Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email or our free miles and points Facebook group with all the best travel news. Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

I have tried a variety of different bags and backpacks for traveling, all in the search for the “perfect” packing solution. In a sense, I am not sure that there is a “perfect” solutions since of course how you pack will depend quite a bit on things like how long you’ll be gone, where you’re going, how many people you’re traveling with, etc.

(SEE ALSO: 6 packing mistakes people make – don’t let this happen to you!)

(SEE ALSO: 5 packing tips for a surprise vacation)

Recently I was taking a look at the Tropicfeel Shell backpack as one possible option for packing. Tropicfeel sent me one of their Shell backpacks to check out, and I used it as my only bag on my recent trip to Austin. This Tropicfeel Shell backpack review will take a look at the Shell Backpack size, carrying capacity and comfort. That will help you decide whether it might be a good option for you.

Tropicfeel Shell Backpack Review – dimensions and specs

The Tropicfeel Shell Backpack is interesting because it doesn’t have just one size – it actually comes in 3 sizes, ranging from 22L to 40L capacity.

The base backpack itself has a 22L capacity, good for daily use. You can add the Shell Wardrobe system (the black container on the right of the picture above) to give it a 30L capacity for a weekend trip. Then if you’re traveling for longer, it comes with a removable kangaroo pouch on the bottom to bring it up to a maximum capacity of 40L. The Shell backpack is waterproof and comes with Fidlock security meaning that your stuff is as secure as possible.

My experience with the Tropicfeel Shell Backpack

As I mentioned earlier, I used the Tropicfeel Shell backpack for a 4 day trip to Austin

(SEE ALSO: Hilton Austin Downtown / Convention Center Review)

(SEE ALSO: Hyatt House Austin/Downtown review)

My first step in packing was to pack the black wardrobe pouch with my clothes for the trip. There are several different pouches / compartments, allowing you to separate out different types of clothes.

You could also potentially separate out outfits for different people into different compartments. While there isn’t a TON of room here, it was more than enough for four days of complete outfits. There are straps on the side, which allow you to compress the wardrobe compartment.

That allows it to easily fit inside the Shell backpack, as shown above.

When you get to your destination, you uncompress the Wardrobe section. It also comes with a fixed / adjustable loop on the top, which allows you to hang it up if that’s easier for you. I just ended up uncompressing it and putting it on the couch in my hotel room, but it’s nice to have options.

You can also see that the Tropicfeel Shell has a clamshell style of opening. That makes it easy to see and get to everything that’s inside.

One thing that I found not as convenient as some other bags that I have used was access to my laptop. The Tropicfeel Shell does have a separate laptop sleeve in the inside of the main compartment, which is nice. But when everything is packed (like on travel days), it is hard to get in there when I just wanted to get my laptop. Even when I had it configured in “daily” mode (meaning removal of the wardrobe section), it was mildly frustrating to have to open up the whole backpack and un-velcro the laptop sleeve in order to get to or put away my laptop. Other backpacks that I have used have a separate laptop compartment that is accessible with a zipper on the side.

Tropicfeel Shell Backpack Accessories

There are also accessories that you can get with the Tropicfeel Shell Backpack system. There is a toiletry bag where you can separately store toiletries in different compartments.

That attaches to the back of the backpack with magnetic clips

The clips are magnetic yet they “lock” into place, meaning that it would be difficult for someone to just yank that off of your backpack. You can also get a separate tech pouch that is similar in size to the toiletry bag as well as a camera cube that would go inside and you can use to pack your camera equipment.

The kangaroo pouch adds another bit of carrying capacity that you can add to the bottom of the backpack, though I did not use that on my trip.

Tropicfeel Shell Backpack Comfort

I was actually pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the Tropicfeel Shell backpack was. When it was in daily mode, it felt just as comfortable as any backpack. And even when I had it fully packed, I didn’t really feel any biting on the shoulders or lower back pain.

I had it fully loaded and it probably weighed 30 to 40 lbs with everything I had in there, and I had no trouble walking around the airport, or walking to my hotel with it.

The Tropicfeel Shell backpack starts at USD$249

What do you think of the Tropicfeel Shell Backpack? Leave your thoughts in the comments


Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them
BoardingArea

Sign up for our once-daily email with the latest tips and tricks on how to travel for free / cheap. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!