So when Tortuga asked me to test their Tortuga Setout daypack, I was curious. A personal item is perfect for inflight snacks, headphones, an ereader, a light jacket, or any medications you might need. If you’re seated in the middle or window seat, you can get anything you need without having to disturb the other passengers in your row.
I have one issue with the travel backpack that I can’t seem to solve. I don’t know if it’s just my posture, but the left shoulder strap keeps slipping off. For minimalist packers, you could pack enough for 1-2 days of travel. The mesh pockets reduce the need for packing cells as you can use them to separate your personal effects and toiletries.
This one focuses more on business travellers and those who don’t need as larger backpack. However if you know how to pack less you could certainly use this bag for longer trips. In my case I was able to fit my full currently packing list of gear into this bag comfortably without any trouble. Which also fit into a 30L bag, so it’s a very capable bag indeed.
This main area opens from the sides much like a suitcase, so you can lay the backpack horizontally on a table or hotel bed and get everything you need right away. Setout Packed With Tortuga CubesThe Main compartment is much deeper than the Setout Cubes. The backpack is actually quite deep, and even when I put my fully packed Eagle Creek cube in here, I still have a little extra room on top to fit my jacket. Tortuga Compared to Eagle Creek CubesThe larger one, compared to my Eagle Creek Cube is about half the thickness. Just for reference, I put one pair of jeans, two long sleeve shirts in the Setout Cube, and it’s completely full. When I can fit more than double that in my Eagle Creek Cube.
The main compartment is huge and the way it unzips on three sides makes it super easy to access every corner. Even with my overload of clothes and five pairs of shoes (including fleece-lined winter boots!) I could fit everything in easily. Unlike on most backpacks, this is more than large enough to hold our one-litre Vapur water bottle and has come in really useful. The Setout has a robust padded hip belt that takes the load off and makes it comfortable to carry, even when Simon’s backpack weighs 11 kg . Simon travelled full-time with a Tortuga backpack for five years and with each new release, their backpacks got better and better.
I struggled with carrying a side strap bag on my two-week trip to Colombia and Peru back in September, and vowed never to do that again. So for my most recent trip, I tried out the new Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack. I’m glad this was left out, as there is simply no need for a waist belt on a bag of this size. If you are looking for a daypack that balances your tech savvy requirements with frequent travel, especially air, then this is the backpack for you. Easy to access from the backseat of my car.The top and side padded handle can help with lifting and carrying and lets you easily take it out from underneath the seat and throw it on your back.
The final consideration for a personal item is whether you plan to fly on a basic economy fare. Basic economy is a new fare class with lower prices but more restrictions including on your luggage. Most basic economy fares will only allow you to bring a personal item, no carry ons. Your only bag must fit underneath the seat ahead of you. Most airlines’ basic fares allow for one carry on and one personal item. But speaking of those features, they are really well-thought-out and we actually love the organization itself—just not how you get to it.