Earlier this week we received a delivery of Shimano TOKYO Urban Daypacks, we’re quite familiar with Urban Daypacks here at Scotby Cycles as the ORTLIEB Commuter City and Commuter Urban Daypacks are two of the most popular backpacks we stock - but how does this Shimano alternative shape up?
What is an Urban Daypack?
An “Urban Daypack” is a relatively new phenomenon of urban specific biking backpacks, designed equally as much for being ridden with (anatomically designed for riding) as they are for being carried around off the bike.
Popular with commuters who ride into work or those attending school/university as they usually (in this case, the TOKYO does) feature protection for electronics such as laptops or iPads along with enough capacity for a change of clothes, lunch and stationary/documentation but also the ability to store any biking related accessories such as helmet or locks.
We’ve actually received two different versions, the TOKYO 17 and the TOKYO 23 - feature for feature-wise they’re largely the same asides from the obvious capacity differences.
The biggest difference between the two is the materials; the TOKYO 17 is made from a lighter melange (or a mixture of nylon polyesters) whereas the TOKYO 23 is made from woven ballistic nylon which to the touch feels a lot like Cordua.
Both fabrics are water-resistant (not waterproof, we’ll get to that) and appear to be hard-wearing - the demands on an Urban Daypack such are not to be underestimated so the choice of highly durable nylons for both versions is a big thumbs up plus it makes the bags both easy on the eye and aesthetically pleasant to use.
Being an Urban Daypack, the TOKYO comes with a wide assortment of pockets and sleeves for storing documents, stationery, electronics (see below about this), your lunch along with a change of clothes in the main compartment - anything and everything you might need for a day at work or school.
The biggest difference between the TOKYO 17 and 23 is the size of the main compartment, on both versions, this compartment is accessible from both the top (via a roll closing lid which keeps water out) or via a side zip which is ideal if you just want to grab something in the main compartment, say your wallet or a document.
Inside this compartment, there is also a mesh fronted pocket for storing odds and ends in - being mesh enables you to see what's in the pocket without having to dig about inside, this pocket is an extension of a wider sleeve which at is ideal for documents.
On the front of either bag, there is another zipped sealed compartment with an assortment of internal pockets and suited for storing stationery but also ideal for keeping your keys, phone etc
There is also an additional zipped pocket towards the bottom of the bag on the right-hand side - there is no such thing as too many pockets, right?
On the outside of the bag, there is a multitude of straps and slips for helmet storage whilst off the bike and bike lock storage whilst on the bike.
Both the TOKYO 17 and TOKYO 23 have a side accessible sealed zipper compartment which is separate from the main storage compartment - the lining of this is lined with a soft fleece-like material and because it's located within the bag and against riders back the lack of absolute waterproofing won’t be an issue.
In terms of capacity, both versions handle iPad’s with the typical /9.6” screens as well as the larger iPad Pro, laptop wise - the size limit for both versions seems to 13” - the pocket itself is quite large but the side opening isn't wide enough to allow for a larger laptop to easily enter, we tried with a Dell Inspiron 15 which is a pretty typical sized 15” laptop but no joy.
That said, this probably shouldn't be too much of a surprise given the trend for more portable/battery conscious laptops for work/education which largely have 13” displays.
As we have already mentioned, neither of the two versions is truly waterproof but rather their nylon construction is waster resistant - so good enough to protect your gear against getting wet in short showers but if you’re looking at riding through sustained rainfall then pulling over the included waterproof rain cover is a good idea.
The bottom of both bags feature a tarpaulin base, this will be extremely durable as the bag is dragged over the floor whilst at the office but also because it's waterproof it will protect the bottom of the bag from splashes.
All in all, both versions of the TOKYO have been a pleasant surprise - looking at the alternatives the TOKYO is certainly feature-rich and aesthetically well designed which in our opinion does outweigh the lack of waterproofing without intervention.
We haven’t mentioned it in the review but the straps are both very generous and the anatomically shaped back panel leaves sufficient space for airflow between a riders back and the bag.
We’ve been able to purchase these bags from a supplier at a fantastic price which we can pass the savings on to our customers, the TOKYO 23 retails at £119.99 and the smaller retails at £99.99, we’ve noted a few reviews in the media mentioning that this is quite expensive but we’ll have significant discounts on both versions making them much more affordable.
Click on the links below to see our current prices whilst stocks last.