It looks like a normal backpack. You know, there’s a main compartment with a 20-liter capacity, a pair of shoulder straps, and a few pockets for small items. Except, the Roo Backpack hides an expandable rear section that you can use to carry up to 25 liters worth of gear, making it one of the most versatile backpack solutions we’ve seen.
That’s right, this erstwhile daytrip backpack can expand to more than twice its original capacity, allowing you to leave home with a bag full of gear and still pick up a bunch of stuff along the way. Need to go on an emergency grocery run after you just got out of work? This bag got you covered. Decided to collect firewood and kindling while hiking to your favorite camping spot deep in the trail? Just use the expansion pouch and gather as much campfire fuel as you can.
The Roo Backpack performs its expanding function by using a back harness that’s fastened to the main bag body by a pair of zippers, one on the left and one on the right side. Pull down both zippers and the main body of the bag tilts forward, with a pair of adjustable straps allowing you to tailor at what angle it tilts away from the back harness. Doing this creates an empty wedged section between the bag and the back harness, which you can use as an expandable storage area. It’s a seemingly simple, but incredibly useful design.
You can use the wedged section on its own, in case you need to carry large items like firewood, boxes, and oddly-shaped equipment. Alternatively, it comes with triangle-shaped pouches that you can put in that area to turn it into a functional compartment for loose items, making it possible to use it to carry groceries, dirty workout gear, and a whole load of toys you impulsively picked up from the local flea market.
The Roo Backpack comes with three of those pouches (it has a built-in storage for the pouch), namely 15 liters, 20 liters, and 25 liters, all of them designed to fit flush with a little adjustment on the straps. According to the outfit, you can also tilt the main bag even further and attach a side webbing accessory if you want to use it as a way to carry your dog for whatever reason. Because it’s going to carry a lot of weight, the harness is a major part of the bag, incorporating heavily-padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and even a padded waist belt, so you can distribute the load along your torso, with a back panel that’s been shaped to allow ventilation from a variety of angles.
The main compartment itself has a drawstring closure, with a padded section for tablets, as well as alternate access via flaps from the side and front. Other features include straps on the sides for external gear mounting, a stash compartment for a raincoat, external attachment loops, and compatibility with hydration equipment.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Roo Backpack. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $180.