Cotopaxi launched in 2014 with 3 partners, 5 backpacks for sale and one idea: Gear for good. fast forward a few years and yes, Cotopaxi is doing good… very good.
In addition to being a B Corp Certified, Cotopaxi recently introduce their Del Dia collection. The Del Dia line takes remnant materials that other companies were going to send to the landfill, and utilizes them to make bags. Environmentally, this is awesome. Once the TAAL landed on my doorstep I found that even the packaging was 100% recyclable and compostable.
I had one use in mind for the TAAL: it was the perfect ‘dad bag’ to take to the park or run some errands at the store. Quick trip type places where I didn’t need to haul a few extra changes of clothes, the Kids Kindle, ect. I found the park, mall and grocery store the best uses for the 16L space of the bag. The TAAL is a great bag to hang by the door. It’s large enough to fit all the essentials, and small enough to leave by the door without being bulk to work around every time you head out the door for work, play or take out.
|Capacity||976.38 cu. in.||16L|
|Primary Materials||100% repurposed nylon body|
Quality and Comfort
For the Del Dia collection, Cotopaxi empowers their employees to create their own one of a kind bags with every build. This makes each bag a colorful, unique creation. You can scroll through their site for each Del Dia bag and see all the options, choose your own bag or, if you’re feeling froggy, you can let Cotopaxi chose for you. Either way you go, it’s going to be a colorful way to brighten up your day.
The quality of the TAAL is very good. When you pay your employees a living wage and allow them a creative outlet, it really comes through in the final product. There are no stated specs for the nylon used on the bag, as they are all made from repurposed materials, but the feel and comfort of the bag is very nice.
The bag has held up great, and I have not been gentle with it. Chasing a 2-year-old through a playground puts a beating on a bag, and my TAAL shows little to no signs of wear after a few months of nearly everyday use. It’s been an almost constant companion for after-work walks, trick or treating and trips to the park.
It’s also worth noting that the Taal is carry convertible, meaning it can be worn as a cross body bag, or as a backpack. While I do appreciate the fact that this makes the bag more versatile, it doesn’t make it more useful. The TAAL isn’t very comfortable as a backpack…. and well it looks kind of awkward on the back. It also compresses the bag down a bit, again taking away from the capacity. In addition it makes access into the bag a little harder.
Even worn slung, the strap is a tad short. I am 5’9″ 170lbs for reference. It could use another 2″ or so of length. Technically I can get this length for the strap. But to get more length out of the strap you are compressing the bag down. This will take away from the capacity of the bag.
Organization and Access
The TAAL is a very simple design; there is not a lot of organization to it. There is one outside zippered pocket, a large internal compartment, with a bottle holder on one side, a liner/divider pocket across the back and a zipper pocket along the back of the bag. But this simple design… it just seems to work. The outside pocket is a great place to toss my quick access items such as keys, phone, and hand sanitizer.
Though I bought this bag to use as a dad bag, I found this to be a good bag to take with me on walks through the neighborhood. I can toss water for the dog in it, juice for the mini-me, phone, keys and still have room to help the tiny terror grow her rock and flower collections.
I also think this would be a great travel companion bag. It is very packable, so I could simply pull it out of my main luggage and toss all my pocket items in when going through security. Alternatively I could keep it slung in front of me, holding valuables and inflight entertainment, while I stow my larger bag.
To better utilize the main internal compartment of the bag, it’s best to use some sort or organizers or cubes. Personally I use a slick sling bag for diapers and wipes, a small pouch for extra cloths for my daughter, a Ziplock bag with some snacks, and a small booboo kit (filled with her favorite Disney Princess bandages). I’ll put the first aide kit and the snacks in the rear liner pocket and the larger organizer pouches in the main body of the bag.
Then finally rear internal zipper pocket. This is the least accessible pocket of the bag. So this is where you toss things you want on you, but don’t need super fast. I personally keep a bag with extra masks for my daughter, wife and I in here.
There are no real external lashing points, but you can utilize the area where the strap attaches to the bag to attach a carabiner of something of the likes.
- Repurposed materials and each bag is one of a kind.
- Simple, yet very useful design.
- Packable to use as a travel companion.
- Great dad bag.
- Unique one of a kind bag (yes, it’s worth mentioning again).
- Strap could be a bit longer. So taller people, this might not be the bag for you.
- Bags are bright. So If you like to blend in, any Del Dia bag is not for you.
- Backpack mode is awkward to wear and looks odd on the back.
All in all I like the Cotopaxi TAAL. I like the company’s mission statement and their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and leave the world a better place than they found it. I’m not going to lie, there wasn’t much out there on this bag (ok nothing out there), so I took a chance with it. And I’m glad I did. It works and functions like it should. It’s comfortable enough to wear for a while. My daughter got some chocolate on the bag, and it came clean easily.
Yes the strap length could be a bit longer, but it’s totally usable for someone who is 5’9″ or shorter. If you are over 6′, I would recommend you look into another sling bag. As the TAAL will probably not carry well for you.
Disclaimer: The Cotopaxi TAAL was purchased privately and subsequently used for this review. The author has also published commentary via other channels. Our reviews are impartial and never modified to keep a brand happy.