I picked up a large, US-made Seal Line roll top backpack with my REI dividend. Made in the USA, it’s roomy and well-made. Since it’s made of nylon, many of the joints are welded rather than sewn, a bit unsettling but no doubt stronger than a stitch.

While I loved the massive capacity and no-brainer roll top closure, I must admit that I wasn’t thrilled with the bag.

The back panel looks like it would keep you cool, but my back got just as sweaty under this pack than any other, including our own.

Also, the outside pocket was difficult to access due to a cramped size and stiff zipper. I ended up leaving it open most of the time, and even so, it was tough to reach inside. Furthermore, I wonder why they put the daisy chain on a side of the bag rather than the center – when the bag is full, your bike light ends up blinking more to the side than the rear.

Finally, the extremely stiff material and sharp corners of the rolled top meant that my over-the-shoulder view (to check for cars) was blocked, which was downright scary.

I appreciate that the bag is made in the USA, but it’s not the one for me!

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