My wife and I like to travel, and she’s long admired my rolltop backpack (here’s a link to my review of the Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Backpack). The problem is that Thule backpack is way too big for her, so she was quite happy to try the Victorinox Altmont Active Deluxe Rolltop Laptop Backpack, which is smaller in scale. So after we both tried the bag, I incorporated her comments and observations into my review.
Overall, the Victorinox bag has a very pleasing look and there are many features that make this a functional backpack. The main fabric color is a rich burgundy with black accents. The shoulder straps are padded and comfortable, it has a sternum strap, and there are many gear loops across the outside of the bag. There is a comfortable carrying loop at the top of the backpack. The backpack capacity is 19 liters, has dimensions 11.42″ wide by 18.9″ tall by 7.09″ deep, and weighs 1.74 pounds.
The backpack has one rolltop compartment that sits across the entire back of the backpack and is secured with two buckles. This compartment is large enough to hold a 15″ laptop (or two).
In front of the rolltop compartment is the main compartment, which is accessed via a zipper that opens the front panel of the compartment. In this main compartment is one large pouch as well as two smaller mesh pouches on the sides. The large pouch could hold a book, papers, or a tablet computer, while the side pouches could hold water bottles. One of the pouches contains a clip for keys.
On the outside of the front panel is an outside pocket that secures via a hook as well as loops for tethering gear to the backpack with cords (one long tethering cord and one short tethering cord are included). The top of the front panel also has a zippered pocket on the outside. On the sides of the backpack there are two zippered compartments accessed from the outside of the bag — these compartments are big enough for water (or other beverage) bottles.
Unexpected but functional features include a strap buckle that can serve as a bottle opener (this is the company of Swiss Army Knife fame, after all) and a whistle built in to the sternum strap buckle.
On the positive side, this bag gets high marks for an attractive design with quality components, strong stitching, and an eye for functional features. However, there are a few features which could have been better.
First, the rolltop compartment has no zipper — unless the buckles are latched, your laptop could slide out of the compartment.
Second, the rolltop strangely is designed to roll behind the bag. A better design would have been to have the rolltop roll in front of the bag, thereby helping protect the main zippered compartment from rain. Because the rolltop on this bag rolls behind the backpack, the main zippered compartment and the zippered pocket on the top of the front panel are completely exposed to the water and other elements (and to thieving hands).
Third, the bag sits very high on your back, riding several inches above your shoulders. While some people may like the position, this tends to cause unneeded attention to the bag by airline attendants, who can think the bag is larger than it is, and thus ask you to check it in rather than carry it on to the plane. Because we frequently travel, this is not a useful feature.
Fourth, the front panel pocket closure kept unhooking itself, which was more of an annoyance, but I wish there had been a better way to keep the pouch flap secured.
So all in all, this is a really functional, attractive backpack that has a few quirks that you need to evaluate before purchasing. My wife is 5’2” and she definitely appreciated the smaller scale of the bag.
Thanks for reading this review of the Victorinox Altmont Active Deluxe Rolltop Laptop Backpack and I hope this review was helpful!
Pricing and availability on Amazon: Victorinox Altmont Active Deluxe Rolltop Laptop Backpack (aff)