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Reviews > Packs > Pack Accessories > Gobi Gear Hoboroll > Test Report by David Wyman

Gobi Gear Hoboroll
Test Series by David Wyman

Picture from website
(image from

Initial Report - May 1, 2012

Tester Information

NAME David Wyman
EMAIL wyman(AT)wymanhq(DOT)com
AGE 34
LOCATION Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
HEIGHT 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT 175 lb (80 kg)

While I've been camping for years, I've only been backpacking for a short time. I'm trying to find the right equipment, alternating between tent and hammock. My dog usually comes along on the longer hikes, and my wife and toddler join me on the shorter ones. I tend to carry more gear than I need resulting in a heavier pack, but I'm working on that. When I hike with my dog and/or my wife and son, we take it a bit slower, stopping frequently to enjoy the forest. I rarely hike fast unless I'm trying to make up time.

Initial Report - May 1, 2012

Product Information    
Manufacturer Gobi Gear
Product Hoboroll
Year of manufacture 2012
Color Sonoran Sun - also available in Bristlecone Pine and Alaskan Blue
  Listed: Measured:
Weight 6 oz (175 g) on product tag * 6.3 oz (179 g)
  * Note: website lists weight at 3.5 oz/100g which is pretty far from reality
Length 15 in (38 cm) 15 in (38 cm)
Diameter 10 in (25 cm) 10 in (25 cm)
Capacity 1160 cu in (19 L) Not Measured

Initial Impressions

The Gobi Gear Hoboroll is one of the more interesting pieces of gear I've tested. It's a collapsible tube with open ends and segments that run the lenth of the tube. The outside is made out of 840D nylon and seems fairly tough. The segments inside are made of a slightly thinner nylon and divide the interior into five segments.

Picture from website
(image from

There is a draw-string on each end to close off the open ends of the tube and there are two webbing straps that go around the middle of the roll with standard plastic buckles. The free ends of each strap actually connect and form a loop of webbing that could allow the Hoboroll to be carried by itself. One nylon daisy chain with several loops runs the length of the Hoboroll. The buckles on the webbing don't seem to be very sturdy so I'll be looking to see how well they hold up when the roll is stuffed inside a pack and when it's strapped to the outside.

Trying It Out

I was very excited to see if this could help pack down the normal clothing I keep in my pack. Pulled out the fleece I usually carry, two pairs of wool socks, an extra wicking shirt, a light pair of pants, and a pair of camp shoes. Starting with the pants, I folded them in half and slid them into one of the sections. It was a little tight but not too bad. Next I slid the shirt and socks into a second section. Following this came the fleece into a third section and then the camp shoes into a fourth. At that point, it was a bit crowded and I probably couldn't have fit much into the last section.

I pulled the drawstring on one of the ends to close up the side and then pulled the drawstring on the other side. I didn't close either side completely, but even then, the thread that held the fabric together around the drawstring started to break and an inch-long section of the drawstring channel started opening up.

Broken threads
Broken threads on one side

I was a little disappointed but it didn't really impact the functionality of the Hoboroll. I grabbed the webbing and started compressing the Hoboroll. I was amazed at how easily it compressed things down. When it got around 50% compressed, I heard a snap and the center post of one of the buckles broke off and went flying.

Broken buckle
Broken buckle

I was afraid something like this was going to happen as I've seen plastic buckles on gear have issues in the past. But I was a bit surprised it happened so easily. I hadn't even felt any resistance while pulling before it snapped. It still seems usable, just maybe not quite as much. I'll see how it works once I start really putting it through its paces.


  Holds a decent amount of gear
  Construction seems a little weak

Thanks to and Gobi Gear for this opportunity. Check back in two months for the final report.

Read more reviews of Gobi Gear gear
Read more gear reviews by David Wyman

Reviews > Packs > Pack Accessories > Gobi Gear Hoboroll > Test Report by David Wyman

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