Brevitē Hadley Roamer Backpack Hands-On: Stylish backpack offers great versatility, storage & aesthetics
posted Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 6:30 AM EDT
Last fall, I reviewed Brevitē's Rolltop backpack and came away very impressed by the backpack's aesthetics and versatility. The company is back with not one, but three new bags as part of the new Hadley Series, which is now on Kickstarter.
We covered the Hadley Series when the campaign was announced, but Brevitē sent me a pre-production version of The Roamer backpack to try out ahead of its release. There are some minor variations between the backpack I received and the final production version.
The stylish bag is definitely impressive. It is very lightweight, just over a pound without the insert and below 2.5 pounds with the insert. Speaking of the insert, the final version will have a Fidlock magnetic lock to keep it in place, whereas my pre-production unit does not. With that said, the removable insert is great. You won't be able to store large cameras and lenses within the insert, but a small DSLR and a few normal lenses or basically a complete mirrorless or Micro Four Thirds system will fit very nicely.
One of my favorite aspects of the Hadley Roamer, and the Hadley Series as a whole, is the nice style. While ultimately function trumps form, it's a bonus when a backpack is able to look good and do its job. On the topic of functionality, the pre-production unit I have has fine zippers, but the final model will include YKK zippers.
The camera insert itself has been revised. The first photo below shows the unit I have here and the second comes directly from Brevitē and shows off the revised final design, which not only looks better but offers a front organizing pocket. Further, the revised camera insert has a pair of anchor points to help keep it secure inside the Roamer (or any of the Hadley series bags as the insert is interchangeable).
The Brevitē Hadley Roamer has a magnetic Fidlock enclosure system which works very well and allows for one-handed operation. The shoulder straps, while very lightweight, are padded and quite comfortable. On the back of the padded backpack, there is also a rear compartment access allowing you into the main compartment through the back in addition to the traditional top access. At the bottom of the bag are a pair of anchor points, which work well with a small tripod but a larger tripod could be tricky. Along each side are elastic water bottle holders.
Overall, the Brevitē Hadley Roamer is a good backpack. It is stylish and functional and the camera insert design works well. The Roamer may not be able to store as much camera gear as some other similarly-sized camera backpacks, but it is a nice blend of form and function and is a versatile backpack.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Hadley series has just recently been funded. There is still time to get in on the campaign and get the best deals on the new bags before they start shipping this coming February.