Although the Topo Designs brand has developed with mountains and outdoor living in mind, they have also tried to include features and styles that won’t look out of place in the city on the daily commute or down the local gym.
The Rover is a multifunctional daypack that features a simple and user-friendly design. Topo Designs go as far as to describe it as the ‘Goldilocks of rucksacks’- not too big, not too small, not too fancy, not too simple and happy to steal from hard working bear families...or something like that. The Rover Packs are all handmade in Colorado, constructed from a tough 1000D Cordura® which helps to keep the weight down whilst also providing a durable and water-resistant outer. It also has a straightforward cinch top closure.
We received the Navy edition to test out and along with the Ballistic Black, these are the more reserved colours available. However, if you are feeling a little bolder, there are the Navy/Red, Forest/Black, Olive/Khaki, Turquoise/Clay and Silver/Charcoal options to choose from, which use two blocks of colour for a striking look. The Rover measures up at 11"W x 17"H x 10"D, holds up to 20L and weighs 589g. The heavy duty YKK zippers ensure a reliable closure whilst adding a distinct look to the bag; you won’t need to struggle with these zips, as the zip-pulls make it easy to access your gear with gloves on. There is a large main compartment with easy access for clothes and bulky gear, two large exterior zipper pockets provide fast access to smaller items, maps, phone or snacks for example, the dedicated inner 15” laptop sleeve protects your valuables whilst keeping it secure, and the two side pockets can be used to carry water bottles/any extra gear you might want to grab without removing the bag from your back.
Other features include the flap top with dual side-release buckle closures for added protection to the main compartment and a padded base that prevents your valuables meeting the ground. There are dual side compression straps to slim down the profile when it isn’t fully loaded, as well as a top carry handle, travel bag attachment loops and padded shoulder straps with mesh backing for comfort and ventilation.
There are a few things we weren’t too keen on, like the lack of both a waist strap or sternum strap. There isn’t any kind of a ventilation system where the bag meets your back and the dangling straps (the excess from the compression straps and adjustable straps) can get caught on things. However, we did like the overall look of the bag: it was comfortable (if you exclude the ventilation) and the bright yellow liner in the navy edition made it easy to locate items in the bottom of the bag. RRP £135
3.8 out of 5
Large main compartment
Padded internal sleeve fits most 15" laptops
Side water bottle pockets
Dual side compression straps
Padded backpack straps with mesh backing
Heavy-duty YKK zippers
Travel Bag attachment loops
No waist or sternum strap