. During the two day hikes that I tested this pack on, I had the pack fully loaded with a dslr camera body, large 70-200mm lens, small 50mm lens, jacket, compass, headlamp, food and a 32 ounce Nalgene bottle full of water. On both hikes, I was quite comfortable and did not experience any shoulder or back fatigue.


Although this 20L backpack comes in at a price point a bit higher than other similar backpacks on the market, at $115.00 MSRP, the Cotopaxi Moda is still a good value. You are getting a pack that is environmentally friendly because it is made with repurposed fabric that would otherwise end up in a landfill. In addition, you help support workers in the Philippines. One thing that I would encourage Cotopaxi to do is to provide a lightweight rain cover at no extra cost to the consumer. This would increase my rating in this category to 5 stars.


Adding to the value of this pack are the well thought out design features like the cinch top strap system for easy top loading into the main compartment of the pack. The zipper systems on the pockets of this pack are also effortless to use.

There are two side water bottle pockets for both medium and large size water bottles, and two additional pockets - one toward the top of the pack and one near the shoulder straps. The pocket toward the top of the pack adds a medium size space for a lightweight jacket and has a convenient key clip. The pocket near the shoulder straps is quite large and includes soft dividers for a laptop and numerous accessories. On the inside of the main compartment there is a small pocket toward the top of the pack that is perfect for maps, a compass, and some fire lighting tools.

On the outside of the pack there are numerous daisy chain loops for attaching other gear to the pack. The daisy chain webbing exists on the shoulder straps, on the front of the pack, and on the top opening panel.

Another feature that impressed me was the outer pack material on the front and bottom panels. Those panels are made from weather-resistant recycled 840D TPU coated nylon which gave me confidence that I could set this pack down on any dirt trail or rocky outcropping without compromising the integrity of the fabric.

If I were to add any feature to this backpack, it would be an integrated whistle buckle on the chest strap. Those specialty buckles come in handy in emergency situations and would give the consumer added peace of mind.

Pro Tip:

When opening the pack, grab a top webbing loop with each hand and pull apart. This will increase the speed at which you can open the main compartment. To close it, simply pull on the cinch cord.

Here’s a quick list of features direct from the Cotopaxi website:


  • Easy access cinch top closure
  • Durable front face and base panel fabric
  • Quick access front pocket
  • Front panel daisy allows you to clip extra gear onto pack
  • Suspended laptop sleeve that fits up to 15 inch laptops
  • Soft, durable mesh back panel
  • Shoulder strap daisy chains allow for removable sternum strap
  • Bottom grab handle
  • Curved lower lumbar for ergonomic shape and fit
  • Expandable mesh water bottle pocket

Tech Specs

  • 20L (1220 cu in)
  • 21 x 11 x 8 in (53 x 28 x 20 cm)
  • 1 lb 9 oz (708 g)
  • Front panel/bottom: Weather-Resistant Recycled 840D TPU Coated Nylon
  • Main body: Weather-Resistant Recycled 630D Nylon w/ PU Coating
  • Top closure: 150D poly ripstop

Cotopaxi Moda 20L Backpack. A lightweight backpack with a functional design that stands out with eye catching colors and a cinch top closure. This backpack can easily transition from everyday work to weekend adventures. I highly recommend it!

Purchase the Cotopaxi Moda at Cotopaxi’s store on Amazon here.

➳ Cotopaxi and Outdoor Prolink provided equipment and associated materials for this review.

All photos by John LaGuardia. That’s me!