Topo Designs released their original Backpack Tote in the fall of 2013, and the bag did everything. The small silhouette carried well as a tote yet offered the option to be carried as a backpack via tuck-away straps. The shape allowed for an interior was roomy enough to pack away heavier items yet not so big that it got in the way. But after three years in production, Topo Designs updated its lineup and the original was discontinued. Having known and loved the bag since it was first launched, we always wanted to see it in production again. So, we sat down with Topo Designs and began riffing on the original model. After a year of prototyping and testing, we had increased the tote handle drop for easier shoulder wear; retooled the front snap pocket with a zipper closure; added a padded shoulder strap with D-ring lashing points for a cross-body carry option; updated the quick release hardware on the backpack straps; and added an internal key lanyard. The finished Topo Designs x Gear Patrol offers the same kind of versatility and utility for commuting that technical packs offer for off-the-grid adventures.

A Great Commuter GiftA Great Commuter Gift

1. Four Carrying Options:
Along with in-hand carrying via tote straps and back carrying via adjustable, tucked-away straps, we added a padded shoulder strap with D-ring lashing points for cross-body carrying – messenger style – and lengthened the tote straps for over-the-shoulder wear.
2. Original Bag, Improved Features:
While the blaze orange interior aids visibility for sorting through your stuff, the front pocket now features a zippered enclosure and built-in key lanyard, to keep essentials close and secure.
3. Commuter-Focused:
The Backpack Tote’s small silhouette makes it sleek around the office and economical on a cramped train. But with 10.5-L storage capabilities – plus a padded laptop compartment, dual water bottle holders, and a quick-access exterior pocket – this is tailor-made for those on the go.

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