Refueled Road Tested the Archival Roll Top on a recent camping trip.
The Roll Top is a comfortable, roomy, stripped-down backpack for keeping your belongings dry and safe in any conditions. It’s water-repellant, 22 ounce Martexin waxed cotton twill, Horween leather, and thread were perfect on the foggy morning hikes and kayak fishing. Slightly larger than the Archival Rucksack, the Roll Top is great for bicyclists, motorcyclists, and anyone else who regularly faces the elements. Featuring a roll-top closure secured by a stout Horween leather strap and solid brass roller buckle, double-layer bottom, an interior stash pocket, and two exterior side pockets great for keys, mini U-lock, or anything else requiring quick access. The semi-rigid, padded back panel and solid brass rings that adjust the shoulder straps made for a very comfortable experience.
Refueled talked with Archival co-founder/product designer Tom Bonamici to learn more about the Roll Top.
First, How did Archival come about?
Archival came about first as a blog that "shopped from the past" by reviewing old catalogs, photos, and films. It then took shape as a project to "manufacture from the past;" that is, we set out to take inspiration from the past and make the objects that we desired. For instance, we saw a lot of canoe packs out there but they all carried poorly, being too floppy and unstructured. When we produced our Rucksack, we added just enough details that ensure that the bag is comfortable to carry, but otherwise kept it as simple as possible.
What went into the design of the Archival Roll Top?
The Roll-Top is my take on the classic drybag style closure, which I find delightfully simple and versatile. I didn't see much out there, though, that was made in classic materials. So I figured I'd try making a roll-top backpack out of our beloved cotton ducks and waxed twills. I tried to keep it pretty minimal - just a few pockets, hardly any hardware - just a simple, durable bag.
How does it differ from your Rucksack?
While the Rucksack and Roll-top are similar sizes, I think they use different design language. The Rucksack is our take on old American canoe packs, and the big front flap and drawstring speak to that tradition clearly. The Roll-Top is closer to river rafting bags and bike messenger backpacks, giving it a more casual modern feeling while keeping the spirit of our bombproof construction and top-notch materials. My goal to have a line that's internally consistent, but that still speaks to a wide variety of people.
Available through Wilderness Workshop HERE.