Bellroy Studio Pack Review
A new backpack for everyday carry, and travel.
After first getting my new Bellroy sling, I fell in love with the delightful material for these bags. A few months later in Iitoya in Japan, I got to see their new Shift backpack in person, and almost bought one on the spot. that bag was a little larger than I need, but then I saw this. With the launch of the Studio Backpack, Bellroy has made an excellent bag that holds a little or a lot without every looking absurd.
For quite a while, I’ve brought my Topo Trip Pack to work as it fits my coffee bottle, iPad, journal, and a few other things perfectly. Adding in a spare jacket could stuff it pretty tight, but I preferred that to hauling a bag that was typically too large. With the Studio Backpack, my everyday stuff fits well, with ample space, but the shallow depth of the bag means it looks nice even unloaded.
This is a slim, but tall-ish bag that measures 500L x 370W x 100D mm or 19.69”x14.57”x3.94”.
It has an 18-liter capacity, which while entry isn’t nearly as big feeling as my similarly-sized RYU Quick Pack. It weighs 650g or 1.43lbs, nearly half the weight of the RYU, and only a little heavier than the 567g Topo Trip Pack.
All-in-all, this bag feels like a great balance between a daily size and one that I could fly around the world with.
This bag is a top-loader, with a generously-wide opening, and a fidlock magnetic closure I can open with one hand using the small fabric loop. This flap makes for an easy way to use the main compartment, while keeping the rain off of my stuff. On the outside, there’s a pocket a little bit lower than mid-way that zips shut, and has pockets for pens, AirPods, and a few other things along with a key loop on a long fabric loop. Usually, I keep a Hobonichi Weeks, a Kaweco fountain pen, house keys, AirPods Pro and my work badge in here.
Inside of the main bag area, there’s a laptop area that can hold up to a 16” MacBook Pro—the new one with the real escape key—or an iPad Pro of either size. The bottom of the bag is generously padded to keep your stuff safe, and the laptop sleeve ends before the bottom for more safety. On the front wall of the main bag opening there is another zipped compartment for glasses, cables, or other odds and ends that you don’t need as often.
Colors and Materials
I have the black version of this bag, which I find delightful, though if I could customize it, I might have chosen a light purple or blue interior instead of the tan it comes with from Bellroy. Bellroy won me over on the idea that a lighter or brighter interior helps in finding your gear, though as a top-loader, even bright fabric doesn’t help you dig at the bottom of the bag. The Venture Weave fabric feels very strange, but in a cool, high-end way, and does a good job shrugging off rain. There are leather accents in various places on the bag that give it a little extra luxury.
This bag rules, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it for the past few weeks. I plan to take it on my next trip abroad, and likely won’t bring a separate daypack. I think this bag will be comfortable on a hike, or fully-loaded with my typical travel gear. If you need a bit more space, I highly recommend checking out Bellroy’s other larger version of this, the Shift pack.