Introducing Setout: The Travel Backpack That’s “Just Right”

Fred Perrotta


In November, we’re launching a “just right” travel backpack that will retail at $199. For specs and features, click here.

In 2016, we rebooted Tortuga and launched the Outbreaker Backpack. The Outbreaker was intended to be the third generation (V3) of our flagship product, previously known as the Tortuga Travel Backpack (V2).  In our attempt to upgrade V2, we didn’t create V3. Instead, we created a new category of pro-level travel gear, which now includes the Outbreaker and Homebase Backpacks.

I previously wrote about this in our post on pricing. The improvements that make the Outbreaker better than V2 required significant investments in the product. From increased material and hardware costs to additional labor for a more complex product, the Outbreaker is more expensive to make and, therefore, costs more than V2.

The Outbreaker and Homebase Backpacks have been well reviewed by critics and by customers, but we know that some travelers are not being served if we only make pro-level gear. Not everyone needs waterproof materials or a height-adjustable suspension system, even when travel is an important part of your life.

Most travelers just need a really good backpack for a two-week trip to Europe.

 A Real Trip Inspired the Bag

That example isn’t random. That was me in 2009. Jeremy (the co-founder of Tortuga) and I took a two-week backpacking trip to Europe at the depth of the recession. Since this was my first time outside of North America, I had no idea which bag to buy or what to pack. I needed a “just right” bag but couldn’t find anything designed for city travel.

I settled for a GoLite 65L hiking bag. The backpack was great… for hiking. Not for traveling.

Our backpack trip led to our founding Tortuga. At the time, we said that we wanted to create the “ultimate travel backpack.” Eight years later, with a bigger and more experienced team, we are no longer limited by our design or production expertise. We can design and manufacture advanced, technical backpacks like Outbreaker and Homebase.

 Setout: The Backpack Most Travelers Need

We can also create the ideal backpack for the situation that I, and most travelers, experienced. We can create the “just right” bag for most city travelers  at an approachable price point. 

In fact, we already have. The Setout Backpack will launch in November and will cost $199.

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The Setout project is extra special to me because it’s for me: the 24-year-old me on his first international trip. While my packing style has changed, I haven’t forgotten that we created Tortuga to “scratch our own itch.”

Setout will again do that for the 2009 versions of Jeremy and me and, hopefully, for many of our fellow travelers.

A High Quality, Affordable Backpack

You should know that all of our backpacks, including Setout, are held to the same Tortuga standards.

Setout has received the same attention to detail, was designed by the same people, and was made at the same factory as Outbreaker and Homebase. By changing out the body fabric, one layer of foam, the type of zippers that we use, and simplifying the design a bit, we created a more affordable backpack that we are proud of and think that you will love.

The Setout Backpack is the bag I wish I had in 2009 on the trip that led to founding Tortuga.

We will be sharing more details on this backpack in the coming weeks before the official launch in November. Before you ask, we don’t have an exact date yet, but we will be shipping Setout in time for the holidays.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of this journey with us.

For more details on the Setout Backpack as they are published, subscribe to Packsmith. If you want to be alerted when Setout is available for purchase, join our newsletter.