That said, these are only small downsides and think that the vast majority of travelers would be pleased with this competitor. We especially enjoyed how both of the Marmot Phase models provided an excellent hood design, which allowed us to stay cozy without feeling claustrophobic. Even though the Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel and the Osprey Ozone Convertible's wheels were just half an inch larger than The North Face models, all of our testers felt it performed better on more rugged surfaces. The shoulder and hip girths 60" and 59" respectively are in line with other performance-oriented mummy bags. If 70L sounds like too much or too little space for your weekend or multi-week getaway, check out the smaller 40L model or the more massive L model.
Analysis and Test Results
We also packed and unpacked each with a standardized set of weeklong travel needs and accessories to see how well the internal features for organization or lack thereof aided or got in the way of efficient packing. Our testers included two males 6-foot-3 and 5-foot and two females 5-foot-3 and 5-foot , who tried all our top picks and contenders.
Of all the bags we tested, the Tortuga Outbreaker struck the best balance between a hiking backpack and an excellent piece of luggage. With non-ripstop, the tape will only keep your stuff inside until the tear widens.
With ripstop, the tear will stop at the reinforcement point, and the tape will hold for as long as it sticks. Every compartment on the Outbreaker is sealed by weather-resistant zippers. In practice, this means you can take this bag out in the rain without rushing for the nearest shelter.
The Tortuga backpack straps are adjustable to fit most torso lengths. The eye and loop construction, held by a long clasp and secured by velcro, is easy to take apart and move. Out of all the bags we tested, the Outbreaker was easily the most comfortable we put on our backs thanks to an overhauled suspension system borrowed from wilderness hiking backpacks.
It was also the only bag we tested that could be adjusted for torso length, which means the location of the shoulder straps can be manipulated to fit a wider variety of body sizes. Additionally, Tortuga has added load adjuster straps at the top, where the shoulder straps connect to the bag. These prevent the bag from sagging toward your lumbar and ensure that the hip belt and shoulder straps are properly situated on your body.
Unfortunately, as Eytan Levy of Snarky Nomad points out in his review , the load lifters are placed too low on the back panel to be effective on longer torsos. Finally, the stiff but cushioned back panel allowed for decent airflow to minimize back sweat.
The downside of this adjustability and padding is that the straps can no longer be stowed, which you could do with the older models. The padding also adds a lot of weight. But you will definitely notice how supportive all those ergonomic add-ons feel compared with something like the Patagonia MLC, which has only basic padded shoulder straps and lacks padding of any sort on its waist belt. We go into more detail down below in our What to look forward to section.
The Tortuga fully packed behaves similarly to any carry-on piece of luggage, and holds 3 to 5 days worth of clothes. In addition to the cavernous main pocket, there are four inner pockets along the sides, which are a little too small for anything besides socks and small personal items like toiletries.
The lid of the bag reveals two wide vented pockets, which can carry shoes or sandals, or be used to separate out laundry. It folds open halfway down the bag, revealing a zippered pocket and several slots for pens, tickets, and small notebooks. Some people will love this feature and know exactly what they want to put and where, others will bristle at the forced structure. Personally, it felt like opening a well-organized desk drawer wherever I was. This means you can open the bag at security without having to remove your computer.
The Tortuga borrows load adjuster straps found on most backpacking packs. By pulling the weight of the bag closer to the body, they help anyone carry a heavily loaded pack no matter their size. The Outbreaker comes in a liter or liter size. We tested the liter version.
The Snarky Nomad has a very thorough review of the liter version here. Unlike our top pick, the Farpoint 40 comes with stowaway straps to protect your bag from damage if you find you suddenly have to gate-check your belongings on a full flight. The Farpoint also has an optional messenger bag-style strap, which offers some flexibility when maneuvering tight spaces like subways or crowded city centers. Overall, the Farpoint is a well-constructed bag from a company with a reputation for making great backpacks and has a warranty to match: Osprey covers all its bags with its All Mighty Guarantee , which says the company will fix or replace any of its products regardless of when you bought them.
And to its credit, the Farpoint 40 has garnered generally positive reviews from online travel bloggers: That being said, despite weighing 2 pounds less than our top pick, the Farpoint is simply not as comfortable to carry nor as easy to pack as the Tortuga Outbreaker. However, as Iylana of Penny Caravan points out, smaller individuals may appreciate the lighter weight and more compact design. Frequently, however, the same complaints come up time and again: The edge of the Velcro occasionally scratched my lower back.
The design slots your computer on the inside of the secondary pocket, instead of directly against your back like most backpack designs. This unusual choice shifts the center of gravity away from the strongest muscles of your back, which makes loads feel heavier than they should. Inside, the bag is simple to pack. Unlike the Outbreaker, it does come with compression straps to help keep your gear in place. We found that during testing that they were most effective when paired with packing cubes , which we suggest for any kind of travel anyway, though they will work without them as well.
The suitcase comparison applies beyond appearances, too. A laptop sleeve runs the length of the back panel with an easily accessible zipper on the side for speedy TSA compliance. Being able to quickly move a bag to your front on a busy subway can make it easier to move around and help you keep a better eye on your stuff in a strange city. The MLC is primarily designed to be carried across the chest or over one arm using a detachable shoulder strap—similar to a duffel or weekender bag.
However, the shoulder strap they include has the same thin padding found in the backpack straps. OutdoorGearLab found that the comfort maxed out around 25 to 30 pounds, which conformed with our testing as well. If you want a decent bag for a bargain price and are willing to sacrifice long-term durability, the Cabin Max Metz and nearly identical AmazonBasics Carry-On are remarkable for their low price and efficient pocket layouts. But both are made of polyester rather than the more durable, though more expensive, high-denier nylon fabrics used in pricier models and have mediocre ergonomics.
The included hip belt is nothing more than a strap of nylon held in place by two plastic carabiner clips. The bag also comes with a detachable messenger strap, similar to the Patagonia MLC, allowing it to adapt to situations where you want easy access to your pack, or to keep an eye on it by having it in front of you. With nearly 40 liters of capacity, the main compartment of the Cabin Max 5. The front panel organizer of the Cabin Max has two pen holders and two broad pockets shaped to hold small notebooks, passports, or tickets.
There are also two mesh panel pockets for miscellaneous items. The Cabin Max, like the Tortuga Outbreaker but not like the Osprey bag, correctly positions the laptop pocket against your back, which allows you to keep one of the heaviest pieces of the kit close to your body. Cabin Max gear is protected by a day return and one-year limited warranty for manufacturing faults, which is pretty generous for the price.
We plan to test it soon. The North Face has resurrected the beloved Overhaul 40 , which the company previously discontinued despite its popularity. At one time all I ever used for carrying my meat were these Transport canvas bags until I realized how heavy they were for backpacking and switched to a lighter style.
I continue using the Transport bags to keep the meat clean during transporting. Anytime I am transporting meat on a four-wheeler or the back of a truck I put the meat, which is already in a lightweight game bag, into the Transport bag to further protect it from the dust on the roads. A few of the guys I know in Alaska will put their moose meat that is already in a game bag into these transport bags for protection, then drag it to and from the raft on float trips.
The transport bags are available in the following sizes: For someone who wants to use only cotton or canvas, I highly recommend Alaska Game Bags. If you are looking for a tough, reusable, rolled cotton game bag, then you cannot go wrong with their guide model bags. Caribou Game Bags are constructed from a custom synthetic nylon blend of fabric that is extremely lightweight, breathable, stain resistant, washable, and durable.
With that combination these bags should last you for a number of years. We were hunting with friends who had just purchased Caribou Game Bags and wanted to try them out. My wife harvested a great buck a few miles from camp, and my friend, Lee, brought up a horse to pack the buck back to camp. We put half of the quartered-out buck into each game bag, then tied the bags together and put them over the saddle. I had my doubts about the bags holding up but was surprised to see they worked out fine.
My brother is also a big fan of Caribou Game Bags. He purchased a small deer pack a few years back and has used those same bags on seven different animals and has been very impressed with the results. One of the features that I really like is that no other game bag has a fluorescent orange reflective light attachment on the bags. This allows me to check the meat at night from a distance, which is a plus when you live in bear country like I do.
Another thing I like is the lock loops on top of the game bags. For a guided hunter you can take the ID tag and zip-tie and label your meat and zip-tie the lock loops together to keep from having your meat switched or misplaced while in a large hunting camp. For washing Caribou Game Bags they recommend soaking the bags in a bucket of cold water and dish soap for 30 minutes and then rinsing them. Continue this process until most debris is removed from the bag. Next put them in the washing machine with detergent and bleach.
Finally, hang the bags until they are thoroughly dry before folding and storing them. Package includes four 60"x28" quarter bags, one 48"x28" cape bag, one 60"x28" rib bag, one 30"x23" parts bag, one 20"x12" camp meat bag, and seven ID tags. Package includes four 48"x28" quarter bags, one 30"x23" cape bag, one 30"x23" parts bag, one 20"x12" camp meat bag, and six ID tags. Package includes four 38"x21" quarter bags, one 24"x21" cape bag, one 30"x23" parts bag, one 20"x12" camp meat bag, and six ID tags.
Package includes five 24"x21" meat bags, one 48"x48" plastic tarp, and five ID tags. These bags are made from a synthetic fabric called Game-Vent.
It is a special nylon material that has been produced to provide proper ventilation, strength, durability, wick moisture away from meat, and dry quickly.
It comes with six bags and a stuff sack. You get four 14"x34" bags and two 14"x20" bags in the BOMB pack. This pack is all you would need to bone out an entire bull elk. The next pack is for deer and elk sized game. The following individual bags can be purchased: I am eager to try the T.
For someone who is a fanatic about weight on a backpack hunt, T. I will admit I was amazed at how strong and durable these lightweight bags were. The recommended way to clean T. One downside to these new synthetic nylon bags is that they are extremely heat sensitive, so keep them away from open flames.
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