Tortuga V4: A Look Ahead at 2023
The Tortuga Promise
At Tortuga, our mission is to make travel easier. Our advice and recommendations are based on years of travel experience. We only recommend products that we use on our own travels.
The pandemic was an inflection point for every business but especially for Tortuga. When the COVID-19 lockdowns began, our sales fell 80%. We had no idea when people would be able to or want to travel again.
When we saw that the pandemic wouldn’t be resolved quickly, our only business goal was survival. We didn’t have the money to develop new products or continue paying our employees. Unfortunately, we had to lay off three-quarters of our team.
Almost three years later—after much focus and simplification—we’re still here. Thanks to your support.
The pandemic was like a forest fire for the travel industry. The trees that made it through the flames will be stronger, healthier, and more resilient in the future.
That’s how we feel about Tortuga today. We made it through three difficult years. Now we’re building for the future. We’re building the next version of the company, Tortuga V4, to make your travels easier than pre-pandemic.
Here at the end of 2022, we feel like we’re building a whole new business but with the benefit of twelve years of knowledge and experience.
What’s Staying the Same
Our core mission hasn’t changed. Tortuga’s why, what, and for whom will stay the same.
- Why? To make travel easier.
- What? Carry on travel bags.
- For whom? Cultural explorers, international travelers, and digital nomads.
We’ll always stay true to the problem that we’re solving and to the customer that we’re solving it for (you).
How we solve that problem—the products and features—can always be improved.
Out of necessity, we had to radically simplify Tortuga to get through the pandemic.
The business had to be smaller so we could run it with fewer people. But we also needed to reduce inventory and avoid being spread too thin across too many products.
In a word, we had to focus. Focus is what we’re bringing to the next iteration of Tortuga.
Tortuga V4 will be a leaner, simpler business and product line (at first). You may have already noticed that we retired the Prelude and Setout collections and now only sell the Outbreaker collection on the site. Rather than selling three collections at three price points, we’ve consolidated behind one.
The Outbreaker has been our flagship backpack since it launched as the first product and collection in the last iteration of the company. Since then, Outbreaker has won the most awards and has been our objectively “best” product.
The choice of which collection to focus on improving was easy.
When the Travel Backpack V4 launches on January 17, 2023, it will be an evolution of the Outbreaker Backpack and collection. The goal is to make our best product even better.
In the first half of 2023, we’ll launch V4 versions of the products you see on the site today:
After that, the product line will grow into new territory with products we’ve never made before, but that will help you, the traveler, the most.
Rather than selling 14(!) different travel backpacks across a range of price points, sizes, colors, and fits, we’ll consolidate the
The new product line will include a range of carry ons, personal items, organizers, and accessories.
We don’t know with certainty which smaller products we’ll release. I don’t want to spoil any future products or promise anything we don’t end up making.
If you watch our Instagram Stories, you’ll see occasional product previews and get enough information to make educated guesses. We’ve also been using Instagram Stories to run mini surveys and to solicit feedback on “works in progress.” If you’d like to give your input, follow us on Instagram.
I hope that this post was informative about the direction that we’re taking Tortuga next year. The further we get, the more details we can share about new products and the rest of the business.
For now, you can read more about how the Travel Backpack (V4) compares to the Outbreaker Backpack and details on SHELL200, our new recycled sailcloth material.