If you are familiar with the world of EDC, then there’s a very good chance that you’ve heard about Bellroy. The Australian based company has succeeded in innovating just about every aspect of personal carrying. From key holders, wallets, passport holders, pencil holders, pouches, phone cases, backpacks, and other carrying products, Bellroy’s got them all. Let’s take a look at one of their best everyday carry backpacks, in this Bellroy Transit Backpack Review.
We’re always in search of a streamlined everyday carry and/or travel backpack and so we had to try out the Bellroy Transit Backpack. This backpack features a simple, minimalist design while still offering a number of qualities that make it a perfect carry-on companion.
The Bellroy Transit Backpack In-depth Review
In this hands-on review, we put the Bellroy Transit Backpack to the ultimate test. We want to determine whether its sleek look, coupled with eco-friendly construction is cut out for everyday use, and/or travel.
Size and Capacity
This is a relatively compact backpack compared to some other backpacks that we’ve reviewed. Especially, the 28L version that we tested in this review. There’s also a larger 38L version and a smaller 20L version.
Measuring at about 21 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 7.5 inches in thickness, this backpack is carry-on compliant, no matter where you’re traveling. The backpack offers the perfect sweet spot between storage capacity and size; Large enough for a small weekend trip, and small enough to double as an EDC bag. This can in-part be attributed to its minimalist design, having no branding, except for a small leather patch with the word Bellroy.
Build & Design
The Bellroy Transit Backpack features three primary zippers. One for the Laptop compartment, one for the main compartment, and another for the front quick access pocket. Additionally, you get one more zipped compartment at the top of the bag, and two sleek secret zipped side pockets. This makes it easier to access your essentials on-the-go, without having to go through an abundance of pockets. As such, we found this backpack as being super intuitive in operation, and it was super easy to get acquainted to.
Similar to other Bellroy products, the Transit backpack is just as environment friendly, as it is aesthetically pleasing. It comes in three different color options, each one made with a different type of recycled fabric. The black color option that we tested is made out of Bellroy’s recycled nylon. This is a highly resilient textile, that offers exceptional tear resistance and durability. All this at an impressively low weight of less than 2.5lbs. This gives it a sleek, understated look, with a slightly textured feel. Even though we haven’t tested the backpack’s long-term use, we feel confident that it would hold Bellroy’s regular quality check.
You also notice Bellroy’s environmental awareness in other parts of the bag. The Bellroy patch, zipper pulls, and Owl logo, are made from gold rated leather. Even more, the interior of this bag is made with a soft recycled polyester.
In terms of hardware, the Bellroy Transit Backpack comes a set of YKK aqua-guard zippers for the main compartments. Apart from making sure that your essentials stay safe and dry, they also give the bag nice glossy accents along the bag’s nylon material.
Seeing that it is relatively small, there’s little going on, on the outside of the Transit Backpack. You get a padded grab handle at the top. There’s a magnetic sternum strap on the shoulder straps. The back panel is well padded and contoured to allow for a more supported fit.
Even though this is just a 28L backpack, the Transit backpack is quite well armed, when it comes to internal organization.
At the back (next to the shoulder straps), there’s a padded laptop compartment that can fit a 16-inch laptop, lined with a cushioned woolen material.
In addition, this compartment also comes with an internal zipper pouch for items such as cables and charging bricks.
At the top, there’s a small soft-lined pocket for items such as passports and sunglasses.
The main clam shelf compartment allows you to store the bulk of your larger travel essentials. This compartment can hold a couple of large packing kits. It comes with a set of magnetic coupling compression straps to keep everything organized, neat, and locked in place.
On the lid of the main compartment, you get a long-zippered sleeve pocket for items such as magazines, journals, and books.
Above this pocket, you get a small zippered mesh pouch for items such as power banks, plug adapters, and other travel accessories.
At the front of this backpack, you get a slash pocket for quick access. Inside, it offers a set of horizontal dividers for storing smaller items like pens and notebooks. You also get enough space to store items like headphones and wallets. There’s also a built-in key clip for holding organizers or keys into your bag.
Lastly, we have the side pockets. They are zippered into the bag for secure storage, and enough room for a full-sized water bottle.
They are also perfect for frequently used items such as hand sanitizers. Even more they also have a built-in key clip for easy storage of your keys.
We found the shoulder straps to be quite flimsy. Without the load, they do their job okay. However, on a full load, you’ll definitely notice the weight. The straps are pretty narrow and are not padded well enough for weight distribution. Luckily, the sternum straps help to reduce the strain on the shoulders.
This is a backpack that should be on your radar. From its design, to materials, and organization, I can see this being a nice option for a small travel bag as well as a daily driver for school or the office.