Craft Cadence Backpack Rolltop – Ortlieb Velocity on steroids

In the article I will review the Craft Cadence Backpack Rolltop, which is a very versatile waterproof messenger bag with loads of cool improvements over the Ortlieb Velocity messenger bags.

Craft Cadence has a community-driven product design approach, that clearly provides valuable product iterations. I’m also using the Craft Cadence Essential case for some time, but cannot get it to show any signs of wear.


The Craft Cadence Roll top backpack is a waterproof messenger-style backpack with 30 liters of internal storage. The dimensions of this backpack are 65 cm x 42 cm x 18 cm (height unrolled x width x depth) at a weight of 1040 grams for the empty roll top bag and 250 grams extra for the organizer insert. On the product page you can read:

  • Keep items dry with IPX5 certified waterproof main compartment
  • Superior organization with removable internal sleeve with dedicated laptop compartment up to 17 inches and pockets for wallets and small items
  • Avoid sweaty backs with back panel made with comfortable EVA foams that also maximizes air flow
  • Visibility at night with reflective strips at front and sides
  • Comfortable on body with chest and waist straps

The outside material is the thick waterproof material that one can expect from a messenger bag. Craft Cadence names 600D tarpaulin with seamless welding construction.

The Ortlieb Velocity messenger bag has a simple and plain bag design without any straps or attachment options on the outside. The yellow Craft Cadence Backpack rolltop has these attachment options, where the most obvious use case is to attach a light for additional visibility in the darker days. Some additional key features of the backpack are….


  • Molle straps on both sides to hold D locks, as well as attach external water bottle holders and other accessories (as long as they are compatible with the molle system)
  • Separate laptop sleeve that can be detached from the main internal sleeve
  • Removable waist straps
  • Waterproof coated 600D polyester material on the sides of the bag to reduce weight

I needed to look up the term MOLLE system, to specifically understand what compatibility options there are with other MOLLE modular accessories. So you have more options to attach a D-shaped-lock or a water bottle.

“MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and backpacks used by a number of NATO armed forces […]”

For me however the most cool feature is the organizer sleeve that you insert into the Craft Cadence backpack rolltop. It protects your laptop safely, but it gives you with loads of options to organize your office gear, phone, charger, mouse and much more. That is what really makes the Craft Cadence rolltop backpack stand out from the other messenger style backpacks.

The Craft Cadence Community is probably one of the main driver of these innovative features of the backpack.


Ortlieb is a well establish and high quality brand of cycling bags (for travelling, commuting and much more). I personally don’t think you cannot go wrong with any of the brands, given their quality. It is a matter of preference and if you already have a laptop sleeve yourself.

Without going into a very long and detailed comparison the main differences are:

  • The Ortlieb Velocity has a velcro closure, while the Craft Cadence has a buckle closure that goes over the rolled edges;
  • The Ortlieb Velocity doesn’t have the internal laptop sleeve with organizer, like the Craft Cadence backpack rolltop has;
  • The Ortlieb Velocity has no external straps to attach accessories on;


First check out the review of the Craft Cadence Essentials case, if you are looking for a high quality cycling pouch.

The Craft Cadence Backpack Rolltop is a great community driven and feature rich messenger backpack that is waterproof. I like the MOLLE systems approach, but as mentioned before that laptop sleeve and organizer is for me the most distinguishing feature.

The price point of the Craft Cadence backpack rolltop is € 103,– which is reasonably for the quality, size and innovative features you get. Please check out the product page as well, to get some additional pictures from the Craft Cadence community how the rolltop backpack is used.

What backpack do you use for commuting ?

Please note that Craft Cadence provided me with a review sample, after I published the Essentials case review on this website. The review results are not influenced by the manufacturer and opinions are my own.

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