Brevite The Roamer II Camera Backpack Review
Brevite's Roamer II camera backpack is lightweight, weatherproof and stylish. Is it the bag for you? Read our real-world review to find out!
It’s become increasingly common for camera bags to be designed to suit casual daily usage as well as their intended photographic purposes. The market has been shifting for quite some time, and with the introduction of Kickstarter all those years ago, anybody with an idea and the dedication to get something off the ground can create a runaway success!
Brevite first introduced their original Roamer camera backpack in 2017 through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Not resting on their laurels, just two years later they unveiled the new and improved Roamer II.
Don't be fooled – this bag packs a wealth of clever features into its sleek, minimal design.
I am constantly on the search for a perfect everyday backpack, but the reality is, there’s no one-size-fits-all backpack out there. Everybody has different wants and needs when it comes to selecting their preferred carry solution.
I’ve been using the Roamer II camera backpack every single day for just over three months now, and I have to say, so far, I’ve been quite happy with what they’ve created!
Brevite The Roamer II Specs
- Lightweight and durable build
- Lots of small compartments and pockets
- Plenty of storage capacity
- Cons here
- Cons here
Weight (Backpack): 0.95kg (2.1lbs)
Weight (Combined): 1.36kg (3lbs)
Main Exterior Material: 600D Carbonate Coated Kodra
Laptop Carry: 16” MacBook Pro
Tablet Carry: 11” iPad
Interior Dimensions: 25 x 25 x 12 cm (9.8″ x 9.8″ x 4.7″)
Insert Volume: 7.5L
Weight: 0.41kg (0.9lbs)
– Water-resistant build
– Top, side and rear access
– Magnetic Fidlock® buckle
– Water-resistant YKK zippers
– High quality hardware
– Lightweight and discrete design
– External cargo straps for tripod carry
– Thick EVA foam padding
– Organizer pockets
1x Removable Collapsible Camera Insert II
1x Removable Sternum Strap
2x L-Shaped Padded Dividers
1x Small Padded Divider
1x Full Length Padded Divider
Build & Appearance
The Brevite Roamer II is a stylish and functional lightweight carry solution for photographers and adventurers alike.
The sleek, smooth, and shiny all-black design allows the bag to inconspicuously blend into the crowd for the everyday commute or the more adventurous travel.
Constructed from easy-to-clean, durable and water-resistant materials, if you get caught in a downpour on your way to work (like I did) you can endure it with confidence that your camera gear will be perfectly fine – regardless of how ruined your new sneakers may be.
There’s plenty of space inside for your daily items and a system of camera gear, along with three main access points found on the top, back, and side of the Roamer II.
This lightweight beast is ready for you to pack and pack again for whatever purpose you see fit.
Featuring a rather soft and padded build, an expandable drawstring top, and a full size soft malleable lid that closes securely with a magnetic Fidlock® Buckle, you’ll find packing it a breeze and your gear perfectly protected from the elements.
The Roamer II comes bundled with Brevite’s lightweight removable Collapsible Camera Insert II and numerous padded interior dividers for customisability.
Coming in at a mere 410g (0.9lbs), the Camera Insert II can be unzipped and folded completely flat when not in use making for easy storage.
Combined, the bag and insert weight in at 1.36kg (3lbs). Comparing this to other similar everyday-style backpacks on the market, the Roamer II doesn’t contribute too much in the way of strict airline carry on limits and should fit nicely under the seat in front of you.
Once you acquire the Roamer II, you’ll immediately find plenty of creature comforts and quality of life considerations dotted all over it. This should hopefully make your life seem much easier now that the Roamer II is in it!
The main top lid is super soft and covers the whole top section of the bag very easily. This is regardless of how jam-packed you load up that top drawstring pouch area as it’ll wrap over the top and buckle down to help protect your items from the elements.
The Roamer II features a water-resistant material that allows the droplets to just dry up or run off the surface, and unless you’re swimming, it’ll keep the water away from your items.
The Roamer II has been elegantly equipped with a vast amount of EVA foam padding along the body side of the bag and tastefully padded shoulder straps that mould around your shoulders.
This sits the backpack snugly and firmly to your body whilst also comfortably supporting the fully-loaded weight of the bag.
You’ll find the usual (and very welcomed) luggage pass-through on the back panel as well, which doubles as a grab handle for an alternate carry option or for easier stowage.
Placed next to that is a sneaky little pocket which can be used to hide and store your travel documents when on the move.
Placed on both the bottom and a single side of the Roamer II are external cargo straps for equipping bulkier items such as a tripod or sleeping bag, and you’ll find two wonderful bottle pockets with very stretchy mesh on either side.
Quickly access your camera through the side door which also pairs nicely with the Camera Insert II by way of a simple sleeve that attaches them together. The entire back panel of the Roamer II opens right up to provide clear access to the bottom region of the backpack.
The only exterior feature I feel is missing that I expected would appear on the Roamer II are side grab handles. I didn’t realise how often I actually used them until suddenly I found I didn’t have them anymore!
There’s not too much happening on the inside of the main compartments, but the Roamer II isn’t a bare-bones backpack by any means.
Keep work and play items separate by using the inbuilt interior divider inside the Roamer II, or fold it up out of the way to allow the full-size cavernous interior to be loaded up with everything you need.
Drop in the Camera Insert II when you need to organise your photography gear, or carry it as an unnecessarily padded lunch pail with the built-in handle.
Fortunately, the Camera Insert II sits directly along the base of the backpack so you don’t have an air pocket or any wasted space – a common problem I’ve found with many backpacks featuring removable camera pouches.
The top lid of the Roamer II contains two zipper pocket areas: one on the outside for easy access, and a more discrete pocket on the inside of the lid.
Having items loaded into them not only keeps them tucked away for safekeeping, but the added weight helps keep things in the top compartment settled while moving about your day.
Found on the inside of the back panel is a laptop pouch with a separate document or tablet pouch. These are held in place by a small velcro strap.
Placed on the back of the top compartment is a small mesh zipper pocket which is also accessible through the back of the Roamer II.
My 15.6″ gaming laptop doesn’t fit due to it being a little larger than a 16″ Macbook Pro, which is one that will fit nicely inside the Roamer II.
Along the front of the Roamer II is a tall front pocket with numerous smaller pockets for organising your everyday items. Nothing feels specifically dedicated to camera accessories in this area of the backpack, however.
Unfortunately the Camera Insert II doesn’t feature any small pockets or compartments for the little bits and pieces you may have. I would like to have small pockets suitable for batteries, memory cards, USB sticks, and other such items!
Brevite have given the Roamer II plenty of storage capacity for just about anything you’ll need for a great day out. This makes it just as well suited for a day out in the field as it is for your daily commute to work or studies.
Pictured above is what I could fit without maximising the top drawstring compartment area! You can fit even more than this into that top area as it expands and contracts to the size that you require by a pull of the string.
The Camera Insert II is well suited for arranging and packing your things in an orderly fashion. It’ll suit full-frame DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and small drone kits – or even a combination of both depending on size:
- Sony a7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 attached
- DJI Mavic Pro drone
- DJI Mavic Pro controller
- 2x DJI Mavic Pro batteries
- Plus a SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD and a range extender
With the chargers loaded into the other front and rear pockets of the Roamer II backpack itself, there’s still plenty of space, with the entire top drawstring pocket available to load up with anything else.
Full frame DSLRs such as a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 attached will also fit well along with a flash and spare batteries, the battery charger and the cables for my Microsoft Surface Pro.
Not to mention that a DJI Mavic series drone will happily live nice and cosy within the Camera Insert II along with its chargers and other iPhone accessories too.
Or for the more casual daily use – stuff in all of your gym gear that you never use, along with your lunch, stationery, and new kitten, and comfortably make your way to the office.
The Roamer II will fit it all in with ease and you may even have room for more!
Ease of Use/Comfort
I’ve found the Roamer II to be a very comfortable bag to use every single day, and regardless of weather conditions.
The shoulder straps feature a really nice amount of padding and it feels as though they mould over my shoulders and support the weight of the bag very well.
The padding along the body side of the bag is quite comfortable as well, although being winter I’m unsure how well the mesh and design work at cooling but I can imagine it’d do well during summer.
An added benefit of the Roamer II’s top lid being designed the way it is: I’ve often forgotten to clip up the buckle but due to the design of the drawstring top compartment, nothing has ever fallen out of the bag.
It’s incredibly easy to construct and collapse the Camera Insert II as the only step required is to zip up one long continuous zipper which forms the shape of the pouch!
It looks complicated but it turns out to be super easy, I assure you. Placing it inside the Roamer II is straightforward as it’s designed to fit perfectly in place.
An added benefit of the lightweight and soft nature of the Roamer II is that it doesn’t feel heavy even with a light load. I’ve used many bags in my time, and many tend to be nearly 2kg empty for whatever reason that may be, and that weight just adds up fast.
But in the case that you have overloaded the bag, Brevite also include a removable sternum strap for assisting in spreading the load across your body. You unfortunately won’t find a waist strap included though!
Value for Money
Falling in at under US$220 at the time of writing this article, the Roamer II is priced competitively to other bags of similar size, features, and style on the market.
It’s not the cheapest bag out there, but I do feel there is justification in its pricing.
It’s light, comfortable, durable, and has a reasonable daily capacity which can be easily maximised. The Roamer II is well crafted and it’ll certainly protect your gear from the elements and through harsh terrains.
If you think about it, the Roamer II isn’t just a dedicated camera bag, nor is it just a normal backpack either. You’re essentially purchasing a multi-purpose backpack that can be utilised in either way, or prepared as a convenient combination of both.
I carry my camera to the office with me each day, so I have elected to leave the Camera Insert II loaded into the Roamer II. But the other things I carry to work tend to just get freely thrown into the top section and spread through the other numerous pockets.
On the weekends I load up more camera gear into it and throw it on my back ready for my next adventure somewhere. It may not be marketed on Brevite’s website as an “everyday bag”, but I feel it really does fit the notion of being a bag for pretty much every situation on any day.
Another thing to note as well is that Brevite also stand by their products as they offer a limited lifetime warranty!
Brevite The Roamer II Review | Conclusion
I have found the Roamer II to be a fantastic combination of durability and style, and I really appreciate how great it is for normal day-to-day usage.
It’s a great size bag and really suits my lifestyle. I am not always out on some wild adventure with all of my camera gear in tow, but when I am this bag really comes into its own.
There are a few quirks and a couple of things that I wish Brevite had included on it, however, I am not at a loss without them. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article I’ve been using this bag every single day for the last few months and I plan to continue doing so.
Don't be fooled – this bag packs a wealth of clever features into its sleek, minimal design.