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Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

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Tortuga Outbreaker Review: Best One Bag Travel Backpack of 2020

Best One Bag Travel Backpack of 2020

  • Organization 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Price: $299

Weight: 5.1lbs (1.7kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

What We Like: Laptop and electronics storage pocket, harness system.

What We Don’t: Boxy shape and material aesthetic. 

The Tortuga Outbreaker may not look as aesthetically pleasing as the Tortuga Setout, but it has one of the more impressive laptop pockets on our list. The easy to access laptop pocket with additional cable storage is very easy to pack and access, which is a big win in this category. With a waterproof outer material, waterproof zippers, and one of the most comfortable harness systems in the group, it was easy to select the Outbreaker as the Best One BagTravel Backpack of 2020. 

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Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker
  • Organization 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Laptop and Electronic Storage Pocket

Harness System

Cons

Boxy shape

Material Aesthetic

Weight: 5.1lbs (1.7kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Setout - Gear Hacker
  • Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 90% 90%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Slim Design

Can Accommodate a 17” Laptop.

Cons

Looks Like a Suitcase with Backpack Straps.

Weight: 3.9lbs (2.4kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 100% 100%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Zipper Security Systems

Price

Cons

Top Loading

Weight: 2.6lbs (1.17kg)

Dimensions: 21x14x8.25” 

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 17”

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  • Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Security 70% 70%
  • Laptop Protection 60% 60%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Great Harness System

Internal Storage

Cons

Laptop Sleeve Location

Weight: 3.17lbs (1.44kg)

Dimensions: 21x14x9”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

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  • Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Multiple Access Points

Stow Away Harness System

Cons

Price

Weight: 3.42lbs (1.55kg)

Dimensions: 21x14x9”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

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  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Made for Travel and Outdoor Adventures

Cons

Limited Organization

Boxy

Weight: 5.15lbs (2.34kg) 

Dimensions: 22x14x9”

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 15”

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  • Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Security 60% 60%
  • Laptop Protection 70% 70%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Internal Organization

Durable Material

Cons

No Frame

Awkward Straps

Weight: 3.4lbs (1.5kg)

Dimensions: 22.75x18x6.75”

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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  • Organization 100% 100%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Adjustable Hipbelt

Good Company Values

Cons

Thin Harness System

Weight: 3.5lbs (1.6kg)

Dimensions: 20x12x8”

Capacity: 35l

Laptop Size: 15”

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  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 80% 80%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Shoe Compartment

Slim Design

Cons

Small Size

Hipbelt Sold Separately

Weight: 3.7lbs (1.69kg)

Dimensions: 21.5x13.5x8.5”

Capacity: 33l

Laptop Size: 15”

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  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 70% 70%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Waterproof

Water Bottle Pocket

Cons

Odd External Material Set Up

Weight: 4.5lbs (2.05kg)

Dimensions: 21x13x6.5” (expands to 7.5”)

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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  • Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Included Rain Cover

Laptop Suspension System

Cons

Harness Stowing System

Weight: 3.12lbs (1.415kg)

Dimensions: 21.6x13.7x7.87”

Capacity: 35l

Laptop Size: 16”

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  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 70% 70%
  • Laptop Protection 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Looks Great

Waterproof Material

Cons

Hard to Organize

Limited Pockets

Weight: 3.3lbs (1.5kg)

Dimensions: 20x15x8”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

There is a good reason that both of Tortuga’s one bag travel backpacks made it onto this review list. They’re both excellent, period. The Outbreaker is Tortuga’s more expensive option compared to the Setout, sitting at $299. The $100 dollar difference for some may not be as worth it, but read on for the breakdown of the main differences. These differences are what helped catapult the Outbreaker to the status of Best One Bag Travel Backpack of 2020 on our list.

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

First off, on Tortuga’s website, they call the Outbreaker their “PRO” travel backpack. What did Shakespeare say? What’s in a name? The Outbreaker is only made in a uni-sex format, as there are no different gender fits. Though, the backpack still comes in a 45l and a 35l version. Both are carry-on compliant, though the 35l will guarantee no hassles on any airlines. The 45l will be carry-on compliant just about everywhere else, but it is important to ensure that your pack dimensions are suitable for the airline of your choosing. Some local planes may struggle to accommodate a packed 45l bag as a carry-on. There is nothing worse than thinking you’re all set for one pack travel, realizing you’ll have to check your bag, and only being able to read your ebook on your phone instead of yournow under the planee-reader.

Storage

The Tortuga Outbreaker has a similar set-up organization-wise to the Setout. The main compartment has a clamshell opening and four zippered organization sleeves on the inside. Along the front of the pack are two thin zippered pockets for small items or documents, and along the side, there are dual water bottle pockets.

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

On the top of the pack is a half zip pocket that allows for excellent storage of smaller items like your passport, camera, sunglasses, among others. It is a handy pocket that keeps the “important” things easily accessible and out of the main compartment. The dual removable hip belts also include zippered storage for items you want to access often, such as a phone or snacks.

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

Laptop Sleeve

Inside of the laptop sleeve, which is a full zip “flat opening,” there are three zippered storage pockets for cables and electronic gear. I really enjoyed this pocket, as I knew everything that had to do with my phone/ tablet/ laptop was in there and well organized. I was able to leave my standard electronic organization booklet at home.

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

The laptop sleeve will accommodate up to a 17” laptop and a 9.7” tablet. As well as the added storage for the cables and adapters or whatever you’re taking on your next adventure. The padding throughout the pocket is good, and with the pocket closest to your back, it has the added security of a human body to help cushion any impacts.

Comfort and Harness System

The Outbreaker was built to be a one-stop-shop for one bag travel backpacks, which includes being able to go on hikes in the great outdoors away from fancy Parisian coffee shops or a meander through the hustle of downtown Tokyo. With Ariaprene foam padding, the same foam that may be in your favorite gym shoes, this backpack is comfortable. The shoulder straps and backpanel both use this foam for all-around comfort, and the hipbelt is padded and large enough to comfortably distribute weight to your waist.

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

Under a fully loaded pack with a week’s worth of clothing and a stocked electronics pocket, the Outbreaker is extremely comfortable. It is able to direct weight to your waist and will make for a very good companion while hiking uphill to your next hostel in Cusco, Peru. The backpack also has load lifters and a sternum strap to help with cargo management. 

Security and Material

Tortuga opted to go for the burly YKK lockable zippers on their pack, and these zippers are also weather-resistant to help keep moisture out of your pack. Along with the strong Duraflex buckles on the compression straps and harness, the outer material of the backpack is made with VX21 waterproof sailcloth, and this four-layer set up is almost perfect for waterproofing and excellent durability. The sailcloth also increases the pack’s rigidity, so it won’t sag when under packed, which is something that can be quite annoying for travelers.

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

The trade-off for the highly durable material shows up in the weight. The Outbreaker 45l is 5.1lbs, and that’s very heavy for a 45l one bag travel backpack. The 35l is 4.6lbs, which isn’t much better. That being said, the weight is not a massive issue if you are simply using the pack to get you from one hotel to the next.

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

The Tortuga Outbreaker is one of the closest things you will get to a one bag travel backpack that could also hold up in a backcountry setting. Now, it is made for the airport with the backcountry as a slight afterthought, but it would hold its own out there. With that mix of travel efficiency and backpacker comfort and durability, the Outbreaker was an easy choice as the Best One Bag Travel Backpack of 2020. 

Even Tortuga admits on their website that the Outbreaker is not the sexiest one bag travel backpack on the market, but it is as functional as they come. The 45l version of the Outbreaker is $299, and yes, that is slightly expensive. When considering the material they sourced and the durability it provides, however, this pack will be around longer than we will. The well constructed and crafted backpanel and harness system is also one of the better crafted that I have seen while conducting these reviews.

Best Travel Backpacks: Tortuga Outbreaker - Gear Hacker

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