There are lots of packing organizers out there but none are quite like the Gobi Gear Hoboroll. Made of durable nylon it comes out of the package completely flat, but by pulling on a drawstring to close one end it magically becomes a stuffable bag. To keep things organized the Hoboroll is divided into five compartments with nylon fabric dividers. Once everything is in, compression straps wrap around the roll to reduce the size to a compact container. It’s actually one long strap that works as a handle after everything is cinched up. Gear 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 first decided to try it as a gym bag because I was looking for a replacement for my bulky, hard-sided case. The Hoboroll seemed like it might be too small but after dumping everything out of my gym bag I was surprised that it all fit nicely: shoes (one shoe in each of two compartments), water bottle, my t-shirt and shorts rolled together and small items like fitness gloves, small towel and socks in the last segment. 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. (See slideshow for photos)
I used the Hoboroll a couple of different ways as a packing organizer. The first time I ran out of time to pack and, rushing around, just grabbed my Hoboroll/gym bag and popped it in my suitcase. Voila, I was half packed in one quick step.
On another trip I used the Hoboroll to organize my packing, and liked having a way to pack several pairs of shoes without getting my clothes dirty.
One thing I like about the design is that the Hoboroll itself, when empty, can be packed easily. It can be used as an extra bag in your suitcase if you need a beach bag or if your suitcase expands after a shopping expedition. It’s ideal for packing the small items you need on a plane like a magazine or e-reader, headphones, snacks and travel pillow.
It’s a bit bulky for backpacking but for car camping it would be a useful item to keep things organized in the tent such as clothing, headlamp, fleece hat, gloves and down vest.
Chez Brungraber, the founder of Gobi Gear, got tired of trying to find things in her duffle bag as she traveled the globe pursuing a PhD in botany, so she set out to create a product that would make her more efficient. She field tested the Hoboroll during a three month trip through Asia, finding that it kept her organized so she could spend more time exploring her surroundings. The Hoboroll is the first product from San Diego-based Gobi Gear.
Overall I thought the Hoboroll was very useful. It’s a handy organizer that can be adapted to various needs by the creative traveler.
Gobi Gear Hoboroll
Dimensions: 15″ long x 10″ diameter (38cm x 25cm)
Weight: 3.5 ounces/100 grams
Capacity: 1160 cubic inches/19 liters
External material made from recycled nylon.
Available at the Gobi Gear website or Amazon.
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.