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This backpack is a masterpiece in design with pockets for everything you can think of, at least for the modern-day traveler. Pockets for every conceivable item is a hallmark of this backpack. Have sunglasses, passports, bottled water, pens, keys, or even coins? There is an easy-access pouch for all of these things.
The primary benefit of the Tortuga Carry-On Backpack is that it fits all of these things in an expandable backpack that does not weigh too much (even when empty, unlike other bags) and meets airline carry-on baggage requirements (yes, even those that seem to randomly change from airport to airport).
For me, this bag was ideal for long trips because it fit a large amount of stuff without feeling bulky or oversized. I am not a fan of backpacks because they make me feel hot, but this bag has an expandable compartment that gives it extra space while also providing a padded backing that allows for a bit of space to breathe without feeling the weight and heat of a large parcel against your back. It seems odd that other backpack manufacturers do not take that into consideration. Perhaps it is because they are designed for students to use within short distances at school rather than carrying hefty devices on long distances through airports and city centers.
I do think that the use of backpacks by business travelers is a bit silly as they look less professional than messenger bags and briefcases, but that seems to be the trend lately. Adding padded shoulder harnesses is a major step in giving more functionality to these bags. But, the reason that people get sweaty carrying backpacks is because they are usually not designed for lengthy and hefty use.
It is clear that this bag is designed for business travel and not student use. A padded compartment for laptops is the bag’s strongest suit (aside from its light weight), and small pouches for keys, coins, and pens are great additions. I especially appreciated the pocket that fit my iPhone and tablets perfectly so I could reach it easily rather than fish around through a larger pouch to find my smart phone. I also liked the fasteners that held together clothes and loose items within the main pouch. Also, the netted zipper compartment allows me to see what is held together in my luggage without surfing through everything to find what I need. The padded back compartment allowed me to breathe a bit when hauling this hefty bag through busy airports.
My favorite part of this bag is that there were separate pockets to keep laundry separated from my clean clothes. Okay, I lied, my favorite part is that the bag can expand when overstuffed. It is an exceptional companion for the frequent traveler and retails for $174 at the Tortuga Backpacks website.