Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Review

Though we dig the Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact’s tote-inspired styling, the short handles lack a full-size tote’s carry versatility.

Our Verdict

7.4 /10
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  • The compact size and simple harness system make it easy to carry
  • A protective welt in the main compartment prevents the zipper from scratching a laptop
  • Densely packed with organization despite its modest size


  • Small tote handles don’t fit over the shoulder
  • Narrow main compartment opening despite zipper track extending over the sides
  • Loose fabric makes it feel baggier than it is

Technical Details

98 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 142/145 Airlines

74 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity


  • Weight (lb)

    1.54 lb (0.7 kg)

  • Dimensions

    15.7 in x 10.6 in x 5.51 in (39.9 x 26.9 x 14 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

We don’t know if you’ve noticed, but totes seem to be Bellroy’s unspoken favorite. We’ve had our hands on at least seven tote-related designs from the brand at the time of writing, which makes you wonder if their lineup is just a wee bit saturated. But hey, at least we get to check out what they each bring to the table in terms of functionality and aesthetics; the latter Bellroy is especially good at.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Side
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | Its tote-inspired design looks pretty eye-catching.

Admittedly, the Tokyo Totepack Compact leans more towards the aesthetics of a tote rather than functionality. In that regard, it’s really more of a daypack with tote handles at the top. But does that mean the Tokyo Totepack Compact is all style and no substance? What’s it hiding beneath all that Baida nylon and petite shape? Let’s find out!

External Components

We’re no strangers to Baida nylon and, if the fabric could speak, it probably would say the same about us. It’s a staple of Bellroy bags, delivering the canvas-like aesthetic that the brand pairs competently with classy colorways, such as Bronze and Everglade (the one we’re testing for this review). We usually go for black and generally darker colorways since they’re easier to pair with whatever clothing we wear on any given day. However, hiding Baida nylon’s rather unique texture would be a waste.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Brand
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | It feels like there’s too much fabric, making the entire bag somewhat baggy.

The fabric is noticeably crunchy-sounding when you hold and squish it, but that doesn’t mean it’s delicate. It’s robust enough for the most demanding situations you’ll likely encounter within your city limits. Think brushing against other travelers and their bags, setting the bag on concrete sidewalks, the occasional damp public restroom floor, or even the rare coffee spill now and then. Of course, the fabric will get stained and wrinkled if you put it through all of those, but it won’t fall apart at the seams.

However, as much as we like the material, there seems to be too much of it in this bag. The Tokyo Totepack Compact is only 14 liters in capacity. Yet, it feels kind of baggy, looks a bit saggy, and is not at all roomy (we’ll get to that last one in the last section of the review). Still, we dig the bag’s overall look despite the not-so-taught appearance in some cases.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Handle
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | The tote handles are too small to sling over your shoulder.

The tote handles aren’t long enough to sling over your shoulders. Instead, they’re larger-than-usual grab handles that let you carry the Tokyo Totepack Compact reasonably well for extended periods. The handles lack any padding whatsoever, but they’re stitched over to make them thicker and, therefore, fit better in the hand. Given the bag’s humble 14-liter size, the handles shouldn’t dig into your palm too badly, even once you have it fully packed.

Bellroy didn’t go crazy by covering the exterior with a ton of features (we’d actually be pretty appalled if they did). But the one stand-out “feature” here is the main compartment’s extended opening. The zipper track flows over to the sides, with the ends anchored by loops. This gives you a wider opening that, in theory, makes it easier to pack while the anchors keep the track taught enough for zipping to stay easy. Overengineered? Maybe, but the extended zipper track does add to the bag’s aesthetic, giving it a more tote-like T-shaped silhouette.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Zipper Pull
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | Anchoring the extended zipper track makes it easier to unzip.

Otherwise, you can use the side loops for more practical purposes, such as hanging accessories. You probably wouldn’t want to hang anything hardcore like a full-size tripod or a yoga mat, but souvenir key chains and carabiners would look quite snazzy so long as they’re not comically oversized.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Strap Loop Buckle
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | A simple harness system.

The Tokyo Totepack Compact’s shoulder straps are aptly simple, as they support a 14-liter bag. The padding looks very minimal, though squishy enough that they don’t feel flimsy even before you put them on. If you want to use the carry handles without anything flopping around, they tuck away into the back panel by unhooking the carabiner-style clips at the bottom. We always carry the bag by these straps, though, so we rarely ever put them away.

Fit Notes

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Side By Side
Left: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm) | Right: Lauren Maternowski, Height: 5’6” (168 cm), Torso: 16.5” (42 cm)

This bag is a prime example of a bag that just doesn’t need any extra support whatsoever. Despite the backpack straps’ minimal padding, they deliver a comfortable carry on their own, and we never felt like we needed a sternum strap or a hip belt for support. The 14-liter size and slim shape make this bag easy to tame, resting close on the back and generally pairing well with users with small frames.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Strap
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | It wears comfortably since it’s a fairly small daypack.

We’re just a bit let down by the small tote handles. At best, they hang in the crook of your elbow, but we find it impossible to get on a shoulder. We apologize for repeating the point, but that’s our preferred way to carry totes; it’s half the personality of a tote if you ask us. On the flip side, the handles are short enough to carry the Tokyo Totepack Compact by hand without dragging it on the floor. In other words, they’re great if you just want to carry the bag by hand.

Inside The Backpack

The Tokyo Totepack Compact has two front pockets split evenly by the crease at the front. Their openings face left and right, respectively, and are generally easy to reach even though they’re hidden by fabric welts. However, while these pockets look roomy from the outside because of the extra fabric, they’re not.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Pocket
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | There’s a mesh pocket inside.

They have a modest amount of usable space, which is a bit of a letdown. From what we can see, there seems to be a lot of untapped volume between the Baida nylon and the pocket’s liner. Inside the left-facing pocket is enough space for a smartphone, plus a minimalist wallet that could fit in the inner mesh pocket. The right-facing pocket is symmetrical in volume, but it includes a key leash instead of a mesh pocket.

It’s short, though, so we couldn’t reach doorknobs with it and had to detach the keys each time. It’s also worth noting that the clip’s triangular shape makes it tricky to get keys out. We’re not quite sure why, but the clip’s gate just so happens to catch the keys at just the right angle much of the time.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Keys
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | There is a key leash here.

We’ve mentioned before that the Tokyo Totepack Compact’s main compartment’s opening extends over its sides, and you would think that it makes packing and finding your gear easier, but it doesn’t. The anchored ends of the zipper track cause the sides to squish inwards, making the opening counterintuitively narrower. When you couple this with the bag’s fairly slim shape and baggy liner, it means interior visibility is not very good overall. All of that said, we were fairly impressed with how much organization Bellroy crammed into the Tokyo Totepack Compact’s main compartment.

At the back is a laptop sleeve rated for up to a 13-inch device, such as the MacBook we travel with frequently. Surprisingly, it has a false bottom despite the bag’s modest volume and features padding for additional protection. One of the subtler features of the Tokyo Totepack Compact is a protective welt beneath the main compartment zipper track. Designed to prevent your laptop from scraping the zipper track, it’s a feature we appreciate since we don’t use a protective case on our MacBooks (we’re always rocking the bare metal look). There’s also an adjacent document sleeve, which—despite its name—we mostly use to store an e-book reader.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Empty
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | There’s not much space, but a lot of organization.

Across over on the front side is an elevated zippered pocket. In fairness, despite their limited space, we’re already satisfied with the two front pockets. That said, we dig using a small pouch like this to store extra accessories like dongles, charging adapters, and memory cards.

Off to the sides are water bottle pockets, with one on each side. We store insulated bottles around the 20-ounce range, but you can also use one for a folding umbrella or a slim pouch. Strangely, Bellroy also says these can fit shoes, but we can’t, even with casual sneakers—perhaps they had kiddy shoes in mind.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact Stuffed
Bellroy Tokyo Totepack Compact | The narrow opening makes packing tricky.

The 14-liter capacity doesn’t sound like a lot, but you can fold those bottle pockets flat against the sides to truly maximize the available space. Once we did, we fit two packing cubes side by side. It’s not so much the capacity that we find constricting but the narrow and slim shape that impedes access to gear. Items you’ve stuffed at the bottom will be tougher to access for obvious reasons, so we definitely recommend packing strategically, especially if you plan on using all of the main compartment’s built-in pockets.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Pretty much a smaller version of the larger size (as expected)
  • Easy to transition between backpack and tote mode
  • Super slim design, so we’re interested to see how much actually fits inside
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Material feels a bit loose and thick, which slightly impacts accessibility
  • Slim design is low-profile and great for those who don’t carry a lot every day
  • Dig the front pockets for small everyday items
By Lauren Maternowski
Created May 8, 2024 • Updated May 8, 2024
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