Cayl's Compact Backpacks Are Perfect for Life in the City

The Gaya Roll Top Mesh B-Grid Backpack combines safety features meant for trail hiking and pockets designed for folks commuting to the office.

gaya roll top backpack

Buying a backpack is hard work. There are just so many to choose from. Some are extra large with compartments for just about everything one would considering carrying. Others barely fit a book, albeit a coffee table-sized one. They're the porridge and you, the shopper, are Goldilocks, tasting your way through what's out there until one strikes your fancy, all while weighing considerations like weight, width and height, capacity and, of course, aesthetics.

While our big buying guide to backpacks offers options for just about every use case, some folks will inevitably feel left out still, as if there's no backpack just right for their lifestyle. To be fair, few backpacks are perfect...but South Korean brand Cayl's newest design, dubbed the Gaya Roll Top B-Grid Mesh Backpack, comes close.

The bag is compact yet surprisingly spacious, stylish in a sort of futuristic GORPcore kind of way and completely waterproof, making it a smart option no matter what says. (My preemptive condolences, DarkSky, which is shutting down next year because it's being folded into Apple Weather.)

While a lot of brands position their bags as multifunctional — "it can go from the trail to the office with ease," for example — Cayl's truly are: The backpack is formed from lightweight (and waterproof) nylon robicc 210D fabric with a super-secure top. It closes with both a velcro closure opening, a buckle closure and a roll-top. The roll-top also helps the bag expand to fit more stuff, while the buckle and velcro help keep the contents dry even while the top is unfurled.

Inside, there's a sleeve for a laptop and one zippered pocket. On the outside, there's a big mesh pocket that wraps around the front of the bag, offering space for a water bottle, a bike lock or any other bulky items that don't mind exposure to the elements. The mesh pocket does cinch shut, too, so none of it will fall out while you're riding, bending over to tie your shoe or rucking up a tough trail.

And the bag looks as at home on trails as it does city sidewalks, too. The shoulder straps are padded for long-term comfortability and they buckle together for better support. Plus, there's a safety whistle attached to the front buckle for when you get a little lost — whether up on the mountain or in lower Manhattan.

Gaya Roll Top Backpack B-Grid Mesh

  • Capacity: 18-22L
  • Dimensions: 65 x 41 x 25 cm
  • Colors: Beige, White

    Gaya Roll Top Backpack B-Grid Mesh (Beige)
    Gaya Roll Top Backpack B-Grid Mesh White

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