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Gobi Gear Hoboroll Review: Packing for the outdoors

The Gobi Gear Hoboroll isn’t a concept that’s new to us. We reviewed their previous edition all the way back in 2013, so when the new one came by we were a little curious about what’s actually changed in it. After spending a few hours with it, we’re pretty sure the new one is definitely something to talk about.

What is the HoboRoll?

It’s an innovative packing system that’s perfect for when you want to minimise your luggage and really stuff more into less. Using one of our favourite packing styles – rolling, it lets you compartmentalise your clothes and travel gear so you don’t have to rummage through a million things and then spend half your time packing it all up again. We love their philosophy – We don’t spend enough time outdoors, and this product lets you maximise the quality time you spend outside without having to waste it on fiddling with your bag. It’s sturdy and can be used on its own or placed inside a larger bag. It’s great for a short camping/hiking trip or even as a gym bag. We got the Hoboroll in a nice forest green Pinyon Pine  (very nature friendly). It neatly folds itself into a small pouch, making it great to add into other luggage to later use on short day trips.

Gobi Gear Hoboroll

Breaking down the Hoboroll

It’s got a new Ultralight Nylon material that’s so much more flexible than the old one. The curved yolk and compression tabs let the whole thing become one tight little sturdy package. The tall collar, cord locks and anodised aluminium sliders make it really easy to operate and secure. It’s got 5 compartments radiating around the center and the original cover pouch turns into a secret pocket that can be tucked inside when in use. At 3.5 oz, with a 20l capacity, 10″ diameter and 15″ length this one packs a whole lot into very little.

Gobi Gear Hoboroll

How much can the Hobroll store?

So I drew up a list of essentials I’d carry for a 3-day camping trip and put the Hoboroll to the test:
3 tees
3 pairs of shorts
3 pairs of socks
3 pairs of underwear (obviously not pictured)
An extra pair of shoes
A bag of toiletries
A fleece jacket

Gobi Gear Hoboroll

Packing the Hoboroll

Rolling up each of these sets I was able to slide them one each into the 5 compartments and pull the drawstring on either side. What’s great is that it can be accessed from either side (definitely minimising the rummaging). The buckle can be tightened or loosened depending on how much you’ve packed. Everything you see in the picture above (along with underwear) easily fit into it, with room for a little more.

Gobi Gear Hoboroll

Gobi Gear Hoboroll

Carrying the Hoboroll

It looks like a small duffle bag when packed and can be carried easily over the shoulder or on the side. One little addition I would’ve wished for is a sort of rain cover. Maybe a simple elasticised pouch that goes all over the Hoboroll, just so there’s minimal rain that can get into either of the drawstring ends.

Gobi Gear Hoboroll

Intrigued? Amazed? We think the Hoboroll is great for two reasons. One, it’s possibly the best option to pack a lot into such a compact carrying option. And two, compartmentalisation ensures you don’t have to rummage through stuff to get what you want. Get your Hoboroll at Gobigear.com from $39.99 Got some packing tips of your own to share? Tell us in the comments below!

This post was made possible by Gobi Gear. Opinions, as always are our own.

10 Discussions on
“Gobi Gear Hoboroll Review: Packing for the outdoors”
  • This is an awesome idea, kind of looks a little bit like a rope back when folded out but they also save so much space on a bulky piece of kit! Think this might be the future of packing light!

  • I’d heard about the hoboroll but have never used one. I think it would make a great addition to my luggage pieces because I take a lot of 1-2 day trips when I travel and this seems perfect and it’s really compact. Need to check it out 🙂

  • I am always striving to pack light and am crazy about hiking so something like this is right up my street. Especially when it comes to taking just a few things with me from my main backpack, I want something clever and compact like this. Thanks for recommending!

  • Oh wow! I never heard of it, but it looks like this is right up my sleeve! I rarely have checked-in luggage but sometimes struggle with my hand luggage not being very handy to carry. Looks like I will have to check out the hobo roll. Loved its name too! 🙂

  • Nice review but I am wondering what makes this different than simply using a sleeping bag bag. I do like many of the gimmick items for sale for travel but many of them do seem to be remakes of items already in existence. Sorry, don;t mean to be a downer.

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