I’m a rolling suitcase/spinner type of guy when I travel.
More than that, I’m a carry-on/rollaboard type of guy. That is to say, I do not like to check baggage. I use a personal item combined with a rollaboard carryon suitcase. I tried the backpack thing years ago and much prefer the ease and elegance of a rolling suitcase. I’m an urban explorer and not much of a hiker. Most places I go, a suitcase with wheels is the superior way to efficiently pack and transport my gear.
But, I decided to take a trip to the beach paradise called Parque Tayrona in Colombia. To get there requires a 2 hour hike through the jungle and across beaches sun scorched beaches. There’s no way to get a rolling piece of luggage through that kind of terrain.
Hence the fun search for a replacement for my rollaboard suitcase. For this first round, I narrowed it to the Tortuga Setout 35L, the Tortuga Setout Divide, and the Cotopaxi Alpa 35L.
I didn’t want a huge pack and some of the other offerings (Nomantic, Aer, Peak, etc) are much bigger than the bags I settled on. I thought the Osprey Farpoint 40 was a good buy, but I don’t like the aesthetics as much.
The Tortuga was a great buy, because they offer an education/military discount of 20%!
What really appealed to me about the Tortuga Setout Divide was the versatility it represented. You can start out with it compressed in and it’s about 26L. But if you need more space, you can open it up and it’s 34L. Perfect right? I’m the type of person that loves versatility.
What’s more, the Tortuga Setout Divide is to me, quite good looking. It comes in grey or black and doesn’t have a lot of extra adornments or weird colors. It’s make out of 900D polyester and weather resisant. The zippers are YKK and great quality. They are super smooth and the zipper pulls are easy to grasp.
For organization, there is a small zippered pouch on the front and a water bottle pocket. Inside, the main compartment is a big open space, much like a suitcase. There is also a laptop compartment that goes against the back.
Comfort wise, it was super comfortable. The shoulder pads are injection molded, so they stay preformed in an arch which allows you to get into and out of the pack easily. There are load lifters too, which I love, especially since this bag pulls your center of gravity back when fully loaded. The hip belts are thick and plush and once you strap them on, comfortably bring the weight off your back and onto your hips. Super.
Overall, it was a great pack. In the end though, I chose the slightly bigger Tortuga Setout 35L Men’s which for me, fit what I needed a bit better and was slightly more comfortable.
Tortuga Setback Divide https://www.tortugabackpacks.com/prod…
Cotopaxi Allpa https://www.amazon.com/Cotopaxi-Allpa…
My Carryon Bag Playlist with all the reviews I’ve done on taking carryon backpacks to the max.