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The Best Roll Top Backpack

Last updated on March 15, 2024

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Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Roll Top Backpacks

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Best Overall

Earth Pak Waterproof Front-Zippered Pocket Roll Top Backpack

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Earth Pak

Waterproof Front-Zippered Pocket Roll Top Backpack

Thanks to the extra padding on the back panel of this roll-top backpack, you'll be able to carry your gear without any aches or pains. The backpack offers heavy-duty construction and complete protection from bad weather. It's also got plenty of storage with mesh pockets, key rings and inner and outer zipper pockets.

Overall Take

Multiple Color ChoicesYou'll find this roll-top backpack comes in five attractive colors, including green, blue and yellow.

 Stylish Pick

Acer Flexible Water-Resistant Roll Top Backpack


Flexible Water-Resistant Roll Top Backpack

Whether you need to carry a tablet, bagged lunch or extra pair of clothes, this roll-top backpack has you covered. It's tall enough to fit a 15.6-inch laptop and has an extra front and side pouch for holding your cell phone, wallet or set of car keys. The inside of the bag is even padded, so you won't have to worry about your items getting damaged ...

Overall Take

Most VersatileThis roll-top backpack is super stylish and made using a water-resistant fabric.

 We Also Like

Skog Å Kust BackSåk Floating Waterproof Exterior Zippered Pocket Roll Top Backpack

Skog Å Kust

BackSåk Floating Waterproof Exterior Zippered Pocket Roll Top Backpack

This roll-top backpack is best used for outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking and weekend fishing trips. It's made using a heavy-duty 500-denier PVC and has welded seams to keep it waterproof. Users will appreciate the abundance of pockets, as well as the padded back support and included sternum clip.

Overall Take

Packs It AllEach of the sides on this roll-top backpack features a set of D-rings to hold your water bottles and other important gear.

 Also Consider

XRAY Expandable Trendy Laptop Pocket Roll Top Backpack


Expandable Laptop Roll Top Backpack

Made from ultra-strong tactical matte polyurethane fabric, this roll-top backpack can handle the elements, even keeping your electronic devices safe in the rain. The design can expand when necessary, while remaining compact if you only need to carry a few things. The padded laptop pocket can easily hold a laptop with a screen size of up to 15.6 inc...

Overall Take

Made for the Great OutdoorsWhether you're hiking in the mountains or spending the weekend at a campsite, this backpack has you covered with a basic, durable design.

Buying Guide

Hikers aren’t the only ones using roll top backpacks these days. In recent years, students, professionals and many others have discovered the benefits of this style. As the name implies, a roll top backpack has a top that rolls down, reducing the flaps, clasps and zippers that have long been a part of backpacks of all styles. By eliminating the flap, you also keep water and air from getting into the backpack, which better protects internal contents when the weather gets bad.

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But there’s another benefit to the roll top style. By rolling up and down, you create a backpack that can expand and contract as you need it to. If you, for instance, fill the main compartment with a laptop and your hoodie, you may need the top to be rolled only a small amount. If you’re having a light day, though, and just need that hoodie and your phone, the roll top can be folded down to make the backpack take up less real estate on your back.

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Due to this flexibility, experts recommend choosing a roll top backpack in the largest size available. You may not ever fill it to its fullest capacity, but you’ll have the space available. Simply roll the top down until you reach your contents and you’ll have a backpack that is sized to fit your belongings.

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In addition to resisting the elements, roll top backpacks are popular because they feature a wide opening. Instead of trying to squeeze your items in through a narrow gap, you can easily drop them in, then roll the top to secure them. They also tend to be more durable than traditional backpacks. This is in part due to the design being more flexible, but they’re also typically made with durable, weatherproof material that can withstand years of use without losing their shape.

What to Look For

  • The first thing to look at in a roll top backpack is the material. You’ll find a variety of options in these backpacks, including polyester and nylon. The material is crucial to providing the weatherproofing you need to keep your internal contents safe.
  • If you’ll be carrying your laptop in your backpack, look for one with a padded main compartment.
  • Backpacks need at least one or two smaller pockets for storing items like your smartphone and keys. Make sure these areas of the backpack are weatherproof, as well, if you’re going for a pack that has water resistance.
  • Many roll top backpacks promise to deter theft. This often is done simply by providing multiple latches to make it harder for a thief to get in. You’ll still need to make sure your bag is supervised at all times, particularly if you’re keeping valuable electronics inside. Some also have a hidden compartment for storing your phone, which may help keep your mobile device safe if your laptop is briefly unattended.
  • Check the capacity of your backpack if you’re planning to use it to carry your laptop. Many can only accommodate a laptop with a screen up to 15.6 inches, so you’ll have to shop around if you have a larger model.
  • Occasionally, you’ll need to clean your backpack. Nylon-cotton blends are machine washable, making it easy to drop your backpack into the washing machine for a quick refresh.
  • Backpacks can get heavy when they’re filled with your belongings. The last thing you need is a material that weighs it down, as well, especially if you’re going for a long hike. Look for a backpack made with nylon or polyester to keep your load as light as possible.
  • As handy as a roll top closure is, you’ll still need something to keep it closed. Make sure it clasps in a way that it won’t fly open while it’s on your back.

More to Explore

Backpack safety is an important topic, especially for parents of children who are using backpacks to carry their belongings back and forth to school each day. Safety starts with the type of pack you choose. A backpack should have padding on both shoulder straps, as well as on the back. It should also have a hip strap to help better distribute the weight. When packing a backpack, place heavier items closer to the back. A pack with multiple compartments is best, as it allows you to pack items in a way that distributes the weight more evenly.

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