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PRODUCT REVIEW

The Duo Totepack according to bag expert Taylor Welden

The Duo Totepack is a dashing, undercover, shape-shifting, double agent. It's four bags in one. It’s fun, it’s serious. It’s slim, it’s stout. Frankly, I find it to be the top of the line offering in Bellroy’s impressive carry collection.

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The first time I laid eyes on the Duo Totepack, I spotted something that excited me from a proverbial mile away, the wide-mouthed and teethy water resistant YKK Aquaguard zipper on the top. I’m a bag nerd, so I’m familiar with this specific zipper. It’s one of the nicest that YKK produces and I just so happen to think YKK is the best zipper manufacturer in the world.

Upon holding the bag out in front of me for the very first time, I literally said, “Oh man, no way” when I felt the Fidlock clips on each side. The Fidlock technology is like Harry Houdini partnered with Tesla and NASA to make hardware for bags. A ton of research and boasting over 30 patents. Yeah, it’s like that.



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Now you can walk into the office carrying the bag’s padded leather tote handles, looking like you own the joint.

They’re amazing little features, but what makes them useful in the design of this bag? They allow the bag to grow from a slim laptop style bag out to a healthy 15 liters, with a very simple, quick motion. This is particularly useful if you’re swinging over to a friend’s after work and decide to pick up a six-pack, because you’re a good person who likes to have fun. (Or same situation, but with some groceries instead of the six-pack.) Expand the bag and you’ve got room for the extras. When you’ve emptied your bag of those extras, simply hover the two halves of the Fidlock hardware together and feel them magnetically snap shut and click in satisfyingly, until you need to expand again. And don’t worry, the magnets won’t interfere with laptops, smartphone, or any other electronics you may carry.

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While I’m on the topic of transitioning from work to play, let’s talk about the carry options here. You’ve got options. In the previous scenario, with the added weight of a six-pack, you’d surely be rocking the generously padded shoulder straps which have leather details and metal hardware.

However, though backpacks are indeed becoming more commonplace in today’s professional scene, some folks just can’t subscribe to this idea quite yet. The Duo Totepack, if you couldn’t tell from the name, also functions perfectly as a tote. The straps unclip at the bottom and tuck away behind the cushioned back panel, disappearing like a ninja with a smoke bomb. Now you can walk into the office carrying the bag’s padded leather tote handles, looking like you own the joint. While I’m usually not a massive fan of hand carry, when I tried this out I was surprised by the comfort of the thick grab handles.



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Pockets. Oh yeah, this guy has pockets to spare. The exterior quick-access accessories pocket on the front has plenty of room to fit all your regular valuables, kept securely shut with another water resistant YKK zipper. It’s depth goes well past my wrist and a width the same as the bag’s. There’s even organization within this pocket, including a lightly padded pocket which would be perfect for your smartphone. This is usually the pocket I look for first and on this bag it definitely gets solid approval.

The Fidlock technology is like Harry Houdini partnered with Tesla and NASA to make hardware for bags. A ton of research and boasting over 30 patents. Yeah, it’s like that.

Now, inside is where things get a bit wild. There are seven compartments to store all of your goods safely, including two zippered pockets to keep small loose items tidy. Like the other bags in the Bellroy collection, there is a padded laptop drop pocket and a tablet drop pocket, but the Duo Totepack has a third pocket in front of those, with the added trick of a magnetic closure. When you run your hand down into the pocket it opens effortlessly, and when you pull your hand out, the pocket snaps back with your items safely enclosed.

If you’re an urbanite who transitions from work to play on the daily, then this bag was designed with you in mind. I’ve been putting this transformer through its paces and it continues to swallow up whatever I throw in/at it, keeps my stuff and my life organized, and continues to look as fresh as it did straight out of the box.

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Taylor Welden is an industrial designer, Senior Editor of Carryology, and every bit the bag geek. He was commissioned by Bellroy to tell us what he thinks of our Duo Totepack.

Shop the Duo Totepack.