The Gobi Gear Hoboroll, a clever kind of bag with five separate compartments, is a great way to organize packing. Made of lightweight, durable nylon the roll is like a flexible tube that is open on either end with drawstring closures. Compression straps wrap around the roll to reduce the size to a compact container, while the design of the straps means that they can be used as a handle. Loops are provided on the outside where items can be attached with a carabiner or other device.
When I received the product for review I decided that my gym bag needed an overhaul. The big, bulky, hard-sided case I was using seemed like a lot of luggage for my gym clothes but I wasn’t sure I could get everything in.
I dumped everything out of my gym bag and, starting with the shoes, found a compartment for everything: one shoe in each of two compartments, water bottle in another, my t-shirt and shorts rolled together in the fourth section and, finally, small items like fitness gloves, small towel and socks went in the last segment.
I found it easiest to close one end before stuffing it and I like to tuck the drawstrings inside so they don’t flap around. I attached my locker lock to one of the outside loops, cinched up the Hoboroll and was pleased at how compact it was—about a third of the size of my big case.
I wanted to try the Hoboroll in my suitcase on a recent weekend trip but ran out of time to test some things I had in mind. However, when I was rushing around packing and realized I needed my workout clothes I just grabbed my new gym bag and placed the Hoboroll in my suitcase, which made it very easy to be sure I had everything I needed.
On another trip I did try the Hoboroll to organize my packing, placing undergarments, my sleep shirt, bathing suit, sarong and sandals in the five compartments. It worked well enough but I wasn’t sure I needed it in a suitcase. It was nice to have a way to keep shoes from getting my clothes dirty, and that is something I would use it for in the future.
One thing I like about the Hoboroll is that, due to its unique design, it folds completely flat when empty. Last year my husband and I traveled for five months through Asia and often took one- and two-night side trips with a day pack, leaving our larger packs at the hotel. My husband would have preferred not carrying a daypack the rest of the time as he didn’t need the space and it was so bulky it was impractical to pack it. It would have been nice to be able to bring an empty Hoboroll as an extra small suitcase for these short excursions, stuffed with a change of underwear, clean shirt, sleep shirt and essential toiletries.
As light as it is I probably wouldn’t use the Hoboroll for backpacking as it’s a bit bulky. I’m on a journey toward ultralight backpacking so the of weight and relative bulk makes it impractical for that scenario. For car camping though, it could be very helpful to keep small items organized in the tent such as clothing, headlamp, fleece hat, gloves and down vest—all the things I need to stay warm as the sun sets.
This is the first of, hopefully, many products from Gobi Gear, the brainchild of adventurer Chez Brungraber, who got tired of trying to find things in her duffle bag as she traveled the globe pursuing a PhD in botany. She field tested the Hoboroll during a 3 month trip through Asia, finding that it kept her more organized so she could spend more time exploring her surroundings.
Overall I thought the Hoboroll was very useful and it has a permanent resting place behind the driver’s seat in my car so I’m ready for the gym at any moment. It’s a handy organizer that keeps items separate and compressed into a compact shape and can be adapted to various needs by the creative traveler.
See related blog post: Packing Light for Overseas Travel
Dimensions: 15″ long x 10″ diameter (38cm x 25cm)
Capacity: 1160 cubic inches/19 liters
External material made from recycled nylon.
Photos by Inga Aksamit, except where noted.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Hoboroll for free from Gobi Gear as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Retailer Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.