Waterfield Tech Rolltop Backpack review

Okay, it’s time to admit the truth. I have an addiction. Not to technology or gadgets, but to bags. Whether it’s a backpack, a messenger bag, or a carrying pouch, it doesn’t matter. The addiction is real. Which brings us to the Waterfield Tech Rolltop Backpack.

Just before we published our review of the Waterfield Vitesse messenger bag, Waterfield announced its latest offering, the Tech Rolltop. Needless to say, I had to get my hands on it. And boy, oh boy, did I. This bag has been a part of my EDC (everyday carry) ever since it arrived on my doorstep. And it has left the Vitesse in the dust.

What are the “specs”?

Before getting started with how awesome this bag is, we need to share a few things about the lineup. First and foremost, the bag comes in two size models: Compact and Full.

The Compact bag measures in at 16.5 x 10.5 x 4.75-inches, weighs 2.4 pounds, and has a volume of 15 liters when the bag is open.

The Full bag, which is the one we’re reviewing today, measures in at 19 x 12 x 5.5-inches and weighs 2.8 pounds. The volume comes in at 18 liters when closed, or 24 liters when expanded.

Other than the sizes, these bags are practically identical and they come in three color options: Black Ballistic Nylon, and Blue or Brown waxed canvas.

On the outside, Waterfield has included a pocket at the top of the front with a magnetic closure, along with a pleated zipper pocket that is found below.

On the right side of the bag is a water bottle holder, while the left side has an open pocket that will either work with a smaller water bottle or a portable charger. These pockets are not protected from the outdoor elements, so you’ll need to be careful if you opt to put a charger in here.

There’s one more pocket found on the outside of the Tech Rolltop, and that’s located beneath the straps. The company has included a padded zipper pocket which can be a home for your laptop or tablet.

What about the inside?

This is the real star of the show. As stated above, we have the “Full” size, which has a volume of 24 liters when packed to the brim.

When you first unroll the top, you find a small zipper pocket which is handy for headphones, keys, or your wallet. There is an additional padded pocket that’s also capable of housing your laptop or tablet. This gives you even more versatility in the event that you don’t want to use the outer pocket.

Since we reviewed the Waterfield Vitesse, my EDC has not changed all that much, but I have a new addition. Here’s a list of everything I can fit in the Full-sized Tech Rolltop bag:

  • 15” Laptop
  • 2018 12.9” iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard Folio
  • Nintendo Switch Lite
  • Cable bag
  • Anker Portable Charger (2 of these)
  • Android smartphone
  • Small notebook with pen
  • AirPods
  • Sony WH1000MX3 Headphones

This is quite the haul for my EDC, but it gives me access to everything I need, regardless of where I am. Even more impressive, the Tech Rolltop is capable of holding even more — should I need it.

There are enough pockets for smaller items to where it feels there is some semblance of organization. To be sure, the primary pockets handle the heavy lifting. And man, this thing gets heavy, however the straps are so comfortable that you wouldn’t think about it.

The Straps

Waterfield has added quite a bit of padding to the shoulder straps. This ensures you don’t experience too much fatigue, even if traveling for a day with a full backpack.

The straps are easily adjustable with buckles that can be found at the bottom. They won’t adjust themselves by accident, which is great. This is a problem that I’ve encountered in other backpacks so I’m excited to see this as a non-issue with the Tech Rolltop.

We’ve talked about how you can unroll the top of the bag to access the opening, but we have not mentioned how it stays closed. Well, that brings us to the absolutely-amazing fastener with a “Fidlock” buckle.

This buckle is magnetic and slides horizontally so that your gear stays safe and the bag doesn’t accidentally open at the wrong time. You definitely wouldn’t want to run in a rainstorm and have your bag inadvertently open, getting everything on the inside drenched. That won’t happen here.

Conclusion

I have fallen in love with the various products that come from the folks at Waterfield. The Tech Rolltop is its latest, and it could be my favorite backpack ever used.

Considering just how many other bags I have used over the years, I’m excited to see how long I can stick with this one. I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere else, anytime soon.

If you want to pick up the Tech Rolltop for yourself, head over to the Waterfield website and grab the Compact bag for $229 or the Full-size bag for $249. Both bags are worth your investment. You will be surprised at how much these can hold.

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