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.
Note: the Outbreaker Duffle and Wet/Dry Bag are retired and will not be restocked.
“This is my favorite thing you’ve ever made, Pat.”
It’s December. I’m messaging our product designer, Patrick, because I’ve just received product samples for the Outbreaker accessories. Once again, I’m blown away by his brilliance. He chuckles and messages back, expressing gratitude. The gratitude is genuine, but the chuckle happens because I’m constantly telling him that the new thing in front of me is my favorite thing he’s ever made. Favorites, by nature, require a person to be choosy. Not everything can be my favorite. I have to pick one favorite. Yeah, yeah.
Since we’re a remote team and don’t have an office full of samples for me to review, every precious storage section of my tiny NYC apartment is peppered with something Tortuga. The Outbreaker travel backpacks are precariously perched at the top of my coat closet. They fall out every time I reach for my grocery bags. Six different packing cubes are unceremoniously shoved under my dresser. I had to give away my V2 Tortuga backpacks, because I simply ran out of room.
What’s most exciting, though? The basket on my desk is filled with the soon-to-be-released Outbreaker Duffle, Daypack, and Wet/Dry Bag. I suppose I should remove the new packing cubes from under the dresser and put them in the basket so that all of the coming-soon accessories can exist together on my desk as one happy accessory family.
Here’s a preview of the daypack and duffle:
I’ve used the new Outbreaker accessories almost daily for the past several months. They aren’t designed for everyday life – they’re designed for travel – but that doesn’t stop me from carrying the duffle to dance class and the daypack to my favorite coworking space. I love carrying them around NYC, but I didn’t appreciate their full potential until I traveled with the accessories.
The Outbreaker Collection is Growing
Very soon, we’ll add the following to the Outbreaker collection:
- A daypack that can hold a 15″ computer and all the stuff you need for a day of adventure
- A personal-item-sized duffle
- Updated and upgraded packing cubes that fit perfectly in the Outbreaker travel backpack
- A wet/dry bag to separate damp or soiled clothes from the rest of your stuff and keep clean clothes clean
To prepare for our launch, and in order to write our product pages, I’ve been traveling with the accessories since December. I’m hooked. My new ideal packing setup is as follows, for trips up to a week:
- Outbreaker Duffle, for clothes
- Outbreaker Daypack, for computer and in-flight essentials
- Outbreaker Packing Cubes, to give the duffle a bit of organization
I’ll bring the travel backpack for a longer trip, like the one I’m taking to Europe this summer, since I’ll want a bit more room.
This is progress. I’m the girl who packed a V2 Tortuga backpack and a large checked bag for an 8-month RTW trip in 2016. I was new to long-term travel, okay? I know better now. Carrying only a small duffle and daypack makes me feel like part of a special club of people who have Global Entry (I do!) and are always somehow in Zone 2 on flights regardless of seat choice (how??) and never, ever pack too much stuff.
Packing the Outbreaker Accessories
For the weekend trip, I packed as follows:
- Computer (15″ Macbook Pro)
- Kindle Paperwhite (there are electronics sleeves for both!)
- Bag of trail mix for the plane
- Noise cancelling headphones
- 6 bags of Chai tea, so that I wouldn’t be stuck in a caffeine emergency
- Lipstick (priorities)
- Warm hat
- Blanket scarf
- 3-1-1 liquids bag with shampoo, toothpaste, face oil, etc
- Large packing cube with the following inside: 2x long sleeve tees, 1x wool sweater, 1x short sleeved tee, 1x pajama pants
- Small packing cube with socks, underwear, and electronics chargers
- Small packing cube with hairbrush, makeup bag, toiletry bag
- Ultralight down jacket, shoved on top
The Duffle is technically personal-item-sized, but I put it in the overhead compartment. The daypack went under my seat. I had ample room in both bags. So much extra room, you guys.
For Tulum, I packed the following:
- Kindle Paperwhite
- Travel journal
- 2x pens, because my boyfriend always forgets a pen and needs to borrow one for customs forms (for shame)
- External backup battery for my phone
- Noise cancelling headphones
- Grayl water bottle
- Blanket scarf
- Large packing cube with the following inside: bikini, sarong, 2x tank tops, 2x tee shirts, 2x dresses, 1x shorts
- Small packing cube with the following inside: travel towel, medicine pouch, toiletry bag, chargers
- 3-1-1 liquids bag
- Wet/Dry bag with flip flops inside
Again, the Duffle went in the overhead compartment. I also had plenty of room for extras in both bags. Which was great, because I used that extra room to pack the NYC winter clothes I wore on the plane once we landed in sunny Mexico. Winter clothes take up a lot of room.
The Wet/Dry Bag
I suppose I should note the purpose of a Wet/Dry Bag for those who have never used one — you put something dirty or damp inside (like shoes, or a swimsuit) and close the bag. The dampness is separated from the other items you’re carrying and keeps the rest of the stuff in your luggage clean. My beloved Rainbows were damp, sandy, and kind of gross when I walked off the beach in Tulum and changed to go to the airport, so into the Wet/Dry Bag they went.
I’ve been using the Outbreaker accessories for several months now, and taken them everywhere I go. Soon, they’ll be available to purchase in our store, and I hope you love them as much as I do.