Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack Evaluate: The Greatest Carry-On Backpack

A brand new model of Simon’s favorite carry-on backpack, the Tortuga, was launched late final yr. It’s now referred to as the Outbreaker Journey Backpack and has all the identical nice options of the previous model together with being the utmost carry-on measurement with loads of house, however with new enhancements and a sleeker look.

Simon has been travelling with the Outbreaker for 4 months now and loves it. On this Outbreaker backpack evaluate we’ll share the great and unhealthy of the Outbreaker and evaluate it to the earlier V2 Tortuga Backpack.

Tortuga Outbreaker vs V2 Tortuga Backpack: What’s New?

The brand new Outbreaker has solved quite a lot of small points we had with the Tortuga V2 in our unique evaluate.


  • The Outbreaker is available in two variations—45 litres, which has similarities to V2, and 35 litres, which replaces the Tortuga Air. Each now have hip belts, which was my primary criticism with the Air.
  • The brand new adjustable hiking-style suspension system makes it much more comfy to hold and means it ought to match extra individuals than the earlier backpack did. 
  • The cumbersome aspect pockets have been eliminated giving it a sleeker look. 
  • As an alternative there are two discreet water bottle pockets on the aspect that lie flat when not getting used. 
  • The material is water resistant and really sturdy. 
  • It opens absolutely on three sides like a ebook making it even simpler to entry all the things inside. 
  • There may be an improved fleece-lined laptop computer and pill sleeve. The electronics compartment unfolds to lie flat on the X-ray belt to keep away from taking your laptop computer out when going by way of airport safety. 
  • The exterior entrance pocket is slimmer and doesn’t bulge anymore. 


  • It’s heavier—the 45-litre backpack is 5.1 lbs (2.three kg), which is 1.45 lbs (zero.64 kg) heavier than V2. 
  • The backpack straps can’t be packed away (though the hip belt will be eliminated), however Simon by no means used this function.
  • No aspect deal with to hold it suitcase model (though Simon hardly ever used this).
  • It prices $249 (V2 was $199).

If you have already got the Tortuga V2 do it is advisable to improve to the Outbreaker? I don’t suppose so. Simon liked his V2 and had no actual complaints with it. If Tortuga hadn’t despatched us the brand new Outbreaker to evaluate he wouldn’t have felt the necessity to improve. That stated, now that he has the Outbreaker, he wouldn’t need to return. If you’re out there for a brand new backpack, then go along with the Outbreaker.

Best carry on backpack: Tortuga Travel Backpack review

The previous Tortuga V2

Tortuga Outbreaker backpack review

The brand new Outbreaker

Tortuga Outbreaker 45L Backpack Particulars

Dimensions (cm): 56 x 36 x 23 cm
Dimensions (inches): 22 x 14 x 9 inches
Quantity: 45 litres
Weight: 2.three kg (5.1 lbs)
Color: Black
Value: US $249 (and free US delivery)

This evaluate is of the Outbreaker Journey Backpack 45L, which is the most important measurement. A 35L model can be out there and has the identical options.

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack Execs

Tortuga was created by travellers for travellers. Fred and Jeremy created the unique Tortuga backpack after being disillusioned with conventional mountaineering backpacks whereas travelling round Europe. They got down to create their excellent backpack and have since grown into an organization of 9 individuals who really perceive the wants of city travellers.

The Outbreaker is likely one of the few backpacks we’ve discovered that meets all of our necessities for long run and digital nomad journey.

Carry-on sized

The Outbreaker 45L is the utmost carry-on measurement that the majority airways permit. The oblong design maximises the quantity you possibly can tackle a airplane and makes it straightforward to pack, particularly should you use packing cubes like us. It’s very spacious and simply matches all of Simon’s stuff together with his intensive electronics assortment.

Simon has had no issues taking the Outbreaker on three flights in Europe to date (together with two finances airways) and his earlier Tortuga V2 got here on numerous flights in 14 nations, so we anticipate the identical with the brand new bag.


The Outbreaker is made out of Four-layer, waterproof sailcloth that gained’t scuff or tear and feels very sturdy. It’s extremely water resistant so that you don’t want a separate rain cowl.

The Outbreaker is a step up from the standard of the Tortuga V2, which we had been already impressed with. Simon used his earlier Tortuga for full-time journey for over two years and it barely confirmed any indicators of damage and tear. We anticipate the Outbreaker to final for a few years.

Padded hip belt

Tortuga Outbreaker backpack review:

The Outbreaker has a number of padding on the again and hipbelt

A padded hip belt is essentially the most troublesome function to seek out in a carry-on backpack, however we predict it’s crucial. The hip belt transfers the bag’s weight onto your hips and prevents again and shoulder ache. That is particularly essential should you journey with plenty of heavy electronics like we do.

The Outbreaker has a really sturdy hip belt, which mixed with the brand new suspension system makes it very comfy to hold even when Simon’s backpack weighs 11 kg. Though the Outbreaker is heavier than the Tortuga V2 it doesn’t really feel extra of a burden on his again.

Excellent Match

The Outbreaker has a peak adjustment system, which lets you alter the torso peak and discover your excellent match. That is nice for individuals with smaller torsos who discovered the earlier Tortuga too huge.

Entrance-loading like a suitcase

In contrast to conventional mountaineering backpacks that open from the highest and make it arduous to entry your stuff, the Outbreaker opens alongside all the entrance, like a suitcase. It’s a lot simpler to pack and hold issues organised.

Laptop computer sleeve

Tortuga Outbreaker backpack review:: the laptop sleeveThe fleece-lined laptop computer sleeve is situated in the back of the Outbreaker, near your physique for the most effective weight distribution. It matches laptops as much as 17-inches and there’s sufficient padding that you might most likely even skip a case. Simon packs his 15-inch MacBook Professional in a neoprene case first for additional safety and there’s loads of house for it.

In entrance of the laptop computer sleeve there’s a pill sleeve the place Simon shops his 12-inch iPad Professional.

The Outbreaker’s total electronics compartment will be unzipped and laid flat on the conveyor belt at airport safety. Apparently that is authorized by the TSA so that you just don’t must take away your laptop computer from the backpack. I’m undecided if this works in apply, as on the three flights we’ve taken with the Outbreaker (all in Europe) they had been fairly strict about eradicating your laptop computer, generally even from its sleeve.

Tortuga Outbreaker backpack review:: the electronics compartment opens flatOrganised

The backpack has a ton of pockets to organise all of your stuff. As Simon prefers utilizing packing cubes, he doesn’t use most of them, however they lie flat should you don’t want them. You may as well purchase a set of three Outbreaker packing cubes that match completely within the backpack. 

There are three sections within the Outbreaker, every accessed by a distinct zip on the high of the bag. This can be a little complicated till you be taught which part is which.

Entrance part

Tortuga Outbreaker backpack review:: the front sectionThe entrance part unzips half method and is designed for simple entry to small gadgets in transit. There’s a mesh pocket within the entrance, a zippered pocket on the again, and an organiser panel with small pockets for gadgets like your passport (though we all the time carry ours on our particular person), pens, playing cards, sun shades, and many others. Behind that there’s a fleece-lined part for an e-reader. There’s additionally a clip for keys.

Most important part

Tortuga Outbreaker backpack review: main sectionThe center primary part is the most important and unzips on three sides so it’s very easy to pack. There’s loads of house for Simon’s massive garments packing dice, electronics dice, footwear, toiletry case, journey towel, and AeroPress espresso maker.

There are a variety of pockets in the principle part—4 small pockets across the edges (Simon makes use of one for his arduous sun shades case) and two mesh compartments on the alternative aspect (helpful for soiled laundry or small gadgets). In case you don’t want them, they are often flattened so that they don’t take up house.

Electronics compartment

The electronics compartment is on the again and lies utterly flat. It matches a laptop computer and pill in separate sleeves (as described above). Reverse there are three mesh pockets for equipment like chargers, adapters, cables, and many others. (Simon prefers to make use of an electronics dice in the principle compartment as a substitute).

Exterior pockets

Tortuga Outbreaker backpack review:There are additionally quite a lot of pockets on the outside of the backpack. On the entrance there are two zippered pockets. The 2 stretch pockets on the edges match a water bottle, yoga mat or umbrella. The small pockets on the hip belt are designed to conveniently stash cash and keys when going by way of airport safety. Simon doesn’t use these pockets a lot aside from for tissue within the entrance pocket.

Easy design

We love that the Outbreaker has a easy, smooth, black design so it doesn’t stand out an excessive amount of.

Lockable zippers

We wish to lock our backpacks with a small mixture lock to stop opportunistic theft. All three compartments of the Outbreaker are lockable. You do want two locks to completely safe the backpack. The 2 entrance compartments are shut sufficient collectively to share a lock (or Simon retains the entrance compartment unlocked for simple entry) and also you’ll want a second lock for the electronics compartment on the again. Or you might select simply to lock your electronics compartment.

35L model out there

The 45L Outbreaker is right if you wish to pack the utmost attainable in your carry-on, however it’s too huge for some individuals, so I’m happy that Tortuga now affords the Outbreaker in a smaller 35L measurement. It replaces the previous Tortuga Air and has been upgraded with a hip belt, which was my primary concern with the Air.

The 35L has all the identical options of the 45L however is smaller (20.three x 12.9 x eight.2 inches), lighter (Four.6 lbs / 2.15 kg), and barely cheaper ($224).

Non-obligatory Equipment

Tortuga has simply launched a complete Outbreaker assortment with merchandise that flatter the principle backpack together with packing cubes, packable daypack and duffel luggage, and a moist/dry bag. 

Free Delivery

Tortuga affords free US delivery and if the backpack doesn’t work out for you after a check pack, return it unused inside 30 days for a full refund. Additionally they pay for the return delivery on US orders.

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack Cons


The improved construct high quality and organisation of the Outbreaker signifies that it’s considerably heavier than the Tortuga V2. At 2.three kg (5.1 lbs) the bag itself makes use of up a very good chunk of your carry-on weight allowance, particularly in locations like Asia the place allowances are a stingy 7 or eight kg.

In apply although this hasn’t been an issue. In seven years of travelling carry-on solely our backpacks have by no means been weighed, so we’ve managed to get away with them being chubby many occasions (extra tips about this right here).

Bigger than some airways permit

The Outbreaker is inside most airline’s allowed carry-on measurement, however it’s a number of centimetres over the dimensions allowed by some strict airways akin to Ryanair, which has a 55cm x 40cm x 20cm restrict. Now we have travelled on Ryanair a number of occasions with the Tortuga although and had no issues taking it on the airplane. We don’t discover airways to be that strict about measurement and weight in case you are travelling with a backpack which is much less seen than a rolling suitcase.


The Outbreaker prices $249, however your baggage is crucial merchandise you journey with, so we predict it’s well worth the funding and it’ll final for a few years.

Delivery is dear exterior the US

The backpack is simply out there from the Tortuga web site. In case you reside in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand or Asia delivery prices $30–55 and also you’ll additionally most likely must pay customs—we paid £35.95 for the Tortuga V2 sending it to the UK.

Tortuga Outbreaker Options

Osprey Farpoint 40

Osprey Farpoint 40 review: best carry-on backpack for digital nomads

Erin with the Osprey Farpoint 40

Though the Outbreaker is ideal for Simon, it’s too huge and heavy for my wants. I’ve been travelling for the final two and a half years with the Osprey Farpoint 40. At 38 litres and 1.three kg (2.87 lbs) it’s rather a lot smaller and lighter than the Outbreaker. There’s much less organisation and the laptop computer sleeve isn’t as properly designed as within the Outbreaker and it’s on the entrance of the bag. This works for me as I’ve a lightweight 11-inch MacBook Air, however for heavier laptops it’s extra comfy to hold the laptop computer closest to your physique. The Osprey Farpoint 40 does have a hip belt and is comfy to hold.

Though I’d look into the Outbreaker 35L once I’m subsequent in the marketplace for a backpack, for now the Osprey Farpoint 40 works properly. It’s value contemplating in order for you a smaller, less complicated and lighter backpack and also you aren’t travelling with plenty of heavy electronics. Learn my Osprey Fairpoint 40 evaluate right here.

Minaal Carry-On

Many digital nomads and long-term travellers find yourself selecting between Tortuga’s backpacks and Minaal’s. The Minaal is a classy carry-on backpack, however we wouldn’t take into account it as a result of it doesn’t have a hip belt (the flimsy add-on belt doesn’t look very comfy). It’s additionally a lot smaller than the Outbreaker at 35 litres and dearer at $299.

The variety of carry-on journey backpacks in the marketplace is rising however most miss options that we take into account vital like a hip belt, front-loading design, or lockable zippers. The Outbreaker and the Osprey Farpoint 40 are presently the one backpacks that meet all our wants as digital nomads travelling long run.

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack Abstract

Tortuga Outbreaker backpack review:Tortuga’s new Outbreaker journey backpack is a particularly well-designed bag that’s very best for anybody who desires to maximise the quantity they’ll journey with carry-on solely. It appears to be like nice and is spacious, sturdy, comfy, and has loads of organisation together with glorious safety on your laptop computer and pill. Simon wouldn’t need to journey with another bag.

You should purchase the Outbreaker backpack for $249 on the Tortuga web site.

Be taught Extra About Carry-On Solely Journey

In case you’d wish to be taught extra about easy methods to journey carry-on solely, see my ebook, The Carry-On Traveller: The Final Information to Packing Mild, which is obtainable for the Kindle or in paperback on Amazon US, Amazon UK or your native Amazon retailer.

You may as well see our carry-on solely packing listing for precisely what Simon matches inside his Outbreaker.

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A detailed review of the Tortuga Outbreaker backpack, one of the best carry-on backpacks, especially for digital nomads and long term travellers.

Disclosure: Tortuga despatched Simon the Outbreaker backpack for evaluate and this submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks, so if you buy by way of the hyperlinks we obtain a fee at no additional value to you (thanks on your help!). As full-time travellers our baggage is extraordinarily essential to us, so Simon wouldn’t nonetheless be travelling with the Outbreaker if he didn’t suppose it was the most effective carry-on backpack. 

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