10 Best Roll Top Backpacks of 2021

Are you looking for an adjustable, durable backpack to hold your gear? A roll top is a good place to start. In this article, I'm breaking down some of the best roll top backpacks out there.
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Best Roll Top Backpacks

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Whether you’re commuting, traveling, or hiking, your day-to-day needs usually vary as much as your lifestyle. One day you’re lugging around your laptop to work—the next day you’re cramming in extra warm layers for a hike. Having a bag that can safely store all these items while giving you some extra wiggle room is key. 

Roll top backpacks feature a unique, top-loading design that makes packing incredibly quick thanks to their large, expandable top openings. A good roll top is also durable and secure, and in some cases, water-resistant. You’ll enjoy each adventure to the fullest knowing that your gear is well-protected. 

Like with other travel daypacks and backpacks, finding the right one can be challenging. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve provided a list of my favorite roll tops, as well as a short review of each. 

Why Choose a Roll Top Backpack?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to choose a roll top backpack for your next adventure:

  • Gear protection: Roll tops provide an extra layer of protection when compared to the clinch-top or zipper closures found on most backpacks. This added layer helps protect your gear in adverse weather conditions and ensures that your valuable do not fall out (or get snatched).
  • Adjustable volume: Often secured by a compression strap, the roll down design of these backpacks allows you to adjust the volume to suit your load. You don’t have to carry extra bulk when it’s not needed. 
  • Excellent internal organization: Most roll tops are spacious and have multiple compartments. This helps you neatly store all your belongings, making everything easier to find.  

Best Roll Top Backpacks

Best Overall Roll Top Backpack

1. Topo Designs Klettersack

Topo Designs Klettersack

The Topo Designs Klettersack is my top pick for the overall best roll top backpack because it’s both versatile and stylish. With a timeless look, this roll top backpack is built to handle any journey, whether you’re walking around campus, commuting across town, or heading up a daring trail.

The bag’s durable 100D Cordura exterior will keep both your bag and its contents safe on just about any adventure.  It also boasts a modern, minimalist design and is available in a variety of stylish colors. 

The Klettersack is a great option if you’re a student, working professional, traveler, or short-term backpacker. With that said, at 25L, it’s a little short on space for any of your longer expeditions. 

The bag does come with a higher price tag, but it’s built to last and is sure to see you through many journeys for years to come. 

Pros

  • Versatile, minimalist design
  • Durable

Cons

  • Limited space

Topo Designs Klettersack Specs:

Best Use:Commuting, Casual, Hiking
Materials:1000D Cordura, 420D nylon pack cloth liner, 1050D ballistic Cordura
Dimensions:11” x 20” x 5”
Volume:25 L

Best Budget Roll Top Backpack

2. Poler Elevated Rolltop

Poler Elevated Rolltop

The Poler Elevated Rolltop is a budget-friendly black roll top backpack designed to safely carry all of your gear. It has enough space for your day-trip gear, as well as plenty of pockets and compartments to keep everything organized. 

The Elevated Rolltop is a solid backpack, particularly if you want to use it for frequent commuting. The bag is durable and has a water-repellent finish, so it’s able to withstand harsh weather conditions and keep your precious gear safe. 

Best of all, this functional backpack comes at an affordable price, making it a great option if you’re on a tight budget.

Pros

  • Water-repellent
  • Vegan-friendly 
  • Plenty of compartments
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Only available in one color (black)

Poler Elevated Rolltop Specs:

Best Use:Casual, Commuting, Hiking
Materials:600D Polyester
Dimensions:10” x 21” x 6,5”
Volume:24 L

Most Stylish Roll Top Backpack

3. Bellroy Melbourne Backpack

Bellroy Melbourne

The Bellroy Melbourne backpack is a slim urban backpack featuring a roll top entry to keep modern professionals ready for business. This backpack has a chic, minimalist design with a sophisticated feel without being too formal. For this reason, I’ve picked it for the most stylish roll top backpack.

One of my favorite features of this backpack is the side zip, which allows the bag to open wide from the top down. This way, you will not need to rummage around in your backpack trying to find specific items. 

The Bellroy Melbourne also has all the features needed to ensure the safety of your gear as you travel to and rom work, including a strong MagSnap security flap and padded sleeves for your laptop and/or tablet.

Pros

  • Low profile pockets to store your valuables
  • Fashionable, minimalist design
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Small size
  • Limited color options

Bellroy Melbourne Backpack Specs:

Best Use:Travel, Casual, Commuting
Materials:Durable, water-resistant woven fabric made from recycled materials
Dimensions:18” x 12” x 6”
Volume:18 L

Best Roll Top Backpack for Commuters

4. Chrome Urban Ex 2.0

Chrome Urban X2

The Chrome Urban Ex 2.0 is a lightweight backpack designed to keep your gear on lock while you commute through the city. This roll top is also water resistant, so you won’t have to worry about your expensive tech getting ruined should there be a sudden downpour. 

The Chrome roll top backpack has a lightweight construction, which is ideal for commuters who travel long distances with a heavy load. It also has an ergonomic yoke strap, allowing the load to be evenly distributed for extra comfort. 

Overall, the Urban Ex 2.0 is tough, convenient, and an all-round impressive commuter urban dry bag. It’s a bit more expensive than some others on this list, but you’ll be getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Waterproof 
  • Lightweight
  • Plenty of compartments to organize your gear

Cons

  • Limited color options

Chrome Urban Ex 2.0 Specs:

Best Use:Commuting, Travel
Materials:600D polyester with polyurethane coating, 420D nylon back
Dimensions:17.5”
Volume:30 L

Best Roll Top Laptop Backpack

5. Timbuk2 Rogue Laptop Backpack

Timbuk2 Rogue

If you’re an urban commuter or a digital nomad, the Timbuk2 Rogue is the laptop backpack for you. It’s the brand’s best-selling backpack, and for good reason. 

I consider this to be the best roll top laptop backpack as it has plenty of pockets and panels to neatly store your laptop, tech, and other necessities. You can take this bag everywhere and still stay organized as you get your work done. The snap clips also offer extra security against light-fingered thieves trying to reach into the main compartment.

That said, while the extra pockets and panels are great, I do find that this backpack is on the bulkier side. 

The bag is also water-resistant (not waterproof), so your laptop will stay safe and dry as long as you’re not dropping it into any puddles or pools. I also love the understated, elegant design, making this backpack appropriate both for work and in casual settings.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Plenty of panels and pockets to store your gear
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky

Timbuk2 Rogue Laptop Backpack Specs:

Best Use:Commuting, Casual
Materials:600D Non-P PVC and 900D polyester
Dimensions:11,5” x 5,5” x 20,5”
Volume:24 L

Best Roll Top Hiking Daypack

6. Osprey Archeon 25

Osprey Archeon 25

The Osprey Archeon 25 is an excellent roll top hiking daypack because it’s designed for your comfort while on the go. The adjustable shoulder harness and hipwing waist belt allows for an optimized fit, distributing your gear’s weight while helping you to stay balanced. I especially love the large main opening as it provides easy access to your gear.

The internal hydration sleeve is also a nice addition—it can hold a water bladder up to 3 liters, so you can keep your thirst at bay on the move without having to fiddle with your bag or take it off your back. If you don’t purchase a bladder, the bag also features dual stretch water bottle pockets to make water breaks a little easier.

It’s a versatile and minimalistic backpack made with durable and recycled materials. This roll top bag also has a clean silhouette and features that are suitable for lots of different outings, whether it’s a day hike or a trip to your local coffee shop. When it comes to hiking, though, this bag is far superior to the others on this list.

Pros

  • Spacious 
  • Plenty of pockets and panels to store your gear
  • Removable rain cover included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Items are not securely stored and can easily fall out

Osprey Archeon 25 Specs:

Best Use:Hiking
Materials:Recycled 1880D nylon canvas
Dimensions:21,65” x 12,2” x 9”
Volume:25 L

Best Roll Top Backpack for Photographers

7. Shimoda Action X

Shimoda Action X

The Shimoda Action X series is a whole line of camera backpacks and accessories. These innovative backpacks do a great job of safely storing all your photography gear so you can get outdoors without having to worry about smashing an expensive lens or delicate body. 

What makes these backpacks particularly great for photographers is the many compartments, which allow you to keep everything organized. There are also rear and side access points, providing you unobstructed access to the bulk of your gear. 

The Shimoda Action X series has only large roll top backpacks, but this is useful for larger gear setups. Of course, another useful feature is the expandable roll top. This allows you to adjust the bag to your gear needs while maintaining a tight and compact fit.

Pros

  • Plenty of compartments 
  • Easy access to your gear
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Bulky 
  • Expensive

Shimoda Action X Specs:

Best Use:Hiking, Photography
Materials:Not specified
Dimensions:12” x 22” x 8”
Volume:dependent on backpack (X30, X50, and X70 available)

Best Waterproof Roll Top Backpack

8. Filson Dry Backpack

Filson Dry Backpack

Whether you’re going fishing, white water rafting, or chasing waterfalls, you will need a backpack that will keep your gear dry. The Filson Dry Backpack does exactly that, as it’s engineered for straightforward water protection. 

The Filson Dry has a number of features that make it fully waterproof. It’s worth pointing out that while the fabric does a great job at keeping the water out, it tends to get a little hot on the shoulders if you’re walking long distances. But if you’re out on the water, this may not be too big of an issue. 

This backpack also sports a classic look. There’s no reason why a waterproof backpack can’t be functional and stylish at the same time. It’s also comfortable thanks to the padded shoulders, so can be worn for longer periods (even if you might end up a little sweaty).

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable shoulder pads
  • Modern, fashionable design

Cons

  • Straps can get a little warm 
  • Expensive

Filson Dry Specs:

Best Use:White water rafting, Hiking, Everyday
Materials:840D nylon, EVA foam, high-density plastic
Dimensions:20” x 12.5” x 6.5”
Volume:28 L

Most Eco-Friendly Roll Top Backpack

9. GOT BAG Rolltop Backpack

Got Rolltop Backpack

The GOT BAG is a well-rounded backpack suited to most adventures, but most notably, the brand also has a key mission to help protect our oceans and the environment. 

This is undoubtedly the most eco-friendly roll top backpack as it uses recycled ocean plastic. Each GOT BAG started as pieces of plastic floating around off the north shore of Indonesia. Following the GOT BAG cycle, the end result is a backpack that is stylish, durable, and water-resistant. 

You’d never suspect that these backpacks are made from recycled plastic—they have a quality feel. My only wish is that there were more color and size options to appeal to more people’s tastes, but that’s a minor issue when you weigh the pros. Regardless, this backpack looks good and meets all the basic performance requirements expected of a travel backpack.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly
  • Water-resistant
  • Stylish, modern design
  • 24-month warranty

Cons

  • Not many pockets

GOT BAG specs:

Best Use:Hiking, Travel, Everyday
Materials:Recycled plastic, organic polyurethane coating
Dimensions:Not specified
Volume:24-28 L

Best Multi Purpose Roll Top Backpack

10. Topo Designs Rover Pack

Topo Designs Rover Pack

The Topo Designs Rover Backpack is a durable backpack that is able to hold up in pretty much any environment while keeping your belongings safe. The Rover Pack is a great multi-purpose bag with a timeless silhouette and can be used in town or out on the trail. 

This backpack has a spacious main compartment, though there are no separations to neatly organize your gear. However, the bag is water-resistant and features heavy-duty zippers. 

I also love that this backpack offers a wide selection of fun color and design options. Unlike the GOT BAG, there are options to suit all tastes!

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Classic design with many color options
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Uncomfortable straps
  • Main compartment has no separations

Topo Designs Rover Pack Specs:

Best Use:Commuting, Casual, Hiking
Materials:1000D Cordura, 420D nylon pack cloth liner, 1050D ballistic Cordura
Dimensions:11” x 20” x 5”
Volume:25 L

Summary of the Best Roll Top Backpack

There are many advantages to using a roll top backpack. From their clean and simple design to their protective capabilities, these backpacks are all-rounders suited to most occasions. Whether you’re commuting to work or exploring the outdoors, these backpacks are a reliable travel companion. 

I hope that from the information provided in this article that you find the perfect backpack for your next adventure. Leave a comment with your favorite choice!

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Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today. You can read more about Jeremy at his bio.

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