Announcing the 2018 Tortuga Customer Survey

Fred Perrotta


Enter to win a $200 Tortuga gift card by filling out the 2018 Tortuga Customer Survey here.

Jeremy and I started Tortuga because we couldn’t find the right luggage for city travel. Our struggles led to the creation of the Tortuga Travel Backpack V1. We’ve continued improving that product over the past six years. The third iteration recently launched as the Setout Backpack.

We started the company and built our first product to solve our own problem. Other travelers had experienced the same frustrations with existing luggage. Some even liked our solution.

Our second product was also built to solve our own problems. As I traveled more and adjusted to carry-on-only packing, I found myself packing less and less. I needed a smaller bag for my new packing style. Again, I was seeking a fix for my own problem.

By this time, in 2013, we also had customers that we could talk to. As we started working on the Air, we surveyed some of our earliest customers about their travel habits.

These travelers had purchased Tortuga V1s and V2s for their longer, international trips. Most people only take trips like that once a year. They took many more short, domestic trips.

In addition to the survey, we were pouring over reviews from customers and travel bloggers. For many shorter people, the Tortuga wasn’t a great fit. Since it wasn’t height adjustable, it fit taller people best. (That’s why we created the Outbreaker, the first travel backpack with an adjustable-height suspension system.)

My needs overlapped with our customers. We both needed smaller bags than the max-sized Tortuga, whether for lighter packing or for shorter trips. Jeremy and I saw an opportunity to solve all of these problems, including the height issue, with one product.

In 2014, we released the Tortuga Air. The Air was never as popular as the original Tortuga, but those who bought it loved it. They still do. We often hear from customers who are carrying and loving their Airs.

Balancing Our Needs With Yours

Since we first codified Tortuga’s core values, they have always included both of the following:

  1. Scratch Our Own Itch
  2. Prioritize the Customer

Balancing both values can be difficult in product design. On one hand, we want to make gear that we love, that solves our problems, and that gets us excited. As a small team of passionate travelers, we all care deeply about our products. Not all of us will use every product that we make, but our team is too invested in travel to be working on products they don’t like or care about.

At the same time, we have to make gear that will sell. If you aren’t solving problems for other people, you won’t be a successful business. Starting with the Air, we began supplementing our own insights by surveying customers and interviewing the target market for new products. Recently, we surveyed previous Tortuga Air buyers to inform the next iteration of that bag (coming this year).

To date, most of our surveying has been targeted and product-centric, like asking specific questions about how you use packing cubes. Today we’re launching our largest ever survey of you, Team Tortuga. We want to learn about you, your travel habits, and your luggage preferences.

Fill out the 2018 survey here by Friday, January 19th, 2017 to be entered to win a $200 Tortuga gift card. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, January 22, 2017.

Your input will help to shape Tortuga and our future products. The survey’s goal is to better understand how we can make your travels easier and more enjoyable.

This survey is a bit long but will be influential in shaping the next year (or, more likely, few years) of Tortuga. We appreciate your taking the time to fill out the survey. I can’t wait to read every single response. Yes, I really do that.

The last question of the survey asks if you’d like to participate in future surveys. We’ll be running more (shorter) surveys throughout 2018 and would love to include your thoughts in those too.

We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback and to using it to serve you better.