I hear stuff about Tortuga and Minaal, although I’m myself using a fake Chinese one I bought here in Bali.
What do you currently have and what’s the best?
2017 UPDATE: I made a gear page now:
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I hear stuff about Tortuga and Minaal, although I’m myself using a fake Chinese one I bought here in Bali.
What do you currently have and what’s the best?
2017 UPDATE: I made a gear page now:
Useful topic. Any updates? I’m thinking about Seoul Large Laptop Backpack - True Blue Without that ape-toy is stops being a female backpack and have a lot of positive reviews on Amazon
Minaal looks expensive and it with Tortuga don’t have a safe place for sunglasses.
Nooooo that ape toy is cute! We always had Kipling’s with that toy in high school.
I don’t take it off as well but in case it bothers someone. I use my previous Kipling backpack about 15-20 years and it’s still ok, quality is super (I’ve also bought recently their crossbody bag and almost love it). But the old backpack wasn’t made for laptop. So i’m not sure if modern backpack, e.g. Seoul, good enough in back and shoulders support. If it’s supposed to carry for long distances.
Eighteen month review of the Pelican S100 as a digital nomad here: http://nonprofitable.org/pelican-s100-backpack-eighteen-month-review/
TL;DR: Like a couple of folks posted above, I end up using this mostly on city-to-city travel. It’s awesome as airline carry-on, and awesome for longer motorcycle trips or when I have an absolutely critical project I’m working on where I can’t afford even a couple of days’ downtime (i.e. when I really need that insanely waterproof / bulletproof hard case for the laptop).
For days out, working from a coffee shop, or traveling inside a city, it’s heavy. Even in the middle of a Calcutta or Goa monsoon, even if I’m also on a bike and getting wet, I’m more likely to toss the Chromebook in a waterproof camping sack and put that into a super-light, disposable nylon backpack than lug the Macbook around in the Pelican.
Still a good buy, overall. I do a lot of city-to-city travel, so this is going to get a ton of use, and after a year and a half of intense abuse, I’m pretty sure it’ll out last my Macbook (or my next three Macbooks) easily.
Dirt cheap, good reviews:
A little surprised no one has mentioned the Tom Binh Synapse 25L. I’m convinced it’s the best backpack on the market for carry-on travelers.
I travelled 2.5 years with a Macpac Genesis. It’s a 55L hybrid (hiking and backpacking) bag with attachable 18L daypack. I kept the daypack detached pretty much the whole time. Super comfortable, padded, durable (special Aztec fabric) and waterproof.
Macpac is a New Zealand brand so really only available for those in the Southern Hemisphere, but they are absolute top quality IMO (although you pay for it). Next trip I’m gonna get a smaller Macpac as I got sick of carrying a bag this big, but going from hot to cold temperatures I needed it as I had to carry a lot of stuff, snow shoes, etc.
What do you think about this new Daily Backpack « Bobby, the Best Anti Theft backpack by XD Design »
It seems a nice enough bag But some of the stats on their campaign are a bit weird. The % of British rail pickpocketings that occur on the Underground, how is that relevant?
That’s a pretty nice backpack! Doesn’t meet my needs for a daypack (my backpack doubles as both a laptop bag or a hiking daypack) and doesn’t look like it would work for when I’m traveling (90L on the back, laptop bag in front).
Still, for ~$100 that’s a pretty nice looking bag! I’m rather fond of the USB powerbank port.
I am 6’3 (and a hair) and I tried both
The Osprey was too small for me physically. It held a decent bit, but I’m a solid L and drifting into XL for bag sizing. The Farpoint only comes in S/M and M/L, so the torso was too small and the hipbelt didn’t fit in the right spot. I even tried making it work because I loved the idea of the daypack clipping to the front of my pack. It was just too uncomfortable for even a few minutes, let alone long treks.
The Tortuga was incredibly comfortable, fit properly, and is very well padded. Unfortunately, once I added my photo gear (of which there’s 4 lenses and a tripod), gadgets, sleep sack, and laptop, I had pretty little room for clothing. This would be a great bag if I wasn’t doing photography, or wasn’t trying to double use this bag for some backpacking (rather than just going town to town). Then because I wanted to add some camping, it was further pushed out of my use case.
So I ended up going with an REI 85XT and blowing away the whole “1 carry-on bag” attempt. It just sucks because it guarantees a checked bag on every flight.
I may very well find myself going back to a Tortuga if I go full digital nomad rather than backpacker who has a tech job.
Just out of interest, what do people do if they are travelling and decide to change their bag? Sell on to other travellers or ship the old bag home?
I just give it away to a fellow traveler who needs it. To ship it home costs more than the bag is usually worth.
I use my Minaal most of the time (just got it early last year), but I still keep/use my super old North Face which is of smaller size. Couldn’t just let go of it - so many travel memories, LOL! Would perhaps need to ship it back home. Would love to try Tortuga or Osprey in the future.
Wow - some fantastic suggestions here. I hadn’t seen that Tortuga bag before - I’ll have to check it out.
I’m personally using the Evernote backpack:
…and absolutely adore it. It’s indestructible, plenty of inside pockets, very versatile (you’d be surprised at what that big section can hold, including a bike helmet) and looks fantastic. As well, the laptop portion is secured in a separate compartment altogether against your back. You can’t get to the zippers while the bag is on.
I highly recommend it.
Anyone had the chance to check the Dakine Departure?
I’ve been looking for months for a sub-100€ carry-on bag (not a trolley) and this seems just perfect. It’s even better than the Patagonia MLC 45 which was my reference (cheapest I found was 135€). Size may be slightly bigger for some airlines, but it’s not rigid and has 4 compression straps. It’s not lightweight at 1,6Kg (MLC is 1,4Kg), but at 55 liters seems even good for storing warm clothes and a my daily backpack.
I’ve been looking at a lot of luggage. My birthday is coming up and I couldn’t think of anything else for the family to buy me + the wheel has broken on my old $30 suitcase.
I’ve decided on the Standard Luggage bag http://www.standardluggage.com/products/carry-on-backpack-travel-bag
The selling points for me are that it’s expandable from 35l to 45l - I know conventional wisdom says to wear your bulky clothes on the plane but I don’t think the makers of conventional wisdom have flown out of a un-airconditioned airport in 40 degrees C weather!
It works as carry on for all airlines according to their website and it doesn’t have that grungy backpacker look. Also, it has a shoulder strap and I often use a duffel so will probably configure it that way unless I’ve got a lot of walking to do.
I checked out the Tortuga and didn’t like the hip belt. Tbh, I was also worried that the hip belt wouldn’t fit my hefty hips. They say on their site you can make an extender but who wants to do that. I was also looking the Minaal but I felt like I was getting just as much with the Standard Luggage for a lot less money + free international shipping.
Hi @kathrynoh, how are you finding the Standard Luggage bag so far? Tempted to get it myself…
I have one and we actually sell it on our shop. I’ve traveled over 50k miles with it now and no issues.
Sorry for the very late reply but I wanted to do a few trips with the Standard Luggage before commenting.
I’m not 100% sold on it (well I guess technically i am since I bought it). I have about 12-13 kg of luggage and it fits great. It seems to be the type of bag where you can always squeeze a bit more in. The extension zipper is great. I’ve actually packed it with the capacity extended then zipped it to the smaller size to compress everything.
The shoulder strap doesn’t work for me at all. With that weight in it, the strap presses badly into my chest. As a backpack, it works okay although i’ve never felt quite balanced with it. I don’t usually travel with backpacks so I’m not sure what is the norm.
There are a lot of pockets, maybe too many. I’ve found I have to be a bit on the ball about what i pack where so i lose things. There are two internal pockets + one bigger compartment behind them, two external ones at the front then the laptop one at the back.
I don’t like it opens up length-ways - the bag is quite long and thin and the top flaps over on the thin side. Sorry for my poor description, but if you want to lay it out flat for packing, you either need a very big space or have to use the bed or floor. Also, because it’s soft sided, you pretty much have to use packing cubes or stuff spills out until you zip it up.
I’ve not used it as carry on at all because all my flights have been Air Asia with a 7kg total carry on limit.
Overall, I think it’d be a great bag for weekenders or short trips but probably not the best option for carrying your whole life around.
I’ve not received it yet (did only order it this week because I was in Switzerland previously and apparently they have killer import duties) but will let you once I’ve used it a bit.
good and cheap bag: Osprey farpoint 40ML
I found that the F-Stop camera gear bags are the best for me. I want something high quality, good for adventure, moving around, can hold my camera/tech gear and be adaptable to whatever situation I need at the time. It also fits as a carry-on. Unfortunately, you keep the ‘backpacker look’ rather than ‘professional’ but as far as functionality, it’s the perfect bag. (This is after trying 6-7 other bags) You can check them out at http://fstopgear.com/
Another vote for Tortuga here.
I did alot of research and almost went Minaal but Tortuga beat them out simply because the bag itself is slightly higher quality and there is an internal structure to support your load. Far easier to pack with Tortuga.
That said, I would love to get rid of the pockets on the waist strap. I also prefer the “slickness” of the Minaal, but would not buy it over the Tortuga.
The best one I’ve used so far is one Apple gave to me when I bough my first iMac:
Thule Crossover TCBP-117
Hard to find now =( But it has everything I need, and I’ve been literally with it walking for hours and feels great.
I use the small backpack i have bought in Lisbon, it was cheap, but i’m carrying it for 3 years and absolutely satisfied with it.
Have you seen this Barracuda carry on luggage?
Tracking option if you lose it (or to avoid losing it!), a pull out tray for the laptop, USB charger, collapsible…
It recently made splash across social networks and raised funds on Kickstarter really fast. I guess it’s still a prototype so there’s room for improvement.
Other than that, I really like the design of this Caribee wheeled backpacks, the best of both I guess. It’s pricey though.
And this carry on by Caribee too, it has pockets for gadgets and laptop
I use this backpack from Cabin Max and I’ve been travelling with just this one for the last year, so far has been great! The good thing is that I can use it as hand baggage with the majority of low cost companies and load few extra kg, as it seems a small backpack they don’t usually check weight
No SwissGear/Wenger fans, really?
Would’ve thought this http://www.amazon.com/Wenger-GA-7305-14F00-SwissGear-Computer-Backpack/dp/B000NONHYY would come as a top recommendation. Not a very good looking backpack, but super durable and comfortable with no redundant straps that always get in the way.
I’ve gone through many bags in search of the perfect bag including several Tom Bihn bags and looked closely at the Minaal and Tortuga Air.
With that said, I am SOLD on my Deuter ACT Trail 30.
This is the new version that just recently came out. It has the best back support of any backpack I’ve found. It is top AND panel loading. The hip straps can be tucked inside to keep it streamlined. There’s a bladder slot that works perfectly for my 13" laptop. Probably would fit a 15".
I use a 511 tactical backpack. I’ve had it for about 2 years now. It’s very tough and is perfect for traveling. I have the Rush 72 (kinda big), but I’m thinking of switching down to a Rush 24. These backpacks are on par with GoRuck backpacks, but much cheaper.
Minaaaaaal. Frigging love that thing and use it every day. Got it for $175 (or so) in the kickstarter, but would buy it again in a heartbeat should I need to.
I long thought of getting a Minaal or a Tortuga. From user reviews and the looks of them seem very alright.
At first I considered Minaal, but I wouldn’t put that much money in a backpack, no matter how good it is. I turned onto Tortuga, but shipping expenses from US to Europe or US to Asia (I’m based between these two) were a bit of a turn off.
Finally an old pal gave me the best backpack I could ask for right now - that pal would be the old me!
On my last trip home in Europe I figured out I had buried in my junk an old Tamrac backpack, this one: http://www.tamrac.com/products/expedition8x/ - I had got it many years before when I was working as a photographer’s assistant. This was long before I started travelling and I almost forgot it I had it, it was buried in a suitcase I didn’t use. Back then I saw it as a tool to carry heavy and fragile camera and video equipment. But after I got it again in my hands, I realized it’s perfect for nomadism! It’s designed for carry-on, it’s ultra comfortable, I think has better lumbar foam padding and ergonomics than Tortuga or Minaal (again since it’s meant to carry heavy stuff). It can carry a laptop up to 15 or 17" (mine is 13), it opens like a suitcase, it’s water resistant. It has inserts inside that can be removed or rearranged, meant to store photo equipment like camera bodies or lenses, I took them off. The only “drawback” is that it weighs more than 2kg (the new version on the website even more than that), since it has extra foam meant to protect electronics. It’s not a big deal to me and makes whatever you’re carrying extra safe, the rest is perfect. It’s discreet, has a minimalist design, black/gray colour. I also have two extra removable pockets for it, it has velcro and hooks if you want to customize it or attach something.
There are probably out there more photo backpacks which can be converted to general travel/nomad purpose. Some are expensive, but they are very durable. If you are concerned about weight, there are lighter/smaller ones than mine too.
GORUCK Radio Ruck. Bought it nearly four years ago. Adjusting to the size (24L) was an issue but it gave me an excuse to trim the fat. Has held up through a Challenge and my parent’s dog. I have no excuses to look for another pack, other than gear masturbation.
I use Minaal and it’s great but yes, could be bigger for longer trips as well as have a better belt strap… Other than that perfect and works great for what it was intended (a professional looking backpack)… But I’ll get Tortuga too, maybe wait for the “next version” and read more reviews… I read one that says it’s made of questionable material… but for sure I’ll order their day pack once it comes out… For this I now use: http://www.seatosummit.com.au/products/outdoor/ultra-sil-day-pack/ and it’s just AWESOME as a complement to Minaal. It can hold all the weight (laptop etc) you want but it lacks a second compartment which I miss sometimes… upside is that empty is very small and takes no space packed in Minaal. When I get Tortuga daypack I will probably still use sea2summit on some occasions when I don’t need to go around the target city that much with a laptop or when I really have no enough space to take Tortuga with me in Minaal.
Great compilation of backpacks: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fiwY3_R5_GpL5QZXMp-DY2t225OjUKEQ80lT27NVKUU/edit#gid=0
Credits to http://reddit.com/r/onebag
didn’t read any of the posts, but I feel the backpack thing maybe is a bit overrated and people are a bit over-concerned about this? If you’re a real hiker (mountains, cold climates, etc) it’s VERY more important what kind of backpack you have. Otherwise, if you go from city to city I guess quality and getting your stuff to fit is all you need. I think most digital nomads don’t move around that much with their main backpack, but rather with their daypack.
Anyway to add to the chaos of posts and suggestions here is another one I saw with beautiful pictures, but the maker does not respond to any question on twitter. Almost feels like it’s fake https://nomada.io/products/547ed6e717cc2620a8eda3b4
I’ll challenge a sacred cow.
Nomad Backpacks are overrated.
I am not on the road as much as I used to be, but still travel often enough.
When I first started out, I always used to travel with a big, bulky backpack like these.
I had an EagleCreek, which took me through India and South America at one point.
Honestly though, I had a revelation about larger, travel backpacks.
I hated them.
I despised hauling a big bulky backpack like these, and feeling like I was wearing a sumo suit, as the bag inadvertently smacks people and objects as it’s hard to have spatial awareness (even when it is strapped to the front) lugging these awkward things.
And yes, I have seen all these. No offense to present company.
Backpacks do not wear or hold their form over time well.
Doesn’t make sense to me for most of the long term travel I have done.
I’m mostly in cities, and going between tight transportation points.
Not in the jungle.
Sure, maybe in India it makes sense, but then again, most transportation points are filled with touts to haul your bags anyhow.
Thus, at some point, I switched to a hard side piece of luggage with durable wheels and a smaller backpack for my laptop and items, which needed to be accessible.
Never sweated checking something if I had to, which wasn’t always the case.
If I was in a place for a longer stretch, I would simply buy a cheap duffle bag for short trips, leave my stuff and come back.
My life got a hell of a lot easier.
At some point, I had failed to see the utility in the large backpack form for all my travel and transportation needs. I was just going city to city. Plane to car. Plane to train.
Not hauling it through the mountains or jungle.
Also, traveling with more than one pair of shoes and packing them in a backpack is a pain in the ass. I’m a shoe guy, and I like a few pairs of shoes with me, so I don’t look like a bum walking into a club or restaurant.
I found packing shoes in a hard side that way was easier.
And, in general, I found it to be a lot easier to maximize the use of space in a hard side.
Maybe that’s not for everyone, but I was happy I made the switch, as was my back.
Like you, I’d had it with big backpacks. I make full use of my allowance for checked luggage and carry-ons, and even though I’m carrying a fair bit, I’ve got what I want, and I make sure that everything moves easily. My suitcase was inexpensive - around £45 for a medium-sized, four-wheeled Antler, a lightweight suitcase that doesn’t eat much into my weight allowance. My only regret is that it’s not hard shell and I don’t expect to use it for more than two or three years (I’ve had it for a bit more than one and it’s taking a beating), at which point I will probably go for a hard shell case. As for the rest, I keep my laptop, passport, travel docs, e-reader, etc, in a small backpack that I stow under the seat in front of me and various items that I may want easier access to (as well as packing overflow) in a bag that I stow overhead. The latter bag is inexpensive, attractive, and feels comfortable slung over my shoulders. So when I’m moving from the airport, train station, whatever, I may look ridiculous - I’m slung with luggage the way Rambo is slung with bullet belts - but I move easily and the weight is well distributed (most of that weight being in the suitcase, which glides along very nicely).
This works very well for me. I’ve got everything I need, some stuff that I don’t., and from one stop to the next I’ll throw some things out and add some new stuff.
I’ve only really used my Minaal as a daypack so far, but will be travelling using it as my only bag shortly, and I’m quite confident it’ll do the job very nicely.
From reading some of the reviews around, like the comparison with the Tortuga (which I note is on the Tortuga site, so… you know), it seems a better comparison would be the Tortuga Air. Which appears to have a lot of the differences mentioned in the Minaal vs Tortuga article too!
I’ve been looking at a few options recently and I’ve been told by multiple people that the Tortuga is the best option. While it seems great I’ve noticed that it’s too big for Ryanair’s carry-on allowance (and I assume that’s not the only airline with that carry-on allowance). While I get that it’s a backpack and it’s unlikely I’ll be stopped compared to people with actual suitcases, has anyone had any problems taking it on as carry-on luggage?
Along similar lines… Does anyone have a Tortuga Air? And if so, how do you find traveling with that Vs. a larger backpack like the Tortuga? I like the idea of the Air due to it’s size, but I’m not 100% sure I could travel with something that small!
My 2 cents:
Small: Sea-to-Summit, Ultra-Sil Day Pack, Black
Ultra light day pack, always with me for city trips or groceries. Fits my MacBook Air, Camera, Jacket and Water suppplies.
Medium: Berghaus, Munro
My main pack, very durable, packs small and light if it has to, has a internal frame, grows big when needed (40 liters). Fits as carry on luggage. Love this pack for its simplicity and durability. I use ultra light dry bags to group items together for easy access.
Large: Arc’teryx, Naos 55, Gold
Build like a fortress, extremely comfortable, crossed lots of rivers and lakes swimming with this bomb shell. To bad I can’t bring it as carry on luggage, otherwise I would take this baby everywhere. Use this one mainly when I go of the grid longer than a weekend (mountains, hiking etc).
Still using my mom’s Kånken from the '70s. Not as much functionality as some other bags posted here, but simple, will never break, and it won’t look worse if it gets dirty.
Are there any clones/copies/alternatives of great backpacks available in SE Asia that are cheaper? Especially something like the GoRuck GR2 or the Tortuga would be nice, but not at $300
I’m also looking to buy one in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Any luck finding out how to get one in SE Asia?
I use an osprey Meridian (It’s a 22 inch roller bag. It’s lightweight, and has an attachable daypack that my electronics/everydaycarry gear goes in.) Love it. Ginormous wheels, durable, lifetime warantee.
I recently got a Meridian 22, it sure is amazing, top quality materials, the daypack even fits my 17" laptop.
Have you tried using it as carry-on luggage?
I have an Osprey Talon 44 that has been with me for several years and I love it. Perfect size for carrying on even budget European airlines. I also have a daypack for day-to-day laptop migration and a purse that can hold a water bottle, my 7" tablet, my phone, an umbrella, and my mirrorless DSLR for when I’m just out walking.
I love my Minaal but for day to day use about town, I use this messenger bag:
It’s small enough that it can be a purse if needed, but fits my 11" Air. I think it’s cute-ish, but not nice enough to attract the attention of a bag snatcher.
The ultimate quest of the perfect backpack ! Never ending lol
I’m about to attempt a long trip with only my Lowepro Fastpack 350 [no hold luggage].
I’ve gone for this bag, as in addition to my laptop for work, I’m taking my photography kit (travel photography + a wedding in Thailand). This does mean I’ll have pretty limited space for non digital items up in the top of the bag - which I’m a bit concerned about. But I’m not sure what non-tech items that I’ll need to pack that I can’t buy out there.
This bag also has an ‘all weather’ cover built into it, which for laptops etc gives me confidence.
My other slight concern is that it’s about 8mm deeper than the official allowed carry-on dimensions - has anyone experienced issues with this before?
Anyone using a Pelican case or backpack? I wanted something with serious protection for a Macbook Air (13); ideally, something with hard protection that’d keep the laptop alive if I take a spill on a motorcycle, but still work as a carry-on (I hate checking luggage, and I’d never check a laptop). Just got an S100. Initial impressions are that it’s much lighter than it looks, and will likely outlast this laptop by quite a bit.
No real world review yet; currently using it as a day pack around Calcutta, but might head to Thailand in the next couple of months with just this, so I’ll see how that goes. Wish I’d found this thread before buying it; I’ll take a look at some of the others you guys have linked.
I’m going nomad on january 26th and after some research bought a Khard 30 from Arc’teryx. I wanted something stylish, that would go as carry-on, and something that did not need to be loaded from the top. Quality seems awesome only slight complaint is that the shoulder straps could possibly use a bit more padding. Can make an update when I’ve actually trekked with it for a bit.
Review of Khard 30:
Some other bags I’ve researched and considered:
I’m currently using the Tortuga and I love it. Of course, that being said, there is no perfect bag as there are far too many situations/environments and variables involved. The Tortuga does the trick for me. At least, at the moment.
Hi Frederik, how’s the Khard 30 so far?
Would u recommend it?
Yeah, very much so.
Now traveled with it for 5 months, new place every other night, hardly a scratch.
Perfect size - can travel with as hand luggage and fits my 15 inch macbook as well. Stylish.
Only negative; when it gets to heavy, around 11kg for me, the straps are not fitted enough. Below 10kg I’ve had no problem, and I’ve walked for hours at a time with that load. And yeah, a tad bit expensive.
Very much recommend one to add some kind of pocket sleeves inside. Like these: http://lbxtactical.lbtinc.com/lbx-3-pocket-side-sleeve-12282.html. Also goes well with a tiny foldable rucksack for when you don’t need all your stuff.
Lol, pretty much like my original conclusion. should have read that one first
I’m 2.5 years into nomading and since I tend to post up for months at a time I like to bring a lot of extra stuff. I’ve had really great experiences with these two bags:
I put all of my electronics in the waterproof bag which I take as a carry on and all of my clothes and extra gear in the Timbuk2 in packing cubes. Works really well.
I use one of these instead of my backpack to walk around, they’re great for carrying water bottles and smaller stuff that doesn’t break easily.
For the “one bag” folks, I’ve always wondered whay they do for a “daybag”.
I’ve long carried 3 bags.
So, For those 1 bag people… How do you haul a laptop around town? What do you use when just out for the day?
I’m really tempted by a Tortuga (My beloved Osprey is on life support and so empty most of the time the cinch straps do nothing), but I think I’d still check in the Tortuga most of the time on planes.
We have a daypack solution in progress. It will be a lightweight daypack when you want to carry stuff around for the day but will pack away into your main bag when not in use. More info here. Pictures and video coming in late Feb/early March.
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, Fred
For now I’m using this small Hikpro pack that I got on Amazon for less than $20. It does the job, is the perfect size (I can fit my Macbook Air, keyboard/trackpad, Roost stand, chargers and spare batteries, as well as a light down jacket or rain jacket) and takes up almost no space if I pack it away. It also works well as a “personal item” on flights, so I can have easy access to some stuff throughout a flight and I can gate check the Tortuga if I feel like it (I fly quite often on small Dash-8 400Qs).
What I do not like about the Hikpro is that it looks fairly “cheap”. I’m not sure that is something that’s easy to fix while keeping it lightweight, but just removing the awful logo would help. If you guys can make the Tortuga daypack not look out of place in an office setting, I would consider switching!
Interesting. Look forward to what you come up with.
Sometimes I think I just need to find a seamstress to build me the “perfect” custom bag built… I used to get my bags modified (adding pockets, padding, etc… just where I wanted it). Maybe launch yet another bag company… lol…
Wish the Tortuga Packable Daypack was available… Instead I’m ordering a pair of Hikpro bags and a sea-to-summit ultra-sil. None of which are quite what I want since I really want a tablet/laptop sleeve. Shouldn’t be hard to get added.
Side note, the Tortuga Packable Daypack really does looks awesome and exactly what I’m wanting right now, except that horrifically bright green Tortuga logo. Love you guys, still don’t want a bright green logo on my bag. Hoping it’s not too difficult to remove.
Ha “horrifically bright green.” You use adverbs as dramatically as I do.
You should know that we punch up the colors in Photoshop to break up the monotony of black in the pictures. What color logo would you prefer? Gray?
I think the two color logo from the big bags probably wouldn’t be as obnoxious (or eye catching if you prefer – hehe). It looks screen printed on the packable bag though and I get: 1) screen printing that logo in two colors is probably double cost of the single color; 2) making it a “patch” would increase weight and decrease packability.
The logo is screen printed for softness, primarily. It’s slightly brighter than the color on the logo patches inside the bigger bags, but don’t worry, it’s not lime green. Thanks for the pre-order. Looking forward to your feedback.
Just got my Tortuga Day Pack. Thankfully it isn’t nearly as bright green as the photos suggested. Totally subtle and just fine with me.
Well, personally I prefer no logo… Even when it’s brands I love, I don’t want their logos on my stuff. Something subtle, grey, would certainly be preferable to the lime green. I didn’t think about the photoshopping making it look brighter than it might actually appear in person. I’ll find out soon enough, just pre-ordered one.
I might be in the minority here, but I only travel with a single daypack. My bag is 22L and has a built in laptop compartment so I just remove my clothes, toiletries, etc. and then I’m ready to head out for the day.
I have never tried the Minaal, but I’m currently using the Tortuga.
I was previously using eBags Mother Lode Weekender, which could fit more and was easier to keep organized. It was also easier to compress your stuff to get within approved carry-on dimensions. However the hip belt (strap) was a joke, and doing much more than carrying it from gate to taxi to hotel was less than ideal. I did a 4 hour trek with it across a timorese island once, and it was really killing me.
That’s why I switched to the Tortuga and to be honest I like that it can fit slightly less (due to more padding) as it forces me to carry less stuff. And the hip belt is a godsend.
Things that annoy me ever so slightly with the Tortuga:
Still, the added comfort (and the 3x price of the eBags) is easily worth it for my travel style… But if you’re not going to carry your pack much I’d say the eBags Mother Lode is as close to perfection you can get. And it’s cheap too. I think it was around $70 in Amazon when I got it, but the price has jumped a bit since.
EDIT (Jan 22, 2015): I have traveled a bit more with the Tortuga now, and reduced the amount of clothes I bring even further. And I am more in love with the Tortuga now than ever before, and I’m very happy I made the switch. I had to make some adjustments, such as getting a couple compression cubes (instead of regular packing cubes) and a Victorinox travel organizer, but I’m super happy with the end result!
I only found out recently (after two years) that I accidentally bought a female backpack (for short backs). It fits perfectly for my short stubby back though.
I think it’d be hard to find one pack that fits all best due to the vast variety of body shapes and use cases.
Use case has always been a big factor for me. I recently bought a new roller bag for short trips w/ long haul flights, even though I have two decent bags that I could probably make do with.
I’ve travelled for months using my girl sized $200 28l Deuter made for one day trails, and then also months with just my $500 leather messenger bag - a fashion piece not made for more than carrying your daily paperwork.
I’m sure there are a dozens of high quality bags that will out do all of mine in every category (at least on a paper), but at the end of the day the situation the bag is being used in changes everything.
I usually carry 2 bags, a big normal backpack (65L) for all my clothes and a day pack where I’ll put all the electronics, snacks, books and jackets in.
It survived me through my NZ trip without breaking. I climbed Mount Ngauruhoe and slid down a snow with it so I’d say, pretty durable.
It has a small front sack, a laptop compartment, and 2 small pouches for your phones.
(post withdrawn by author, will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless flagged)
I’m thinking on buying a Tortuga but the Minaal is very good too. So… I really don’t know
I’ve set up this speadsheet to compare the best backpacks for digital nomads.
Everybody can edit it, so feel free to add you own bags
Re: Minaal vs Tortuga
I’d characterize it like this. Minaal is luggage, Tortuga is a backpack.
Which is to say, Minaal is great to get you from point A to point B. You can travel with it easily and when you get to your hotel, you unpack it a bit and stay for a while. But it isn’t built to stay on your back for days on end, it isn’t built for a purely backpacker/hiking/camping/couchsurfing lifestyle. I’d consider it a “traveling professional” bag.
The Tortuga is great for backpackers. Its a bit more rugged and built to be worn for longer periods. It’s less expensive, a bit larger (though not by much; specs on paper are a bit misleading) and I could see living out of it in a hostel or couchsurfing easier than the Minaal. But it is less stylish, more bulky, and not as versatile. I’d consider it a “long term backpacker” bag.
Just my $0.02 on comparing the two.
Mostly agree with @mitchell. I’ve been travelling with my Minaal as my main container for stuff for half a year now, and some things begin to bother me:
I usually use two compression packs and on average only unpack / pack it once a week, which takes about 15 minutes.
That said, it’s still classes better than any other “carry-on size” backpack I’ve ever seen. And the fair comparison is probably Minaal vs. Tortuga Air. You can’t go wrong with either.
what about the Venturesafe 45L from Pacsafe? http://www.pacsafe.com/venturesafe-45l-gii-travel-backpack.html
Anyone using this? I’m really considering getting this for when I start my journey.
Currently, I’m using a Timbuk2 Showdown (http://www.timbuk2.com/showdown-ipad-macbook-laptop-backpack/346.html).
It’s been wonderful for me. Great organization, super durable, and a great padded laptop compartment. That said, I travel pretty light. Only a few shirts, one pair of pants, and so on. I’m able to comfortably pack in the 22L Showdown, but I realize that it might be a bit small for most folks.
If I was looking for a bigger bag, I’d definitely check out some of Timbuk2’s other offerings. The Showdown has held up really well on the road. Couldn’t wish for a better bag.
The one thing I’ve heard about Minaal which puts me off (and confirmed by people in Slack) is that the hip belt doesn’t do much to take the weight off so not ideal if you’re going to be trekking.
That issue aside it looks like the perfect pack, especially for a Digital Nomad.
Last point in this article: http://www.tortugabackpacks.com/pages/minaal-carry-on-vs-the-tortuga-travel-backpack
Does anyone ever travel to any Islands like Bermuda, Barbados, Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis?
After the Netherlands, the Bay Area, Colorado and being on the van life for 8 months, I am now in Sedona, AZ with a few other digital nomads. We are sharing a home here and are wondering if there are more like minded people in the area.
We do a bunch of hikes and campouts in the northern of Arizona. If you would like to connect with us, please do so :)
Hi there, title says it all. Canadian nomad hoping to find the city/town in Portugal with great, consistent surfing, a solid coworking spot, and a fun group of young nomads. Please recommend!
I'm in need of a tax advisor who understands "our" typical situation. I'm all good on being legal on taxes at this point, but as I'm doing more investing and there's more compliance and KYC and such, it's getting more complicated to deal with this topic. Not living in my country of citizenship, company in another country, resident in yet another country, banking in a different country ... you know how it is, a pile of red flags.
Would be great to find a good tax advisor to sort things in a way that makes my situation as "explainable" and easily dealt with as possible. Any leads?
Hi, I've got a question to anyone who had experience with the digital nomad lifestyle. I'm 24, I'm in my last year of university doing computer science, got 3 years of experience mostly doing web development.
I never liked the idea of staying in one place, getting a job and growing roots - hence the will to take the opportunity and travel the world. My main question is – how do I go about it? Are there any useful resources I could look into?
How do I go about insurance and such once I decide to move. I currently live in Switzerland and do freelance work for one company. It's not a lot, since my studies don't allow me to pick up a full time job, but it allows me to cover simple expenses.
I'd be happy to get some insight into how things work and also happy to network with anyone interested.
Hey, hope everyone is well!
We're leaving in a month to go travelling. Our first destination is still to be confirmed, but will likely be Poland or Slovakia. We will be moving around every month or two to different destinations.
The question we have is: what do people do with phones/ phone numbers when hopping from country to country? Ideally we'd just like one number for the whole trip (even better, the number we already have) wherever we go, rather than getting new SIMs with different numbers.
This is just so it's easier to keep in contact with family/ clients/ etc.
Hi guys ! hope you are doing well.
I would love to get your feedback regarding the best insurance for digital nomads. i'm traveling around Asia since 1 year and for next 4 or 5 years. Would love to buy an insurance to cover especially :
- laptop, phone ...
Hi! I want to relocate to Spain and I was wondering if someone can recommend a SIM card with a good data package.
Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.
I’m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (it’s ok if it’s not accepted in the US as I’m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?
Thanks in advance!
I have finally saved enough money to start investing. What company gives good, diversified access to stock, ETFs and mutual funds? Does it make sense to use company like Vanguard or Fidelity for that? I’m a EU/Poland citizen, how would I transfer my money back and forth without incurring significant fees?
Hello digital nomad!
I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!
I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.
Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. That’s it.
I need some advice from you please!
Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?
What is a good way of achieving this goal?
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur
Hello everyone! I’m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesn’t leave my head.
How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if you’re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your “original country” and then pay them?
By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features!
All members of my family has different needs and hobbies so how do you pick the perfect places?
I’m a freelance + nomad newbie, off for my 1st proper trip in May. I’m wanting to spend a month somewhere and go from there.
I just came back from Slovenia/Ljubljana and loved it there (just a week). I don’t mind “sleepier” places par-say, as long as they’re close to a beach or nature of some kind. In fact, I kinda like places less-busy and a bit smaller/cosier.
I’m been swaying towards Porto, but have been impressed by the rave reviews I’ve seen for Valencia.
-> Have you every nomad-ed in a Spanish/Portuguese city? I’d love to know where and what you liked/disliked
Currently in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and heading to Santa Teressa, Costa Rica next week.
Then Aruba in the Caribbean Sea for Christmas and New Year.
However I feel I want to head back to Central America to bring living costs down, rather than staying in the Caribbean Sea among the expensive Islands.
This means I have around 2 - 2,5 month of unplanned travelling.
Any digital nomads who have ideas about where to head in that timeframe?
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