Packable Luggage: The Tortuga Packable Daypack Review

the tortuga packable daypack review

There’s a new packable daypack on the market, and it’s the perfect middle ground between those cavernous ultralight sacks and the more structured, heavy day backpacks.

Meet the Tortuga Packable Daypack.

This little guy has been designed with some pretty cool features, yet still with enough ingenuity to make it a light, durable, and packable addition to one’s packing list. Packable by nature (it zips into its own pouch), it’s great for storing away when not in use, and perfect for daytripping around a city- or even to use as a carry-on!

Tortuga Backpacks (you might remember this backpack, and this one, too) sent me one of their packable daypacks several months ago, and I’ve found it a useful tool since, especially when I walk to the shops and have to bring back some groceries. And that, my friends, is another popular use for packable, stuffable bags when I travel- hitting up the markets and shops and bringing stuff “home.”

Let’s take a closer look at the Tortuga Packable Daypack.

tortuga packable daypack review front back

Tortuga Packable Daypack Features

Packability – This 20L daypack packs up into it’s own zipper pocket pouch to the size of 9 x 8.5 x 2″ (23 x 22 x 5 cm). The pouch does get a little bulky, but you can always choose to simply fold or stuff the bag into your luggage any which way you want. It’s not as small as my beloved Sea to Summit Ultra Sil daypack, but that bag has no structure or support whatsoever. It’s a different beast altogether.

Sea to Summit vs the Tortuga Packable Daypack
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack vs the Tortuga Packable Daypack

LightweightPacking light is the name of the game, and the Tortuga Packable Daypack weighs just 0.7lbs (0.32kg), which is pretty impressive considering the sturdy design.

Organization – Most packable daypacks lack real organization in the form of pockets and pouches, and this is where the Tortuga crushes the competition. On the outside, there are 3 mesh pockets. There is one main zippered compartment, and another smaller top zippered pocket that is perfect for putting those items you want to reach quickly such as tissues and lip balm.

Inside the Tortuga Daypack
The organization inside the Tortuga Packable Daypack

Inside the main zippered compartment, there is a large laptop pocket and several other smaller pockets for pens and other small bits and bobs. And just to make this even more amazing, they’ve even included a nice clip, perfect for attaching keys and the like.

Other features

  • Padded back: Thanks to a padded back, this bag has a bit more structure than other packable daypacks. It’s also padded with 3-dimensional mesh which helps to keep your back cool.
  • Chest strap: The chest strap helps to keep the shoulder straps in place, and the load against your body, for a more comfortable wear should your daypack get heavy and pull.

>> For more features, check out the Tortuga Packable Daypack on the official Tortuga site. Please note, we are a Tortuga affiliate, and if you make a purchase after clicking this link, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

What’s Good:

When I first mentioned this bag on Facebook a while back, one member of our page was curious as to whether or not there would be enough structure. Sometimes with light bags, it can be a little uncomfortable when you have just a jacket and a guide book for example. The book tends to go sideways and jab into your back, and the jacket can cause the bag to sag and pull away from the body.

I did some playing around with the Tortuga, and given the internal and external pockets, I was able to find a balance that kept this from happening by sliding the book in the laptop pocket or stuffing the jacket in one of the side pockets and a water bottle in the other. Basically, with all of the compartments and the slight bit of structure, this bag fared much better than other packable daypacks I’ve used.

For other good, see the points above.

Room for Improvement:

One thing that caught my attention, and it’s a small thing mind you, is that the straps can sometimes sit a bit funny on my shoulders and chest. If the load is light, then the straps can curl (instead of sit flat) given the small amount of elasticity built within. FIXED!- I had a sample version of the bag and this issue was corrected before being sold to the public. They’ve got this covered!

Final Thoughts:

Let’s get one thing straight. When you create something that is packable, you often lose out in some other area. If you want a packable daypack, you’ll most likely lose out on some comfort and a bit of structure. So if that’s what you’re looking for, then a packable daypack probably isn’t for you.

If you want convenience and a lightweight extra bag option, then yes, you might be in the market for a packable daypack. In that case, the Tortuga is a great option.

>> Head over to the Tortuga Backpacks website to read more about the Tortuga Packable Daypack.

Tortuga Packable Daypack

Written by Brooke

Brooke Schoenman runs the show at Her Packing List. Inspired from years of travel experience, Brooke decided there needed to be a travel gear site focused on the needs of a wandering female.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Fred Perrotta says

    Thanks for the review, Brooke. I’m glad you’re liking the bag.

    Your bag was an early sample. We fixed the “curling” issue before production, so your readers don’t have to worry about that problem if they buy a daypack.

  2. Elke says

    I have this bag! A backpack is VERY useful if you are on foot all day and carrying anything that is a little heavy to all the food and extra layers you want with you, or hiking as well! Always room for improvement but compared to similar packable daypacks that have a similar construction, this item is much softer and less ugly campy looking!

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