How can a bag feel so perfect yet so flawed? That’s what I kept asking myself during my time with WaterField Designs’ new full-sized Tech Rolltop Backpack, which is made from solid materials and holds a ton of stuff but sports a ill-designed “convenience” pocket that threatens to undermine the excellence of the bag as a whole. It’s not a bad bag, but it’s certainly a puzzling one.
WaterField’s signature thoughtful design reveals itself in every other feature. There’s its water-resistant waxed canvas, for one, which also now comes in a less rugged-looking shade of blue. (If you’re looking for something better suited to the boardroom than the backwoods, you can also get it in a “black ballistic” nylon fabric.) It’s attractive for a rolltop bag, although I miss the heavy leather accents WaterField tends to use for its bags. Here, you’ll only find them on the leather handle and the strip for the logo.