Roark Accomplice Escape Modular 2L Bag Review
More than just an add-on accessory, Roark's Accomplice Escape Modular 2L Bag is a competent sling with solid build quality and gear storage space.
- Slide Lock hardware's slim size doesn't add bulk and is easy to use
- Works as an add-on pouch to Roark's bigger bags
- Rigid structure and materials feel very durable
- Elastic daisy chain gets in the internal pocket's way
- Slim profile doesn't fit bulky gear well
- Feels too rigid in certain carrying styles
2 lb (0.9 kg)
9 in x 5 in x 2.75 in (22.9 x 12.7 x 7 cm)
Ripstop Nylon, DWR Coating, YKK Zippers, Woojin Hardware
Modularity is a concept that sounds great on paper because it allows users to add and swap parts depending on their needs. Anyone who uses a bag with PALS webbing, for example, will tell you how convenient it is to have loops ready where they can stick MOLLE accessories and other gadgets. Whereas PALS and MOLLE are one of the better-known standards out there, brand-specific modularity and attachment systems also exist. Roark is trying their hand at it, which brings us to the Accomplice Escape Modular 2L Bag.
Make no mistake, though. This two-liter pouch is not just some backup dancer for Roark’s big backpacks; it can also be its own standalone sling. A rigid structure, a simple compartment layout, and a slim but adequate volume prove this is not just an add-on. So, without further ado, let’s see what makes this sling stand on its own.
The main fabric on the Accomplice Escape is a nylon ripstop, as evidenced by the grid pattern. It’s not super visible, thanks to the black colorway, but it’s there working its magic as a lightweight material. For the uninitiated, the advantage of ripstop nylon is that same grid pattern; its reinforcement stops rips if they occur within a certain grid. Compared with uniformly thick material, those thick grids save on weight while still providing strength. On the other hand, this means the thin sections within each grid are particularly vulnerable.
All that said, the material is perfectly serviceable for daily casual use, and it’s held up well over testing. There’s a coating of the durable water repellent (DWR) to help fend off accidental spills, so it’ll survive light rain as well. All of the zippers are from YKK and work smoothly and reliably. We particularly like the self-locking one on the front pocket. Simply fold the metal pull down, and it’s not going anywhere.
To be clear, we don’t usually encounter zippers that magically open by themselves. However, self-locking zippers are helpful in certain situations. For example, you may want to route a cable from the inside so you can charge your smartphone from a power bank while using it. A self-locking zipper would prevent the cord from gradually opening the zipper when you’re moving around.
Now let’s move on to the more specialized hardware that makes the Accomplice Escape modular. At the front is a set of four loops where you can attach accessories like carabiners, keychains, and pens. At the back, you’ll find stubby little wings on the left and right sides, each with half of Roark’s Slide Lock system. These correspond to where the shoulder strap is currently attached. The idea is that these wings hook onto the front loops of the Accomplice Missing Link after you detach the straps.
The Slide Lock hardware is notably slim and unobtrusive, and we dig that. Other means of attachment, like buckles, hooks, and even magnets, tend to be bulky and hard to put away. Beefy hardware like that can also affect comfort if they press against you while you’re wearing the bag. In the case of the Accomplice Escape’s wings, the hardware is slim and can also get tucked underneath the back panel.
In contrast to the Slide Lock System, the included strap is quite simple. It uses a standard Woojin side-release buckle, and each half (the male and female halves) handles length adjustment. There are strap keepers on both sides to manage the slack. Other than that and the Slide Lock, there are no extra frills.
There is technically a back panel, which is more than you can say for a lot of slings that opt to forgo such a feature. However, even though it features mesh for breathability, there’s little to no cushioning or padding. Consequently, you can really feel the pack’s stiffness when wearing it.
There are two ways to carry the Accomplice Escape using the strap: sling mode or waist pack mode. Unfortunately for the latter, the strap feels a little too thin for that carrying style, so we defaulted to crossbody mode for testing. Even that mode exposes the pack’s carry comfort limits, though.
The Accomplice Escape’s overall structuredness doesn’t really contour to the body’s natural shape. This might be an issue for women who like to wear their slings at the front, though it’s less of a problem if you mostly carry it slung behind your back. You might find yourself switching between front and back because of this, just like we did. Fortunately, it’s easy to do so thanks to the simplicity of the strap and the fact that its hardware holds adjustment well.
It’s worth noting that the zippers get a bit jangly when you move a lot with this sling. We wish Roark had dampened the noise with paracord or rubberized pulls since some people can get peeved by this. Trust us, you don’t want to be that person on an overnight flight jingly-jangling their way down the aisle to the bathroom.
Inside The Sling
The front pocket opens through the self-locking zipper we mentioned earlier. A small fabric welt hides the zipper track for better weather resistance and a cleaner look. That said, the self-locking zipper pull must be folded underneath the welt to be properly locked. However, getting it to go under the welt is rather tricky because of the tight gap.
You have a relatively large amount of room inside the front pocket because of how it curves outward, so you don’t have to worry too much about gear cutting into the main compartment’s space. There’s also a large amount of headroom underneath the overhanging fabric where you can shimmy tall gear. The only thing lacking in this front pocket is a divider pocket to provide some separation between really small gear.
At the back is the Accomplice Escape’s defacto security pocket; it’s against your body and, therefore, is more secure. It’s a flatter pocket volume-wise versus the front pocket for slim items like a passport and other travel documents. That said, there is technically more organization here than in the front because of the dedicated smart tracker pocket where you can put an Apple AirTag or Tile.
The main compartment opens in a horseshoe shape, with the zippers going deeply down each side. There are no gussets, so the resulting opening stretches very widely. Access is easy as the entire interior is fully visible, and the brown liner silhouettes dark-colored gear fairly well.
The Accomplice Escape’s side profile limits how much bulk you can pack. You’ll have a hard time stacking gear front to back, so you’ll either want them side by side or stacked top to bottom. The former is preferable to avoid gear obscuring each other.
Organizing gear in the main compartment is simple if a bit sparse. There’s a built-in key clip on a short leash, so you’ll have to lean when unlocking doors if you don’t want to detach your keys. At the back is a wide mesh pocket. You can technically fit a smartphone in there, and it would be ideal since it uses a soft liner that won’t scratch your screen. However, there is a daisy chain of elastic subdividing the pocket in the middle that gets in the way. We just wish there was a way to unlatch the top portion so we could utilize the entire length of the pocket.
- Digging the option for modularity
- Organization seems intuitive
- Hidden AirTag pocket is a great shout
- Material still in great shape
- Independent liter space in front compartment means it’s easy to load out with bulky gear and maintain a sleek design
- A little stiff, so it doesn’t contour to your body very well