As one of the more popular outdoor-gear and apparel stores, REI knows a thing or two about hiking and backpacking. Over the years the retailer’s evolved from selling a handful of arguably “hardcore” products and brands to one that offers a more diverse mix of products. Unbeknownst to some, that list increasingly includes REI’s own labels. Case in point: the evrgrn brand. Fortunately, because REI knows its way around outdoor gear, its products tend to be solid. In the case of the evrgrn Rollback Pack 25L backpack, it’s as solid outdoors as it is in an urban setting.
Camping in the Cascades often involves a day hike. For many city dwellers, hiking is much the same story: bolt from the city for a day-long visit to Mother Nature. Big backpacks are excessive for either type of outing, as you really only need to take water, snacks, a first aid kit and maybe a camera. And let’s face it, if you’re just venturing into the outdoors, you probably don’t have a big old backpack anyway. That’s where the evrgrn Rollback Pack 25L comes in.
Compact and without a frame, the Rollback Pack 25L can be stuffed haphazardly in a closet when not in use and busted out when that quick day-hike comes calling. It also supports quick jaunts away from base camp, since it’s so lightweight. The backpack isn’t designed to hold a ton; its capacity is 25 liters, which supports about the volume of one laptop and two two-liter bottles. For shorter trips, that’s plenty of space to pack the essentials.
Rather than use a main-body zipper, the evrgrn Rollback Pack 25L can be closed by rolling down the top and holding it in place with a rubbery latch. Unlike similar backpacks, though, the Rollback Pack has a zipper on either side that allows you to easily access either the laptop sleeve or the main body. (The left-hand zipper accesses the body, while the right-hand zipper accesses the laptop sleeve.) This initially seems gimmicky, but the more I used the pack for day hikes, the more I came to appreciate not having to unclip, unroll, rifle through the stuff inside, then re-roll and re-clip the top.
And wait. What was that about a laptop sleeve? REI realized this backpack isn’t for hardcore backcountry trips and will probably see double-duty outdoors and in the city. For instance, I’ve used the laptop sleeve for my computer as well as to set apart a couple of 40-ounce water bottles from the rest of my stuff. In each case it held the items in place beautifully. The evrgrn Rollback Pack 25L backpack also has great water resistance, so you don’t have to worry about your laptop or gear getting wet if you encounter a sudden rain shower.
To be fair, it isn’t a dry bag, so you won’t want to trust it with all your precious materials in a downpour. But the evrgrn Rollback Pack 25L handled multiple Portland rain showers with ease, and its seam-sealed zippers on the front two pockets even kept my wallet and cell phone dry. So, long story short, if you’re looking for a quick and easy day-hike backpack or something new to cart around the city, this is a solid option that’s not going to break the bank.
The evrgrn Rollback Pack 25L backpack was provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article contains no affiliate links.
evrgrn Rollback Pack 25L Backpack
- Super functional both for urban and day-hiking use
- Good water resistance, though not waterproof
- Zippers provide full access to contents without unrolling
- Sub-pockets inside front pockets keep tiny stuff orderly
- Nice hooks up the back half to connect gear or carabiners
- Chest or waist straps would've added comfort when hiking
- Top rubber strap struggles to latch when the pack's really full
- Rigid roll-top keeps form when the bag's open, but it makes for hard edges when rolled-up