Tortuga Travel Backpack Review

A carry-on sized backpack that packs like a suitcase.

Tortuga Travel Backpack Review

Price and Where to Buy Tortuga Travel Backpack: $199 on Tortuga’s website.


  • Fits carry-on requirements for most airlines
  • Four pockets can be accessed without taking off the backpack—two on the side, and two on the hip belt
  • Unzips all around so that you can pack it like a suitcase
  • Interior mesh pockets keep everything organized
  • Front pocket offers easy access for things like boarding passes
  • Padded laptop compartment protects fits a screen of up to 17″
  • Padded hip belt distributes 80 percent of the bag’s weight off of your back and shoulders
  • All zippers are lockable (lock not included)
  • Built-in strap cover protects the shoulder/chest/hip straps when you are using the padded top or side handle to carry the backpack like a suitcase
  • Money back guarantee—you can return the (unused) backpack for up to 30 days for a full refund, and Tortuga will also pay return shipping


  • Fairly heavy: weighs 3.65 lbs when empty
  • High retail price

How Tortuga Travel Backpack Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. Backpacking backpacks are hard to pack and access, but rolling suitcases aren’t best for active trips. The Tortuga travel backpack successfully combines the design of a suitcase with the ease of carrying of a backpack.
  • Value: 6/10. $200 is pretty pricey for a backpack. The Tortuga’s construction and high-quality materials do justify the price if you want to splurge.
  • Durability: 10/10. Uses YKK zippers and Duraflex buckles to reinforce the common fail points on backpacks.
  • Cool Factor: 7/10. The overstuffed backpack is kind of a hard look to pull off, but at least the sleek black design of this pack is unobtrusive.

Final Verdict: If you want to use a backpack when you travel, but need something more professional than a hiking pack, the Tortuga travel backpack is a good bet.

(Photo: Tortuga)

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

E-mail her at

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