Tortuga Packs, a review

If you’re looking for a backpackers pack, you’ve come to the right place. Made by travelers for travelers looking for the BEST pack out there, Tortuga is the company for your travel carrying needs! Since the purchase of my Tortuga V2 they’ve since upgraded to the Tortuga Outbreaker which only means that this already amazing 44 Liter bag has only improved; it has the same amazing features with a much sleeker look and the option to choose between 35L or 45L.



I’ve carried this pack to Sweden and Finland in the dead of winter for 9 days abroad, filled with all of my clothes for a 15-day adventure to California, and multiple weekend getaways. I’ve yet to be disappointed. At Maximum carry-on size and full of space, I honestly couldn’t imagine travel without it. It has been my primary travel pack for the last two years now and here’s why:

img_0392It’s carry-on-sized — 22″ x 14″ x 9″ (56cm x 36cm x 23 cm)

No more baggage fees — I have never had to check this backpack. I would estimate that I’ve saved somewhere in the range of $500+ USD in baggage fees over the last two years.

It’s a front loading backpack — AMAZING. No more reaching deep into the top opening of your backpack blindfolded rifling around for something specific. I loved this feature so much I changed my hiker’s backpacking pack to this style. 

Pretty theft deterrent — Not theft proof; no backpack, suitcase, duffel or any other type of luggage is 100% theft proof but that being said there are always ways to minimize theft of your belongings. One of the really nice features about the Tortuga Pack is that all of the zippers on the main compartment of the Tortuga travel backpack are lockable (great not only for the in between but the hostel and/or couch stays too!).


  • Dimensions: 22″ x 14″ x 9″ (56cm x 36cm x 23 cm) — Carry-on Backpack size!
  • Sizing/Fit: 18″+ torsos
  • Weight: 3.65 lbs (1.66 kg)
  • Laptop Sleeve: Fits laptops up to 17in
  • Materials: 1680D ballistic nylon body and 70D ripstop polyester lining
  • Zippers: YKK
  • Buckle Material: Duraflex


img_3104The Tortuga’s rectangle shape, similar to a suitcase, allows for ample packing space. With 11 pockets, you will neat and organized. Adjustable and comfortable, this pack will not let you down.

BUILT TOUGH.  A very durable outer shell leaves you peace of mind when shoving our back into overhead compartments or under airline seats. the pack is made with a 1680D ballistic nylon which is incredibly durable and offers some resistance to the elements.

HANDLES/STRAPS. The backpack straps and handles are all well padded and adjustable; with the adjustable, padded hip belt the weight of your pack should never strain your back or shoulders. A great feature of this pack is that the shoulder and hip straps zip away and a strong side handle allows you to carry your bag duffel style. This is super beneficial in busy places where you want a better eye on your belongings and/or you’re concerned about knocking into other people with your baggage.

POCKETS. With 11 pockets total, this variety of compartments means your organization should be pristine.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 2 zippered side pockets — good for packing socks, accessories, cables, chargers, etc
  • 2 convenient hip belt pockets — great for passport, phone, chapstick, and emergency money storage
  • 1 medium-sized accessory/front pocket — store a pair of shoes, flip-flops, a book or other accessories
  • 1 large main compartment — storage for all your clothes and whatever else fits inside
  • 1 laptop sleeve — padded laptop storage for laptops up to 17″
  • 4 zippered pockets (internal) — two small zippered pockets on the two buckled ‘compression’ parts that can be used as an organizer barrier for the main compartment and two transparent mesh pockets located on the inside of the front flap of the backpack. I like to put my toiletries here so I can just unzip my pack and leave it open-faced for airport security.

MAIN COMPARTMENT. The interior lining of the front-loading Tortuga travel backpack is constructed with a durable 70D ripstop polyester lining. This makes the pack feel equally as strong and seemingly everlasting as the exterior. I cannot stress the value of traveling with a front loading bag as opposed to a top loading. As an avid hiker and camper, my newest long-term backpacking bag requirement was to have a front loading option after using my Tortuga! It is messy and inconvenient to have to rifle through all of your belongings to find something stuffed away at the bottom. The front loading option allows for easy access to all of your belongings and ultimately great organization which is the key to a stress-free, successful backpacking trip for me.

PERSONALIZATION. The design and fabric of the pack is inviting to patches! I’ve decorated mine with some of my favorites and a friend has affixed his with the names of everywhere his bag has been! I iron and sew on my patches for durability, however, I love the instant personalization this allows me.  


I really cannot say enough about this bag! It fits an AMPLE amount of clothing.


For 9 days in Sweden and Finland, I had to pack some serious layers for warmth; I fit everything I needed inside of my Tortuga V2 Travel Backpack. This was ideal for train and bus rides, as well as trekking through snowy/slushy, cobblestone streets. After purchasing some souvenirs abroad, I still had enough room to travel home.

img_0399For 14 days in California, I packed all of my hiking and casual clothing into this backpack (my camping gear had its own home in a checked bag). I had more than enough for 3 days on the beach, a few nights out, miles of hiking, hours of lake and river swimming, and 85+ degree days followed by 35-degree evenings. Our flight was actually delayed overnight as well and having my essentials on my back was AMAZING. 

For weekenders, this bag is clutch. It allows me the options I need for those ‘just in case’ moments and my laptop and school work while allowing me to bypass the baggage claim and getting me through the security line at the airport in no time.

It fits under most airline seats even packed to capacity and never fails to fit in an overhead container. Since my purchase in 2016, I have yet to check this bag and I don’t anticipate on that changing any time soon. It is SO convenient to have everything on your back!

Although I can’t fathom purchasing the Outbreaker considering the V2 has been nothing short of amazing and is still in such great condition, I hope to have the opportunity to review it in the future and compare the two products.

If you are interested in Tortuga products, including not only their travel bags but accessories as well visit their webpage a  tortugabackpacks

Travel on your terms with Tortuga!  

Are you in the market for a new travel bag? PIN ME. 

20 thoughts on “Tortuga Packs, a review”

  1. It sounds like you and your backpack have been on some great adventures. I could have used this bag for a few of my trips to avoid checking in a bag.

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