Just over a year ago I noticed that working from home eradicated my need for two separate messenger style bags. In the past I've used a North Face bag for commuting to work on the bike and a Fossil bag for shorter journeys off the bike. The North Face bag is great for the bike but it is bulky, even when it's empty. My Fossil bag was over five years old at the time and was starting to show signs of wear and tear. I needed a single replacement for both.

I needed something that could take the volume I needed for errands on the bike but also be comfortable enough to sling on my back if I was visiting a client or working away from home and needed something to carry my MacBook and a few other things.

This time last year I took delivery of a new YNOT Gulper roll top backpack. I had my eye on the bag for a few weeks, but when I found out that it was on sale, I took the opportunity to buy it. Over the last year it's been my go to bag for biking and day trips for when I'm working away from home.

My YNOT Gulper backpack

The roll-top style of opening means that the bag can effectively expand to carry a few more extra items or can roll back down for minimal loads. Two deep side pockets offer spacious storage for things like lights, locks and a tool bag and there's a front pocket for smaller items.

Over the last year this bag has proved itself time and time again. It's main use is as my go to bag for when I'm not working from home. I use it to carry my MacBook, a notebook, a smaller bag with a mouse, cables, and a few pens. I don't have a Swoop compatible laptop sleeve to clip my MacBook in but my own laptop sleeve offers enough protection.

It's secondary use is for running errands on the bike. I've taken to using my bike rather than taking the car, especially when the weather is good. The roll-top feature of this bag helps when I've got a lot to carry. In a matter of seconds I can expand the volume of the bag. I did initially have a concern about how much weight the back will take and while I have done a number of runs with the bag full loaded, it's thankfully still in one piece.

The Gulper has been rock-solid in its use as a bag for both on and off the bike and it's massive volume makes carrying even the biggest loads easy. With more biking planned for this year, it will be put through its paces again.