Christina wearing the Tortuga Packable Daypack
Christina wearing the Tortuga Packable Daypack
Organizer panel and laptop sleeve inside the Tortuga Packable Daypack
Carry a laptop, tablet, or e-reader in the electronics sleeve
Tortuga Packable Daypack depth when empty (left) and packed (right)
Tortuga Packable Daypack (front view)
Tortuga Packable Daypack (angled view)
Tortuga Packable Daypack (side view)
Tortuga Packable Daypack shoulder straps, sternum strap, and back padding
Steve wearing the Tortuga Packable Daypack
Sightseeing with the Tortuga Daypack
Working from the road with the Tortuga Daypack
Hitting the beach with the Tortuga Daypack
Tortuga Daypack in its pouch (left) and expanded to full size (right)
Tortuga Packable Daypack packed into its pouch
Tortuga Daypack packed into its pouch inside a Tortuga
Empty Tortuga Daypack inside a Tortuga
Tortuga Daypack packed into its pouch inside a Tortuga Air
Empty Tortuga Daypack inside a Tortuga Air
Tortuga Packable Daypack

Tortuga Packable Daypack

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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.

    How Should a Daypack Work?

    Tortuga Packable Daypack outdoors

    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.


    Bring Everything You Need For a Day of Sightseeing

    Tortuga Packable Daypack emptied

    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:

    • A rain jacket or an extra layer for when the weather changes
    • A map or guidebook for getting around
    • A snack for keeping your energy up
    • A water bottle for staying hydrated

    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.

    Organizer panel in the Tortuga Packable Daypack

    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.


    Nothing Extra to Carry

    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.

    Packing the Tortuga Packable Daypack 

    Comfortable and Dry

    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.


    Is the Tortuga Daypack Right For You?

    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:

    • Lightweight daypack for exploring new cities,
    • Laptop backpack for getting work done while on the road,
    • Gym bag for keeping in shape while traveling, or
    • Beach backpack for carrying your towel and clothes

    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.


    • Packs away into a built-in pocket for easy storage in your luggage
    • Lightweight at less than 1 pound
    • Large main compartment to carry everything you need for a day of sightseeing
    • Organizer panel for your phone, passport, and pens
    • Key clip so that you don't get locked out of your accommodations
    • Laptop/tablet pocket to carry your electronics short distances when you're working from the road
    • External mesh pockets for carrying a water bottle, flip flops, umbrella, map, or guidebook
    • Top hanging pocket for money, tickets, sunglasses, or anything else you need within reach
    • Padded back panel and shoulder straps for a comfortable carry that won't make you sweaty
    • Top loop handle for easy hanging
  • 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)

    Zippers: YKK

    Buckle: Duraflex

    Made in China

  • Tortuga Daypack Overview


  • US and International Shipping

    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.


    Common Decency Guarantee

    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.


    Hassle-Free Returns

    During the V2 Retirement Sale, all sales are final. We will not accept returns of V2 backpacks and accessories or offer exchanges for future products.

    Read the full return policy here.

Customer Reviews and Questions

Tortuga Packable Daypack has a rating of 4.0 stars based on 159 reviews.