Cotopaxi’s Vaya 18L Backpack (Cada Dia) has a simple, low-profile design that makes it a comfortable everyday backpack—even with the sternum strap going AWOL.
|1. Clean, low-profile design that’s comfortable to carry|
2. Laptop sleeve has a sizeable false bottom for protection
3. Main compartment’s mesh pockets are relatively easy to access
|1. Narrow shape makes gear at the bottom hard to access|
2. Fragile items in the soft-lined pocket can get scratched if you use the key leash
3. Sternum strap fell off
1.375 lb (0.6 kg)
19 in x 11 in x 6 in (48.3 x 27.9 x 15.2 cm)
Nylon, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), YKK Zippers
Laptop Compartment Size
If you’re looking for a “comfort option” for a daypack that you can use every day, an 18-liter backpack is a smart place to start. It’s not too enormous that you feel like a two-legged snail, but it’s also not too small that you can’t bring a laptop. That kind of capacity will be sufficient to get you by, as is the case with Cotopaxi’s Vaya 18L Backpack (Cada Da). Of course, everyone will have their own unique requirements for a daypack.
Even just based on appearances, we like what we see. Its thin profile and sleek design combine to create a backpack that is not at all scary. The inside comes next. Its aquamarine-colored liner is transparent, which is advantageous because the interior feels fairly deep for an 18-liter backpack. The design is very vertical, which makes accessibility good in some respects but challenging in others. Is there anything in between that strikes out as a deal-breaker? Let’s investigate.
The Vaya is undoubtedly one of Cotopaxi’s more attractively designed backpacks, we must admit. Perhaps the 18-liter capacity makes it look appealing, but we believe the smooth texture of the TPU-coated 840-denier nylon is what makes it stand out. In contrast to Cotopaxi’s other colorway offerings, the particular hue we have here, called Maritime, has a black outer shell that doesn’t appear to be as dominating. We enjoy the brand’s predilection for a patchwork of bright alternatives, but we prefer this more understated design.
Even though the Vaya’s sternum strap is vacationing somewhere we don’t know, carrying it is nonetheless comfortable. The slight bit of extra tightness it adds is something we do miss, but the sternum strap is not at all missing. Because of the bag’s low profile and relatively small capacity, a sternum strap is more of a nice-to-have than a necessity.
Inside The Backpack
The front compartment and the main compartment are the two compartments on the Vaya. There are neither secure pockets concealed along the seams nor quick-access pockets at the front. In other words, all of your daily carry or grab-and-go essentials, such as your wallet, keys, and smartphone, will have to go in the front compartment.
The front compartment is deep, extending all the way to the bottom of the Vaya. It means bulky items like a packable jacket, buff, or a high-capacity power bank will have no problem fitting inside. That said, the zippered opening is rather small for the front compartment’s overall space. It makes reaching in and taking bulky items out tricky, especially when both of the Vaya’s compartments are packed out. Small items put inside that have sunk towards the bottom will be particularly hard to dig out.
- So far digging the simple design and layout with a slim profile
- Wish the quick access pocket was only 1 zip away versus 2
- Straps seem a bit thin, but more testing will tell how comfortable it is
- Decent false bottom in the laptop sleeve
2 Weeks of Use
- Lost half of the sternum strap due to the attachment design—this has happened with other bags we’ve reviewed in the past that have the same design
- Bag looks great and slick—not a lot going on on the outside
- Front pocket and main compartment can be a bit of a black hole since they go all the way to the bottom of the bag and have relatively thin openings