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've been wanting a pack that was large enough to pair with a 22" rollaboard suitcase for 2-week international travel. I had a 45L, but it was too big and wasn't configured for best use. I think the 40L will be perfect - very light weight. Really like the front compartment organization and top pocket. Lots of space in the bottom of the front compartment for toiletries, but I would have put the key fob somewhere in the front pocket. The main compartment is perfect. I have 4 -10x14 compression packing cubes that fit nicely in the big bucket and a 12x20 that works for rolled pants in the top bucket. The Pack Hacker review thought the zipper on the top bucket was 'backwards', but I like it opening out. Computer compartment is OK, nice cushion/fabric/false bottom, would have liked the zippers to come down an inch or 2 farther. Took a bit for me to figure the adjustments on the back straps, works perfect for me now. I would have made the waist straps a bit longer on the attachment end so I could move the pouches farther around to the front. Wanted to use them for phone, cords, passport, maybe wallet when transiting an airport. Tough for me to access the pouches with the short Velcro attachment piece. Would have been interesting to make the pouches our of some type of "stretchy" fabric to better hold my I-phone 14. Think the 40L is in the top 3 travel packs on the market. Excited to travel to Europe this May with my new pack.