Review of the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack

woman wearing the CamelBak Roll Top Backpack

Are you looking for a lightweight backpack that you can use for short day hikes as well as for a trip into the city or to school? Keep reading to see our thoughts and review of the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack. Hint: we think it’s one of the best lightweight backpacks out there for short hikes and urban adventures.

Features of the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack


For those of you who care about weight when hiking or traveling, this is one of the best lightweight backpacks on the market. It comes in at a mere 12 ounces (330 g). The importance of a lightweight backpack can’t be underestimated, especially if you are traveling long distances. In that case, every ounce counts.

Storage Capacity

CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack open with a red vest and apple inside.
There’s a good bit of space inside this pack for storing all kinds of gear for your adventure.

Backpacks are typically listed in terms of volume (ie how much they can carry.) This CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack is a 20L pack which makes it best suited for a half-day hike or an easy day hike. (For perspective on backpacks and volume, typically for a weekend adventure you’ll need between a 30 and 50L of storage capacity and for a 3 to 5 night trip you’ll need anywhere from 50 and 80L of storage space.) These guidelines for storage are based on many different factors including weather, climate, types of activities, et. The main point in explaining volume and pack size is to show you where this pack fits in the bigger picture.

Dimensions: 41cm / 16.1 in x 34cm / 13.4 in x 2.5cm / 1 in


The CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack is made of 600D Recycled Poly / 105D Nylon Diamond/ 135D Recycled Poly Oxford Lining. And yes, you read that right. 50% of each of these bags is made out of recycled and repurposed material! Each of these backpacks has helped remove 11 plastic water bottles out of the oceans and landfills. And don’t worry, it’s BPA/BPS/BPF free.

The Roll Top

One of the nicest features about the roll top enclosure is that it allows the pack to ‘grow’ and ‘shrink’ based on what you are (or are not) carrying in it. In other words, if the pack is carrying just a cell phone and a notebook, you can roll it down quite small. On the contrary, if you’re toting a lunch, snacks, water, a map, compass and a few layers the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top expands nicely.

Magnetic Enclosure

CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack magnetic closure
The magnetic closure keeps your stuff in the right place.

The roll top is kept in place with a neat magnetic enclosure. When you bring the two ends together, the clasp securely fits in place and makes getting in and out of the bag easy and without a lot of hassle.


Like all good backpacks, the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack has several handy pockets.

Outside pockets

The front of the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack.
  • Expandable bottle pocket – This pocket is conveniently located on the side of the bag which makes it easy to reach for and access your water bottle without taking the pack off. (It’s a right – hand grab when the pack is on your back). The pocket’s expandable nature allows you to carry even the widest bottles. The pocket is also quite deep so that you don’t have to worry about your bottle falling out as you hike or when you set it down. This pocket also works great for carrying bear spray.
  • Secure essentials pocket – On the other side of the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack is another pocket, this one with a zipper that runs the length of the pocket and allows you to store things that you do not want to fall out (maps, phone, etc.)
  • Front pocket – This pocket is great for storing a notebook, receipts, pens, train tickets, granola bars, basically anything that you want within close reach.

Internal pockets

  • Internal organizational pockets – Inside the main compartment of the pack are two pockets. One of them has a zipper which is great for storing your keys or passport (basically anything that you can’t afford to lose). The other pocket is more of a divider.


The back of the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack with breathable shoulder straps and a sternum strap.

The straps on the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack are made of a lightweight, breathable mesh. They fit comfortably on our shoulders without chafing, even when fully loaded. In addition to the two main straps, there is also a removable and adjustable sternum strap that is useful when carrying larger/heavier loads.

Adjustable sternum strap on the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack.

Hydration Backpack

Though this backpack doesn’t come with a hydration bladder it is part of the CamelBak family and so naturally it is compatible with them. In fact, you can put up to a 2L bladder in the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack.

Where to Buy the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack

This backpack comes in three colors: Bright White, Black and Dusty Olive and can be purchased online:

Review of the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack Recap

We love this pack and think it’s one of the best lightweight backpacks for hiking and urban adventures. It’s breathable, looks cool and has enough storage pockets to make it useful and practical. It’s also compatible with hydration bladders. In addition to all of the technical reasons, we also love that it’s made with repurposed materials. If you’re looking to add a new backpack to your list of best gear items for van life and travel in general, we recommend this one by CamelBak.

Have a question about the CamelBak Pivot Roll Top Backpack? Ask it or leave a comment below!

Looking for a bigger pack for day hikes that will fit well in van life? Check out our review of the Backcountry 27L Daypack.

Published by Erin McGrady

Erin McGrady is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer exploring Asheville and beyond. My work focuses on sharing about LGBTQ safe spaces, camper van life, and the outdoors.

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