Monos Metro Tote review: a lightweight, spacious and chic travel bag

With plenty of pockets and an ample zippered interior, the Monos Metro Tote is versatile enough to stow under an airplane seat or pack for a picnic

T3 Platinum Award
Monos Metro Tote review
(Image credit: Monos)
T3 Verdict

The Monos Metro Tote is a vegan leather travel or work bag that’s as stylish as it is functional. It has a spacious interior, handy internal zippered pockets, and is made with highly durable eco-friendly materials. Highly recommend.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Pockets for organization

  • +

    Personal item size for airplane travel

  • +

    Stands up on its own

  • +

    Zipper closure

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not real leather

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Will the Monos Metro Tote find its way on to our best backpack and laptop bag guide? Keep reading to find out...

To properly review the Monos Metro Tote, I filled the bag with various items for travel and the office. I carried the full bag over my shoulder during travel to assess comfort, durability, design, and aesthetics.

Compared to the heavy and bulky work bag I was using before, the Monos Metro Tote is both easier to carry around all day and better looking. Smart details like a strap that holds the bag to the handle of my rolling suitcase and full zipper closure make this a great bag for plane travel. It can slide under the seat in front of you or be stashed in an overhead bin.

If you’re looking for a comfortable and well-made tote for everyday use that has plenty of space and a sleek design, you can’t go wrong with the Metro Tote from Monos. Read on for my full review.

Monos Metro Tote review: price and availability

The entire Monos Metro collection launched in 2023 and is available exclusively on the Monos website. The Metro Tote costs $230 in the US. The bag is available in the UK for £235, in Canada for CAD 280, and in Australia for AUD 350.

Monos Metro Tote review: Design

The Monos Metro Tote has a classic design that won’t go out of style. The bag looks current but not so of the moment that it will look dated by next year. It also comes in a range of neutral shades, like black, ivory, saddle, and mahogany, that complement most outfits.

Aside from pleasing aesthetics, the bag is highly functional. The main pocket has a full zipper closure, which is handy when you’re stowing the bag in an overhead compartment on a plane. Zip it closed, and you won’t have to worry about your computer charger tumbling out during takeoff or landing.

The bag has a strap on one side that secures it to the handle of a rolling suitcase. When you don’t need the suitcase strap, the bottom zips closed and turns into a pocket. Inside the bag, a large round pouch on the side holds a drink bottle and prevents anything from spilling on the move.

I like that there are just enough pockets to keep important things organized, but not so many that I end up losing my wallet or keys in the bag. It has two large internal zippered pockets on each side as well as three sleeves (two inside and one externally) that are the perfect size for a phone, slim wallet, or passport.

Monos Metro Tote

(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin / T3)

Monos Metro Tote review: Materials

The Monos Metro Tote is made from stiff vegan leather, so it doesn’t have the give or softness of real leather. However, the benefit of faux leather is that the bag is more weatherproof and easy to keep clean. It also won’t easily scratch or crease, so you can expect the tote to look as good as new for years.

As a bonus, the bag is made from recycled plastic water bottles, so it’s more sustainable than your typical leather briefcase.

Monos Metro Tote review: Performance

The Monos Metro Tote offers everything I need in a travel and work bag. It’s comfortable to hold and doesn’t add too much weight on its own, which is essential when I have to lug a computer, lunch bag, and water bottle each day. My old tote was equally spacious but so heavy even when it was empty that by the time I loaded it with a computer and wallet, I had a major shoulder ache on my hands.

Despite being lightweight, the bag has a large capacity and is strong enough to hold a heavy load. It easily fits my 14-inch laptop, a full water bottle, and a sweater for a plane ride. The rolling suitcase strap is especially handy to free my hands when I’m in the airport.

I also love that the bag has a large enough base to stand up on its own. This feature makes it easy to add and remove things from the bag, and to see what I have inside without too much rummaging. 

Monos Metro Tote

(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin / T3)

Monos Metro Tote review: Verdict

The Monos Metro Tote is the ideal size and weight to pack for work or as a personal item on a plane or train. It accommodates a laptop, water bottle, and other essentials and keeps things organized with well-placed internal and external pockets. The bag is spacious and stands up on its own, so it doesn’t swallow up my house keys or leave me searching for my chapstick in a dark abyss. 

The Metro Tote has an attractive, timeless design and comes in neutral colors that fit into most wardrobes. Though the bag is not made from real leather, it is more weatherproof, easy to keep clean, and stiff enough to hold up to years of regular use.

Monos Metro Tote review: Alternatives to consider

If you prefer to carry your supplies on your back, rather than your shoulder, the Carl Friedrick Day-to-Day backpack is a smart-looking, high-end pack with a practical design and professional looks. 

Or, if you’re looking for a real leather travel bag that won’t break the bank, the Quince Italian Leather Triple Compartment Shopper Tote has a similarly timeless design. It’s made from 100% Italian leather and comes in several colourways to match any outfit.

Lizzy Briskin

Lizzy Briskin is a food and health writer and editor, chef, runner, recipe developer, and photographer. She regularly contributes to Runner’s World, Popular Mechanics, Insider, and the Chicago Tribune, among other outlets. A Boston native, she now lives in New York, where she can be found exploring, tasting and enjoying all that the city has to offer, that is when she’s not chasing the sun in Los Angeles.