Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack Review

Tortuga Outbreaker 35L Backpack Review

About Tortuga:

Tortuga was founded by childhood friends, Fred and Jeremy, after they took trip to Europe in 2009. They had a great trip but their luggage was a disaster. Thus began their mission to make travel easier and their endeavor to build a better travel backpack for everyone! Having the right travel backpack will help you focus on having a great trip.

When you buy a Tortuga backpack, you help young people travel abroad, often for the first time. Your purchase supports youth travel by funding the Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship and gap year grants in partnership with the Gap Year Association.

About Tortuga

Recommended for: Anyone looking for a premium carry on backpack that is comfortable and can handle most anything. From a weekend to a week long trip, this backpack truly is like having suitcase packability in backpack form!

tortuga outbreaker backpack review

Features and Specs from Tortuga:

  • Carry on sized
  • Obsessive organization
  • Thick, soft padding for comfort
  • Height-adjustable suspension system
  • Padded, removable hip belt
  • Laptop and tablet sleeves
  • Lockable zippers
  • Front loading
  • Premium weather resistance
  • Dimensions 20.3″ x 12.9″ x 8.2”
  • Volume 35L
  • Weight 4.6 lbs
  • Fit 16-19” torsos
  • Laptop up to 17” Macbook
  • Tablet 9.7”
  • Outer Material VX21 waterproof sailcloth
  • Padding Ariaprene foam
  • Zippers Weather resistant, lockable YKK zippers
  • Buckles Duraflex buckles
  • Made in China


Whether you’re traveling over the weekend or longer, the tortuga outbreaker backpack can easily handle your packing needs. I’ve often struggled with having to check a bag, even for weekend trips, and also carrying a small day pack as my carry on. Often times my hardcase roller suitcase is just too awkward to push around the airport as well. Plus I’ve found that some airlines usually make me check my roller suitcase even though it’s carry on sized!

Enter the tortuga outbreaker backpack, it’s large enough and has the organizational structure of a suitcase in backpack form. The outbreaker comes in 35L and 45L options, I chose the 35L as it’s the maximum size for international travel. The outbreaker has a thoughtful matte black color exterior made from waterproof sailcloth which is durable and provides superior wind and rain resistance, plus the diamond accents on the sailcloth add a nice touch to let you know it’s a premium piece. The YKK weather resistant zippers are lockable and have held up very well throughout my travels. I have a 42″ chest and the straps on the 35L work out great, it’s also configurable enough so that my wife can also wear this backpack while traveling, which is a huge win! One backpack for both of us to share, or who knows she may even get her own. The straps and waist belt are very comfortable and when the pack is fully loaded it’s still remains very comfortable to walk or hike in.

I’ve used the outbreaker to travel for a few weekend trips and also for a full week trip which included air travel. I was pleasantly surprised at the ease in which you can pack everything you need for your adventures in this backpack, it’s designed with function and form in mind, so that your clothing and all other travel items thoughtfully have a place. Toiletries, socks, shoes, laptop, iPad, cords, waterbottle(s), and so much more can fit into this bag easily.

The week long trip allowed me to fully load up the outbreaker with all of my essentials and my laptop. It weighed in at 41lbs. and was still comfortable walking around the Denver airport through security lines, and trains. You’ll still feel the weight, but it’s designed well and it distributes the weight where it should be, through my hips and legs and not focused on my back. The foam padding is thoughtfully placed in strategic areas around your shoulders, back and through the hip straps, so that you have a balanced level of comfort and a secure fit. I appreciated the 2 water bottle holders on each side of the pack, they fit all sorts of bottle sizes securely in place. The 35L outbreaker was perfect for a carry on as well, it fits easily within the specified airline regulations for a carry on, and I found I could either stow it in front of my feet, or as I preferred to put it in the overhead bin. It was awesome though to just have it with me and not wait to pick up a bag at the baggage claim, a huge win!

The weekend trips with the outbreaker were great as well. I packed less, yet I found I had more than enough room to pack in a few extra items and kept it lightweight. There is so much storage for extra cables for charging devices and the plush lining of the laptop and tablet compartments allowed me to bring both options even on my weekend adventures. The outbreaker has held up to car and airline travel with ease and I will be planning on using it for many, many years to come. It’s a travel backpack that will stand the test of time and really can’t be beat!

Overall Impressions:

If you are looking for a premium water resistant backpack that is easy to pack for a week (or even longer) trip or a weekend adventure, this backpack hits all the marks! It’s comfortable, has great storage, is thoughtfully designed and is very very durable. I highly recommend the Tortuga Outbreaker backpack.


  • Waterproof exterior and water resistant zippers
  • Very comfortable even when fully loaded up for a week trip
  • Great design and the matte black color is timeless
  • Easy to pack up with thoughtful compartments for different items
  • Great padding (Back, hips, shoulders, and straps)


  • none
Style:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Comfort:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Performance:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Overall:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

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