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Tortuga, Air, and Daypack

Behold, the Future: Tortuga, Tortuga Air, and Tortuga Daypack

The response to the Tortuga Travel Backpack has been tremendous. The first run of re-designed bags sold out in less than two months over the holidays. We re-stocked bags at the end of June and sold the same amount in two hours. The next batch will be in our east coast warehouse in early July.

Yet, the Tortuga isn’t right for everyone. We’ve heard from many people who need something different for their travel style.

The first is short trips. The Tortuga was designed for trips from one week to one year. When we surveyed you, our customers and readers, you told us that you take 2-3x more domestic trips than international trips every year. Those domestic trips are mostly for less than a week.

Unless you’re a heavy packer, the Tortuga is too much bag for those short trips. I’ve become so used to packing a Tortuga that I almost never fill it, even on longer trips. The bag that once felt adequate now feels cavernous. Minimalist packers will agree.

The other reason that people take short trips is for business travel. The Tortuga works perfectly well for these trips but doesn’t transition seamlessly to the office. It’s just too big.

The last case where the Tortuga fell short was with shorter people. Because the Tortuga has a hip belt, it’s not one size fits all. Your torso should be at least 18″ for an ideal fit. You can check your fit by following these instructions. Many petite women found the Tortuga to be too tall for them.

For all of these reasons, we created the smaller, lighter Tortuga Air. Today is the first extended look at our next backpack.

Read more about the Tortuga Air and join the wait list to be the first to know when it’s available.

Keep in mind that these are pictures from a prototype and that the final product is subject to change.

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In today’s installment of How I Travel, we talk to Manoj from Mango Diablo. Manoj is currently in Southeast Asia on a trip that combines his love of travel, his passion for cooking, and his professional experience as a technology executive. Keep reading to find out how he’s making all three work.

I don’t need a whole hell of a lot to be happy.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Manoj Mohan. I’m a cook, blogger, and worked as a technology executive for 10 years before leaving my career to travel the world.

What about your travels inspired you to start your blog?
I initially had started my blog 1 year before leaving and it focused primarily on cooking western dishes with an eastern influence. Now that I’m in Southeast Asia, I figured it would be best to include the travel aspect and cooking influences and techniques I am learning abroad.

Minced Pork with String bean over rice (Laap)

Minced Pork with String bean over rice (Laap)

What’s your travel style and why?
Digital Nomad + Budget. I choose the digital nomad route because I want to stay connected to the tech world and see SE Asia as a hotbed for entrepreneurial action. If I am able to combine my passion for food and cooking with my professional experience as a technology executive, I would have it made.

I keep my budget very tight so that I can extend my runway here. Plus I don’t need a whole hell of a lot to be happy.

What was your first great travel experience?
My first great travel experience was with my mom and brother on a trip to India when I was 5. After that I had always known that one day I would see the world and hopefully live in different countries throughout my life.

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Don't Leave Anything Behind

Perfect your packing with our free carry on packing list.

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View from workcation house in Ensenada, Mexico

View from our temporary “office” in Ensenada

Jeremy and I spent last weekend in Ensenada, Mexico. Despite the sandy beaches, gringo retirees, and excessive taco consumption, the trip was not a vacation. Well, not just a vacation.

It was a workcation.

Work + vacation = workcation.

Our weekend in Mexico was both productive and fun. The good news for you is that it’s easily replicable.

This post is not for people who want to be on vacation but are pulled back to their jobs by their smartphone and ubiquitous internet. That is a hostage situation, not a workcation.

This post is not for employees. If you’re an employee looking to negotiate a remote working arrangement, read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Follow his scripts to negotiate working from home or abroad.

This post is for freelancers, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and business owners. Freelancers and solo entrepreneurs will have the easiest time taking workcations.

Even bosses can take workcations. Dan Martell is the founder and CEO of the business advice startup Clarity. Despite running a successful startup and having two young kids, he makes time for workcations where he’s able to stay productive, keep in touch with his team, work out, do some snowboarding or wakeboarding, and, perhaps most importantly, spend quality time with his family.

The whole point of a workation is to work hard, and play hard. -Dan Martell

Startups and small businesses like Tortuga Backpacks can benefit from structuring company retreats as workcations. Keep reading to learn why you should organize a retreat like this and how to make it work without your business grinding to a halt.

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Even a large bag like the Tortuga Travel Backpack can feel light and comfortable on your back.

The secret to a comfortable carry is two-fold:

  1. Buying the right pack
  2. Packing it correctly

Yes, some of this is up to you. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

When buying a bag, padding and comfortable straps are a must. Larger, maximum-sized carry on bags should also have a hip belt as most hiking packs do. A good hip belt will transfer most of your pack’s weight from your shoulders to your hips.

Buying a bag with the right padding and straps is the easy part. Most people struggle with packing it.

Why Packing Matters

Packing the right items in the right spots in your bag will affect how heavy it feels. I was skeptical of this at first like you probably are. Until I tried it and saw how well it worked. Packing a backpack can be easy… if you have a plan.

The key to a comfortable backpack is a balanced load. Your pack’s weight should be centered and close to your body.

Keeping as much weight as possible close to your body will minimize the “pull” on your shoulders which can cause strain. This packing strategy will also give you more “pack awareness.”

The farther away your pack’s center of gravity is from your body, the harder it will be to control its momentum.

Pack awareness is especially important when navigating in crowded areas… Imagine weaving your way through a packed bus station during rush hour while wearing a pack that sticks out 15 inches off your back. It’s more difficult to turn around, see who’s around you, and you could even unexpectedly take somebody out with any sudden movements!

-Amanda Fenn, Outdoor Gear Lab

Your heaviest items should be at the vertical center of your pack and as close to your body as possible as in the graphic below. Keeping the weight near you will make your bag feel like an extension of your body.

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Airline rules for personal items are not as clear as the rules for carry on luggage. Many airlines don’t publish rules for personal items. The airlines that do have rules don’t agree on the size of personal items that they allow.

As a result, people abuse the implicit rules.

Most airlines allow you to bring one carry on and one personal item in the cabin when flying.

In this article, we’ll clarify:

  1. What you can bring as a personal item
  2. How big your personal item can be

We’ll cover what’s generally acceptable since rules vary.

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