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Think back to your last vacation. Pretty awesome, right? Great views, great drinks, great friends. It was all good… except for those parts that you’ve permanently removed from your bank of memories, like the uncomfortable hauling of your ginormous suitcase OR — if you jog your memory a little further back — to you sitting on your suitcase to squish and finagle it shut.

Don’t worry, we don’t judge, and neither did your cat (the one who was just scolded to “git” from its fave spot — inside your half-packed suitcase).

But what if I told you that you can learn how to pack light for a week — so light, in fact, that you won’t necessarily break into a sweat during every transfer? Yes, even you can learn to pack for a week so that your zippers aren’t stress tested every time. Here’s how.

As travel guru Rick Steves put it…

“Remember, packing light isn’t just about saving time or money — it’s about your traveling lifestyle. Too much luggage marks you as a typical tourist. It slams the Back Door shut. Serendipity suffers. Changing locations becomes a major operation. Con artists figure you’re helpless. Porters are a problem only to those who need them. With only one bag, you’re mobile and in control. Take this advice seriously.”

How to Pack for a Week in a Carry On

As important as what you choose to bring (we’ll get to that later) is what you choose to pack it in. Too many people discount this. Grabbing whatever bag they’ve got in a closet, or borrowing one from under a friend’s bed, they’re thinking about the contents, not the carry experience. This is a mistake.
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Don't Leave Anything Behind

Perfect your packing with our free carry on packing list.

Join our mailing list below to get your packing checklist and weekly packing tips sent straight to your inbox.




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The first twenty four hours I spent in New Orleans was one of the unforgettable travel days of my life. My long awaited Mardi Gras visit was topped off with an unexpected bonus: The Saint’s Super Bowl Parade. Rolling into the Big Easy on the same day that the Saints came marching in was serendipity of the highest order, and the parade, well, suffice it to say it was the Mardi Gras parade to end all Mardi Gras parades.

New Orleans calls me back. Of course Bourbon Street must be experienced and the French Quarter must be wandered, but there’s so much more to the city, in the back alleys and the hole in the wall establishments. One of the great music centers of the world, it’s as if the entire city moves to a Zydeco beat.

I’ve visited to eat, and for French Quarter Festival. I’ve lined up along the route of quiet little family style community Mardi Gras parades in Metatarie and caught fruit instead of beads thrown from floats. And of course no one has truly been to New Orleans if they haven’t learned to suck the head at a crawfish boil.

This spring, the whole of Team Tortuga assembled, from three countries and two continents, in the Big Easy. We came to work, play, and build the community forward in the ways that allow us to continue to innovate together and push the boundaries of our craft.

What we pack, as a team, is always fascinating to me. Every bag in the both the Outbreaker collection and the new Homebase collection was represented. As were samples of a few things we haven’t released yet. Angela, Concierge and Marketing team member, won the minimalist award by packing in only a large packing cube. For most of a week. Yes, really.

When to Visit New Orleans

New Orleans is on the Mississippi delta of the gulf coast of Louisiana. The summer climate can be described in two words: Hot and wet. The rest of the year, however, is very pleasant with average temperatures in the 60-75F range, and lows not dropping below 40F, for the most part. Of course there will cold snaps in winter, and sudden thunderstorms are a staple, but there are many months of great weather to choose from.

Budget wise, the most affordable months are also the hottest: Mid summer. In terms of bucket list experiences, Mardi Gras is a big one for a lot of people. The most popular time to visit New Orleans is the long weekend before Fat Tuesday, which signals the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lent. That will be February 8-12 in 2018.

Plan months in advance if you want a hotel room in a central location and plan to pay a pretty penny for it; but hey, it’s a once in a lifetime experience, right?
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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.

The outdoor industry is always innovating and pushing technical boundaries. The luggage industry… is not.

At Tortuga, we want to change that. You demand more than the average traveler from your luggage. We need to meet those high expectations today and stay ahead of your future travel needs. That’s why we spend more time at Outdoor Retailer than at the Travel Goods Show.

Part of how we stay ahead of the curve is by using the newest technical materials and hardware that can help you travel better. When we see something new that can benefit you, we should get it into our pipeline for testing and sampling ASAP. As a small company, we take get new materials into a product and into the market faster than big brands.

We should not, however, use something new just because it’s new. Our goal is improvement, not novelty.

The biggest technical lever we have for improving a backpack is its materials. We have seen the future of fabrics and believe that these new materials can make for better luggage.

But First, a Quick History Lesson

Until World War II, all natural fabrics like leather and cotton were standard. During the war, material shortages and technical needs led to the development of most of the synthetic, man-made fibers we are familiar with today.

Nylon, for example, was developed as a replacement for silk. Ballistic nylons were developed as an early, failed effort to make bulletproof vests. Please do not attempt to use your V2 backpack as a bulletproof vest.

WWII was a long time ago. So what’s new in fabrics and materials? Click to continue…

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