Patagonia Transport MLC 40L vs. Tortuga Travel Backpack

 
 
 
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9D89D7E0-8402-440C-855C-8364DD30D57F
Runner-up
 
Winner
 

7.4pts

 

9.4pts


 

Total

 

Thought it has high quality materials throughout, the execution of the construction is not as thorough as it might be (mainly the zippers)

Build

Solid construction and high quality materials. Has proven to hold up over time

How heavy is it? Just a little bit heavier than the average weight of those in the carry-on travel backpack category

Packability

How heavy is it? Slightly heavier than other bags due to padded hip-belt (worth the extra weight)

Functions great in briefcase mode and comes with an included shoulder strap.

Functionality

Designed for traveler, by travelers this bag includes many features that just make sense

I am not really wowed by it, mainly because the zippers seem dangly and take away from the general aesthetics of the bag

Originality

All around this bag has been well thought through and is hard to compete with

Price wise it is very reasonable and right in the middle range compared to the others in the carry-on travel backpack category

Value

This bag is not the cheapest, but also not the most expensive. It is a great price for what it delivers


reasons to travel with this

  • Magazine pocket with zipper that turns into sleeve to slide onto the top of roller bags
  • One of the few bags that has a padded shoulder strap included
  • Great organizational pockets
  • Inside is intentionally a brighter color to help find items faster
  • Laptop pocket is well positioned for ideal weight balance and quick access
  • Straps stow away which help it keep from getting tangled in overheads or when checked
 
  • The heavily padded hip-belt transfers 80% of the weight off your shoulders
  • Straps stow away which help it keep from getting tangled in overheads or when checked
  • Lockable YKK zippers keeping your items safe
  • Laptop sleeve close to back allowing for good weight distribution
  • Two internal mesh pockets double as compression straps (in addition to external compression straps)
  • Quick access pockets (laptop, documents, drink holder, and more)

things to consider

  • Because of lack of weight bearing hip-belt all the weight is on shoulders
  • Zippers though YKK are designed poorly and are difficult to lock (laptop pocket only has one zipper making impossible to lock)
  • Hideaway clips for backpack straps are very stiff and difficult to use
  • Not as many reviews of product to fully appreciate its full functionality and quality
 
  • Does not have a shoulder strap specifically for “briefcase mode"
  • Looks a little “clunkier” than some of the other options
  • External compression straps provide stability but don’t really help to compress the backpack further
  • A little heavier than the other backpacks in this category (mainly due to padded hip-belt)
  • Not recommended for smaller frames (if under 5’3 consider Osprey Farpoint)

notable features and specs

  • Volume: 45L
  • Weight: 3.2lbs (1.43kg)
  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 14x x 8in
  • Materials: 900 Denier Polyester 12
  • Holds laptops up to 17" in padded sleeve
 
  • Volume: 44L (2,685 cu. in.)
  • Weight: 3.65lbs (1.66kg)
  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9" (56 x 36 x 23 cm)
  • Materials: Body: 1680D ballistic nylon; Lining: 70D ripstop polyester
  • Holds laptops up to 17"
  • YKK zippers
  • Duraflex buckles

get it now



Brief Thoughts

With the included shoulder strap, solid organizational pockets, and general look and feel, this reminds me of a large briefcase style bag. The many organizational pockets give this backpack an advantage over some of the others and similar to the other bags in this carry-on travel backpack category, it has stow away backpack straps that can be used in a pinch. The main frustration with the bag seems to be with the zippers that although they are high quality don’t lock and all around don’t function effectively.

 

The Tortuga backpack was created by two travelers who couldn’t find the perfect backpack, so they made it. One of the biggest selling features is the padded hip-belt which beats the competing bags hands down. Though it does add some additional weight to the bag and make it look a little clunkier, it is essential for comfort because any backpack large enough to handle more than a weeks worth of travel can get heavy and exhaust your shoulders. Because this backpack was made “for travel, by travelers" it contains many well thought out features that many other competing travel backpacks missed. From laptop sleeve to quick access pockets (along with reasonable price tag) this travel backpack takes the lead.


in summary

I ultimately recommend the Tortuga Travel Backpack because of its padded hip-belt which transfers weight from your shoulders to your hips. Regardless of how much you plan, traveling is unpredictable. You never know when you are going to be stuck carrying your bag for long periods of time and its nice to have that weight off your shoulders



PS. We did the research so you don't have to. The sources for our research used to make this resource available to you are posted at the bottom of the original product reviews for "Patagonia Transport MLC 45L" & "Tortuga Travel Backpack."


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