2021 Tropicfeel Shell Backpack Review: The Best Travel Backpack?

Written By:
Bradley Williams
Last Updated:
May 22, 2021
Looking to buy the ultimate modern day travel back? This Tropicfeel Shell backpack review will help you decide whether or not it really is worth buying.
Tropicfeel Shell backpack review
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Over the last 18 months, we have been fortunate enough to review Tropicfeel’s travel trainers.

And in case you didn’t know, we love them!

It’s super refreshing finding a company in the travel space that is doing something different.

All of their products are custom-designed for travellers, and come with a range of unique features.

Well, their latest addition is no different.

From the time they first announced it in early 2021, it was clear that the Shell backpack would be different.

Almost revolutionising the way we pack for travel.

Keen to learn more?

Great … let’s get stuck into my in-depth Tropicfeel Shell backpack review!


What makes the Shell backpack so unique?

The Shell backpack successfully raised more than $2 million in Kickstarter funding! 

Why? Let’s find out ...

It expands and contracts

Tropicfeel are calling their new backpack “the modern-day travel backpack”.

Designed to be the most versatile backpack ever available. Making it flexible and adaptable to your travel needs.

Meaning, you can customise a single bag depending on the length of trip you are looking to take.

Going on an epic 3 month backpacking adventure through rugged India? Awesome! Expand your bag to its maximum capacity of 40 litres.

Heading off on a 3 day getaway to Ireland? No problem, shrink it down to just 22 litres capacity.

In-built wardrobe

But it’s not just its ability to shrink and grow that makes the bag stand out.

The biggest thing that appealed to us was its in-built wardrobe. A way to squeeze in 20% more clothing AND keep everything better organised.

When on the road, you can squash this miniature wardrobe down into as small a space as possible and pack it into your Shell backpack.

Then, when you arrive at your hotel or hostel, you simply take it out, let it expand, and hang it out for use.

No more rooting around in the bottom of your backpack looking for that final pair of wayward socks. Instead, it makes the whole experience of travelling long term far more enjoyable.

Shell backpack 20% more space

Clamshell opening

The clamshell opening is not exactly revolutionary, as many other travel backpack manufacturers are now going down this route.

But it is worth pointing out that the Shell backpack makes full use of it.

Allowing you to more easily access everything in your backpack, without making a total mess.

Kangaroo pocket

I absolutely LOVE this feature. It is so simple, but such an insanely practical feature for any travel backpack to have.

It is a 6 litre tuckaway bag that is attached inside the bottom of the shell backpack.

It can easily be unravelled and used to store wet items of clothing, without the need to make everything else inside your bag wet.

Perfect for storing your swimming costume if you’ve just gone into the sea and are still dripping wet. Or even a pair of wet Tropicfeel shoes that haven’t yet had time to dry properly.

Using Tropicfeel Shell backpack

Additional accessory space

To quickly add a little more storage to your Tropicfeel Shell backpack, you can choose to use one of their detachable bag add-ons.

These make use of the super-secure Fidlock security buttons. Allowing you to attach either a toiletry bag or tech push onto the front of your backpack.

These are held on securely when traveling and can be taken off without the use of a key. So in my view, I probably wouldn't walk around with valuable electronics on the front. But the toiletry bag is super useful!


We have always liked how Tropicfeel has an ongoing commitment to creating sustainable travel products.

Using sustainable products in everything they make and even giving back parts of their profits to a range of charitable causes.

Well, the Shell travel backpack is no different and is made using recycled polyester and nylon.

Again, other backpack manufacturers are doing this too, but it’s worth pointing out.

Shell backpack review: Other features

Here are a few other features worth pointing out in the Shell backpack:

Memory foam back panel - The team has paid as much attention to comfort as they have practicality when designing this bag. The back is ergonomically designed to be as comfortable as possible, all whilst allowing free airflow when out and about.

Fits in overhead cabin lockers - When up to 30 litres in size, the bag fits perfectly into the overhead storage lockers of aeroplanes. There’s also a side handle to help turn your Shell bag into a practical piece of carry-on luggage.

Fully waterproof exterior - Ever been caught out in a tropical monsoon in Thailand or Sri Lanka? We have … more than once! Trust me, this is a godsend.

Waist harness - If you’re out hiking, then there are foldaway straps that you can use to tie around your waist. Helping to take some of the strain off your shoulders. There’s an adjustable sternum strap to use as well.

Top hatch - If you just need to grab something out of the top of your bag,  then you can use the top zip instead of the Clamshell opening.

Camera cube - A practical case for you to safely store away your DSLR camera and a range of lenses and accessories. Designed specifically for the Shell backpack to maximise space and be stored alongside their wardrobe system. Perfect for fellow travel bloggers who carry a range of blogging cameras and accessories!

Secret pocket - There are a number of small zip-up pockets located on the Shell backpack. But the best is the “secret pocket” located at the base of the bag facing your back. This is a fantastic hidden compartment for storing valuable items like your wallet, passport or cash.

Internal storage spaces - On the inside of the backpack, you find space to easily slide a travel laptop in and out, as long as it's no bigger than 17 inches. Absolutely perfect for us and other nomads who always travel with a laptop.

Water pockets - On the outside of the bag are elasticated water pockets. Again, nothing revolutionary but very useful to have.

Range of colours - You can choose from black, green or red Shell backpacks.

Shell backpack in hostel

What packages are on offer?

There are currently 6 different packages on offer to buy, these include:

  1. Shell + wardrobe - $271 (pre-order price)
  2. Shell + wardrobe + 1 accessory - $309 (pre-order price)
  3. Shell + wardrobe + 2 x accessories - $347 (pre-order price)
  4. Shell + wardrobe + 3 x accessories - $384 (pre-order price)
  5. 2 x Shell + 2 x wardrobe - $470 (pre-order price)
  6. 2 x Shell + 2 x wardrobe + 2 x accessories - $521 (pre-order price)

Accessories to choose from include:

  • Toiletry cube
  • Tech pouch
  • Camera cube

Is Tropicfeel’s Shell backpack worth buying?

No Shell backpack review would be complete without looking at prices!

And with a starting price tag of just under $300, the Tropicfeel Shell travel backpack isn’t the cheapest travel bag on the market.

But then again, you have to look beyond the price tag and realize how much is on offer.

Most backpacks serve just one purpose: like hiking, carry-on, or backpacking.

But the Shell backpack is designed to be so much more. Instead, being the go-to bag for any trip you choose to take.

Regardless of how long you are away or what you will be doing.

So though it may seem relatively expensive, it is actually well-priced when you consider the quality and practicality it offers.

Where can you buy the Shell Backpack?

Currently, the only place you can purchase the Shell backpack is direct through the Tropicfeel website.

Their system is very easy to use and you can fully customise your order before heading to check out.

Also, be aware that you can choose from more than a dozen different currencies to pay in.

To change the option presented, scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on the currency icon. 

Tropicfeel Shell Backpack FAQ

How much does the Tropicfeel Shell backpack cost?

Prices start from $271 for the Shell backpack plus wardrobe system. For additional accessories, like the toiletry cube, tech pouch and camera cube, prices go up to $384.

Is the Tropicfeel backpack good?

The Tropicfeel Shell backpack is an excellent quality backpack designed to be lightweight, comfortable and versatile. It is also fully waterproof and can be expanded with additional accessory packs. So yes, it’s not just good, it’s great!

What colours does the Shell backpack come in?

Currently, the Tropicfeel Shell comes in black, green, or red.

Can I buy Tropicfeel on Amazon?

No, you cannot buy Tropicfeel backpacks or shoes through Amazon. The best place to buy is through their website.

Is the Tropicfeel backpack waterproof?

Yes, the Shell backpack is fully waterproof. The Tropicfeel Cruiser backpack isn’t waterproof, however.

Surfing with Tropicfeel Shell backpack

Other products on sale from Tropicfeel

Tropicfeel has been around now for a few years. First gaining worldwide attention when they raised more than $2 million dollars on Kickstarter for their travel trainers.

They have built a wildly successful travel brand around their range of travel trainers. These include:

  • Canyon - A comfortable travel trainer designed to be used on all kinds of different terrains.
  • Monsoon - A lightweight sports shoe great for travel and fast-drying so can be taken in and out of water.
  • Sunset - The most stylish shoe Tropicfeel currently offers.
  • Jungle - A hybrid shoe designed to be super comfortable and stylish, for all uses when off travelling.

We have tried & tested all of these shoes, read more in our Tropicfeel shoes review.

As well as these, Tropicfeel also offers:

  • The Cruiser - This is another backpack on offer from Tropicfeel. It is designed as more of a day pack and folds down into a tiny size. Perfect for stuffing away in a larger backpack. We have written more about this bag in our previous Tropicfeel review post above.
  • T-shirts & jumpers - Tropicfeel sells a limited range of t-shirts and jumpers. All in similar colour schemes to match their branded travel trainers.
  • Other accessories - They currently sell a few varieties of flip flops, as well as a small shopping bag that can be folded down and stored away when not in use.

What does the future hold for Tropicfeel?

One thing we love about Tropicfeel is the fact they are constantly evolving and innovating.

We’ve spoken to a number of people behind the company and they are all young and passionate about making a dent in the travel gear market.

From travel shoes, to backpacks, to a range of accessories, they are constantly developing new products to add to and expand their range. A must-have brand in any travel packing list.

When new products come out we will certainly be amongst to test them out and review them so stay tuned!

Now over to you …

Did our Tropicfeel Shell backpack review answer all your questions?

What do you love most about the Shell backpack?

Have you bought one and tried it already?

Awesome! Drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts ...

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