Bellroy is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year and they’re rolling out a whole slew of products to celebrate it. Easily one of our favorites from the lot is the Bellroy Apex Backpack, a bag that, the outfit claims, pushes boundaries in both design and craftsmanship.
At first glance, it looks like any traditional top-loading backpack – you unhook the closure, open the lid, and reach in from the opening up top to grab whatever you want. Except, the darn thing can actually be opened on both sides, too, allowing you to lay the bag flat and reveal all its contents completely in plain sight, making it easy to both pack and unpack.
The Bellroy Apex Backpack uses zippers and magnet buttons to close out those side openings, ensuring neither one will accidentally open and spill your stuff while you’re in transit. Nothing’s as annoying as coming into work, only to find out you lost that notebook with all your project notes in it and you’re not sure whether you dropped it outside the building, in the parking lot, or the train you take for the last mile of your daily commute. Yeah, good luck finding that notebook ever again. Because it can be opened from the sides, you’re not restricted to getting stuff out of the bag by reaching in from the top, allowing you to use the side openings as a way to quickly get to what you need. It’s for this same reason they decided to keep the exterior clean with just a couple of discreet flat pockets, so there’s no mess of pockets on the outside like with many other backpacks today.
Inside the main compartment, it has multiple elastic pockets to let you stash gear without having them all mixed up together in a jumbled mess, all while snapping flat when not in use to give you full access to the section’s full 26-liter capacity. There’s also a padded laptop section, complete with a rigid board out front, which should protect from hefty gear inside that could knock against your sensitive work machine, as well as a zippered pocket near the inner top side for small items you will tend to reach for frequently.
The Bellroy Apex Backpack uses a hook closure to secure the lid, with five mounting points at different heights, so you can pack the bag full if needed and compress it when you’re packing light. Suffice to say, you can make this look much smaller and much bigger, depending on how much you need to carry. It has adjustable shoulder straps and a sternum strap that can be clipped at four different heights, allowing you to carry the bag in the most comfortable way you can find. Construction is primarily Baida nylon, a specialist fabric originally developed in Korea, as well as Netherlands-sourced environmentally-certified leather for various accents and details. All hardware used is custom-design in the outfit’s Bells Beach lab, so everything here is as premium as any high-end bag deserves.
The Bellroy Apex Backpack is available now, priced at $449.