Tortuga Backpacks Review
Table of Contents
About Tortuga Backpacks
Tortuga creates functional travel bags for when you’re on the go. Their range of products includes backpacks, duffles, and packing cubes that make it easy to organize and access your belongings with ease.
The brand was featured as one of the ‘100 Brilliant Companies’ by Entrepreneur, and their backpacks and bags have been named the ‘Best Carry On Travel Bag’, the ‘Best Duffle Bag for Air Travel’ by Wirecutter, and the ‘Best Carry-On Bag’ by Carryology.
You could say they’ve won a few awards here and there. They have also been featured in The New York Times and Business Insider, among many other publications.
Tortuga was founded in 2010 by Fred Perrotta and Jeremy Cohen, two friends who struggled to find a backpack that could keep up with their journeys.
So, naturally, they decided to create one. But they chose to do it the right way, incorporating high-quality elements such as durable zippers and fasteners. These small details can make a huge difference when traveling.
Tortuga is a small brand and has a customer service team that is dedicated to making customers happy. Their headquarters are located in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
In this Tortuga backpacks review, we’ll take a close look at the brand and their best-selling backpacks, customer ratings, promotions, and more to help you decide if they are the right choice for your traveling needs.
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Pros & Cons
Before going through some of their amazing bags, this section of our Tortuga backpacks review will provide an overview of the brand’s pros and cons:
- High-Quality Products: Tortuga Backpacks offer a selection of high-quality products, including travel backpacks, daily carry-ons, and packing cubes.
- Comfortable Design: Tortuga Travel Backpacks are known for their comfort, with well-padded and adjustable harnesses that make them comfortable to wear, even for extended periods.
- Variety of Options: Tortuga offers a range of backpack options, including the Tortuga Setout and Tortuga Outbreaker, allowing customers to choose based on their needs and preferences.
- Durable Materials: Tortuga Backpacks are typically made of durable materials such as nylon or polyester, which are known for their strength and longevity.
- Thoughtful Features: Tortuga Backpacks often come with features designed for travel, such as ample storage space, organized compartments, and easy accessibility.
- Personal Preference: The design and style of Tortuga Backpacks may not suit everyone’s personal tastes and preferences.
Tortuga backpacks and travel bags take the stress out of traveling by helping you to condense and organize your belongings in a travel-friendly carry-on.
Offering both 35L and 45L sizes for their more substantial backpacks, it’s important to note that the 35L is the required size for international carry-ons, while 45L works for US domestic flight carry-ons.
Going forward, we’ll feature the brand’s customer favorites and classics, including travel essentials like wet/dry bags, compact duffles, and carry-on backpacks. But first, here are some of the notable features of these backpacks:
- Carry-On Sized: Tortuga travel backpacks are designed to meet carry-on size restrictions, allowing you to pack everything you need without checking a bag.
- Organization: Tortuga Backpacks offer thoughtful details and compartments that make it easy to organize and access your belongings.
- Comfort: Tortuga Backpacks prioritize comfort with features such as adjustable back panels, cushioned straps, and ergonomic designs.
- Durability: The brand incorporates high-quality elements such as durable zippers, fasteners, and materials like recycled polyester to ensure long-lasting performance.
- Versatility: Some Tortuga backpack models, such as the Tortuga Travel 30L Backpack, offer versatile packing options with a bucket design that allows for flexible packing arrangements.
- Laptop and Tablet Compartment: Many Tortuga backpacks include dedicated compartments to safely store and protect laptops and tablets.
- Easy Access: Tortuga Backpacks are designed for easy access to your belongings, making it convenient to retrieve items while on the go.
Tortuga Backpacks are made from the following materials:
- SHELL200 Fabric: Tortuga Backpacks, including the Tortuga Travel Backpack (V4), feature the all-new SHELL200 fabric. This fabric is lighter, stronger, and more environmentally friendly than previous versions. It is made of 100% recycled polyester certified by REPREVE and is laminated with multiple layers for durability.
- VX21 Sailcloth: The Outbreaker Backpack by Tortuga is made from VX21 waterproof sailcloth. VX21 is a combination of 210D Nylon with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) and UV-resistant coating, polyester, and PET film. Sailcloth is known for its durability, lightweight, and waterproof properties.
- 900D Polyester: Some Tortuga backpack models, such as the Setout backpack, are made of 900D polyester. This material is treated with a weather-resistant coating, enhancing its durability and protection against the elements.
- Recycled Materials: Tortuga Backpacks strive to limit their environmental impact and incorporate recycled materials where possible. The SHELL200 fabric, for example, is made of 100% recycled polyester.
9 Best-Selling Tortuga Travel Backpacks
Tortuga travel backpacks and bags include thoughtful details in their designs that make storing and accessing your belongings a breeze.
Below, you’ll find details on the brand’s advanced backpacks, light and perfect adventure bags, and totes that are designed to fit inside your favorite backpack.
Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack Review
Many hiking backpacks certainly have enough space for all of your necessities, but those essentials often need to be shoved in and piled on top of one another, making them hard to access and a pain to repack.
The Outbreaker Backpack has an insane organizational system, ensuring every one of your items is packed in the right place and always within reach.
This Tortuga one-bag travel backpack has enough room for a week’s worth of clothes, your laptop, as well as all the equipment you need to navigate your journey.
Not only does the Outbreaker Backpack have the space you need, but it has the right padding and features to make it a pleasure to wear, whether it’s just through the airport or during a week-long trek through the Appalachians.
Offered in 35L (4.6 lbs) and 45L (5.1 lbs) versions, this carry-on-sized backpack has smart features like a height-adjustable suspension system and a padded, removable hip belt so that this bag fits your body properly.
Travel in comfort with the Outbreaker Backpack for $269-$299.
Tortuga Wet/Dry Backpack Review
One wet, stinky piece of clothing left in your bag for a few hours can infect the whole lot, leaving your fresh white dress shirt smelling anything but fresh.
The Wet/Dry Backpack keeps your dirty things separate from the rest of your clothes. Throw in that sweat-saturated shirt and pull out a new, dry one to keep comfortable on a long day of hiking.
This bag is also great for swimsuits or anything else you’d like to protect your other clothes and bags from. The 8L backpack has a roll-top design that makes it easily packable.
Protect your clean belongings from water and odor with the Wet/Dry Backpack for $29, previously $49.
Unfortunately, this model has lived out its illustrious career and is now retired.
Tortuga Homebase Backpack Review
You want to stay organized, but Tortuga’s larger bags are just too big, and a normal backpack just doesn’t have the features you need.
Cue the Homebase Backpack, combining function with a 2.3 lb lightweight design. Great for a weekend camping trip or a quick international weekend work trip, this bag features a removable two-sided packing cube to keep your clothes in place.
The 32L backpack also has laptop and tablet sleeves, as well as a front organization pocket for important items like your passport, snacks, and the ever-important, but never remembered pen.
Lockable zippers ensure no one opens your bag sneakily and keeps things from spilling out.
These $245 Tortuga front-load backpacks are available for $149. This model is currently unavailable, but perhaps some models shown later in this review can fill its versatile shoes.
Tortuga Prelude Travel Backpack Review
There is a story of a guy who hiked the Appalachian trail a few years ago. Despite ample research, he carried a giant hiking bag and packed it to the brim.
Upon getting to the trail, his bag weighed 82lbs. Little did he know, the recommended weight per bag is 38lbs. He was thus named ‘82’ by fellow hikers, and the rest is history.
The Prelude Travel Backpack won’t ensure you pack under 82lbs, but it will keep your things extremely organized and has a pocket for everything you may need on your journey.
The other thing about 82’s bag is that it was loaded from the top, so every time he needed something he had to empty the backpack completely. The Prelude Travel Backpack is front-loading, meaning you can easily access every single item in your bag.
This 38.5L bag is perfect for carry-ons and has helpful features like load-lifters, side compression straps, and a padded, removable hip belt to make carrying the weight a little easier.
This Tortuga carry-on backpack also has webbing loops for added carry capacity, a lie-flat water bottle pocket, and is weather-resistant, so you can carry more on the outside and keep your valuables protected on the inside.
This 2.5 lb hiker-friendly backpack is on sale for $99, down from $149. Unfortunately, it is currently out of stock.
Tortuga Packable Duffle Bag Review
When your family asks why you didn’t bring them anything back from your trip, you no longer have an excuse. Bring the Packable Duffle Bag with you when you know you may need to pack a little extra.
Airlines let you bring one carry-on and one personal item. This 2.5 lb bag is the perfect-sized personal item. It tucks discreetly under the chair in front of you while on the plane and even includes organizational pockets for any extra items you need close by.
With a crossbody strap for easy carrying, the 38.5L Packable Duffle Bag is on sale for $45, previously $75.
Tortuga Setout Backpack: Men’s Review
Have you ever been pulling your roll-on suitcase while rushing for a flight and the wheel turns on you as the whole suitcase just flips so you end up picking it up and carrying it?
If not, then maybe you haven’t been late for a flight, or maybe you’re just super coordinated, but we’ve witnessed firsthand how frustrating the supposed “travel-friendly” roll-on suitcases can be.
Available in 35L (3.4 lb) and 45L (3.9 lb) versions, the Men’s Setout Backpack comes in black and heather grey and is front-loading for your packing pleasure.
Helpful features in this Tortuga backpack suitcase like load lifters, a removable hip belt, and hideaway shoulder straps make carrying the bag easier and less cumbersome when running towards a closing airplane gate.
Inside the iconic Tortuga best travel backpack for men, you’ll find laptop and tablet sleeves, as well as organizational pockets to help you during that frantic search for your passport. This essential travel backpack is on sale for $125-139, regular price $179-$199.
Tortuga Setout Backpack: Women’s Review
If you’ve ever worn a backpack and the straps keep falling off your shoulders, it means it’s not the right fit. This actually leads to imbalance and can put more strain on your body.
The Women’s Setout Backpack has a suspension system for narrower shoulders, so you can be sure you’re moving as efficiently and comfortably as possible.
The Tortuga 45L backpack (3.8 lb) is also available in a 35L (3.6 lb) size and has all of the same features as the men’s version, including helpful support systems like the padded hip belt and hideaway shoulder straps.
The carry-on-sized luggage meets backpack is available in black for only $125-139, on sale from $179-$199.
Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack: Men’s Review
The Setout Divide: Men’s is a little smaller than the original Setout, with a size of 26L that is expandable to 34L. Backpacks like this are versatile and you can use them for a day trip one day, and then a weekend trip another time.
This Tortuga Travel Backpack for men has smart travel features, such as an internal mesh divider, a luggage handle pass-through sleeve, an organization panel, lockable zippers, and a water bottle pocket, all contributing to an organized and enjoyable travel experience.
Internal compression straps, hideaway shoulder straps, and a padded removable hip belt all work together to ease the load of your backpack on your back. This 3.8 lb weather-resistant backpack is on sale for $125, down from $179.
Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack: Women’s Review
So you packed light on your trip to Nashville, but now that you’re there, you want to load up on hot sauce. Don’t worry if you end up bringing back more than you took, as this backpack is expandable, from 26L to 34L.
The Setout Divide Backpack: Women’s bag is perfect for weekend excursions to some memento-worthy places.
This 3.8 lb backpack keeps your belongings safe and easily accessible with an internal mesh divider, a luggage handle pass-through sleeve, an organization panel, lockable zippers, and a water bottle pocket.
Stay comfortable while you travel with the $179 Setout Divide Backpack: Women’s for only $125.
Who Are Tortuga Backpacks For?
Tortuga Backpacks are designed for travelers who prioritize convenience, organization, and comfort:
- Carry-on Travelers: Tortuga travel backpacks are carry-on-sized, allowing travelers to pack everything they need without checking a bag. This feature is especially appealing to individuals who prefer to travel with just a backpack and avoid the hassle of checked luggage.
- Urban and Adventure Travelers: Tortuga Backpacks are suitable for both urban and adventure travel. They offer functional designs with thoughtful details, making it easy to organize and access belongings while on the go. The backpacks are designed to accompany travelers from the beginning to the end of their journeys.
- Travelers Seeking Comfort and Durability: Tortuga Backpacks prioritize comfort and durability. They incorporate high-quality elements such as durable zippers and fasteners to ensure long-lasting performance. The brand aims to create backpacks that can withstand the demands of travel and provide a comfortable carrying experience.
- Travelers who Value Organization: Tortuga Backpacks are known for their organization features. They provide compartments, pockets, and packing cubes to help travelers keep their belongings well-organized and easily accessible throughout their trips.
Tortuga Backpacks Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
For this section of our Tortuga backpacks review, we took to the web to find out more about the brand and their travel-friendly backpacks.
Ahead, you’ll find customer reviews sourced from tortugabackpacks.com, Amazon, and Reddit, all discussing the quality, usefulness, and fit of the brand’s products as of May 2023.
The Women’s Setout Backpack is rated an average of 4.5/5 stars by 72 customers on tortugabackpacks.com.
A customer wrote of the utility of this backpack: “Moving AirBNBs every night for a week…was made SO much easier with this backpack… Tortuga accommodated all the clothes, toiletries, and small gifts I bought, and I couldn’t be happier to NOT pay extra for checked baggage.”
Keeping the positivity train rolling, other Tortuga products are well-received on the brand’s website:
- Setout Backpack: Men’s: 4.4/5 stars out of over 350 ratings
- Outbreaker Backpack: 4.4/5 stars out of 500+ ratings
- Setout Divide Backpack: Men’s: 4.5/5 stars out of 150 ratings
The Tortuga Air Travel Backpack is rated an average of 4.8/5 stars by 47 customers on Amazon.
Customers praise the backpack’s usefulness and convenience, with one particular review summarizing it perfectly:
“[I’m] on another work trip and I am just loving how versatile this pack is and how much you can actually fit in it. You can really stuff this thing. Not only does it work great on planes & trains but it is also very good going back and forth between your hotel room and your destination.”
We also discovered a tell-all thread on Reddit that discussed a range of travel backpacks.
One Tortuga backpacks review wrote, “I have the second generation 45L Tortuga backpack and spent the last three years backpacking the world with it. It’s been solid, well designed and sturdy, no damage to it except me tearing off one of the hip straps while running for a train.”
So what can we really take away from all these testimonials? By and large, Tortuga accomplishes what they set out to do, and they’ve created a great line of durable and comfortable products. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives with this brand.
Are Tortuga Backpacks Worth It?
Tortuga backpacks are rated highly by customers on and off the brand’s website.
As a testament to how serious they are about backpacks, all the complaints made on tortugabackpacks.com are followed up by a customer service rep trying to amend the issue.
In terms of complaints, this Tortuga backpacks review wouldn’t be complete without noting that there are tricks for fitting your bag to properly distribute the weight. The brand has some helpful information on their website on how to fit and pack your backpack for a more comfortable wear.
Readers should also take into account that the Reddit and Amazon reviews for Tortuga Backpacks included above were written about 3 years ago. There are not many recent customer reviews outside of the brand’s website.
For that reason, the reviews above lose some relevance as the brand has since updated their backpacks, releasing 2nd generation models and creating different features for men and women to suit their bodies, like the suspension system for narrower shoulders.
Tortuga backpacks are covered under a limited warranty that promises to repair or replace any defective bags. They also offer free shipping and free returns because they’re genuinely concerned about issues that customers have with their bags.
Tortuga may be a small company, but they have a great customer care team that is responsive to customer complaints made on their website. Their backpacks can get a little pricey, but they are well-made and will last you years.
The final verdict in this Tortuga backpacks review is that the brand’s travel bags are worth the buy.
Tortuga Backpacks Promotions & Discounts
Tortuga has the following 3 promotions and discounts available on their website:
- Get a free carry-on packing list when you sign up for their newsletter
- Free ground shipping on orders of $49+
- Free return shipping
Where To Buy Tortuga Backpacks
Tortuga backpacks are available for purchase on tortugabackpacks.com. Amazon also offers some of their products, but the brand does not have an official Amazon page, so these items may be provided through a reseller.
Travel on your own terms. Here are a few more brands to check out for that personalized travel experience:
- Nomatic Travel Bag: The Nomatic Travel Bag is a popular alternative to Tortuga Backpacks. It offers similar features and functionality, including organization compartments, carry-on size, and durability.
- Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Backpack: The Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Backpack is another alternative that competes with Tortuga Backpacks. It is designed for carry-on travel and offers features such as expandable storage, comfortable straps, and water-resistant materials.
- eBags Mother Lode: The eBags Mother Lode is a budget-friendly alternative to Tortuga Backpacks. It offers multiple compartments, expandable storage, and a durable design.
Where is Tortuga Backpacks located?
Tortuga Backpacks’ headquarters are located in sunny Los Angeles, US.
What is Tortuga Backpacks’s Shipping Policy?
Currently, Tortuga only ships within the US. This Tortuga backpacks review is happy to report that orders take 1 business day to process, and only about 5 business days to get to you. Their orders ship through FedEx.
For PO Boxes, military addresses, and US territories, orders ship through USPS and may take longer than normal shipping times. The brand has the following shipping options available:
- Ground shipping: $10 on orders under $49, or free for orders over that amount
- Expedited shipping options: prices are listed at checkout
What is Tortuga Backpacks’s Return Policy?
If you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason, you can return it within 30 days if it is unused. If you bought a bundle, you will need to email their customer service team for further details.
For separate items, you can start your return through their self-service returns page. Return shipping is free.
If you have a defect in your bag, it is covered under the brand’s limited warranty and they will either repair it or will send you a replacement. Some items do not qualify for refunds. These include gift cards and sale items.
How to contact Tortuga Backpacks
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