The Shimano Tokyo 23 urban daypack is a really useful utilitarian rucksack that can fit in a huge amount while being comfortable on your back. It's a bit pricey, but includes some strong features.
As the name suggests, the Tokyo 23 has a 23 litre main compartment, with a roll top – which means that it can hold a huge amount of stuff, and because of the relatively unstructured construction on three sides, it can hold most things even if they are a strange shape.
In addition to the main compartment there is a large pocket at the front, which also has some small pouches within it, including a zipped section and three smaller pockets. This is particularly useful for keeping smaller items or items that you need to access quickly – so I used this predominantly for my phone, keys, wallet and so on. There are also three large Velcro straps on the front with six fabric loops, and a set of loops on the side of the bag designed to hold a D lock.
Within the main section there is also a zipped netted pocket and a larger pocket that is useful for things like tablet computers.
Down the sides of bag there are two full length zips, with the left side giving side access to the main compartment, but the right hand side is a large padded laptop sleeve, more than big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop and sufficiently padded that I didn't feel it against my back when riding.
There are two closure systems used on the bag – the roll top and fully taped zips throughout. The zips are all easy to use with large and easy to find string tabs so it's simple to use even if you're wearing thick winter gloves or if they're soaking wet.
The roll top also works well and is secured with a large buckle that fits through one of the four loops at the top of the roll to make the roll larger or smaller depending on what's in the main compartment. This system works well and is as waterproof as the taped zips, plus Shimano has sewn magnetic strips within.
The only slightly annoying thing is that when the buckle is tightened onto the smallest loop or when it's not attached at all, it gets in the way of the zip of the large front pocket.
The bag is comfortable against the back thanks to a decent level of padding and the mesh material used to minimise heat build-up when riding. This works relatively well, although I have used others that are better in this respect.
The straps are also comfortable without being overly padded, and sit well on the shoulders. The chest strap also keeps them in place nicely.
As well as being comfortable, one of the strong elements of the bag is its protection against the elements, and although the bag is made from water-resistant ballistic nylon, Shimano has also included a high-vis shower cover. I took this out in heavy rain several times and didn't notice anything getting through. At the bottom Shimano has used a tarpaulin material to make sure nothing gets through there either.
At £119.99 the bag is certainly a big investment and comes in more expensive than some competitors. For instance, the Craft Cadence IPX5 comes in at a penny under £70 and the Rivelo Coombe Dry Rucksack is £20 cheaper.
Overall, though, I was really impressed with this bag. It has a huge amount of utilitarian features with enough pockets, straps, and compartments to fit everything you could possibly need. It also has some good high-vis elements and the waterproofing is excellent. However, all this quality comes at a price that may put some people off.
A comfortable and versatile bag with excellent waterproofing, but this quality comes at a price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Shimano Tokyo 23 urban daypack
Size tested: 23 litres
Tell us what the product is for
An urban waterproof bag for carrying kit around whether that's on a commute or anything else.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Water-resistant tarpaulin base and detachable trouser clip
Hi-Viz rain cover
360 degree reflective elements
Special storage section for holding your helmet
A rear-mounting light-attachment loop works in tandem with reflective elements
A separate padded compartment provides a soft-lined storage space for your laptop or tablet
Capacity: 23 Liters
Well made with strong stitching and loads of strong straps and loops.
Performed well throughout the review, I could fit in everything I needed comfortably.
The material used is robust and won't rip easily, it also has strong zips and a well-made buckle that's likely to last a long time.
Not quite as good for back ventilation as others I have used, but it still has well padded straps and back support.
It is not a cheap bag and is slightly more than some competitors, but with the amount of storage and pockets included, it can justify the higher price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, I could fit in everything I needed and it was comfortable to ride with, while still keeping everything well protected from the elements.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The amount of storage space is great, plus the number of pouches and pockets means you can easily segregate everything.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The strap for the buckle gets in the way of the zip when on the smallest setting, which is a little annoying.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It isn't the cheapest bag, but it is well made, waterproofing is excellent, and it has a huge amount of storage for almost anything you could need.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.