This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpacks. Today’s review comes from Chelsea.
I’m Chelsea of findingherplace.com. I began my 4 month round the world trip on March 1st and am currently traveling in India. Before this trip, my travel experience includes living in Ireland for one year (and I am moving back again later this year!) and traveling to a few European countries.
What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
Tortuga – V2 (Version 2) by Tortuga Backpacks. It retails for $200 USD.
>> Check out all Tortuga backpack options on their website. Yes, this is an affiliate link.
How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?
I bought my Tortuga in December 2013 and so far, I have only traveled with it to India – but it will travel with me to at least 5 other countries in the next three months. It will also come with me to Ireland later this year.
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?
Before this trip, I had never been on a proper backpacking trip. A few years ago, I had a home base in Ireland and traveled a bit around Europe with a massive suitcase (I have always been a major overpacker!!). I knew I wanted a backpack on this trip since I will be traveling off the beaten path. I also knew I wanted it to be carry-on sized and front/panel-loading. I definitely did not want a hiking/top loading pack because I wanted to be able to access everything in my pack quickly without taking everything out. I also wanted a padded hip belt. I researched for about 3 months before choosing my pack and once I found the Tortuga, it fit the bill perfectly and I knew it was the pack for me.
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
I love that it is carry-on sized, the padded hip belt, the pockets on the hip belt, the fact that you can cover the straps and convert it into a piece of luggage, all of the convenient pockets, the (strong) locking zippers, the extremely durable material and the style/look of it. There are absolutely no down sides. The only thing is that it does not come with a rain cover, but I don’t think that’s a big deal.
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
The Tortuga comes in one size and is designed to fit just about anyone. Since it has a very padded hip belt, it is comfortable and easy to adjust the weight onto your hips so you are not hurting your shoulders or your back. The mesh padding helps a lot for comfort.
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
Yes, absolutely! I had no problems taking the Tortuga on any of my 3 flights as a carry-on. This is one of the biggest reasons I chose the Tortuga.
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
Just right – it fits a lot more than what you might think (and this is coming from a major overpacker)!
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
Yes, 100%. Fred and Jeremy designed the Tortuga specifically for travelers – not hikers. They created an incredible product and a great bonus is the fact that they provide fantastic customer service.
Chelsea just finished her 4 months of travel (July 2014) and wanted to leave this additional feedback:
“The zippers are SO strong. They are truly unbeatable. I can honestly say almost every time I closed the bag, I struggled to close it because I had it filled to maximum capacity and the zippers held up for the whole trip and are still going strong.”
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