Tom Bihn Aeronaut vs. Tortuga Travel Backpack

 
 
 
TB0906_01b
 
9D89D7E0-8402-440C-855C-8364DD30D57F
Runner-up
 
Winner
 

8.4pts

 

9.4pts


 

Total

 

Solid construction and materials. Built to last a lifetime

Build

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

Because of being a no nonsense bag they manage to keep the bag very light

Packability

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

Covers all the basics and well thought through except for lack of a laptop sleeve

Functionality

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

Simple and yet stylish in its own way. Has a sort of elegance to it.

Originality

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

This is the most expensive bag in the Travel Backpack category. But get a bag to last a lifetime.

Value

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


The Tortuga's padded hip belt is the selling feature

reasons to travel with this

  • All around solid construction that holds up under rough travel conditions
  • Great YKK lockable zippers that function well and don’t get stuck or hard to open
  • The sturdy handles on three sides make it easy to quickly grab from any angle
  • Straps stow away which help it keep from getting tangled in overheads or when checked
  • Much lighter than many of the other bags reviewed
  • The large opening allows for easy access to all contents
 
  • 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
  • There is no laptop sleeve which can complicate when packing time comes
  • Both the hip-strap and the shoulder strap are extra costs
  • Not much organization, Tom Bihn recommends buying packing cubes (though it seems that all those who did buy packing cubes say they would never go back to packing without them!)
 
  • 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: 2lb7oz-3lb1oz (1095-1395grams)
  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9in (555 x 355 x 230mm)
  • Materials:1050 Denier Ballistic Nylon
  • YKK zippers
 
  • 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

The interesting thing about the Tom Bihn Aeronaut is that it is hard to find negative reviews for it. With few exceptions, the people who own it, love it! Tom Bihn has a proven track record of making high quality bags. Though the price tag is a little higher than the other bags, you know you are getting quality in your purchase. This bag is incredibly versatile and could be taken on a whole range of trips from business to pleasure. For the traveler wishing to invest in a bag to last for many years then the Tom Bihn Aeronaut is my recommendation.

 

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 "Tom Bihn Aeronaut" & "Tortuga Travel Backpack."


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