Tortuga Homebase Travel Backpack Review (for Digital Nomads, Minimalist Packers, and One Baggers)


– Alright, got a really
special announcement for you. The Tortuga Homebase
collection is launching today and I’ve had the opportunity
to be testing this pack out. This is the Homebase Backpack. I’ve been testing it
for about the last month so gonna share the
observations with you guys that we’ve come up with
here at Pack Hacker. So, let’s check it out. [upbeat music playing] Look at that Peak Design bag back there. We’re going to do that next. That’s what we’re going
to be looking at today, Tortuga backpack. Alright, so here is
what Tortuga has to say about the Homebase collection
directly from their website. They say, “Carry the
essentials for travel and work. The Homebase travel backpack is ideal for digital nomads, minimalist
packers, and one baggers.” Does it live up to that claim? We’re going to check it out. And one more thing to mention. They do have another duffle pack that they have in this same collection. So we’ve just been taking a look at the backpack here but maybe take a look at that too if you’re
more of a duffle person. [upbeat music playing] So the Tortuga Homebase
Backpack was designed with lightweight and
minimalist travelers in mind. The bag itself comes in at 2.3 pounds which is pretty light. It also comes with a .7 pound packing cube that you can remove or use if you like, so it’s going to be a
total of three pounds for that whole package. The shape and size of this bag feels like it sits slightly higher
than others on the market and that’s gonna do a
couple of things for you. One, if you’re a shorter person, it’s going to work on a
smaller frame which is great. That weight is going to
feel a little bit higher up on your back and it’s
almost like you can lean back and take a quick snooze
on the top part of the bag because it does tend to
stick up a little further than other packs. So the bag is made out of sailcloth which we think is a pretty great look. You can see here that
it’s sort of blending into this couch and we find it to be a pretty good material. It has some really
great weather resistance and paired with the weather
resistant YKK zippers, it works decently at repelling
moisture and weather. So we tested this pack in the shower because we’ve been too lazy to wait for it to rain here in Austin, Texas. Who knows, it could be
weeks before it rains again. Now is this really a fair test? Well, not exactly, you’re
hardly ever going to run into that much rain when you’re outside. It’s going to be hard to
see that much moisture, but we wanted to try to
illustrate the point to you. So the first test, we just
stuck this into the shower for about a minute and
kind of spun it around. The outside definitely got wet, but the inside was completely dry. So for the next iteration,
I just popped this thing on and took a shower with it basically for 10, 12 minutes, which is weird. Who showers with backpacks anyways? But you can see there that
the towels inside got soaked so water did make it through here, a lot of water pressure from the shower kind of pushing onto it
and water did get inside. Alright, so let’s move
into some of the external components of the pack. [upbeat music playing] You can see here that
we have three handles on three sides of this
thing, which is really great and is versatile if you need to grab it from wherever the pack ends up being and they’re really nice. You also may notice that at the top here we have two handles and
one is kind of positioned in the middle for grabbing,
and another is unpadded and it’s a hook so you can hang that up. You know, maybe if you’re at the airport, go into the bathroom and
you want to hang this up, keep it off the grimy floor where there’s probably piss all over the place. Yeah, it’s good for that and
it sits flush with the wall or the door so that’s really great. The only side that does
not have a handle is the side with the water
bottle pocket on there. So it’s a lay flat, it doesn’t stick out. It’s not made out of some ugly mesh just kind of hanging
out of the pack, right, when you’re not using it. But that side does not have a handle on it which is completely fine. The straps are firm and padded and the holes on them
are kind of reminiscent of early Nike Air technology
or something like that. There’s also the clips at the bottom where you can detach
these straps from the pack and stow them away to put
the bag into briefcase mode which is basically you’re just holding a backpack from the side handle. It’s not a briefcase. Again, I mention this in every video. So we think that’s a
little bit unnecessary. If you want to use a
backpack, yes it’s going to have straps on it. If you want to buy a
duffle, go for that too. One thing to note on the
durability of these straps and even though this is a
first look at this thing, we’ve already noticed some
fraying on these sides of this. So there’s some fraying going on and we’ve been using this
pack for about a month so we’d be curious to see how it holds up. Make sure to head over the Pack Hacker.com and we’ll always keep that
Usage Timeline updated as we use these products
for longer periods of time. Alright, so the back side of the pack, nobody is ever going to see this, but you are going to feel it every day, every second when you’re
wearing this thing. And I really like how
firm these backpads are. They actually provide some
true ventilation for you and it’s actually made out
of Ariaprene or Ariaprene. Again, got the laptop, gonna
read the definition here. “Decomposable, recyclable,
and hypo-allergenic nontoxic synthetic rubber.” [crickets chirp] I don’t really care what any
of that means personally. I just care how it feels on my back and these are great. [upbeat music playing] Alright, so moving on to
the inside of the pack. The first thing you’ll
notice is that there is not really any lining on this thing. It’s just basically the sailcloth so that was an intentional
design move from Tortuga. It keeps the bag nice and lightweight and adds that nice weather proofing that you’ll see with the pack. The zippers on the main
clamshell go way down, all the way down so you can
really open this thing up. They actually go down
further than most other bags which is interesting. There’s just a little
bit of a tab holding this thing together, so you can open it way up. The pack also comes with
an included packing cube which is double sided so
you put your clean clothes in one side, keep the dirty in the other, keep them separated from one another. Sweet! We did find the size of
the packing cube to be a little bit cumbersome. So when this thing is full,
there’s only a little bit of space on the sides
and a tiny bit on the top and it’s kind of weird to utilize. So if you do use that packing cube, we recommend, you know, planning
to put everything in there. However, you know, it’s easily removable. You can take it out, you
can use other packing cubes, or you can just pack it
like a normal backpack. So a bit of a knock but it’s
not that big of an issue in the grand scheme of things. The front half-zip compartment
is another win for this pack. You can see we have this clip on the top which is good for holding keys. We have a mini flashlight
here and a couple of different multi-tools
that we’ve put on. You’ll get another zip pocket that’s good for electronic items or any other things that you just want to keep organized, and then a little bit of
an organizer type system. You can put three pens in there and a couple of credit cards. And then on the side you
can put your passport in, fits just write without a case. So if you have a super
thin case, it might work, but I have a little bit of a thicker one and it ends up not fitting in there so just know that you’ve got to put your passport in there naked if you want to toss it in that compartment or use it for something else. And then there’s also this
mesh kind of pocket on top just to put more stuff
in, maybe some glasses. Maybe you’ve got a battery
pack for your phone. Anything can go in there too. And two more things to
note on this front pocket. We noticed a little bit of fraying and loose threads where the logo connects to the rest of the pack and we also found that there’s a slight
annoyance with the length of the zipper pulls in the
main clamshell compartment. If you’re just trying to
get into this front pocket, you can see here that it’s actually a little bit annoying
that these zipper pulls kind of get in the way of that zip since they are so close together. And yes, there’s a padded
laptop compartment here that is closable by Velcro with a decently sturdy frame sheet. You can see we’re bending
it around a little bit. And there’s also a little half pocket where you could put a
tablet of your choice. One little other funny
thing to mention is that we found about 16 logos on this thing so Tortuga is serious
about their branding. There is no question that
this bag was made by Tortuga. If you notice more than 16,
let us know in the comments and we would love to hear what we missed. But wow, 16 logos. Look at that. Alright, so a couple of
pros to wrap this thing up. This thing is lightweight and minimal. It has a low profile and is a good size for one bag travel. Between the front pocket that organizes all your tech and the
double-sided packing cube, a lot of thought went into making this bag correct for digital nomads
and frequent travelers. So a lot of the people
at Tortuga are living the same lifestyle. They definitely had the opportunity to think through a lot of this stuff from a design perspective and they got a lot of things right. The combination of the
sailcloth with the weather- resistant, lockable YKK zippers makes this thing pretty weather proof. So again,
don’t go out in a monsoon. Don’t go into a pool unless
it’s exclusively filled with pool noodles or inflatable things to keep you afloat. But it’s going to do well for you if you’re just bumping around the city and it ends up starting to rain on you, you don’t have to pull out a rain fly. It’s going to keep everything
you know, pretty safe inside your pack. So some of the cons of this bag because no pack is perfect. We did notice a little bit of fraying on a couple of areas of the pack and the main one being that mesh on the shoulder strap that’s kind of starting to fray off. So we’re personally curious
how this will hold up as it’s used for longer
and the durability of it. Again, head over to
Pack Hacker.com for this review, and we have our Usage
Timeline where we’ll tell you how long and how well something is lasting as we use it for longer. The packing cube is nice to have and thoughtfully designed, but it takes up an awkward size within the bag allowing you to not really utilize that extra space. And lastly, the hideaway
pocket for the straps seems a little unnecessary to us, but again, your mileage may vary. I’m curious to see what
else they could have done with that space had it not been for stowing away your straps. Maybe you could have made that
main clamshell compartment a little bit bigger. Maybe they could have dedicated
it to a different feature. Alright, thanks for joining
us and taking a look at the Tortuga Homebase Backpack. Again it just launched today at the time of posting this video. So be sure to go over to Pack Hacker.com, check out the full
review, and also sign up for that newsletter,
packhacker.com/newsletter and never miss an update. Thanks for checking this out. We’ll see you in the next one. There’s 16 logos on this bag! 16! It’s crazy! There is hardly any lining on the inside. It’s basically just that sailcloth. Is it though? Is it though? Yes, okay. [shower sound] [upbeat music playing]

43 thoughts on “Tortuga Homebase Travel Backpack Review (for Digital Nomads, Minimalist Packers, and One Baggers)

  1. Looks like a very interesting bag, with a number of good features.  Nice internal pockets.  Durability will be key, at that selling price, imo.  Material stay pliable in cold conditions?!

  2. who does shower with a backpack? you do!
    Thanks for taking the effort to really show how waterproof this is. Super helpful!!!

  3. Excellent detailed review! Looks like a very light weight bag which is a real plus when full of your personal gear. Also looks like they used a rip stop nylon in the pocket area. Is the outside main sail clothe material rip stop?I also like the versatility of the structure of the bag. Just enough structure, but has the agility to conform to the ones personal contents!

  4. Sad to see the shoulder pads fraying already. Ironically the people they are designing the bag for most likely use them every day and will be hard on them. I'd be disappointed if it did that after a year of use, but one month? I have to admit I like having the option of tucking shoulder pads away. Not for using it as a briefcase, but when I get to the gate, I tuck them away and it makes boarding the plane so much easier. I don't have to worry about shoulder and hip pads getting caught on armrests when I'm walking through the aisle.

  5. Love your channel, love your style… but please spit off this ugly chewing-gum when you're doing videos 🙁
    I would be pleased to get reviews from you about other bags' styles for traveling (I think about cycling bags such as Mission Workshop Rambler/ Vandal for example, or also vintage leather stylish bags such as Whipping Post duffels for example).
    I would also be pleased to have some hacks about one-bag-challenge and commuter bag… how do you carry your daily personal stuffs!?? I dream to travel with only one bag but during the day, I have my gimbal, my scarf, my wallet, my sunglasses, sometimes my film camera… cannot plan to wear a cargo trousers… :p

  6. Torrrtugaaa! Great review! Since I'm a GR1 owner, I could see the benefits of owning a bag like this; every little bit counts. "In order to shave pounds, you have to cut ounces."

  7. This was (is?) a contender for my next bag. But the fraying and lack of hip belt are niggling me. Also, is the packing cube made out of the same material as the rest of the bag? It that had straps that would be great. Good video. Impressed you have a timeline- I'll check it out.?Ta.

  8. I think the straps are good as I can walk into a meeting or hotel reception and not look like I've just got my old school bag. 16 logos? Oh dear…

  9. I think the primary reason for straps tucking away is for storage purposes, if you were forced to check it or even store it in an overhead bin. It is much nicer with the straps tucked in so they dont get caught on everything,

  10. Hey! Tom the founder of Pack Hacker here. We just launched a guide to help choose the best travel backpack for YOU. Take a look and let me know what you think! https://packhacker.com/guide/best-travel-backpack/

  11. As always, great review. Will you be doing a review of the Nomatic Travel Bag or Pack?? I️ managed to get my hands on one but would love to hear what your team thought of it!

  12. Hey Tom, do you recommend this, the Arcido Akra, or the Aer Travel Pack if you want a one bag for short travel + daily carry? For height comparison, I am 5'6"

  13. Would you be able to use only this bag to do a 21 day trip with plan to do laundry once or twice through out the trip i will be carrying.. 1 laptop 1 go- pro (+ accessories)…
    Also I will not be using this to carry everyday while I sight see I will either pack a small day pack or I will just buy one in every city I go if packing is not and option….
    Would love any feed back thanks man!

  14. Hey Tom, the strap hideaway is to make it easier to carry on a plane aisle and stowing under the seat or up in the overhead

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