So maybe it’s not the most exciting gift to some, but everyone who goes on an adventure needs something to carry their stuff in. Whether it’s a day trip, a long weekend of shenanigans or months away from home, Tortuga offers some of the best backpackers backpacks on the market! Combining the perfect balance of ample space, durability and comfort, Tortuga really does have it all.
I’ve listed three Tortuga packs that I would recommend, my personal favorite being the 44 Liter Travel Backpack, it’s amazing how much I can fit in it!
An early concern I had with purchasing one of these packs online was the inability to try them on and check out the fit and comfortability. However, because these packs are designed with the, “One size fits all” concept, the straps are completely comfortable on my shoulders (and hip belt where applicable) and have been specifically contoured for pretty much any body type.
Keep in mind that for your avid traveler the absolute worst thing that could ever happen is to lose your pack, primarily by an airline. These Tortuga packs are all carry-on size. What better to give as a gift than piece of mind?
#1 Tortuga Travel Day Pack – 20L
When was the last time you wore one of those day sack-bags around? A summer concert? A day at a water park? For me it was at the Taste of Chicago in 95 degree weather. You know the ones I’m talking about?With those dreaded nylon drawstrings that cut into your sunburned shoulders half-way through the day. Where you rather carry the weight of two water bottles because carrying just one will throw off the balance and pull relentlessly on one side of your body. When the fabric is so thin that carrying around a measly two pounds can run you the risk of splitting the seams. Not to mention you can feel every edge of every item you’ve “packed” digging into your lower back.
Lucky for us both, the Tortuga Daypack has arrived! Now we can look back on the days of nylon drawstrings with the same endearing head-shake we give the days of the rotary telephone!
The Tortuga Day Pack is both lightweight and compact, and becomes the size of a small paperback book when folded into it’s own built-in pouch. Yet somehow still encompasses many of the great features of an actual pack – padded shoulder straps, a padded back that allows air flow, and a chest strap to even out the load. Instead of the only option being an abyss crammed with random things, the Tortuga Day Pack has an inner organizational panel, a laptop sleeve fitting up to a 15″ laptop, a small top pouch (the same one it folds into when not in use), two side pockets, and a pretty large outer mesh pocket. It’s also pretty much water resistant, even though you won’t find that in it’s formal description.
Although it would be nice if there was a bit more padding at the bottom of the bag, the lack of padding makes sense as the whole entire bag folds down to basically the size of a large fist and packs into itself for easy storage.
Inside there is a laptop sleeve that fits up to a 15″ laptop, however it’s clearly not designed to lug around your laptop with maximum protection, but just to transport it safely from point A to point B.
Check out the video below!
#2 Tortuga Air Travel Backpack – 27L
The voice on the overhead speaker announces that my gate is now loading my zone. I enter the single file line headed towards the attendants checking flight tickets. I watch as they check bag sizes and cart off several unlucky winners. I’ve packed only what I have on my back. My pack contains everything that means something to me on a daily and is practically my home for the next few weeks. I inch closer, my IPod in my pocket, a bud in my ear.
… Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy…
Another step. Another bag taken from the white-knuckled grip of it’s unsuspecting owner.
... Vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti, he’s nervous!
One by one I see panic on their faces, confusion, disbelief and anger.
… But on the surface he looks calm and ready, to drop bom —
I stop before I utter the word. I’m in an airport for pete’s sake! Enough with the dramatics! I hand over my ticket to be scanned, my Tortuga Air rests comfortably on my shoulders and without so much as a glance I hear, “Have a nice flight!”
I mosey on down the airbridge, pull out my Ipod and skip to the next song; Billie The Vision & The Dancers, “Summercat”
No more trying to subdue the anxiety rising up from your gut as an attendant asks to check your bag measurements! The standard limit for carry-on bags is generally 9 in x 14 x 22 (22 cm x 35 x 56) and the Tortuga Air is 7 in x 12.5 x 19 (18 cm x 32 x 48), making it a carry-on breeze. It’s also expandable, which is a pretty cool feature in itself. Starting at 27L (which is a lot of space already) it reaches up to 37L when fully unzipped. It’s primarily for short trips, but with the amount of space the Tortuga Air provides, one can easily pack for a few weeks.
This pack opens from the front like a suitcase, giving you instant access with a full view of it’s contents.
Inside you’ll find two compartments, a mesh zip up on one side, and a deeper compartment on the other, complete with a few straps for cinching.
On the top there’s a sturdy grip handle making it super easy to pull out from under your seat. In addition, there’s a pretty large front pocket, a laptop sleeve, and a side pocket as well.
No hip belt on this pack, mainly because it’s not intended for long term backpacking.
Check out the video below!
#3 Tortuga Travel Backpack – 44L
This is my favorite pack to backpack with. Given, I love my Ospreys as well! But they are top loaders and just aren’t as practical. They also aren’t as equipt for urban backpacking as the Tortuga. This pack has everything I need, other than multiple colors – I’m not much of a neutral color gal. So without further ado, let’s get straight to it!
There are so many, where do I start? Carry on size, of course! This pack is front loading (opens like a suitcase) for maximum accessibility, and has padded shoulder straps and hip belt.
Not only does this pack have a handle, but it has two. One on the top and the other on the side so your pack can be carried as a duffel. It’s streamlined as well, making it easy for you and your pack to make it on crowded subways, trains or buses. There is also a laptop sleeve that can fit up to a 17″ laptop. And for all of your little essentials there are just the right amount of pockets, in all the right places! There are two hip belt pockets, one external pocket, and two “water bottle” pockets.
One of my favorite features of this particular pack is the option to stow away the straps. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve retrieved one of my other packs from under a bus or on a train and all of my straps are out of whack. Baggage claim can be even worse, the straps having been pulled this way and that, caught on other bags, carts, and conveyor belts. It takes me 5 minutes just to get it back to fitting me properly!
Inside there are two mesh pockets and two additional zippered pockets. They buckle together to form a compression strap which keep your clothes in place. There are also lockable zippers, solid and durable.
No load lifters for that added comfort and support.
Check out the video below!
What are your thoughts on Tortuga Backpacks? Do you already own one or two? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!