Introducing the Tortuga Prelude Backpack — Tortuga’s latest budget friendly backpack built specifically for travelers and backpackers on a budget.

If you’re a fan of this site, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of the quality of the products that Tortuga Backpacks has released over the course of the last few years so while there’s no real need to go into the details behind the company itself, we’ll go ahead and keep things short below for those of you who are newcomers to Pause The Moment.

Tortuga Backpacks is the brainchild of Fred and Jeremy, two veteran backpackers who were on a mission to address problems that backpackers often face on their travels after they returned from a backpacking trip through Europe.

The Tortuga Prelude Backpack series is the most affordable of all the models that Tortuga offers, but these packs are still top-of-the-line in terms of durability, style, and comfort.

The series includes the Tortuga Prelude Daypack, which is a smaller lightweight pack designed to carry only the essentials that you need for a day of sightseeing while the Tortuga Prelude Backpack is a larger pack designed to be your faithful companion throughout your entire trip, with enough space to fit all of the essentials you’ll need for a basic, budget friendly trip.

Below, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Tortuga Prelude Backpack, a spacious, lightweight, full-sized carry on perfect for travelers who enjoy extended city breaks and multi-week trips.

Tortuga Prelude BackPack Review

Here is everything you need to know about the Tortuga Prelude Backpack.

Tortuga Prelude Travel Backpack_ Zipper
Prelude Travel Backpack_ Back

Build & Materials 

Tortuga has ensured that their packs are made of the highest quality materials to give backpackers peace of mind as they sling their backpacks over their shoulder and embark on their new experience.

The Prelude Backpack is built to fit a 17”-19” wide torso, but its adjustable straps make it so it will fit just about any body type.

It also features zippers made by Japanese manufacturer YKK, who has an outstanding reputation in the industry for durability and ease-of-use.

The zippers can be locked with a simple padlock or combination lock to ensure that pickpockets will have no chance at stealing your valuables.

No one wants to have their experience in a new country ruined by constant concern over lurking thieves. But the Prelude Backpack is not only secure, it’s also super comfortable.

It features a sturdy sternum strap built with a duraflex buckle and the part of the pack that rests against your back is made of a soft air mesh that will make you feel like you’re wearing a cloud instead of a backpack.

This pack is even built with a removable hip belt that will ensure you never get even a twinge of back pain as you traverse the globe.

Overall, the build of this backpack is designed to take your mind off of how heavy your backpack is and let you focus on all of the rich rewards of traveling.

One of the things that Tortuga prioritized when coming up with the Prelude Backpack was making it really lightweight.

The 900D recycled polyester which makes up most of the backpack is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles by REPREVE, a recycling company that creates high-quality fibers for use in backpacks, among other things.

The 900D rating that this polyester has received is a measure of linear mass density that is used to compare textiles to other textiles of the same material.

By creating a polyester that is environmentally responsible and durable beyond industry standards, REPREVE really hit a home run with this material, and Tortuga made the right move in partnering with them to create the Tortuga Prelude Backpack.

Additionally, traditional materials like cotton and leather pale in comparison to REPREVE recycled polyester, as this material is far superior in its resistance to mold and mildew, wrinkling and shrinking, and staining.

Parts of the bag are covered with a thermoplastic polyurethane coating that makes this bag exceptionally weather resistant.

Comfortable, stylish, lightweight, durable and environmentally responsible? This bag checks all the boxes to make it a great carry-on backpack for travel.

Prelude Travel Backpack Side

Size & Weight 

When looking for the right travel backpack, you want to make sure that you have enough space to fit all of your essentials, but not too much space that you end up overpacking for your trip.

The folks at Tortuga understand that this is a fine balance, and so have created the Prelude Backpack with this balance in mind.

This backpack is compact and can be checked as a carry-on with any airline company, but also certainly has enough internal storage space to fit everything you will need for your next backpacking trip.

With external dimensions of 21.65” x 13.75” x 7.87”, you’ll never be sweating as you approach the baggage check at the airport wondering whether or not you’ll have to pay an astronomical fee because your bag is too big to carry on.

The internal storage volume is 38.5L, which is plenty of space to fit all your things whether you plan on backpacking for a month or an extended trip of 6 months or more.

It’s hard to find the perfect size for a travel backpack, but the guys at Tortuga have drawn from their own experience as backpackers to create the appropriate sized pack for any backpacking adventure. 

For those of you who have been on extended backpacking trips before, you know the feeling of arriving to your accommodations and feeling the cramps in your back and shoulders from lugging your heavy luggage around.

That’s why the Tortuga Prelude Backpack was built to be as light as a feather. Even with all of the storage space, this bag only weighs an incredibly-light 2.5 pounds!

Check Prices
Prelude Travel Backpack_ Belt
Prelude Travel Backpack_ Clip
Prelude Travel Backpack_Sternum.Strap

External Features 

The exterior of the Prelude Backpack has a sleek, blacked-out look that really shows off the quality of the materials that were used to build this beautiful bag.

But looks are not all this bag has to offer, there are also some super-useful external features that are guaranteed to come in handy as you journey across the globe.

This backpack has webbing loops that line either side which allow you to attach additional baggage to the pack while keeping your hands free to pay a bus fare or wave to a friendly stranger.

If you have a few carabiner clips, there is virtually no end to the amount of things you can attach to the back of the bag. Simply clip it into one of the loops and let it hang.

No matter what you decide to put in your bag, the Prelude Backpack is guaranteed to help you carry the load and take a great deal of stress off your body.

The load-lifter straps on the top help tighten the bag to your shoulders so you won’t get pesky rashes from long stints of travel.

The side compression straps help you compact your bag into its smallest possible form, making it easy to maneuver through airports, bus terminals, and anywhere you may have to lug your bag.

The bag also has a padded hip belt that will sit comfortably on your waist and will keep your posture straight so you can look and feel like a confident traveler.

For even easier handling, Tortuga included grab handles on the top and side of the bag, so you can quickly grab your bag if you have to sprint to catch a train or a bus.

The lockable zippers and weather resistant exterior of the Prelude Backpack will keep your items safe from rain and thieves alike. 

Prelude Travel Backpack_Interior

Internal Features 

While the outside of this backpack is outfitted with some of the best features the industry has to offer, the features inside the bag are also definitely worth mentioning as well.

This is a front-loaded pack, which makes it easy to quickly insert or remove items in a rush. inside the main pocket of the bag are a series of spacious pockets that will help you keep your things organized.

These pockets are made of a durable mesh that will never tear and leave your clothes rustling around your bag.

There is also an extra smaller pocket on the front of the bag that is perfect for storing small electronics, trinkets that you picked up from a gift shop, your passport, or any other small items that you don’t want to lose.

The Tortuga Prelude Backpack also features a tablet sleeve on the outside that snuggly fits a 10.5” tablet.

This sleeve has a lockable zipper, so you can travel stress-free without worrying about someone slipping your tablet out of your bag when you aren’t looking.

The interior of the Tortuga Prelude Backpack was built for security and organization, and with so much storage space, you might actually begin to enjoy the process of packing again.

Check Prices
Prelude Travel Backpack_What.Fits
Prelude Travel Backpack_ Water-net


The Tortuga Prelude Backpack makes it easy with its ergonomic design and multitude of convenient pockets.

The convenient water bottle pockets on either side of the bag are made of durable elastic, so they won’t add any extra bulk to your bag when they’re empty.

The importance of organization goes beyond just finding your things quickly, misplacing a passport or a wallet could lead to devastating consequences for even the most savvy of backpackers.

The Tortuga Prelude Backpack will make sure you keep track of all of your essential items. 

Check Prices

Tortuga Prelude Video Overview


Dimensions:21.65” x 13.75” x 7.87” (55 x 35 x 20 cm)
Height:2.5 lbs
Fit:17-19” torsos
External Material:900D recycled polyester with matte TPU coating
Padding:Air mesh
Zippers:Lockable YKK zippers
Buckles:Duraflex buckles
Origins:Made in Vietnam

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • How much does the Tortuga Prelude Backpack cost?

The Tortuga Prelude Backpack sells for $149 and it comes with free shipping.

This is a very competitive price for a bag of this quality, and other brands will charge far higher prices for no additional quality.

  • What can I fit inside of the Tortuga Prelude Backpack?

The Tortuga Prelude Backpack can easily fit at least 7 days worth of clothes, a 10.5” tablet or laptop, a toiletry bag with all of your hygienic essentials, as well as other important accessories and documents that you will need on your travels. 

  • Where does Tortuga ship to? 

Tortuga currently only ships to the United States but their products can be sent internationally through forwarding services.

Shipping to the United States is guaranteed in under 6 days, excluding P.O. boxes, military addresses and U.S. territories.

Tortuga charges a flat rate of $10 for shipping on purchases under $49, and shipping on all purchases over $49 is free. 

  • What’s Tortuga Backpacks return policy? 

If you are unsatisfied with a Tortuga product, you can return it if it is unused within 30 days.

You will not have to pay any return shipping costs; however, if you did pay a $10 shipping cost for a purchase under $49, you will not be refunded. 

  • Is it better to have a bigger or smaller travel backpack?

It’s best to have a bag that will fit everything that you want to take with you on your backpacking trip, but that won’t be overly bulky and make it difficult to maneuver through public spaces.

The Tortuga Prelude Backpack has struck a great balance between being compact and spacious enough to fit all your needs. 

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack

More Info Button
Tortuga Setout Backpack

Tortuga Setout Backpack

More Info Button
PTD_ Front

Tortuga Prelude Daypack

More Info Button