I’ve been in the market for a new rucksack for my laptop for a while, following the zip going on my old bag, so when EVERKI got in touch to ask if we’d like to road-test their roll-top backpack, I jumped at the chance!
I road-tested EVERKI’s ContemPRO’s roll-top laptop backpack in black, although it’s also available in a fetching navy (pictured above), with both options coming with a light grey panel on the front. The roll-top design means there’s a large opening at the top, which makes it easy to pack larger or bulkier items without having to stuff them into the bag through a small opening.
Dedicated laptop and tablet pockets
The backpack has a cool preppy look on the outside, and I was expecting more of the same inside, so was surprised to find a high-contrast orange interior, which looks stylish and I found this made it easier to spot smaller objects lurking at the bottom of the bag than your standard black interior. There’s a handy zipped pocket inside, which is a decent size at about 25cm wide and is made from a black mesh that allows you to see what you’ve stashed inside.
Crucially for the student market, the main compartment has a dedicated laptop pocket that fits a 15.6-inch laptop, along with an extra slot that accommodates larger tablets like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Another nice touch is the padding on the bottom, front and back of the laptop pocket and also on the front of the tablet pocket, which helps protect your devices from any accidental knocks.
Anyone who’s lugged a load of folders, books and tech to uni will know how quickly your bag can become a lead weight, so the design of the straps and back panel is all-important. The ContemPRO roll-top is designed to help minimise stress and maximise comfort, with ‘reactive’ shoulder straps that conform to the owner’s shoulders when carrying the bag. There’s also an ergonomically moulded back panel, with cushioned padding and airflow channels to help prevent sweaty-back syndrome in the summer months.
Another nice touch is the trolley handle pass-through on the back – ideal if you’re travelling to uni on your own from overseas and have a load of bags to deal with. This handy loop allows you to simply slip your backpack onto the handle of your roller luggage and you’re ready to wheel them through the airport together with the minimum of effort.
And when it’s simply not practical to carry your backpack on your back, there’s a padded carry handle on the top that makes it easy to carry your bag in one hand without the strap digging into your palm.
Be safe, be seen
For those students who cycle to their lectures, there are reflective strips on the straps on the back of the bag, which will help you to be seen on those dark winter nights.
I’m a big fan of external pockets on a backpack so you don’t have to rifle through your belongings to find your keys or get to a drink, so I was pleased to see the ContemPRO roll-top comes with a couple of side pockets – one with a clip for your keys and the other with a bungie cord to hold your water bottle in place securely.
There’s also a quick-access pocket on the front for things you need easy access to like your mobile, with the high-contrast orange interior to help you to avoid accidentally leaving it unzipped.
Having had to throw out more than one rucksack in the past due to a zip going wrong, I was pleased to see reassuringly chunky zips on the ContemPRO roll-top. Time will tell, but they certainly look sufficiently durable and reassuringly the bag comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which covers manufacturing defects for its entire life.
Personalise your backpack
What if you get one of these backpacks and it starts a bit of a craze amongst your housemates and you all end up with identical-looking bags? Not to worry, as the ContemPRO roll-top comes with a transparent window on the front that can be customised using an inserted design. The backpack comes with a set of images for you to choose from, or if you’re feeling arty design your own graphic to make sure you stand out from the crowd!
Coming in at £89 (available from Amazon.co.uk and various other online stores), this certainly isn’t a budget option. But I really like this bag, and having been frustrated with the build quality of cheaper rucksacks in the past (stitching coming undone, zips breaking, uncomfortably straps when fully loaded, etc), I see it as a worthwhile investment. If it sees you through three years at uni, then that’s less than £30 a year – and it looks like it would last well beyond your student years, especially as it comes with a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects.
I wasn’t sure how I’d find the roll top, but having road-tested the bag I found it really useful as it gives you much easier access when putting your laptop in and taking it out as there’s plenty of space and you don’t have to squeeze it past zips or release a drawstring. It also makes life much easier when adding bulkier items like a jumper to the main compartment.
I think the design is stylish and well thought out – I especially like the two tech storage pockets, the padded straps and back panel, the stylish orange interior and the various slots, pockets and pouches – so overall it’s a big thumbs up from me!
- Model tested: EVERKI ContemPRO roll-top backpack in black (EKP161)
- Price: £89.00 from Amazon.co.uk
- Size: 12.6 x 7.1 x 22.4in (32 x 18 x 57cm)
- Laptop compartment: 10.6 x 1.4 x 15.5in (27 x 3.5 x 39.5cm) – fits laptops up to 15.6in (39.5cm)
- Weight: 1.9lbs (0.86kg)
- Capacity: 23 litres
- Warranty: comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which covers manufacturing defects over the entire life of the bag