Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) Review

The 2nd edition of Bellroy's Tokyo Tote 15L has inner pockets that complement a roomy interior, but the bag is hard to close once packed.

Our Verdict

7.2 /10
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  • Interior is packed with large pockets for organizing bulky gear
  • Handles’ underside are rubberized for better grip
  • Strong-feeling materials retain totes’ simplistic old-school vibe


  • The bag can get heavy enough that the tote handles start to dig into your shoulder
  • Designed to fit a 13-inch laptop, but you can’t close the main compartment’s zipper once you have one inserted
  • Key clip’s noticeable gap makes us feel wary

Technical Details

75 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 109/145 Airlines

68 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity


  • Weight (lb)

    1.43 lb (0.6 kg)

  • Dimensions

    14.2 in x 18.5 in x 5.12 in (36.1 x 47 x 13 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    Recycled Nylon, Leather, YKK Zippers

  • Manufacturing Country


  • Laptop Compartment Size


  • Warranty Information

    Bellroy 3 Year Warranty

Buying Options

Bellroy Logo
Amazon Logo

Full Review

If we haven’t said it already, we’re saying it again: Totes should be appreciated for the simplicity of their design and the amount of gear they can haul. That being said, this hasn’t stopped brands from taking the humble concept of a tote and giving it their own spin—and why not? We’re all for improving good designs if it means better functionality and smarter travel, which brings us to the Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition).

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Side Close
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | One of Bellroy’s many totes and tote-adjacent designs.

Bellroy loooooves the tote, as evidenced by their other tote-based gear, such as the Tokyo Wonder Tote, Market Tote, City Tote, Classic Tote, and Tokyo Totepack. So, what does this update to the Tokyo Tote bring to the table? Let’s find out!

External Components

The main material of choice here is a Bellroy staple: Baida nylon. It’s a fabric we’re familiar with, having tested plenty of Bellroy bags, and we’ve grown confident with it. As with the Oslo and Apex Backpack, the Tokyo Tote walked away from our two weeks of testing without any noteworthy damage. The fabric picked up some blemishes and wrinkles at most, though they’re all superficial. To be clear, it’s not as abrasion-resistant as ballistic nylon, but it’s more than sturdy enough if you’re just hauling gear to and from work, for example.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Brand
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | Baida nylon looks classy.

It’s worth noting that the fabric on Tokyo Tote’s sides and bottom is noticeably thicker than the rest. Bellroy doesn’t specify denier, but we can tell they’re heavier. This makes sense since these areas are the most likely to get bumped and scrap along, especially the bottom since that’s kissing the floor each time you put the Tokyo Tote down. Interestingly, there’s a slight difference between the shades of the lighter and heavier fabrics. We’re unsure if that’s intentional, but it’s hard to ignore once you notice it.

Nevertheless, the Tokyo Tote is easy on the eyes, which isn’t surprising since Bellroy usually nails their bags’ aesthetics. Still, we appreciate this tote’s old-school heritage vibe; it’s refreshing if you want something that still looks professional but not urbanized. The Baida nylon is largely responsible for this, with a similar look to canvas, albeit softer and more flexible. The leather accents, such as the logo and zipper pulls, add a nice touch of class to this as well.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Zipper
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | Leather accents are nice touches.

The tote handles are made of slick nylon material and are folded and stitched over to make them thicker and feel beefier. It’s a design that avoids making the handles too cumbersome and complicated since carrying simplicity makes a tote a tote. That said, we find it hard to ignore the lack of padding or any form of cushioning once you’re actually carrying the Tokyo Tote, as we’ll find out in the next section.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Strap Anti Slip
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | Rubber lining prevents these handles from slipping.

The only “fancy” feature Bellroy implemented on these handles are rubberized strips underneath the apex. We very much appreciate these, as tote handles (especially the one on the outer edge) tend to slip off the shoulder. As an aside, it’s features like these that can make us feel noticed, almost like the brand knew we had these problems before.

Fit Notes

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Side By Side
Left: Lauren Maternowski, Height: 5’6” (168 cm), Torso: 16.5” (42 cm) | Right: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm)

The rubberized strips really work, especially for those with sloping shoulders. The handles never slipped off during testing, which really helps when trying to do something else while you’re carrying the bag. We’d rather not have 100% of our brain power on our bag when we’re on vacation.

As we mentioned, the Tokyo Tote struggles with comfort since its handles lack cushioning. Though other totes have just as simple or even simpler handles, the Tokyo Tote’s 15-liter size and capacity for large gear means it can get heavy enough to make the handles dig into the shoulders. Fortunately, the sides remain flat enough that the Tokyo Tote rests comfortably against you, so you should at least get some support.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Strap
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | No padding on these handles.

Despite the Tokyo Tote’s relatively large size, we are happy to report that it doesn’t scrape along the floor when we hold it by hand. That said, your mileage may vary depending on your height. If it does scrape, your only recourse is to carry the Tokyo Tote by the shoulder, as there are no attachment points for a shoulder strap. Some totes, like the ALPAKA Bravo Tote, offer that functionality, but not the Tokyo Tote.

Inside The Tote

The crease above the Bellroy logo feels a bit deceptive, considering the front zippered pocket only spans the length between the handles. Yep, this isn’t a full-width drop pocket; it’s a fairly narrow quick-stash pocket for everyday carry items.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Pocket
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | This pocket is narrow but very deep.

However, it extends to the bottom of the tote, so it’s not exactly short on space despite the pocket’s narrow width. We fit a smartphone alongside a wallet, but you can easily throw a power bank in there, too, since there’s still a lot of leftover room. We would not put things that are smaller since digging those out of a deep pocket like this would be very tricky. There isn’t a divider or interior pocket inside for organizing gear—you’ll have to rely on the main compartment for that.

The main compartment closes with a zipper, and this is where our major gripes with the Tokyo Tote begin. See, one of the Tokyo Tote’s interior pockets fits a 13-inch laptop—this is a feature explicitly listed on Bellroy’s page. However, in most cases, the laptop juts out just enough to make it nearly impossible to get the zipper over. Furthermore, just having the Tokyo Tote’s interior fully packed out also prevents you from closing the zipper. Each side of the track gets pushed too far apart that you can’t even force the zipper down its length. So, unfortunately, the zipper was purposeless for most of our testing.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Laptop
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | The zipper couldn’t be closed for most of our testing.

Technically, the sleeve can fit the 13-inch MacBook without obstructing the main compartment’s zipper. However, the rest of the gear we pack inside shifts the laptop up just enough for it to block it. Additionally, though the laptop sleeve has padding for protection, there’s no false bottom underneath it, causing the laptop to audibly hit the underlying surface whenever we insert it.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Ring
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | The gap was concerning during testing.

Across from the laptop sleeve are liner pockets. One snuggly fits a Kindle, while the other acts as a general dump pocket for other everyday carry items we didn’t already put in the exterior pocket. There’s also a built-in key leash, and—although we were initially skeptical of the clip’s rather sizable gap—it’s held onto the keys we’ve attached securely, not once letting go until we needed to.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Empty
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | It’s very spacious, as expected of a tote.

On either side are very large drop pockets for bottles, shoes, and other bulky items. Built-in magnets hold them flat against the sides when not in use, but they feel too big for our usual 21-ounce insulated bottles.

Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L Stuffed Close
Bellroy Tokyo Tote (2nd Edition) 15L | We just wish the zipper was more functional.

As an aside, the size of these side pockets leaves no doubt that the Tokyo Tote is for hauling large gear. There’s even a lot of space left in the middle for a packing cube or two, so the Tokyo Tote is clearly a very capable everyday gear hauler—as totes usually are. Unfortunately, it’s just a bit jarring to have the main compartment’s zipper not ideally designed for that.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Grippy dots under the shoulder straps will be nice for keeping them in place
  • Interesting design for the laptop compartment
  • Extra large pockets seem like they’ll give great segmentation if you have the right gear
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Zipper is obsolete if you pack too much gear
  • Laptop compartment isn’t as secure as we’d like
  • Materials still in great shape, though!
By Lauren Maternowski
Created May 15, 2024 • Updated May 15, 2024
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