Nayo Rover Backpack Review
The Nayo Rover backpack is designed for the outdoorsy and those on the go.
Able to withstand almost anything you can throw at it, the Rover is a backpack that might be unrivaled.
I put the pack through its paces and tested every listed feature to find out how it holds up under normal and extreme situations.
This review will detail my findings as well as compare it to other top brands to see if the Nayo Rover is worth your time and money.
What Makes the Nayo Rover Backpack Unique?
Nayo Smart bags are made in China by a company dedicated to craftsmanship, high quality, and designing bags for those with a wandering spirit. The Rover, as the name implies, is designed for people on the go, either for business trips or week-long furloughs.
The bags come with a race car style appearance, internal storage space for almost anything you can think of, and a waterproof covering for travel in any conditions.
Who are Nayo backpacks made for?
The Nayo Rover is designed with a minimalist, sleek appearance. The Rover is marketed as a professional on-the-go bag. However, my job doesn’t require me to leave the house, let alone necessitate a backpack for my long travels to the living room.
Instead, I packed up my laptop and tablets, some snacks, and headed to the beach. I also packed the bag for a weekend trip into the woods for a little hike. Typically when I make these trips, I take my old reliable Jansport backpack and a soft-shell carrying case for my laptop. Only equipped with the Nayo Rover, I spent a few weeks trying to break it and ended up not being able to.
What I Looked at
My initial goal was to prove that the marketing for this backpack had it all wrong. I went through every feature listed on the Nayo Smart website and attempted to find fault, break something, or have the pack disappoint me.
I felt it was essential to go in skeptical, instead of hopeful, to provide you with the best possible review. Aside from the listed features, I also tallied and took special note of the following:
The external 600D polyester material, waterproof polyurethane coating, and SBS zippers claim to keep your gear dry and easily accessed. I found this to be entirely accurate. Even setting the backpack in the wet sand didn’t phase the bag.
I moved it out of instinct when the tide came in, but I didn’t have to hurry. After a check when I moved to higher ground, the bottom of the bag was soaked while the interior remained dry as a bone.
The zippers have large pulls, which is helpful for wet fingers. The reverse SBS lining keeps the zipper dry and helps keep contaminants out of the teeth.
The straps sit a little awkward on my shoulders but not uncomfortably. The Rover is made to sit higher on your back and shoulders to minimize weight, and it does work. The padded shoulder straps flattened out pretty quickly but remained comfortable throughout the testing.
I liked the idea of the top grip handle even though I found it to be a little thick. However, I also found that I didn’t use this handle very often, so it never really bothered me.
The Nayo Rover isn’t the largest backpack made by the company (the EXT model is enormous). However, for the price range and tier, the Rover fits into it is on the large side. The Rover has a carrying capacity of 33 liters; however, I wouldn’t expect to fill this up beyond about 29 or 30 liters due to the way the compartments stack and the pockets are back to back.
For a weekend getaway, carry-on bag, or daily commuter, though, you will have plenty of room for your belongings.
There are two main compartments, which I refer to as the outer and inner compartments.
The outer compartment has single zipper access where once inside, you find the large capacity area and four separate pockets.
On the external side, there are two other zippered pockets, one along the top of the access area and one along the side.
There is one side pocket that doesn’t have a zipper, and this is where I decided to keep my phone. During the rainstorm on my weekend hike, the pocket did get water inside.
Luckily my phone is waterproof as well, so no harm was done for me. You may not be so lucky, though, if you don't have a waterproof phone.
The inner compartment claims to open 180 degrees for easy packing and retrieval. It has dual-zipper access and is the main compartment for the bag. There is a slight flaw in this design, though.
While the zippers do allow the compartment to open fully, the elastic straps on the sides keep it closed. Only about two-thirds of the outer compartment will fold open. This is still plenty for packing and access, but you find yourself fighting the flap while you are getting things packed up.
Internally, the pockets at first seemed quite large for their intended purpose, and I had a difficult time locating the zipper for the USB charger cable (It’s hidden under a seam).
I recommend you find this zipper and pull the cord out before packing the rest of the bag. I carry a 17-inch laptop, and it fits perfectly in the laptop sleeve. The two elastic straps holding the computer in were a nice touch as well.
If you have a smaller laptop (12, 13, or 14-inch), the sleeve will swallow it whole. You also won’t get much use from the restraining straps as the laptop will slide to the bottom anyway.
The tablet pocket has a Velcro closure that stretches to fit larger tablets. It also acts as a pull to retrieve smaller devices for easier retrieval.
The other four pockets mirror those of the outer compartment. You can stuff them full, too. Whatever areas you don’t fill will flatten out, helping to keep the sleek, slim design maintained.
There are two other external pockets designed as a security feature. The first is located on the lumbar section of the bag, and the hidden zipper helps keep this pocket a secret. When you are wearing the bag, the pocket rests against your back and is inaccessible to anyone. I found it an excellent place to keep my travel documents and once used it to hold a heating pad while I walked. It worked great for both purposes.
The second is a small zipper pocket located on the left shoulder strap. It provides easy access to your car keys, credit card, or ID card. Neither pockets lock or have additional security features other than being hard to locate for would-be pickpockets and hidden zippers.
The Nayo Smart website boast of their shipping times, and I wanted to see how accurate they were. From its distribution center to the east coast of the United States, the website claims a delivery time of 5 to 15 days. I received mine in 23 days.
I don’t hold Nayo Smart responsible for this. The tracking number was sent when the backpack shipped, and it stayed in Chinese customs for 13 days. I assume it was just an oversight for the busy department of the airport, but either way, it wasn’t Nayo Smart’s fault. If it had been pushed through customs, the bag would have arrived well within the 5 to 15-day range.
Nayo Smart stands behind their products and offers you a no questions asked 90-day refund policy. They will even cover shipping, customs, and mailing costs. You will get a full refund if the item never arrives and a partial to a full refund if the item arrives but isn’t as described.
It isn’t a Jansport-style lifetime guarantee, but Nayo Smart does strive to make each purchase a successful one. Their customer service is easy to get a hold of.
Nayo Rover Backpack Reviewed
When I first opened the package, I was surprised. I expected a box with padding and such, and I received the backpack in a bag within a bag. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the backpack upon arrival, though, so I went forward with the initial check and inspection.
Every zipper worked, all pockets and seams were secure and well sewn. I couldn’t find a physical flaw anywhere. The backpack was flat and seemingly deflated, so I let it sit for about 24 hours. Just as I suspected, it puffed up perfectly, and the next day appeared as though I purchased it off a showroom shelf.
One thing I will tell you is to read the tags that come with it. The backpack is marketed as waterproof by the use of a coating on the exterior. The tag tells you to avoid direct sunlight and not to get the bag wet or allow it to be rained on. Obviously, I thought this was wrong and ignored the warnings. I had to test the waterproofing, didn’t I?
At the Beach
I packed up my 17-inch laptop, a couple of water bottles, my towel, sunscreen, and items I normally carry in my pockets (keys, wallet, etc.).
Once the bag was packed, I put it on and headed to the beach. I plopped the bag down in the wet sand and pulled out my towel and laptop to do a little work.
After an hour, the tide began to rise, and the bottom of the bag got wet.
I moved to higher ground and inspected the inside of the bag. Everything was completely dry inside.
Another hour outside and I packed everything up and headed home. I noticed the padding on the shoulder straps went a little flat, but it never cut into my skin, nor was it ever uncomfortable.
Once home, I washed the bag, following the instructions of warm water only. I inspected the bag again, and after the wash, it remained looking brand new. I let it set in the corner of the room, still packed with all my belongings (minus the wet towel, of course) until the weekend came around.
In the Woods
The following weekend I unpacked my normal hiking backpack and put everything into the Nayo Rover. I was surprised to find I had plenty of room left over, so I took my laptop bag and emptied the contents into the Rover from there, as well. I expected the bag to be overweight, but it handled the load quite well. So, I took off for a 3-day venture into the woods.
One thing I noticed right away was that the chest strap comes equipped with a compass and a whistle (it is part of the clasp). The whistle is surprisingly loud and flushed a flock of birds from a nearby tree. The compass, however, is backward. North points to the south on my bag’s compass, so be sure to check yours.
When the rain came, I was on a trail, and I continued pushing through until I was back at my campsite. I checked the backpack, and everything seemed well until I pulled out my cellphone from the non-zippered side pocket. The rain was able to get into the pocket and fill it about halfway. Luckily my phone is waterproof, so no harm was done, but it is something to note.
Other than the compass and the water-filled pocket, the bag held up a lot better than expected. I find it hard not to recommend this backpack for anyone looking to carry items back and forth every day.
With that said, though, I cannot recommend the Nayo Rover for school use. I don’t think the bag will handle the constant barrage that school backpacks go through daily. However, for business use, casual weekend trips, or as a carry on at the airport, this Nayo Rover should hold up in fine fashion for quite a few years.
Yes. External waterproof coating
Number of Compartments
2 primary compartments with a total of 15 pockets
Yes. Will fit any laptop up to 17-inches
20x12.6x6.3 inches (50x32x16 cm) 33L capacity
600D high-density polyester with additional polyurethane waterproof coating on the exterior.
Yes, 90 days
How does this compare with similar models?
The Pelican MPB25 Mobile Protect is about as close in quality and durability that you are going to find. Let’s see how the two compare to one another.
Nayo Rover Vs. Pelican MPB 25 Mobile Protect
Both backpacks are designed to carry your tech gear and be versatile enough for everyday use. The carrying capacity is much larger for the Nayo Rover (33L) versus the Pelican MPB 25 (25L). The biggest difference you will note, though, is the zipper openings.
The Nayo opens to a near 180 degrees, making it ideal for loading and unloading. The Pelican, though, opens at 90 degrees, which is suitable for a constant in and out during your day. The Pelican is better suited for easy access while at a desk, which is geared towards being at school where you need to get in and out of the bag continually.
Pelican comes with a lifetime guarantee compared to the 90-day warranty of the Nayo Smart. Both are designed to carry laptops and tablets and protect you from the elements. However, the Pelican is geared more towards the outdoors with a rugged, simple look. Nayo, on the other hand, is designed for the business world with a sleek, stylish, and simplistic appearance.
If you are a hiker or a student with a lot of tech gear, the Pelican might be the way to go. If you are a professional looking for a stylish look with easy compartment access, the Nayo Rover is a better option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here I will answer some common questions about Nayo Smart and the Rover backpack in particular.
Are Nayo backpacks good quality and durable?
Overall, Nayo backpacks are high-quality and durable. Depending on the model you get and its intended purpose, you should be more than happy with the purchase.
Are Nayo backpacks good for school?
The Rover is not an ideal candidate for a school bag. In my personal experience, the Rover isn’t designed for a constant in and out nor capable of withstanding the punishment daily use in a school year would bring. Nayo caters more to the traveler and weekend warrior than the school side of backpacks. However, the Nayo Combo and Nayo Almighty might be more suitable for a school environment.
I need a large backpack. Will this brand be good for me?
Nayo has a few bags in their large-capacity line. The Rover is among that crew with a maximum capacity of 33L. If you need a lot of room, the Nayo Smart EXT is the largest backpack they make, with a capacity of 40L.
Can you take this backpack as a carry-on bag on airplanes?
They Nayo Rover, at maximum capacity, is still small enough to qualify for a carry-on bag. It will easily fit in overhead compartments, and if it isn’t stuffed full will fit in the under-seat briefcase area on most planes.
How do you wash or clean a Nayo backpack?
To wash a Nayo backpack, the company recommends you use a clean, damp cloth to wipe it down, then follow it up with a lint-free dry cloth to dry it off. You shouldn’t use a lot of water or any detergents or bleach, though. Just warm water will be sufficient.
Where can you buy backpacks?
You can purchase the Nayo Rover and any other Nayo Smart bag on their website at https://nayosmart.com
If you are a business person looking for a durable bag to carry to and from the office, or a traveler looking for a reliable carry-on bag, the Nayo Rover is an ideal candidate. While it isn’t recommended for woodland hikes, or being a school bag, the Nayo Smart Rover has its place.
I tried hard to break the bag and only found small things wrong with it (like the backward compass), but all in all, I couldn’t put a dent in it. If you want to carry all of your documents, your computer and tablet, a book, and a change of clothes regularly, I can’t think of a better backpack to use than the Rover.