Bellroy Tokyo Crossbody Review
The Bellroy Tokyo Crossbody’s classy styling and simplistic layout make it a fuss-free daily carry but may deter users looking for more organization.
- Lots of usable space without too many pockets
- Detachable strap lets you use it as a pouch
- Wears relatively comfortably despite simple strap
- Relatively low pocket count for a two-liter sling
- Can’t be worn close to the chest like other slings
- Main compartment opening feels just a tiny bit too narrow
0.51 lb (0.2 kg)
5.51 in x 7.87 in x 2.36 in (14 x 20 x 6 cm)
Nylon, Leather, Metal, OOK Zippers
It’s fair to say that Bellroy has plenty of slings in their lineup. There’s the Lite series, the Venture series, and bags simply called the Bellroy Sling, for example. So, what should you expect if we told you there’s also the Tokyo Crossbody? This two-liter sling looks and feels like any other Bellroy sling. All the features are there: classy colors, leather accents, and good build quality.
The answer is simplicity and ever-so-slightly more emphasis on styling. There’s only one external pocket, and the internal organization feels much more cut down compared to Bellroy’s other slings. In return, you get a detachable strap and the benefit of not having to fuss around with too many pockets (if you thought their other slings had too many).
You can’t really talk about a Bellroy product without first going over its looks, materials, and build quality, so we’ll start there. This isn’t our first time checking out a sling from the brand, but the Tokyo Crossbody’s Storm Gray colorway feels somewhat different. It isn’t as uniform as the usual Baida nylon finishes we’re used to. Instead, this recycled nylon fabric has a very subtle grid pattern that feels slightly like ripstop. Indeed, Bellroy indicates that it’s Baida ripstop when you add it to your cart.
Though it’s called Storm Gray, it’s not dull or boring. It has a slight brownness to it that makes it a lot easier to match with most clothing. Still, if you want to go full stealth, there is a Raven colorway available at the time of writing. A more polarizing option would be the Deep Plum colorway. We’ve tried it with the Bellroy Tokyo Wonder Tote 12L, and it’s either people find it quite classy or too vintage. In any case, at least you get a few options, right? There’s usually at least one leather-free option among the colorways, but all of the ones we mentioned feature leather logos and zipper pulls, so keep that in mind.
We’re rather used to seeing YKK zippers on Bellroy’s gear. A lot of brands choose YKK zippers for their reliability, and we’re inclined to agree based on our experience and testing. However, Bellroy has elected to go with OOK zippers for this one. For what it’s worth, they mention that it’s a smooth-glide OOK metal zipper on their website. To be fair, they zip rather smoothly and haven’t jammed so far in day-to-day use. Interestingly, the metal OOK zippers match the carabiner clips attaching the included strap to the sling itself. In other words, it’s a fair assumption they’ve gone with OOK zips at least partly for the cohesive styling.
The interesting part about the Tokyo Crossbody’s strap is that it’s removable. Not that Bellroy’s pioneering anything new here, but it’s not something we typically see in their other slings. As mentioned, the strap has two carabiner-style metal clips. We were initially reluctant about these clips since they’re fairly prominent (read: bulky). At the very least, though, their removability means you can use your own strap or do without one and use the Tokyo Crossbody as a standalone pouch.
There’s no padding, though that’s okay since the Tokyo Crossbody can’t hold so much gear to warrant the additional cushioning. Length adjustment is much more impactful to comfort, and you can do this with either of the two adjusters along the strap. They’re both made of metal, but fortunately, that doesn’t make them slippery. In other words, any adjustments you make stay in place even once tension is applied.
The Tokyo Crossbody fits very conventionally because of its simplistic design. That is to say, there’s really nothing bad about its comfort. It doesn’t get heavy enough to merit padding, so you can pretty much set the strap across your body and let it hang by your hip.
The only real caveat with the Tokyo Crossbody is you can’t exactly wear it close to the chest like most other slings. The tightest adjustment of the strap still results in a loose fit. The best alternative style you can do is to hang it off to the side on one shoulder like a purse.
Inside The Sling
You’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a split pocket in front of the Tokyo Crossbody because of the very prominent seam there. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as the only secondary external pocket here is the one at the back. It’s a simple slip pocket that can fit an iPhone 13 or other everyday carry items. While we would recommend putting only flat things here since this pocket rests against you, the Tokyo Crossbody generally holds its shape well. Keys don’t just jut out as sharply as you expect them to, nor does the pocket completely cave in when it’s empty.
Inside the main compartment, you don’t get a ton of organization compared to Bellroy’s other slings, but there is enough for daily use. There’s a wide slip pocket at the back where you can put your smartphone. That said, we like having smartphones in a convenient and easy-to-reach spot, so we put that in the external pocket from earlier.
In the middle is a free and open space where you can simply dump all your everyday carry items like keys, a power bank, a wallet, hand moisturizer, and other accessories. Our only issue here is that the main compartment’s zippered opening feels ever-so-slightly narrow. The corner areas require some effort to reach any gear that gets tucked away there.
Off to the side is an innocent-looking Bellroy tag. You know, the type all brands have to have in their gear so that you don’t forget their name. The twist is that this tag is also a tiny pocket for an Apple AirTag. It’s a clever use for an otherwise superfluous feature, and we dig it. For the record, we tried this out previously with the Aer Day Sling 3, but we won’t take credit for the idea. Just thought we’d point it out.
Lastly, there are twin pockets on the front side. That’s why there’s a prominent seam outside at the front of the Tokyo Crossbody; it acts as a sort of gusset, providing very minimal expansion and volume to the twin pockets inside. Apart from that, though, there’s nothing too complicated or special about these pockets. They don’t even feature the stretchy mesh material we’re used to seeing with Bellroy’s gear. Still, they do the job of separating gear well enough, and there’s plenty of headroom to store even relatively tall items like passports and travel pens.
- Roomy main compartment for a 2-liter capacity
- Well-structured even when empty
- Interested to see if strap is beefy enough for the size
- Material holding up super well
- Holds its shape even when not completely full
- Super roomy interior for those who carry a bit more on a daily basis