Cotopaxi Chasqui 13L Sling (Cada Día) Review
Cotopaxi’s Chasqui 13L Sling has a harness system that makes it comfortable to carry our laptop and daily essentials, though it’s sometimes awkward to put on.
- Substantial harness system for a sling
- Daisy chain attachments provide easy access to small gear
- Back pocket conceals important documents
- Thick shoulder strap can catch on long hair
- Minimal false bottom for laptop sleeve
- Hard to put on when very full
1.125 lb (0.5 kg)
18 in x 10 in x 5 in (45.7 x 25.4 x 12.7 cm)
Recycled Nylon, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), Nylon, Polyurethane, YKK Zippers, Duraflex Hardware
Laptop Compartment Size
Chasqui Cada Día translates to “messenger every day” in English, and Cotopaxi has designed this 13L sling as a modern spin on the traditional messenger bag. Although it’s a sling, it can fit a small laptop, along with other everyday essentials, to be the bag you grab for your daily travels or as a personal item bag for your next trip. The harness system is more robust than we see on many slings as a balance to the carrying capacity.
So does it live up to its lofty goals? Let’s take a look and find out.
There’s quite a lot going on around the outside of the Cotopaxi Chasqui 13L Sling. This sling is more in the style of a small backpack than a pocket dump, which is evident at the time of unboxing. Cotopaxi focuses on sustainability and uses recycled materials throughout the Chasqui: 840D recycled nylon with TPU coating on the front panel and 630D recycled nylon on the main body. The TPU coating helps water run off in the rain, and it doesn’t feel as plasticky as we’ve noticed on other bags. Instead, it seems to mesh with the remaining fabric instead of sticking out. The front also features the Cotopaxi llama logo on a black patch centered in the bottom front.
As of the time of this review, the Chasqui 13L Sling (Cada Día) is available in Rust, Black, and River—a light blue we’ve been testing. Each colorway features contrasting zippers and daisy chain attachment points. On the River, for example, the zipper on the front compartment is bright green, the main compartment zipper is navy blue, and the rear zipper is light blue, as are the attachment points parading down the front of the bag. There are two sets of these attachment points in a daisy chain on either side of the front panel, with five loops on each side. They’re a great place to clip just about anything—we’ve been hooking keys, hand sanitizer, and even a water bottle to these loops and find them very useful for smaller items that could otherwise fall to the bottom in the bag.
Cotopaxi uses YKK zippers on the bag and Duraflex hardware for strap slides and the swivel hook that clips the shoulder strap to the bag. It all functions quite well, and we haven’t had any issues with the hardware throughout the testing period.
Along with many attachment points, the Chasqui has more than enough handles. There’s a carry handle on the top and matching carry handles on each side. Each 6.5-inch webbing handle is lightly padded and comfortable to grab, so you have options for pulling it out from under an airplane seat, an overhead bin, or a trunk. Of course, we can also reach for the shoulder strap, and since that’s what we do most of the time, let’s chat about it, shall we?
The Chasqui being a sling, its shoulder strap is centered on the bag. It’s quite a sturdy strap: the 3-inch-wide padded portion extends about 21 inches for comfortable carry. There’s even a load lifter to bring the sling tighter to your body. Ten thick attachment points parade down the strap so you can hook the load lifter wherever you like, although the thick padding works against us here; we find it difficult to attach it any lower than the second loop from the top because the padding doesn’t compress. So, in that case, the attachment points are either a design choice or a place to hook other items with a bigger carabiner; it’s up to you.
The shoulder strap is adjustable at the bottom, though there’s no strap keeper to contain the excess webbing. Smaller users may want to add some VELCRO Brand Cable Ties as the strap is rather long. The same is true for the extra strap from the load lifter, although it flips out of the way behind you, falling over the front of the bag. Aesthetically pleasing? Possibly not, but it’s not something you see while wearing it.
You can lengthen the strap to carry it more like a messenger bag (it’s named Chasqui for the messengers of the Inca Empire, after all), though doing so means all the bag’s weight centers on the thin strap at the bottom, not the comfortable cushioning at the top of the sling. While carrying it as a sling can be awkward to slip over your head (more on that later), at least when we tote it that way, we take advantage of the substantial harness system.
D-rings on each side of the sling allow you to choose whether you prefer the strap to orient over your right or left shoulder. The Duraflex swivel hook clips in and out easily, allowing you to pick and choose which feels best at a given moment, though we tend to set it and forget it.
Finally, the back panel also has nice cushioning. A 6-inch wide strip of breathable mesh fabric—which is mirrored on the shoulder strap—pads the center of the back panel. We don’t find ourselves getting too sweaty while wearing the Chasqui, so the breathable mesh seems to be helping.
With its multicolor accents, even on the black, this is a casual-looking sling that works well for travel and daily use in more laid-back settings. If you have to wear a tie or blazer, this may not be the bag to grab. We think it’s a fun and playful design to add to your vacation packing list, though. As with many Cotopaxi packs, you’re unlikely to lose your bag among others since it stands out from the crowd. The Cada Día everyday packs are more subdued than the Del Día, or one-of-a-kind, collection, so if you’re looking for a more subtle aesthetic, this may appeal to you.
Our testing panel (otherwise known as the Pack Hacker team) finds the Chasqui comfortable to wear throughout the day. The adjustable harness system certainly adds to that; between the strap slide and the load lifter, you’re likely to find a fit that feels good. The strap tends to stay where it’s adjusted, although it is easy enough to tighten or loosen when on your body. Users with longer hair may catch it in the strap when you slip it over your head. While that can happen with other crossbody and sling bags, we find the thick strap of the Chasqui exacerbates that. It’s not a deal breaker, just an annoyance, and if you have shorter hair or frequently tie your tresses back, it likely won’t be an issue for you.
Inside The Sling
There are three main pockets on the Cotopaxi Chasqui Sling (Cada Día), though there isn’t much organization beyond that. The front compartment opens with an 11-inch zipper across the top of the sling, and the section extends down the entire front panel. It’s lined with 150D recycled ripstop polyester, which—on the River colorway—is the same bright green as the front compartment zipper (other colorways have different contrasting liner colors). Inside the front section, we find another 8-inch zipper (light blue) that opens to reveal a small pocket lined with soft fabric so you can toss in your phone without worrying about scratches. Of course, this quick-access pocket also has a key clip, so there’s a potential conflict between the phone and keys. However, the clip is located 3 inches down the 6-inch depth of the pocket and is on such a short ribbon leash that it’s difficult to see, let alone use. We prefer to clip our keys to the daisy chain on the front of the sling for daily use, although that’s obviously not the most secure location for sketchier locales.
The front compartment is where you can toss anything from a wallet to a water bottle, though it works better for the latter than the former as the extreme depth has us digging to grab smaller items from the bottom. We’ve got a better spot for small, thin items like a wallet, passport, and cash.
That spot is on the back panel. Turning the bag around, we find an 11.5-inch vertical zipper (light blue) running along the right side of the back panel mesh. It reveals a hidden back pocket that’s great for items that need to be more secure. It runs the entire length and width of the back panel padding, so there’s quite a bit of room here. We find it’s an excellent spot for a wallet and cash. It’s easy to access and cushioned enough that we don’t feel anything jabbing into our backs.
Now to the main compartment. It opens butterfly-style with a dual-sided zipper that unzips to the bottom of the sling. Only about 4 inches of the sling are not encompassed by the zipper, so you can easily open it up to find things in here. The interior is lined with the same bright green ripstop we see in the front and back pockets, and inside are two sleeves: one along the back panel and one along the front compartment. The rear panel sleeve is lightly padded and large enough to fit a 13-inch laptop. It’s held in place by an 8.25-inch piece of webbing (blue) that attaches via hook and loop closure to the top of the sleeve to hold your device in place. There’s not much false bottom to the sleeve; it ends less than half an inch from the bottom of the bag, and when our sling fell off a hook with our laptop inside, we heard a noticeable thunk. The computer was OK— just know it’s not the thickest laptop sleeve.
On the opposite side is another sleeve, this one unpadded and ending 2 inches from the bottom of the sling. It’s held shut with a hook and loop fastener on a webbing strap and is a dump pocket for smaller gear. Because there’s minimal room for smaller items and tech gadgets, we use a small tech pouch, like the Eagle Creek Pack-It Reveal E-Tools Organizer Mini, to keep our gear in check. A smaller pouch on that scale fits nicely in the pocket. While you can use something larger, the internal sleeve and the front compartment naturally share space, so putting a lot inside this pouch impacts how easy it is to stash a water bottle in the front section.
The remainder of the main compartment is open space and can fit quite a bit. It’s easy to pack since the sling opens completely flat. This means it’s easy to overpack, as well. We can fit some clothes or even a pair of travel shoes, though when we slide sneakers inside, we have to take a water bottle out of the front compartment to zip the sling. It is a 13L bag, after all. Still, it’s nice to have the flexibility to take an entire day’s worth of gear with us in a bag that lets you throw it over your shoulder and stays in place throughout your adventures.
- Interesting to see if the load lifter helps
- Plenty of handles for various carry styles
- Hidden back pocket seems handy
- TPU coating works well in the rain
- Easy to overpack if filling when flat
- Best worn as a sling instead of a messenger bag