The Bellroy Duo Totepack, A Super Versatile Backpack & Tote Combo
Bellroy has always made some of the most functional products focused on slimming down your everyday carry, and have recently expanded their range to include bags and backpacks. The Bellroy Duo Totepack is designed for those who want one bag that can handle a variety of applications. It’s a tote bag that can be collapsed to be compact like a briefcase, or you can pull out the straps to wear it like a backpack. It does all of these really well too.
If you’ve ever owned or held a Bellroy product before you’ll know they are all expertly crafted from premium materials to be both functional and beautiful, and the Duo Totepack is very much a Bellroy product. The bag is packaged in a matching polypropylene cover that will do a good job of protecting it if you need to store it away for a longer period of time. The outer is made from a custom water-resistant fabric, paired with a thick zip to keep your possessions inside protected, while the internals are made of a soft canvas.
Both fabrics are certainly heavy-duty and we’d wager that you’ll easily get years of continuous use with minimal wear and tear. Despite this, the Duo Totepack remains lightweight and easy to carry so the only extra bulk will come from what you put inside. The bag also features a series of leather accents, created from Bellroy’s environmentally sourced leather, that add a more sophisticated look without overwhelming the bag with branding. It is available in Black, Ink Blue and Moss Grey, and regardless of what colour you choose, it’s a very professional looking bag.
The bag contours outward as you reach the bottom, but the tote straps at the top open wider than it does at the bottom. It should be noted that you’ll have to lean the bag against something when it’s not on your shoulders or being carried as the bottom isn’t round enough to stand up on its own. Up front, there is a small utility pocket that is great for your smaller everyday carry such as wallets, phones and keys, while it also features a pen holder. On the opposite side, you’ll find a click-pocket for the back straps and small zipped pocket for items such as a phone or sunglasses.
Open the middle compartment to find 15L of storage space as well as a padded sleeve with two compartments that can hold up to a 15” Laptop and a 10″ tablet simultaneously. On either side of the laptop sleeve are a series of pockets that are either fixed or elastic. Size-wise they’ll hold smaller cylindrical pencil cases, drink bottles, your phone and a collapsible set of headphones; with the fixed pocket better for things you need to stay stationary and the elastic better for things that need a little extra wiggle room to fit. In true Bellroy fashion, the layout is flexible and allows you to pack it however it works best for your needs.
When switching between backpack and tote modes there are several high-grade, metal clips that will simultaneously keep the Duo Totepack secure in one mode but are still easy to alter to the other. Two clips on the are used to expand or compress the depth of the bag. In order to expand, you have to pull the clip upwards, while to compress you just click it back into place. This means if you have everything packed tightly you won’t have to worry about it coming undone accidentally. The same goes for the backpack straps that clip on with metal hooks, the mechanism used to open and close the loop is quite firm but will keep the straps from unexpectedly falling off your shoulders. When the Duo Totepack is on your shoulders the straps have plenty of cushioning if you’re wearing it for longer periods, while the leather on the tote handles prevents the straps from rubbing on your hands. These are more subtle design touches from Bellroy that you really come to appriciate when you’re using a product all the time.
If you’re looking for one of the most well-constructed backpacks that will work really well as a day bag or a daily commute then the Bellroy Duo Totepack can handle both really well. It can be expanded to add more storage if you’re taking it away for a day out, but when used as a Tote is slim enough to be transported around like a briefcase. It really does give you an excellent amount of versatility. If you only need a laptop backpack or tote and want something with Bellroy’s excellent craftsmanship then it might be worth checking out the Bellroy Classic 15″ Laptop Backpack, or the Bellroy Slim Work 15” Laptop Tote.