Do you feel that? It feels like it's finally time to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. But it's not all sunshine and easy breezes. With warm weather comes sudden rain — the bane of your portable electronics (and dry socks). Getting caught in a downpour without the right gear can turn a good day outside into an uncomfortable one to say the least. Wet clothes is one thing, water damage to your electronics and gear is a whole other headache.
Notebooks, laptops, and other electronics can be a pain to replace, so investing in a good pack that will let you carry what you need while keeping them dry might be a good idea. For protection from bad weather, consider a roll-top backpack as your EDC. Roll-top bags load from the top and roll down shut, keeping water out better than exposed zippers usually can. They even give you a little more versatility when it comes to how much you can carry, thanks to their variable capacity.
In this guide we’ll go over a few roll-top backpacks that will keep your essentials safe from rain whether you’re going to be biking, hiking, or commuting.
Timbuk2 Spire Laptop Backpack
The Spire Laptop backpack from Timbuk2 was designed for anyone carrying laptops and tablets in their packs. You’ll get dedicated sleeves for both in the main compartment as well as two smaller zippered pocket on the exterior. Along the back is a discreet zipper that gives you access to the main compartment without you needing to unroll the top so you can get to your laptop in a pinch. The waterproof roll-top will keep water away from your electronics so you don’t have to stress getting caught in the rain.
The Chrome Barrage is another quality bag that was made with your gadgets in mind. The completely waterproof build is a combination of tarpaulin on the bottom and nylon up top. It has a dedicated sleeve for laptops up to 15” on the inside, while on the outside there’s a cargo net for carrying anything that you might not want in your bag (like a helmet or dirty sneakers). On the side there’s a small zippered pocket for smaller items that would otherwise get lost in your bag.
Topo Designs Rover Pack
Topo Designs makes gear with an excellent balance between outdoors and everyday applications, and their Rover Pack is no exception. At 16L, it's sized just right for your everyday essentials, while its 1000D Cordura nylon construction makes it durable enough for outdoor use. Two buckles secure the top flap over a water-resistant cinch closure that protects gear you need to keep dry. There’s also two zippered pockets on the outside for quick access to frequently used gear and water bottle pockets on either side. Inside the pack is a laptop sleeve and plenty of room to store any other essentials you might need.
Mission Workshop Sanction 20L
If you really can’t afford for your essentials to get soaked, the Mission Workshop Sanction pack is a stealthy, waterproof option. This 20L bag has urethane coated zippers and waterproof materials that will keep your laptop and other important documents out of harm's way should you get caught in the rain. The top of the bag rolls down for a tight seal and you can secure it with two buckles for good measure. You can carry up to a 13” laptop in the main compartment while smaller pockets on the front let you organize any smaller essentials you might have.
Chrome Bravo 2.0
Chrome Industries is no stranger to quality packs that will keep your stuff dry. Their Bravo 2.0 25L Backpack is designed for cyclists, but it's a great pack for almost any occasion. It’s made from a combination of 1050D Nylon and 18oz vinyl tarp so you won’t have to worry about water destroying your essentials. Even when it's fully loaded, the bag's ergonomic straps provide comfort while you move. Last but not least, you can secure up to a 15” laptop in a quick access pocket so you don’t have to go digging through your bag when you need it.
Thule Paramount 24L
The Thule Paramount is a 24L roll-top bag designed to carry easily and protect your electronics. Like any good EDC bag, it has plenty of options for organization. You’ll have easy access to your tablet or laptop without needing to unroll the top thanks to a side zipper, while a front pocket lets you store snacks, cables, and keys without taking up space inside the main compartment. Best of all, it’s made of a lighter weight 420D nylon with a water-resistant finish so if you get caught in a rainstorm your electronics stay safe.
Ortlieb Velocity Backpack
While plenty of bags can boast water resistance, few are fully waterproof. The 24L Ortlieb Velocity backpack actually is IP64 waterproof and fully submersible so long as you properly roll it. Up top is a velcro strap that keeps it closed, while foam padding makes it a comfortable carry. There’s also a waist strap to help redistribute the weight of heavy loads. Inside is a small removable pocket that you can use for in-bag organization, or on the waist strap for quick access to items like wallets and keys.
Inside Line element Race Day Bag
The Race Day Bag by Inside Line Equipment was meant to keep all of your equipment organized and dry during cycling races, which are the same qualities that make it great for daily use. It has a water-resistant XPAC sailcloth construction and mesh netting on the front and sides to hold other essentials like a light jacket or water bottle. This 21L bag also has a top access pocket for quick access to your wallet or keys and plenty of room inside to store clothing or shoes.
DSPTCH is known for their stealthy EDC packs, but the Ruckpack can pull double duty next time you go out for a hike. It has three quick access pockets for smaller essentials along with a zippered front panel so you can get to the contents of your bag without having to undo the cinch closure up top. You’ll also get a dedicated laptop compartment so whether you’re hiking the trail or headed to the office, the Ruckpack is a solid way to carry.
Triple Aught Design FAST Pack EDC
Triple Aught Design makes tactical bags durable enough for combat, and the 32L FAST Pack EDC brings that build quality to everyday life. Though it isn’t fully a roll-top bag, it does have a water-resistant roll-top compartment perfect for keeping your laptop safe from rain. You can add on compatible accessories while adventuring thanks to the modularity that comes along with MOLLE webbing, and still have a reliable bag for your commute.
Do you use a roll top bag for EDC? Let us hear your favorites in the comments below.