Topo Designs Travel Pack vs Tortuga Setout Divide

Topo Designs Travel Pack wants to be an “agile, durable travel pack for shorter trips.” But it falls short on several key features where the Setout Divide Backpack excels.

No Weight Distribution

When you’re carrying a travel backpack, you’re likely carrying 20 to 25 lbs of gear. Even more if you're carrying extra shoes, books, or a laptop.

Chances of getting injured -- or at the minimum, feeling awfully uncomfortable -- carrying 25 lbs. on your back are high.

That’s why hiking backpacks have hip belts. A proper hip belt is designed to make your pack feel lighter. When fitted correctly, a good hip belt transfers your bag's weight from your shoulders to your hips. Then you use your powerful leg muscles to hold the weight of your bag, instead of using your weaker shoulder muscles.

A hip belt can transfer 80% or more of your bag's weight to your hips. When your backpack’s weight is lifted (literally) from your shoulders, your tender neck muscles burst forth with songs of praise… not annoying relentless complaints of pain.

If you're carrying 20 pounds or more, and you don’t use a hip belt, your neck will develop knots, creating long-term headaches.

Topo Designs Travel Pack’s paltry "hip" belt will not transfer any weight. It only serves to keep your pack close to your body. You're left to carry this very large backpack’s entire weight with your shoulders.

The Setout Divide Backpack features an injection-molded foam hip belt with pockets. By using the Setout Divide’s hip belt, your pack’s weight is lifted off your shoulders and you arrive at destination with a bounce in your step (plus, headache-free).

Accident-Prone Laptop Sleeve

When you travel the world, you need a backpack designed to keep your valuables safe. Your laptop is your MVP (most valuable product) hitching a ride on your adventures. Makes sense it should be housed in a well-protected space.

Well, that’s not the case with Topo Designs Travel Pack.

It has a dedicated laptop sleeve. Only it opens from the side.

What’s the big deal? You might be wondering. True, in theory, this type of laptop sleeve makes sense.

Until you consider: you’re in a hurry and leave a zipper part-way open. Running for the last train to the airport, that zipper yawns, your laptop nosedives and crashes to bits on the floor.

We designed the Setout Divide with an electronics section that opens from the top. Think of it as a suite for your electronic gadgets. Your laptop travels securely in sleeve secured with a velcro latch. If you travel with a tablet, it slides into a smaller sleeve.

So, if you leave a zipper partially open, your laptop stays secure and safe.

Too Big to Be Carry On Compliant

Airlines’ standard carry on dimensions are 22 x 14 x 9”.

Topo Designs Travel Pack measures 20 x 14 x 11". Though it's supposedly designed for travelers, the Topo version is two inches too tall to be carry on compliant. Which means it might not fit in the overhead compartment, forcing you to check your bag. 

Is that a risk you really want to take? That’s just asking the karma gods to strike ire upon you.

Instead, travel with a backpack that is truly carry on compliant. The Setout Divide measures 20” x 13” x 6”. So you’ll walk onto your flight with zero issues or worry that your backpack will accompany you.

Wanted: a Breathable Back Panel

Ever get halfway to the train station and realize that your back feels like it just went swimming? Sweat drips into your pants. Suddenly you desire to throw your backpack as far away as possible and find a giant fan to stand in front of. 

That’s the future you’re signing up for when you travel with Topo Designs Travel Pack.

Because their backpack doesn’t have a mesh panel. Which is important as that mesh allows your skin to breathe. It prevents that slick sheen of sweat on your back that’s definitely not comfortable.

On the other hand, the Tortuga Setout Divide has a comfortable, breathable mesh back. So you don’t end up an awfully sweaty back. Because that’s the worst.

Not Expandable

An extra two inches makes all the difference when you’re on the road.

It spells the difference between a weekend and a week-long trip. And it means you can bring an extra pair of pants to ward off the chills or two more t-shirts to avoid sweaty-day-stink. Or you can bring presents home for your home-bound friends.

Two inches means a lot. That’s how much more space you get with the Tortuga Setout Divide when it expands.

Not so with the Topo Designs Travel Pack. In fact, with the Travel Pack you’re stuck with what they’ve decided to give you. Meaning no room to kick back and expand with a big breath on a longer week-long trip.

A Travel Backpack Designed For You

If you’re looking for an agile, durable travel pack that keeps your laptop safe and is designed with your comfort on the road in mind, check out the Tortuga Setout Divide.