Oxford Aqua 50 roll bag, £59.99
Time tested: Five months
What’s good? This rollbag seems to use the same technology as Mary Poppins’ bottomless bag. All at once I’ve fit in a tent, sleeping bag, roll mat, other camping gubbins, all my clothes for a week plus electric chargers and still had room to spare. And because it’s a rollbag you can roll the top as far as you want to make it as small as possible when it’s not full. It’s been completely waterproof so far, too. I’ve used it in some heavy showers and the main compartment has always been bone dry (less so the external pocket, see below). To secure it to the bike you get a velcro strap to go under the pillion seat, which I never use, and four straps with double D-rings. They’re more than long enough and just need to be looped around something like a footrest hanger or frame spar. They can be pulled nice and tight, negating the use for anything else such as bungee straps.
What’s not? The external pocket – which is so small it’s pointless if you ask me – doesn’t appear to be waterproof. I used it once to hold a camera charger, which got soaked. While the D-ring fasteners make securing the bag to the bike easy, they also leave you with a lot of excess strap. All that’s needed is a small elastic band on each strap so they excess can be tucked out of the way. As it stands the excess straps get tied together or to some other part of the bike, and they inevitably come undone. It also takes ages to secure the bag. With a bungee strap, you hook it on at one end then the other. Done. With this system you have to loop it round your fastening point, run it through the double D-rings then tighten. Repeat three more times, before going round again to secure all the excess. The stitching at the mounting point for one of the straps has also come undone, where I apparently fastened it too much. One other, minor annoyance is the fact that the clips on the roll top can only be fastened a certain way. Roll the top over four times and they fasten fine. Roll it over three or five times (or any odd number) and they won’t fasten. There are only carry straps on the sides, so when you use this all your stuff slides down to one side, and then the bag hangs over one side on the bike. I’ve taken to using the Velcro seat strap as a carry handle.
Quality rating: 3/5
Value rating: 3/5