Brevite Rolltop review: innovative bag design, but does it work?

Brevite Rolltop
Review

Brevite are relatively new to camera backpacks yet already have an attractive range with three distinct models. We’ve taken a look at the latest, and largest the Brevite Rolltop.

The first thing you notice about the bag is the traditional haversack styling, this traditional shape has been brought bang up to date with ultra modern materials.

Design wise the use of modern material and style is perfect, the grey with a subtle pattern and a silky smooth finish gives the bag a feeling of overall quality.

The material gives the bag a reassuringly tough feel, ideal especially considering that during the test the Brevite Rolltop was subjected to copious amounts of mud and rain.

The material looks great and more importantly is water repellent which any bag used in the British winter needs to be.

The material and leather finishing touches are all part of a larger and more innovative design that sets this bag apart from the vast majority of camera backpacks.

Unlike conventional backpacks that feature a strap down lid the Brevite features a roll top that is secured by a carabiner style catch. This makes it quick to get into the large upper cavity of the bag to get you stuff, and if there’s nothing else in the bag then the camera section can be accessed.

The roll top itself is ingenious, so if you’re delving in and out of the bag and don’t want to use the catch then the roll top still stays together means of hidden magnets sewn into the lip of the opening.

On the front is a large pocket that’s great for holding maps, food, filters or anything else flat you want to stuff in there. This pocket is part of a larger flap that can be released to reveal the main zipped door to the main camera section.

As with an increasing amount of bags at the moment the camera kit section is fully removable. I’m still in two minds about this approach but at the same time I can not only see the benefit of a removable section but have utilized it.

The camera kit insert is accessed through this zipped door on the front and has itself another zipped lid with a strap handle attached. This handle can be used to pull the camera kit bag free of the main bag if needed.

Once open there’s a good sized cavity with a selection of inserts that can be placed in to divide up the bag and protect your kit. The insert divides are all decent quality and well padded offering your camera plenty of protection.

I found that there was plenty of space for my usual kit which included the Sony Alpha 7R, 24-70mm, Tascam DR-40, Rotolight RL-48, GoPro Hero4 Black and a few odds and sods. A set of Lee Filters seven5 deluxe kit fit nicely into the front pocket.

Above the camera section is an empty cavity which is large enough to fit a large waterproof jacket and some food. At the back there’s also a laptop section which comfortably took and ASUS UX330U 13” note book.

Looking back at the exterior of the bag and on the front along side the larger pocket that covers the camera access, there’s a zipped sleeve pocket and on the side a simple drawstring pouch. Above and below the side pouch are two straps that are ideally positioned to hold a tripod.

Flip the bag to the other side and there’s a further zipped flap that gives you another way to access your kit other than going through the main front section, which is very handy.

The main shoulder straps are padded well enough for a bag of it’s size and have a good width and amount of adjustment. There’s also chest and waist straps which is good to see.

Brevite Rolltop in use

Starting by packing up the bag and my initial impressions are excellent, the camera insert holds and protects the kit and the large pocket on the front is ideal for keeping filters and other accessories.

Once fully loaded the bag sat comfortably on the shoulders and although the straps are wide enough I did feel that they could have done with a touch more padding especially after carrying the bag around for the day,

On shorter half day hikes those straps with the Sony Kit inside was perfectly good and the chest and waist straps offered plenty of adjustment.

Getting to kit through the main flap is a bit of a faff with two buckles needing to be released before unzipping two flaps. Actually in the end it turned out not to be too much of an issue as I generally left the kit section unzipped or accessed the kit through the side flap.

The front access also proved a bit of an issue in muddy conditions as the bag needed to be laid on it’s back which meant that it got covered in mud. This would usually make front access bags a summer or dry conditions only kit solution, but here with the side access as well it meant that the bag could be swung round and kit easily accessed.

In use the real star feature of this bag was the rolltop and choice of materials. The material proved tuff and able to repel and protect against water. Also if placed on the ground it kept the contents inside dry. Thankfully that mud once dried brushed off the material easily enough.

The roll top enabled quick access to kit and held closed securely by the two magnets when needed. It was also handy when swapping lenses as a place to rest camera and body, as when the lid was pulled apart the opening would hold it’s position.

I also liked the zipped sleeve pocket across the front. This is an area of most bags that goes unused yet became a handy place to store things such as lens covers and filter cases when shooting.

The bag does come with a nifty lens cap holder with a series of sizes. At the start of the test I though that this was a great idea, yet as the test progressed I found that I preferred to use the sleeve pocket, and by the end of the test the lens cap device ended up in the pocket along with the lens caps.

On the back of the bag there is some padding between you and the contents but this is rather thin which means that you do need to organise the contents of the bag properly otherwise you’ll feel it through the back. A little additional support and structure would have been good here and meant the bags would have been more comfortable for longer trips.

Brevite Rolltop Verdict

If you’re looking for a decent day pack for your CSC camera then the Brevite Rolltop is an excellent option. It looks great and the rolltop design, amount of storage and tough water resistant material makes it a good all-rounder.

There are a few issues with comfort, a little more padding in the shoulder straps and support in the back structure would be good, but as long as you don’t weigh the bag down too much and make sure you pack it neatly then comfort really shouldn’t be an issue.

If you’re looking for a camera bag that’s set apart from the main stream then you can’t go far wrong with the Brevite Rolltop.

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