Tortuga Travel Sling Review
The Tortuga Travel Sling has simple yet effective organization and is well supported by a comfortable back panel with enough space for your daily essentials.
- Materials are lightweight, durable, and water-resistant
- Thick and comfortable back panel padding
- Internal organization is simple but intuitive
- Back panel can protrude in certain situations
- Not much padding on the front of the sling
- Can’t fit a larger tablet inside
0.51 lb (0.2 kg)
9.3 in x 5.9 in x 2.8 in (23.6 x 15 x 7.1 cm)
Recycled Polyester, Ripstop Polyester, PFC-free DWR Coating, YKK Zippers, Woojin Hardware
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Tortuga has made some of our favorite travel gear in recent years, so we were amped to get our hands on their Travel Sling early. At the time of writing, Fred Perrotta, Co-Founder of Tortuga, is a Pack Hacker Pro Member and often gives insights on certain design decisions. However, they have nothing to do with our rating of this pack, but it’s nice to be able to ask any questions that we’ve got. For more on that, become a member!
For now, let’s dive into the Travel Sling and how it fits into your gear arsenal!
The primary pack material on this sling is Tortuga’s SHELL200, which we’ve dealt with before. The fabric is 200D recycled polyester with waterproofness capable of handling up to 200+ PSI without any harmful coatings. The DWR coating doesn’t include PFAS or PFOA, which is better for the environment. Who doesn’t love that?
However, just because a material looks good on paper doesn’t mean it works well. Good news—this time, it does. It’s lightweight, reasonably durable, and keeps water out. However, it doesn’t have a ton of padding, so be careful when carrying breakable items.
The zippers on this pack are from YKK and have an AquaGuard finish to help keep water at bay. The pulls are minimalistic but are a little slippery when wet. In most cases, they work well and stay out of your way. There’s some texture on the end, so you can use your nail to grab that when they’re wet.
The buckle on the strap is magnetic and from Woojin, one of the Pack Hacker team’s favorite brands. It’s placed right off the side of the sling, so it stays out of your way and won’t get pushed into your back if you wear it with a travel backpack or daypack.
In typical Tortuga fashion, the logo blends nicely with the rest of the pack and isn’t easy to notice from a distance. We dig how sleek this is; it matches the overall minimalism the sling has going on. We’re used to this from testing other gear from the brand, but it’s a breath of fresh air every time.
This sling is black, black, black. It’s sleek and well-designed, but if you like vibrant colors, this might not be a good option for you. However, you may not get the same contrast with black and your other gear, so keep that in mind. Plus, this is Pack Hacker. We love black gear!
Overall, the exterior of this sling doesn’t have much going on. A lot is happening inside, though, but we’ll get there.
The back panel is substantial, which contradicts the otherwise lightweight nature of this sling. The EVA molding is comfortable and does an okay job keeping things cool; however, on a hot day, you’ll still sweat with it. Remember, it’s all black.
The back panel is very rigid, protecting the gear inside the sling, but it can be awkward in some situations. Depending on how you wear it, it can jut away from your body like a perpendicular line because of the structure. This rarely happens, but is worth noting.
The strap doesn’t have any padding or aeration, which initially feels disappointing but, in testing, proved to be a non-issue. At 2.5 liters, this sling isn’t heavy enough to warrant a ton of padding. With thinner clothing on, it might dig in slightly; however, in most cases, this isn’t an issue.
There’s an elastic strap keeper, which helps keep things organized. Because it’s stretchy, you can double-loop it, which is helpful for those with smaller frames. This keeps the look subdued and without a ton of extra materials floating around.
Inside The Sling
We’ve got two pockets to go over—one that operates as the main compartment and another on the back side; we’ll start with the latter.
This compartment is tall and flat, making it work well for a Kindle or small tablet, a phone, and other slender things like a passport or small notebook. There’s no organization here, so you’ve only got space for one large item or a few smaller ones. Bulkier gear doesn’t work here because it will make the back panel bulge slightly, making it more uncomfortable.
There’s more organization in the main compartment, but it’s still not much. The zippers run a long way around the pack’s exterior, so you can get into the nitty gritty of gear organization, too.
On the flap side, there’s a zippered pocket. It takes up the whole front face of the pack, so there’s a lot of room to work with. This pocket is on the front of the sling, so anything you put here only has a thin layer of material between it and the outside world.
The back wall has two mesh pockets with elastic toppers. The elastic is fairly snappy, making this an excellent spot to stow your wallet, phone, or other medium-sized items. Smaller items can still tumble out with enough shaking, though, so be careful what you place here.
Last, we’ve got a key leash. It’s not super long, so you might not be able to open all doors with your keys attached to it, but it stays out of the way while you’re using it, which we dig. Plus, you can attach your keys and set them inside one of the pockets, which is nice.
Overall, we dig the Tortuga Travel Sling’s simple design and ease of use. Some travelers might not like the thick back panel, but it adds comfort and stability for long treks through a new city. Plus, it’s super sleek, which will help you blend in no matter where your journey takes you.
- The back panel foam is firm, but we’re curious if it’s going to weigh the sling down
- We dig the internal organization and the separate sleeve for tablets or a book
- Hardware is durable and easy to operate
- No issues with the durability or water resistance of the materials
- The internal organization feels up to par with current tech in mind
- Hardware is easy to use and stays out of your way