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  3. 10 Best Rolltop Backpacks UK 2023 | Rains, Johnny Urban and More
  • 10 Best Rolltop Backpacks UK 2023 | Rains, Johnny Urban and More 1
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10 Best Rolltop Backpacks UK 2023 | Rains, Johnny Urban and More

When you want a versatile yet stylish bag to protect your belongings, a rolltop backpack is an amazing choice. It doesn’t matter if you're hiking across Dartmoor or strolling into the office with a coffee, a roll-down rucksack offers the solution for all your carrying needs.


Thanks to their recent rise in popularity, there are many men's, women's and unisex options available in a range of styles from leather to waterproof nylon. Our guide will show you what to look out for and review the newest choices from brands like Rains, The North Face, Chrome and Osprey. Read on to discover the best offers you can pick up today on Amazon, eBay and John Lewis.

Last updated 30/01/2023
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Table of Contents

How to Choose a Rolltop Backpack in the UK

Key Points to Consider
  1. Consider Your Preferred Material From Lightweight to Waterproof Options
  2. Choose Your Capacity Depending on Intended Use
  3. Ensure Comfort With Thick Shoulder, Chest and Hip Straps
  4. Decide Between Multiple or Minimal Compartments
1

Decide on Your Preferred Material ― Nylon is Waterproof and Durable, While Polyester Is Lightweight

Decide on Your Preferred Material ― Nylon is Waterproof and Durable, While Polyester Is Lightweight

As with most backpack types, it's best to choose those made from hard-wearing and comfortable materials. One of the best choices for strength and water resistance is nylon polymer. These days, nylon from plastic bottles can be recycled into durable, fashionable backpacks that make for a more sustainable purchase, too. 


Quality heavy-duty polyesters are also a good choice, but may not be 100% waterproof. However, one thing they are is light, as bags made from nylon (and other materials like leather) will generally be heavier than polyester styles. 


If you're going to be filling your bag and wearing it for longer periods of time, aim for one that won’t be too heavy with all the items you want to carry – you can even check the product weight before you buy. In fact, experts recommend a full backpack’s total weight should not be more than 15% of your body weight. 


For an alternative style, try our Best Messenger Bags!

2

Opt For a Capacity of 15-25 Litres for Your Daily Commute, or up to 40 Litres for Longer Trips

Opt For a Capacity of 15-25 Litres for Your Daily Commute, or up to 40 Litres for Longer Trips

Bag capacity (or volume) is measured in litres. A good size for a day bag or commuting is fifteen to twenty-five litres. This will give you space to hold a laptop, office supplies, books and maybe a lunchbox too. Forty litres should be plenty if you’ll use the bag for short trips too. 

  
To estimate how much you need, put the items you want to carry into a neat pile. Use a metric tape measure to get the height, width and length of your goods in millimetres. Then, multiply width x length x height to give you the volume in cubic millimetres. Divide this figure by one million to get an approximate volume in litres. You should then add a little extra for purchases and occasional extra items.

3

Assess the Thickness of Shoulder, Chest and Hip Straps to Ensure Stability and Comfort

Assess the Thickness of Shoulder, Chest and Hip Straps to Ensure Stability and Comfort

While the more fashion-focused rolltops tend to only feature slim canvas straps, if you are buying a backpack especially for outdoor activities or longer walks to work, it's best to look for something a bit more comfortable. After all, over time the wrong backpack fit can give you shoulder and back pain


Wide, padded shoulder straps with good adjustability are the best choice in this case. Also, remember to wear both straps to prevent shoulder alignment issues and tighten the strap length so the bag is snug against your back.


In addition, many of the travel or outdoorsy rolltop options include extra straps that clip across the chest or hips, providing superb comfort and stability. If you’ll use your bag while hiking, cycling or running, choose products with this feature. 


Grab something for your adventures with our Best Hiking Backpacks!

4

Decide Whether You Want Multiple Compartments or Something Simple, Plus Think About if You Require a Laptop Sleeve

Decide Whether You Want Multiple Compartments or Something Simple, Plus Think About if You Require a Laptop Sleeve

For better or for worse, rolltops do tend to have fewer pockets and compartments than a lot of other bags. Many have a single front zipper pocket for your keys, phone and wallet, and then the usual large central compartment for everything else. 


Some people prefer this minimalist style, however, if you like to keep everything as neat and tidy as possible, look for a rolltop with a decent amount of pockets. An alternate solution is to group your items into mini packs you can swap in and out as needed. 


Fortunately, despite their simplicity, you will still be able to find designs that come with a padded slot for a laptop. If you use a computer, look for bags with this useful feature. If the rolltop you want doesn’t have this, you can always get a separate protective laptop sleeve to pack in the bag. 


Keep your tech close at hand with our Best Laptop Backpacks!

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10 Best Rolltop Backpacks in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

Samsonite

2WM Laptop Backpack

Samsonite 2WM Laptop Backpack 1枚目

A Premium Rolltop That's Suitable for Any Situation

2

Johnny Urban

Robin Roll Top

Johnny Urban Robin Roll Top 1枚目

An Excellent All-Rounder Made From Recycled Materials

3

Osprey

Transporter Roll

Osprey Transporter Roll  1枚目

Top Quality and Loved by Travellers and Hikers Alike

4

Chrome

Urban Ex 2.0 Rolltop

Chrome Urban Ex 2.0 Rolltop 1枚目

A Sturdy Yet Stylish Option for Cyclists

5

Rains

Waterproof Rolltop Rucksack

Rains Waterproof Rolltop Rucksack 1枚目

A Beautifully Designed Minimalist Rucksack

6

Evervanz

Hiking Rucksack

Evervanz Hiking Rucksack 1枚目

Hidden Pockets Make This Perfect for Travel

7

Fjällräven

Ulvö Rolltop 23

Fjällräven Ulvö Rolltop 23 1枚目

Versatile, Comfortable and Easy to Clean

8

Camelbak

Pivot Roll Top Daypack

Camelbak Pivot Roll Top Daypack 1枚目

A Lightweight and Reliable Bag for Everyday Use

9

Earth Pak

Summit Series Rucksack

Earth Pak Summit Series Rucksack  1枚目

High Volume and Clean Design for Outdoor Adventures

10

Inateck

Laptop Backpack

Inateck  Laptop Backpack 1枚目

Good Functionality at a Bargain Price

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

Samsonite2WM Laptop Backpack

2WM Laptop Backpack Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
2WM Laptop Backpack Image 2
Source:amazon.co.uk
2WM Laptop Backpack Image 3
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£126.39
Reference price
£126.39

A Premium Rolltop That's Suitable for Any Situation

Many happy owners call this Samsonite rolltop an excellent purchase. It carries a good 20 litres rolled down and can take a 15.6” laptop, plus the reinforced nylon and special zippers make it 100% waterproof. A breathable backrest, padded shoulder, chest and waist straps provide ultimate comfort.


For cyclists, there are reflective panels and a helmet fastening system. The shoulders also come with handy pockets to hold your AirPods. This is not the cheapest, but it’s a remarkable bag with a host of features and remarkable quality. The functionality and long-lasting craftsmanship make this our top choice for a rolltop backpack.

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No.2

Johnny UrbanRobin Roll Top

Reference price
£54.95

An Excellent All-Rounder Made From Recycled Materials

Superb manufacturing and design make this a top rolltop backpack. This ecological all-rounder packs everything you need into a straightforward and elegant package. The comfy, thick padding and waterproof coating make it ideal for work and play. It features two outside pockets and a padded 15.6” laptop compartment.


It's made from recycled PET bottles inside and out, so you can feel good about your purchase, too. It's not as roomy as some, holding 12.5 litres and a little over 15 unrolled, which keeps it from being our top choice. That aside, this is a remarkable rolltop backpack that ticks all the style boxes. 

No.3

OspreyTransporter Roll

Transporter Roll  Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£88.20
Reference price
£88.20

Top Quality and Loved by Travellers and Hikers Alike

This is a tough, reliable bag with a bevvy of useful features. The waterproof matte nylon comes in a range of snazzy colours, and if hiking, you'll find the chest and hip straps give amazing stability and comfort. 


Inside, there's a soft pocket to protect sunglasses and phones as well as a padded laptop sleeve, making this another great option for both travel and the great outdoors. Besides that, it would also make for a smart, durable bag for commuting.  

No.4

ChromeUrban Ex 2.0 Rolltop

Urban Ex 2.0 Rolltop Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Urban Ex 2.0 Rolltop Image 2
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£87.00
Reference price
£87.00

A Sturdy Yet Stylish Option for Cyclists

The Chrome 2.0 urban drybag combines serious style with excellent manufacturing. Many owners mention how hard-wearing and scratch-resistant the bag is, even after frequent use. On the front are reflective hooks to attach items such as a bike light, while a 15” padded compartment will keep your laptop safe on your commute.


The chest strap provides extra comfort and stability when walking or cycling, but the minimalist design means you won't find any front external pockets. If you're after something fuss-free and have the budget, this is a great rolltop that will last you many years

No.5

RainsWaterproof Rolltop Rucksack

Waterproof Rolltop Rucksack Image 1
Source:asos.com
Reference price
£95.00
Reference price
£95.00

A Beautifully Designed Minimalist Rucksack

This waterproof bag by trending brand Rains emphasises function and quality, with a remarkable paired-back design that's available in several attractive colours. The main compartment can hold 18 litres which is great for day-to-day use, and there's a chest strap meaning it’s superb for cyclists too. 


A padded side compartment gives easy access to your 15” laptop, and there’s a front zipper pocket for small items too. This is a fantastic bag for anyone after something simple, stylish and very well made.  

No.6

EvervanzHiking Rucksack

Hiking Rucksack Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£50.71
Reference price
£50.71

Hidden Pockets Make This Perfect for Travel

The Evervanz is a reasonable, sturdy and water-resistant backpack with great features. Unlike a lot of rolltops, it’s available in a range of colourful patterns, and it can hold 25 litres or 18 when rolled up. It has a chest strap for stability – which even has an inbuilt emergency whistle – and a hidden back zipper pocket to store valuables too. 


And that's not all, as there's an easy-to-reach water bottle pocket and 16” laptop compartment to boot. All of this makes the Evervanz a brilliant pick for travel or for students. Polyester means that it might not be as hard-wearing as some other choices in this list, though. 

No.7

FjällrävenUlvö Rolltop 23

Ulvö Rolltop 23 Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£103.01
Reference price
£103.01

Versatile, Comfortable and Easy to Clean

Fjällräven is known for its charming Scandinavian design paired with fine workmanship, and the Ulvö is no exception. Special woven nylon makes the bag extra strong, water-resistant and very easy to clean. Padded straps and a laptop sleeve provide comfort and protection, while the dry-bag-inspired fold-ver top keeps your things safe and sound. 


Another useful feature is a bag loop to clip on a light or reflective strip for night cycling. Many owners mentioned how comfortable this bag was to carry around, too, and at 23 litres, it should hold all you need for work or study. The only downside is that all this quality does come at a cost. 

No.8

CamelbakPivot Roll Top Daypack

Pivot Roll Top Daypack Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Pivot Roll Top Daypack Image 2
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£54.45
Reference price
£54.45

A Lightweight and Reliable Bag for Everyday Use

Camelbak made its reputation by producing clever bags that keep you hydrated on the go, and now they've brought that innovation to the rolltop. This 20-litre bag comes with breathable mesh to keep you cool and comfortable and a secure side pocket for a water bottle. It's made from 70% recycled materials to keep your impact on the environment low, too. 


Many reviewers found it to be an ideal day bag for moving around town or short hikes. Be aware, though, that the light material means while it can stand up to light rain, it isn’t 100% waterproof. It's also worth mentioning that this bag doesn't have a dedicated laptop compartment but can hold a 14" device.

No.9

Earth PakSummit Series Rucksack

Summit Series Rucksack  Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Summit Series Rucksack  Image 2
Source:amazon.co.uk
Summit Series Rucksack  Image 3
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£46.20
Reference price
£46.20

High Volume and Clean Design for Outdoor Adventures

This rolltop from Earth Pak has a great balance of simplicity and durability. There’s a mesh pocket and a spacious central compartment that will hold up to 35 litres and the fabric is a strong, flexible PVC. A sternum strap provides comfort for hikes and any type of travelling, too.


This bag isn’t ideal for the office, as there's no laptop compartment and the bright colours might raise some eyebrows in more formal settings. But with its practicality and hard-wearing material, it's a perfect choice for the outdoors.  

No.10

Inateck Laptop Backpack

Laptop Backpack Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Laptop Backpack Image 2
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£45.99
Reference price
£45.99

Good Functionality at a Bargain Price

The Inateck rolltop can store 25 litres or up to 30 with an unravelled top, including a large 17” laptop plus a smaller tablet in separate protective pockets. It's water-resistant with an access port for headphones or a USB cable, too, and would look good both in professional environments and for weekends away.


Some reviewers mentioned the nylon wasn’t as durable as expected, although this is reflected in the price. Also, the bag's broad width may be uncomfortable for people with narrow shoulders. That aside, this is a solid functional backpack to protect your items at an affordable price. 

Why Choose a Rolltop?

Why Choose a Rolltop?

Rolltop backpacks are an improvement on the dry bags used for years by surfers and canoeists. They have the same roll-over seal as a dry bag but often feature padded straps and extra pockets, and many can be rolled up and squashed down when not in use, saving you space wherever you use them. 


Some have just one or two compartments too, so storing items is hassle-free, and unlike zippers, a fold-over closing won't wear out and break as easily. That being said, if you do prefer a traditional closure, you will be able to get a rolltop-inspired design that opens from the top and zips around instead.


Finally, the simple, minimalist design and materials used for many modern rolltops makes them a smarter, more stylish alternative to conventional backpacks. A rolltop backpack keeps your stuff safe, organised and dry and looks good too – what more could you ask for?

Written and researched by Nick Harling

Top 5 Rolltop Backpacks

No. 1: Samsonite2WM Laptop Backpack

No. 2: Johnny UrbanRobin Roll Top

No. 3: OspreyTransporter Roll

No. 4: ChromeUrban Ex 2.0 Rolltop

No. 5: RainsWaterproof Rolltop Rucksack

View Full Ranking
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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