I recently won a travel backpack from Tortuga Backpacks in a twitter contest. I was pretty excited to win this and some other prizes because I had never won something on Twitter. I was also not happy with the backpack that I have been using for the last two years so a new bag was a nice surprise.
This backpack was created by two guys who love to travel and had a dream of creating their ideal travel backpack. I think they are really on to something because there are a lot of good features in this bag.
There are two main compartments that allow you to keep your clothing and gear organized. They unzip from the front which makes it a lot easier to get at your stuff than a single compartment, top loading bag. There are two zipper pockets on the top sides and two large open top pockets on the bottom sides.
Another nice feature of the bag is that it is squared off in the corners. This is not the case in most travel backpack that have rounded corners or sides. The benefits of having everything squared off is that it is a more efficient use of space and you can fit more inside. It also allows the bag to stand up on its own without falling over when you place it down.
The shoulder and waist straps are under a zip down panel on the back. The panel unzips and can be folded into a compartment at the bottom of the bag. The waist straps also have zipper pockets in them where you could carry some small things.
I just returned from a ten day trip to Ireland and was able to fully test out this bag for the first time. Listed below are some of my likes and dislikes of this bag.
- Roomy – This bag holds a lot of stuff. The capacity is stated at 45 liters and I really think that it holds more than that. The square design is probably responsible for this.
- Dual Compartments – I like having the separate compartments. It allows you to keep the bag organized and it is easier to access. I kept shoes and dirty cloths on the bottom and clean cloths on the top.
- Heavy Duty Material – The bag feels well built and should hold up to significant abuse.
- Large Side Pockets – I used these to hold an umbrella, raincoat, toiletries and miscellaneous items.
- Low Profile/Center of Gravity – The bag does not stick out too far from your back when packed full. This makes it more comfortable to carry and easier to negotiate through busy cities without affecting your balance.
- No Document Pocket – I would have liked a separate pocket on the front panel to hold boarding passes and other papers.
- Logo – The logo is too large for my tastes. There is a benefit to this though because your bag will be easy to spot.
In case you were wondering how much this bag holds here is a list of what I packed in the bag for my recent trip: 7 Shirts, 6 Pairs of Socks, 6 Pair of Underwear, 1 Pair of Shoes, Jeans, Travel Pants, Sweat Pants, Raincoat, Heavy Fleece Jacket, Toiletries, Hat, Gloves, Power Cords, miscellaneous items and I still had room left.
This is my new go to bag for traveling. The guys that created it are now working on version 2.0 so check it out if you are looking for a new travel backpack.
Find out more about the Tortuga Backpack