Roll-top backpacks are becoming an increasingly popular choice for one very obvious reason – the simple design. In a world of bells, whistles, zippers, clasps, drawstrings and multiple pockets, the roll top backpack does what you need it to, without complication.

The fact you can so easily roll the top down to compress the size, or open it up to allow more volume, adds a versatility that makes this backpack so attractive to so many. More than ever, we’re after personal items that will satisfy the multiple needs of our busy, varied lifestyles. In order to do so, they need to be multifunctional – just like a roll top.

Bags for a Hands On Life Billy Tannery

On top of this, the benefit of a
leather roll top bag over other materials is its durability. An investment in a quality leather product will last for many years. With a leather roll top, its uses may evolve over time but you’ll never have to worry about the loss of quality.

Here are just a few reasons why you might consider one as your next wardrobe essential.

Billy Tannery Black Leather Rolltop Backpack



We said it once, we’ll say it again. Roll-top leather backpacks are simple – it’s why we love them. Simple in design, simple to use, and simple to look after. With minimal features, the focus is on the main compartment – pack your belongings inside, roll the top down, then secure with a buckle. It’s fuss-free.

Leather can handle tough conditions and tends to improve the more it’s worn. That means you don’t need to worry about your leather bag getting knocked around too much. It’s both sturdy and low-maintenance.


Thanks to its compression, a roll top backpack is also incredibly versatile. It means you can invest in a bag with bigger capacity, then modify this to suit your needs day to day. For example, you can take a roll-top with you to work, but you might also bring it with you on short trips, weekends away or outdoor adventures. It’s a work backpack and a travel backpack all rolled into one. This makes it the perfect bag for multiple occasions.

Billy Tannery Brown Leather Roll-top Backpack


With a bag like this, you reduce unnecessary bulk by tucking away extra material, and simply rolling down the top to compress what’s inside. This means you can keep your belongings nice and snug  - once fastened at the top, you won’t have anything loose jiggling around.

This is ideal if you’re using it to carry more valuable items. Similarly, the compression element can alter the look depending on when you need to use it. Roll the top right down and minimise the size of your bag. Perfect if you’re after a more understated look.


What’s great about a roll top backpack is its ease of access. The large top opening of this bag means it’s easy to see what’s inside, and you can both pack away and retrieve your belongings from it easily too. Plus, because it’s such a simple design, you won’t get your hands lost in multiple pockets as you rummage about looking for your things. Most roll top backpacks include a compartment so you can tuck specific items away in a separate place.

Billy Tannery Black Leather Rolltop Backpack


The majority of roll top backpacks have fewer straps than regular top-lid backpacks. That’s because an extra top pocket isn’t needed over the main section – everything’s taken care of with the roll-down top instead. Many backpacks have added extras that are prone to breakage over time, such as cheap plastic zips and pullers that often break or get jammed.

If you would like a zip rather than a roll-top, make sure it has a solid metal zip - like our Ziptop real leather backpack does. Likewise, fewer  pockets and flaps makes for a more streamlined experience.


Given the popularity of this style of bag, there are inevitably lots to choose from – so why Billy Tannery? One point of difference is the fact we use goatskin leather, which is slightly tougher, lighter and softer than cow leather. Not only is it great to the touch but it won’t feel unduly heavy before you’ve put anything inside it, as some leather bags can. Goat leather has an especially pronounced grain that varies with each piece so as a material it’s wonderfully distinct, too.

At Billy Tannery, we think about the little things. All of our leather roll top bags are made in small batches of ten to ensure that quality attention to detail remains throughout. We’ve included laptop compartments, slip pockets and padding to provide a superbly comfortable fit, and ensure you’ve got all the room you need for your important essentials. We also provide an extra six litres of volume in our roll-top, comparative to our zip top bags, so you can adapt to different occasions. Plus, the leather handle on the top means you’ve got the option to either carry the bag in your hand or over your shoulder.

All of our bags are responsibly sourced, tanned at our leather tannery and made in the UK using 100% vegetable-tanned full-grain leather, which is the highest quality leather you can find. Our aim is to create timeless pieces that age with you. As your look, lifestyle and hobbies evolve, our beautiful bags will take on the same depth and complexity as their owner.

Find out more about our full range of premium leather bags for men.

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