The Homebase Collection: What We’re Launching With

The Lab,  
Taylor Coil

Welcome to The Lab, your inside look at Tortuga’s product development. Every two weeks, we’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re working on and provide updates on new products. If you want to stay updated, sign up here.

My closet is full of hangers and nothing else. My dresser drawers are empty caverns.

No, I’m not moving house. I’m packing as much as I can into the new Homebase carry on bags so that I can write an accurate “what fits inside?” page as a resource for customers. I do this for each new product we release and it’s a crucial exercise for me to understand and communicate the ins and outs of our luggage.

This time, every item of clothing in my bedroom fits inside the Homebase duffle and backpack. Everything. And I’m not even a “minimalist.” Since it’s summer, my bulky coats and sweaters are in storage and not included, but it’s an impressive moment nonetheless.

I guess I shouldn’t bury the lede any further. We’re launching two bags with the Homebase collection later this summer: a backpack and a duffle.

Note: the images above are of almost-final product samples. A few small details will change. The backpack is on the left and the duffle is on the right.

The Homebase collection seeks to help digital nomads live healthier, happier, more successful lives with travel at the forefront. With that in mind, this collection focuses on the following benefits:

We plan to release additional luggage accessories sometime in 2018, but for now I’ll tell you about the carry ons.

Materials

The Homebase collection features a custom lightweight waterproof sailcloth – a different version than we used for the Outbreaker collection. In addition to keeping your stuff dry in a downpour, the Homebase’s fabric is abrasion resistant and 20% more lightweight than the Outbreaker’s fabric.

Waterproof sailcloth is stiff, which gives the bags more rigidity and makes them easier to pack (since they won’t collapse in on themselves). Because the fabric is a laminate, it doesn’t need to be lined. That allows us to cut out superfluous weight (i.e. not include extra lining) and make the bags as light as possible without sacrificing durability.

The Homebase collection also features lockable, weather-resistant YKK zippers for added protection in the rain and Duraflex buckles for maximum durability. Quick-dry foam padding keeps your shoulders comfortable and protects you from chafing.

The Travel Backpack

This backpack can be your one-and-only piece of luggage. For a minimalist, it’s more than enough room for clothes, electronics, and toiletries for an indefinite amount of time on the road. The backpack can be your primary carry on for short trips from a home base. Or perhaps it’s the bag in which you carry the essentials, like your electronics and a few days’ worth of clothes, while packing more in your second bag (the duffle).

Features of the Travel Backpack:

The travel backpack features all of the following:

The Duffle

Most of the time, you need to carry a little. That’s what the travel backpack is for.

Sometimes, you need to carry more, which is where the duffle enters the equation. This bag is where you store the extra contents of your life: The down jacket that you pulled out of storage for a ski trip, the grooming tools that aren’t strictly necessary but make you feel a little more like you, or the pair of dress shoes for the inevitable (if occasional) formal event.

Features of the Duffle:

The Homebase duffle features the following:

This bag is roomier than it appears from the outside, and makes me wonder if Patrick (our designer) installed magic inside. He says that he didn’t, but I’m not convinced.

Packing Styles

I want to explain the packing styles that shaped our approach to this collection for those who are curious. Through our interviews with full-time travelers, we identified a few distinct perspectives they have in regards to packing. These are, of course, generalizations. Many nomads are hybrids of the below.

One extreme, a true minimalist packer, travels with a single carry on backpack. Often, the backpack’s contents are their sole possessions. If they own more, it’s stashed somewhere else in the world, perhaps in a storage unit or a family member’s closet. They only travel with more than a backpack’s worth of gear if absolutely necessary. The travel backpack will serve as their only piece of luggage.

The traveler at the other end of the spectrum has read every packing list on the internet. They’ve heard about the minimalist packing style, but don’t believe they can be happy traveling with so little. They feel weighed down by their possessions – literally and perhaps figuratively – and actively trim down their packing list as they go. They will travel with both the duffle and travel backpack, even for a short trip.

Some full time travelers have 1-4 home bases around the world and return to those locations with relative frequency. Their home bases serve as jumping-off-points for shorter trips (for instance, they might be “based” in Bali and take a two-week trip to Singapore). Usually they travel with one carry on, like the aforementioned minimalist, but occasionally they’ll move a larger amount of gear to their next home base. The travel backpack will be their primary carry on and the duffle will serve as a “trunk” for the rest of their gear. They’ll pack the duffle when migrating to a different home base, but won’t carry it on an average trip.

I know I’m completely biased, but this truly is the luggage I wish I had before traveling full-time.

PS: Enjoying the behind-the-scenes look at Tortuga product development? We plan to continue writing about what we’re working on and products that are coming soon(ish) to Tortuga. If you want to stay updated on our collection for digital nomads, sign up here.