- Buyer's Guide
Yeti Tocayo Backpack Review :: Drive By
As Yeti continues to churn our hyper-engineered, bombtastic pieces of gear, their gear is making its way out of the woods and into the urban. Enter Yeti’s new Tocayo Backpack. A rugged piece of carry for the everyday.
I used the Tocayo for a few months as my go to backpack. It was on my back for my commute, travel, and weekend warrioring. So, does the Yeti formula work for EDC?
Who it Suits
The Tocayo is aimed at someone who wants a durable backpack for their EDC that will work in nearly every circumstance.
Who it Doesn’t
If you (and your carry) need to dress up to a business formal level, the Tocayo isn’t for you. Also, given that there’s no outside pockets, the Tocayo is a strict 26 L of space. Excessive packers beware.
After carrying the Tocayo with me for a few months, there’s a lot of features about this bag that I really like.
First, it’s a very contained and streamlined bag. The exterior is heavily water resistant and there’s nothing on the exterior of the bag that sticks out. Between commuting on bike and stashing this bag in airplane overhead compartments, I never have to worry about rain or something falling out of a side pocket. It’s a very slick looking bag that is going to keep your gear dry.
Speaking of gear, the Tocayo does a very good job of keeping everything smartly organized. A separate, fully padded laptop sleeve that wears against my back worked very well for me. Inside the main pocket and front zip pocket there’s a selection of zippered pockets, MOLLE webbing, sleeves, and interior bottle holders. Again, I really dig how everything plays nicely inside of this bag. While the Tocayo doesn’t open and lay completely flat, I found that accessing it’s 26 L of space was effortless.
A note on these interior bottle holders. While Yeti markets them (and has clearly designed them) for holding one of their tumblers, I’ve found that they work great for keeping oddly shaped things in place. Cables coil up nicely inside of them. Shoes stand up in them. Even a small foam roller stashes easily into them. This is a small pocketing detail that has now got me trying to sew it into my other bags!
So, does the Yeti formula work for EDC?
Finally, I’m a big fan of how the Tocayo carries and feels. The EVA padding on the back is extremely comfortable and wears without becoming sweaty. True to Yeti form, everything from zipper pulls to shoulder straps are thick, tactically pleasing, and feel like they are built to last. For a bag that I take everywhere with me, that’s worth a lot.
The Not so Good
While the Tocayo is a great backpack for EDC, I’ve got a few gripes with it.
First, and again as Yeti products tend to go, the Tocayo is heavy and expensive. When empty, the bag tips the scale at nearly 2 kg and has a price tag of $250.
Second, after using the Tocayo for a few months though not in any capacity that would be considered extreme, there are some noticeable scrapes and buffed areas on the exterior of the bag. Yes the exterior is black so everything shows up, but I’m surprised given that this bag is coated in 1000D Pu backed nylon.
On this note I’m surprised that a different material was not used to line the bottom of the bag. Yeti does an excellent job across their cooler and drinkware lines of having some tough, durable, non slip “feet” on the bottom of everything. Something similar here would have done wonders to make me feel that I can set this bag anywhere and not get wet.
True to Yeti form, everything from zipper pulls to shoulder straps are thick, tactically pleasing, and feel like they are built to last.
Finally, the elephant in the room. The Tocayo looks very similar to Goruck’s GR1. Yes the GR1 is still considerably more expensive than the Tocayo but worth mentioning when discussing high end, tactical EDC backpacks.
After traversing the country with the Tocayo as my only bag for the previous few months, I’m still digging this bag as much as when I first received it. While it’s expensive and unapologetically heavy, it’s sleekness, durability and smart pocketting works wonderfully for my EDC needs. I don’t hesitate to throw this bag on my back for a bike ride to work, a plane ride across the country, or a hike into the hills.