Okay, the title is bad, even by our standards. But it’s Friday, and the alliteration synapses are shot and the usually bottomless pun coffers could use replenishing. Today we’re going to look at roll top backpacks, one of the rarer styles of rucksack in fashion – so rare, indeed, that it took us longer than we’d care to admit to compile a cohesive Eight on the subject. Their rarity doesn’t appear denote any unpopularity of lack of interest, quite the contrary. Specialist Swedish bagmakers Sandqvist’s ‘Eddy’ backpack sold out on ASOS a few months ago and they’ve only since gotten their hands on some more product. So why aren’t the high street retailers picking up on a hot design? Even with the spike in popularity of cycling (the roll top’s origin story can be traced back to the bike messengers and beyond) you’ll struggle to find more than a couple of true roll tops in the likes of TOPMAN, New Look and the rest. Perhaps everyone’s still enamoured with the 80’s U.S. Kindergarten Cop business brought back almost single-handedly by Herschel Supply Co. in the last 3 years.
The roll top is really a technical style with its roots in activewear, which might explain its nicheness. It’s all hard, clean lines and minimalism for the death defying fixie guy, the urban explorer and those Rick Owens goth ninja types that wear them despite not having anything worth carrying. So, why should you chuck in your trusty Eastpak for an untried roll top? Particularly when you’ve got 17 years left on your 25-year guarantee? Well, let’s not be too hasty, keep the old workhorse, for sure, but here’s a couple of reasons why you might want some rucksack rotation. 1) Roll tops beat out zip closures every time for water-tightness, and given the horrendous rainfall we’ve been having you might have remembered the inconvenience of soggy goods. 2) You’ll look the part on your road bike. Streamlined; geared up. You may well be overtaken by middle-aged women on Boris Bikes wearing inappropriate footwear, but you’re not the one setting the pace here, let’s not forget.
Hey, if you’re into brand loyalty, why not stick with Eastpak. They’re indestructible, after all, so you know you’re getting a good deal. This ‘Smashing’ backpack (we’re not just bigging it up or doing a Nigel Thornberry bit, that’s its actual name) throws in a little organic touch to an otherwise sleek, minimalist style with a tan leather strap and embossed logo. £104.06 from Farfetch.com.
One of the few high street bargains on offer in this particular style, we found this Nanny State roll top in the BANK.com sale for a tenner! C’mon, son! Shorter life span, but a change from all black everythang and you can’t quibble with that price.
Finally, a proper English cycling pack from a proper English cycling accessories firm, Brooks England. Best known for their luxe leather vintage-style bike seats – every other Brompton is fitted with one, trust – the Pickwick day pack is as functional as it is handsome. Designed by Professor Andre Klauser at London’s Royal College of Art, the Pickwick has the city commuter in mind, featuring water resistant canvas, taped seams and Brooks signature leather work. It’s made in Tuscany, by artisans, yeah? La-dee-dah. Available in a variety of crisp colours from Evans Cycles.com.
Click the Eight below to shop the rest of our roll top roster or download the SHAREIGHT app to browse and buy from your mobile device. For daily style updates, follow us on Twitter @Shareight or like the SHAREIGHT for Men Facebook page.
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