Explore a new city while leaving your luggage behind. Use the Tortuga Daypack to carry just what you need for the day: a light jacket, a book, a snack, or a water bottle.
When you aren't using the daypack, it stuffs into itself and can be packed away in your luggage.
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After a long flight, you’ve landed at your destination and have settled in at your hotel. Now you’re ready to explore.
Before heading out for a day of sightseeing, you grab everything you’ll need: a light jacket, a water bottle, your guidebook, and a snack for later.
What will you carry everything in?
Your luggage is too big to carry around all day and has way more space than you need.
You need something smaller: a daypack. The problem is that your options range from pathetic to burdensome.
Drawstring bags are the cheapest option but are uncomfortable and have zero organization.
Lightweight daypacks are a slight upgrade. Despite marginally better shoulder straps, these daypacks are glorified drawstring bags for 10 times the price. In the interest of being as light as possible, these bags forego any useful features or organization. Most don’t even have any external pockets.
At the highest end are small bags that can be used as daypacks. They are fully-featured backpacks -- think of a simple school backpack -- that work well for carrying whatever you need for a day spent wandering through a new city.
The problem is when you aren’t using the bag. You’re forced to carry around an extra backpack. So much for packing light.
Some daypacks, like on the Eagle Creek Rincon Vita 65, zip onto a larger backpack. However, this “solution” takes your luggage over carry on limits. You’ll have to detach the daypack or (gasp!) check your luggage.
Other daypacks, like on the Osprey Farpoint 55, are designed to be worn on the front of your body while you carry your main pack on your back. Wearing a bag like that is a great way to tell everyone that you’re a tourist. And to look like a clown.
The ideal daypack would neatly carry everything you need for a day in the city without being a burden when you aren’t using it.
A daypack should be lightweight (< 1 lb/0.5kg) and have enough pockets so that you can organize your stuff but not so many that you lose track of anything.
Like any good travel companion, a daypack should be there for you when you need it. But it should also know when to give you some personal space. Your travel towel and rain jacket pack away when you don’t need them. So should your daypack.
Unfortunately, too many daypack manufacturers are focused only on the weight of their bags. How is a two ounce backpack possibly going to be useful?
Travelers care about utility, not impressive-sounding specs.
You want a bag that does its job and improves your trip, not one that makes the designer feel clever.
We start with real world use cases. We travel a lot. When we run into a problem, we build a solution. Our goal is utility, not novelty. A nearly-weightless bag may win a design award, but it won’t help you travel better.
When we started to look for a good, packable daypack, we found plenty of products but no real solutions. We ran into the same problem we saw when developing the Tortuga Travel Backpack. Most bags are made by hiking, not travel, companies. These bags lacked any real features. They were just a cheap piece of lightweight fabric with the sides sewn up.
The daypack market was filled with companies that threw together a barely-considered product to sell it at a huge markup. Daypacks are an afterthought for those companies. But they’re important to us.
Frustrated by the lack of a solution for travelers like us, we created the Tortuga Daypack to fit into the sweet spot between the two compromises “solutions”: cheap pieces of lightweight material masquerading as packs and overbuilt backpacks being used as daypacks.
The Tortuga Daypack combines the light weight and packability of the former with the build quality and organization of the latter.
You don’t need all of your luggage for a day spent touring a new city. Even a light, carry-on-sized bag is too big to carry around all day.
Leave your luggage at your hotel, hostel, or apartment. Bring just the essentials in your daypack:
The Tortuga Daypack’s main compartment will hold everything you need to carry for the day.
Most daypacks have one big open space which leaves your small stuff a jumbled mess. Inside the Tortuga Daypack’s main compartment is an organizer panel which can hold your phone, passport, and pens.
On the outside of the daypack are three large, mesh pockets. These pockets are great for taller items like an umbrella or a water bottle. Anything you need to reach quickly or use frequently, like a guidebook, can be stored here.
At the top of the daypack is a hanging pocket. When you aren’t carrying your bag, you can pack it into this pocket for compact storage in your main luggage. More on that later.
When you are carrying your daypack, you can use this pocket for loose change, sunglasses, and anything else you don’t want getting lost in the larger main compartment.
A good daypack is useful even if you aren’t sightseeing.
On longer trips, I use my daypack as a gym bag. The daypack is the perfect size for a pair of shoes, a change of clothes, and a few toiletries.
I also use it as a laptop backpack to carry my computer down the street to a cafe for a few hours of work.
If you’re enjoying a tropical vacation, use the daypack as a beach backpack to carry your towel, flip flops, sunscreen, and a cover up.
A daypack should be there when you need it but disappear when you don’t.
Despite its padding and pockets, the Tortuga Daypack packs away into a small pouch when not in use.
When you aren’t carrying the daypack, pack it into its own top pocket and stick it in your luggage. Voila! Nothing extra to carry.
Another daypack that I tested packed into a U-shape making it an awkward fit in my luggage. We designed the Tortuga Daypack’s pouch to be rectangular so that it fits perfectly in your bag next to your rolled up clothes.
In the race to be the lightest bag on the market, most daypack manufacturers skimp on (or even skip) padding.
One bag that we tested had zero back padding. When I wore that pack, a solid piece of non-breathable nylon was flush against my back.
Even when carrying a light load and only wearing a t-shirt, the stuff in the bag poked against my back and left me soaked in sweat.
Padding adds weight and means the bag can’t be as small when packed into itself. Most bag-makers value being lightweight and small above all else. They think that when you see these impressive specs, you’ll buy their bag. By the time you use the bag and realize its shortcomings, that company already has your money. They don’t care how the bag works in the real world, just how it measures and how it looks in staged photos.
To make our daypack comfortable but still packable, we used a thin layer of three-dimensional mesh to cushion and cool your back.
The shoulder straps are made of the same mesh to provide comfortable padding without being too thick.
The daypack’s chest strap keeps your load balanced and your shoulders in place. Without a chest strap, a heavy bag can pull on your shoulders causing soreness by the end of the day.
Traveling is full of pitfalls and hassles. Your luggage should be part of the solution, not the problem.
We want you to find a bag that you'll love and carry for years. If that's not a Tortuga Backpack, that's okay. Only buy our products if they're right for you.
The Tortuga Daypack is ideal if you need a:
If you want the versatility of a daypack without the hassle of carrying a second bag, you'll love the Tortuga Daypack. You can find cheaper options if you're just looking for an unstructured sack. The Tortuga Daypack is for travelers who want to invest in comfortable padding, more features, better materials, and top of the line zippers and buckles.
The daypack is a perfect compliment to a larger backpack like the Tortuga or the Tortuga Air. You can carry your daypack in your main luggage while in transit. Then, when you're ready to explore your destination, you can load it up with everything you need for the day.
Still have questions? Read through the other tabs above for more information about the Tortuga Daypack’s features and specs. Then read the FAQ.
Are you comparison shopping? See how the Tortuga Daypack stacks up against the competition.
Volume: 20L (1,216 cu. in.)
Dimensions: Backpack: 17 x 11 x 6.5" (43 x 28 x 17 cm); Pouch (when packed into itself): 9 x 8.5 x 2" (23 x 22 x 5 cm)
Weight: 0.7 lbs (0.32 kg)
Electronics: Holds laptops up to 15"; Recommended for carrying short distances
Material: 420D ripstop nylon (exterior), 70D ripstop polyester (interior)
Made in China
US: Free ground shipping on orders of $50 or more. Flat-rate shipping on all other orders. Allow 1 business day for processing and up to 5 business days for delivery. Expedited shipping is available at a discounted rate. Shipments to PO boxes and to APO/FPO/DPO addresses may require longer shipping times. We cannot guarantee delivery dates on orders to military addresses.
International: Flat-rate shipping to Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and select countries in Asia. Allow 1 business day for order processing and 6-10 business days for delivery. Please note: Most international orders are delivered within 10 business days. Delays caused by carriers or customs can happen, causing delivery dates to extend past the 6-10 business day estimate. The flat rate price is the shipping cost only and does not include duties, taxes, or other import charges levied by your country of residence.
For prices and more information, see our Shipping page.
If something is wrong and is our fault, we will make it right. When you email us, you will be helped by someone with the authority to fix your problem.
Read the full guarantee here.
If you're dissatisfied with your backpack for any reason, you can return it unused within 30 days for a full refund. We will also pay for the return shipping on US orders.
To return your bag, contact us with your order number.
Read the full return policy here.