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Stubble & Co Roll Top backpack review

8 Jan 2021

Comfortable weatherproof luggage for all-year commuting and shorter rides

Cyclist Rating: 
Waterproof • Durable • Well cushioned • Stacks of storage • Secure laptop pocket • Reflective base • Won’t make your back clammy
Sits very high up the back • A little expensive • Nowhere to affix lights

When it comes to cycling backpacks, getting the basics wrong is something that happens more than you might expect. Thankfully, the Stubble & Co Roll Top backpack avoids many of the pitfalls I’ve experienced with simple, functional luggage.

It’s comfortable, weatherproof, offers plenty of storage options and pulls it all off with a dash of style. More than this, the use of recycled materials in its manufacture is a major selling point if you’re not over the moon about ploughing your money into the creation of yet more plastic.

If you’re not working from home and are looking for a way of transporting your clothes, everyday essentials and a laptop, it’ll see you right.

Bags of comfort

The Stubble & Co Roll Top backpack is decidedly boxy, with a 30cm width, 45cm height and 15cm depth. But, despite its quite rigid construction, it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a Belfast sink on your back.

An exceptionally cushioned back section ensures you’re not poked by anything in the bag. It’s also particularly breathable, lending the backpack year-round versatility.

A clasped chest strap helps to anchor the bag above the sternum, although positioning this strap lower on the chest would certainly help to spread the load more effectively.

Buy The Roll Top backpack from Stubble & Co

Speaking of which, with the carry straps adjusted to keep the weight of the luggage close to the body, the whole backpack is held unusually high on the back.

The bag’s top carry handle, I’m happy to report, doesn’t dig into the neck in use (an issue I had with an Altura Grid backpack earlier this year), and the adjustment straps are neatly doubled over and secured by elastic collars, so they don’t flap around in the wind.


Carrying capacity

The stated maximum capacity of the Stubble & Co Roll Top backpack is 20 litres… But who’s going to fill it with liquid? In practice, the main compartment – its roll-top secured with a G-clip – will easily accept a suit, shirt, tie and shoes (if you’re not bothered about the suit becoming creased).

Twin external side pouches will take a spare water bottle, and are elasticated so there’s little danger of losing their contents. A single zipped pocket on the front features a taped zipper, and hasn’t failed to keep rain and road spray at bay.


The sizeable laptop pocket in the back section is padded so well that you wouldn’t know you had anything in it.

Buy The Roll Top backpack from Stubble & Co

Some riding backpacks I’ve worn have had such thin laptop compartments that I’ve been fearful of snapping my MacBook Air when I bent over…


Material difference

Considerate purchasing is something we all need to be better at, so the glut of recycled materials employed across the Stubble & Co Roll Top backpack is a definite bonus.

The lining and main compartment are fashioned from recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate… basically, plastic bottles). The same material is used for a brace of webbing cargo pockets on the interior.

Combined with taped seams and water-resistant zips (which so far have proved to actually be waterproof), the rugged exterior has held up particularly well in the face of early winter rides, ensuring everything I’ve carried has made it to its destination as dry as a bone.


Value, packed?

The Stubble & Co Roll Top backpack manages to stuff a lot in to its stylish package, and there’s even a reflective logo on the base for extra visibility.

It’s rugged, showcases recycled materials, and is more than comfortable enough. But it’s lacking anywhere to easily fix extra rear or side clip-lights, and some might baulk at the bag’s three-figure cost.

One thing’s for sure: it’s built to last. There are a few niggles, but at its heart, the Stubble & Co Roll Top backpack is a piece of luggage that will take everything you throw at (or in) it.

Buy The Roll Top backpack from Stubble & Co

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews