For every trip, there’s an ideal personal item. No, I’m not talking about roll-aboard suitcases—those become your carry-on when you board a plane. A personal item is that second bag that can be a backpack, purse, or tote, as long as it’s not too big. On big adventure trips, my personal item is usually a backpack. On city trips, it might be a tote. But I’m always in search of the best options.


Lately, on city trips or short journeys that don’t incorporate serious outdoors time, I’ve been carrying the Bellroy Toyko Wonder Tote 15L. I’m always searching for the perfect bags, so when I find one that incorporates elements I like, I’m always willing to give it a try.


The bag is made from a durable, water-resistant recycled fabric, and has eco-tanned leather accents (tanned using a method that harnesses the moisture in the hide, saving water and reducing chemicals). It has soft-edge webbing handles that incorporate an underside grip—something that helps keep the handles from slipping off your shoulder, but you may want to avoid shouldering the bag if you’re wearing delicate fabrics that may pill with friction.


In the main compartment (which is protected by a full-length zip closure), the tote has a padded laptop sleeve that will fit devices up to 16 inches, two internal sleeve pockets for water bottles or umbrellas, and one stretch mesh zip pocket for any valuables to which you don’t need immediate access.


Externally, the bag has a dual-section front pocket with a zip closure, a rear document slip pocket with a button closure, and a trolley/luggage pass-through so you can stack your it on your roll-aboard suitcase for ease of travel through the airport.


Have an Apple AirTag but don’t have a case for it? You can tuck your AirTag into the internal slip pocket in the main compartment designed for that purpose. That way, it won’t be rolling around in your bag.


The Tokyo Wonder Tote 15L comes in storm gray (pictured), deep plum, and raven, and lists for $169 on the Bellroy site.

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