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REI Vagabond vs Tortuga Outbreaker

The Vagabond is outdoor retailer REI's travel pack. Like the Outbreaker, the Vagabond is front-loading for easy packing and unpacking. Both bags include organizational pockets, ergonomic padding, and straps. One huge difference separates the two bags: the REI Vagabond is NOT a carry on bag.

The Vagabond must be checked when you fly. Checked bag fees are $25+ on domestic flights. Taking a roundtrip flight will cost, at least, an extra $50 if you have to check your bag. Your backpack should make traveling more affordable, not more expensive.

Carry on Luggage by the Numbers

Most airlines allow checked bags up to 45 linear inches or 22" x 14" x 9".

REI lists the Vagabond in their "Carry-On Luggage" category and claim, on the Specs tab, that the Vagabond is carry-on-sized.

However, Vagabond actually measures 23.5" x 12" x 8".

REI's "travel" pack is 1.5" too tall to be a carry on bag, despite REI's own claims to the contrary.

The Vagabond is also 2" narrower and 1" shallower than allowed by the airlines. Even if you could use it as a carry on, you would be sacrificing valuable packing space.

The Outbreaker measures exactly 22" x 14" x 9." Small enough to be a carry on, but large enough to take advantage of every inch of packing space permitted by the airlines. Bring everything you need without sacrificing any space.

A bag designed for travelers must be carry on sized. Otherwise, airline baggage fees make it a financial burden.

Everything you need for trips of a week, or more, can be packed into a carry on bag. If you'll be traveling for longer than 7-10 days, you will need to do laundry anyway. So, pack light in a carry on bag. A lighter load means having less to worry about. Plus, you'll save $50 on every round trip flight, since you won’t have to pay baggage fees.

The Outbreaker travel backpack was created by real travelers at Tortuga. We are not a hiking gear company. We focus on one thing: travel. The Outbreaker was designed to make your travels easier and more economical.

Learn more about Tortuga's travel-friendly backpacks here.

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