With the Speedway Roll-Top, Velomacchi delivers the most innovative backpack I’ve ever seen.
It’s not hard to make a bag. Making a great bag? That’s hard. The Velomacchi Speedway Roll-Top covers the basic necessary function of what any backpack should be able to do (hold stuff) and expands on that with feature after feature to bring us a bag so full of inventive ideas, you feel like your head might explode. Even more impressive than the ideas themselves, is their implementation. The Speedway Roll-Top isn’t cluttered, nor is it visually distracting; it just sits there full of awesomeness looking like some utilitarian piece of art.
The pinnacle of the Speedway Roll-Top’s features is the coupler. Put simply, the coupler just works. It’s not a gimmick that only works occasionally, or falls apart because of over-use. Velomacchi sent me a review unit a month ago and I’ve been commuting with it ever since. So far the bag’s coupler has performed without fault.
The coupler’s ability to rotate means it acts like a pivot point for the harness. Two additional pivot points located on the straps allow the bag to conform to your body shape, and this three-point harness combined with adjustable straps offers a near-perfect fit that’s comfortable for hours. Another plus is that you look like Iron Man while wearing it, and I enjoy that more than I should.
Other bells and whistles include a spot on the harness to mount a GoPro, a sleeve for your tire pressure gauge, and a holder for an ID card. On the back is a hook to hang your helmet (which is honestly the only place on a backpack for a helmet), and the roll-top has a magnet sewn into its lining to ensure a straight fold in the top flap when you roll the bag closed. Finally, there’s the little side pocket. This pocket is probably the least innovative thing on the bag, but has ended up being one of the most useful. For something like a wallet or phone, this little pocket offers quick, easy access and I ended up using it way more than I anticipated.
All is not perfect in the Speedway Roll-Top world, though. It seems not all 25L backpacks were created equal and the Speedway Roll-Top suffers from a slightly narrow construction. I can still stuff in everything I need on a daily basis, but this is one bag that will not accept odd-ball items. You have to think of it in these terms: shoebox, yes, volleyball, no. While the shoe-box may actually be bigger, it’s not fat like a volleyball. *Disclaimer, I don’t actually own a volleyball so I’m not 100% sure if this statement is factual.
The second issue with this bag is entirely subjective, and thats the price. This may not be a problem depending on your circumstances, but at $300, the Speedway Roll-Top is a bit on the spendy side. However, as I always say “something is only expensive if you never use it,” and if this bag is something you use every day, the cost-per-use quickly becomes very reasonable.
The Speedway Roll-Top offers quite a bit for $300. It’s water-resistant, packed with originality, and it looks great to boot (which isn’t always a given with functional items). Velomacchi’s Speedway Roll-Top is a great example of what can happen when a company looks beyond what their product should do and thinks more about what it could do.
*This write-up is based on a review unit provided to me by Velomacchi.
Don’t be dick and steal my photos, please.