I’m a 61 year-old professor who regularly takes my digital office and electronics on national and international adventures. Even when I’m not traveling, I like keeping most of what I need in a single well-organized backpack. I’m convinced that a back-saving, easily-cleaned, secure, durable, well-organized, and simply elegant backpack like this one is the most comfortable and freeing way to travel for long periods.
Last month, I replaced my well-travelled 35L Outbreaker with the new 40L V4, and am traveling with the new item now. The 35L remains like new after a couple years of backpacking and travel in planes, cars, trains, busses, boats, etc. But I wanted the extra 5L and the 1” flatter build to optimize the fit into international overhead bins. The new version is just as comfortable, well-organized, secure, and easy to clean as before, with some clear improvements. One nice addition is a small outside top pocket, which is great for easy access to oft-used items like sunglasses, earplugs, comb, and headphones. Some unnecessary things have been removed, such as a couple pen and card slots, pockets and dividers in the main compartment, and a redundant outside handle. Although suitable for adventurous treks, the V4 is even more passable than the Outbreaker as an adult professional’s non-hippy luggage. By staying on my back, it stays much cleaner than ground-level wheeled luggage that drags and bounces over floors, muddy sidewalks, and worse.
The trick to getting the most out…
I've tried and tested all of Tortuga's gear, and this bag is possibly their best one yet. Amazing materials and brilliant organization make it worth the price, but I cannot emphasize just how comfortable it is. Once the bag is fully secured it feels like it becomes a part of you... even when fully packed out. I do wish the laptop compartment would open clam-shall style (like the discontinued Outbreaker did), but aside from that I can't complain about anything really. It's a world-class bag from a world-class company! Great work Tortuga! 🐢 🎒
I've spent 5 years traveling with different iterations of the Tortuga travel backpack and I literally won't travel with anyone else. I travel for a living and have to be able to pack enough to live across multiple climates, and I have no problem fitting everything I need into my Tortuga. On top of that, it's comfortable and organizes well.
I tried out a dozen different travel backpacks over the past few years, and this 40L backpack has been a big upgrade.
I normally take 50+ flights per year and have grown accustomed to carry-on only travel, so my top priority was finding a compact & organized backpack. There are other bags out there that fit this criteria, but the Tortuga’s comfortable harness system really put it a step above the rest. The back is well-padded, and the chest+hip straps do a great job distributing the weight of a full bag.
I was initially afraid that the 40L backpack might be too big, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it fit underneath an airplane seat while still being large enough for all my gear.
The internal organization is thoughtfully placed without being too much, but it took me a couple trips to figure out the best way to use the smaller compartments. After slinging this backpack around Canada, England, Germany, and the US, I can honestly say that this is my new favorite carry-on bag.
I have both the 35L and 45L Outbreakers which I really like, even with the extraneous bulk in them.
But sometimes the 45 is too big and the 35 too little so I bought the new 40L since it is an in-between size.
Things I like: the new suspension system is great! SUPER SUPER comfy to carry. The new silhouette feels more streamlined without the wasted bulk of the Outbreaker. At first the capacity of the main section seems smaller but with the top section being a little deeper it does hold the three packing cubes I use. I would still prefer the main compartment to have the depth instead of the top lid. I do miss some of the pockets that were eliminated but I have found suitable workarounds, so not a big deal. Overall quality continues to be outstanding. I use the wrap-the-straps-on-the-back trick to keep them from flopping around when necessary. The pack still does stand up without falling over, which I was happy to see. Water bottle holders are better.
I have swapped out the hip belt pads for another brand which are not as bulky since I do not use the integrated pockets. I also sewed another grab handle on the bottom of the bag. Gives me something to hold onto when lifting into the overhead bin. I also put some colored tape on the ends of the main compartment zippers to help me distinguish them from the other zippers.
MAJOR issue: the zippers on the back laptop section do not open far enough down. It makes it extremely difficult to access that compartment,…