Alright, if you know me, you know I love one thing above all else. Good people. I love people who are honest and think of others first. Who make decisions based on morals and ethics. This is also a big thing I look for in companies that create the gear I carry with me on my travels. When you own very little in the world (I only own about 140 pounds of stuff), every piece matters. The honesty of the Tortuga company was one of the biggest reasons I bought my V2 backpacking bag.
But why is this important for me to write about all of a sudden? Well, today, I am packing (funny enough) while dancing and singing to show tunes around my apartment (you’re welcome neighbors), when my showstopping number is interrupted by an email notification. I glance at the screen, see it’s from Tortuga, and assume it’s the monthly newsletter so I start to put down the phone. That’s when the subject catches my eye, “Why We are Raising the Price of the Outbreaker Backpack”. Now prices have moved around on many of my favorite products, but I have never been notified about it beforehand.
I pause Hamilton and sit down to read it, immediately intrigued. The email explains that on August 16, 2017 the price of the new Outbreaker (released in early 2017 and frankly the best bag on the market in my opinion) will raise about $50. This makes the 45L bag price raise from $249 to $299 and the 35L from $224 to $269. But more than simply a notification of the price increase, which impressed me alone, they took the time to explain why the choice was made.
This wasn’t a decision made by a company that saw a glimmer of success and consequently the opportunity for a larger margin. This came from introducing a product that is better than the last in about 10 different ways (and by long shots), but only raising the price by 25%. When the Outbreaker came out, the zippers were changed to be more durable and more weather resistant. The organization in the bag was completely rethought to make urban travel simpler. And my favorite part, waterproof and tear resistant sail cloth for the entirety of the bag. What Tortuga didn’t mention when the bag launched? That it cost 220% more to produce than the previous V2 (the one I carry).
They explain in the email that the company was born from the founders backpacking Europe and not being able to find the bag they wanted. Instead, they ended up with bags that broke in the first two weeks of their trip. This spurred the creation of Tortuga Backpacks. Without Kickstarter, Go Fund Mes, or outside investors. They used their own money and set out to create the best bag for the urban traveler with the highest quality inputs. They were focused on quality and succeeded.
They tried to release the Outbreaker around the same $199 point as the V2, despite the massive upgrades. However after six months on the market, they are seeing the current price is not sustainable for the business. So they made a hard decision to raise the price for the betterment of the company. But what is important is that they were upfront about it.
This isn’t about me promoting the Tortuga brand and I am not being paid for any of this in any way, shape or form. This is about praising a company for their honesty and commitment to their consumers. They have to raise the price to sustain the company, but they didn’t do it under the cover of darkness to fool their customers. They sent an email! They literally emailed all of their customers and followers and said, the price is raising, here is why, we are sorry, here is when and plan your purchases accordingly. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY? When have you ever heard of a company saying our prices are raising, but buy now so that don’t have to pay the new price that gives us more money?
If I didn’t believe in the company before, I sure do now. Honesty, goodness and kindness. It isn’t hard, it can be uncomfortable. People are people all over the world. Travelers make up a community of good people. When you travel you have to know that your investment in a camera, a computer, a bag, sunglasses, whatever, is going to last you. We don’t want to spend money replacing equipment. That’s money that could go to another plane ticket. So a company coming out and saying here is where our product is truly more expensive and here is why the price is higher. It makes a difference. Transparency is what everyone wants to see in a business.
I was going to just share the email on Facebook, write a blurb and be on my way. But the more I thought about it, the more proud I was to support this company. If my social media can be filled with good people, so will the feed of all of my friends and follower. So as I post this, turn my music back on and finish packing my Tortuga V2 for tomorrow’s adventure, I am proud to throw that pack on my back. Proud to support an honest company. Most of all, I am proud to support good people and good travelers.
Check out the full article on Tortuga’s website here. Also, take some time to check out their products, my pack, the V2, was one of the best investments I have ever made.
Off on the next adventure! Sweden tomorrow. New content coming next week when I have wifi! Until then, stay hungry friends!
-The Very Hungry Traveler