I was gifted my first Timbuk2 by Maurice after the National Bike Summit meeting this year. While this bag was designed to gratify the swag hounds, it still had all sorts of nice perks including a whip down inner liner, a plethora of internal pockets within pockets (about seven), a set of exterior pockets; one with a secure zip and key tether and of course, the solid heavy duty stitching and construction that is backed by Timbuk2’s quality assurance. Recently, I’ve had a run of good luck and scored a new Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger Bag for testing. The design on the laptop version is nearly identical to the freebie with a few classy upgrades.
First off, all the buckles and fasteners are metal instead of plastic. The shoulder strap has a padded sleeve that matches the classy, water resistant “Night Bird” fabric on the exterior of the bag, and the interior lining is thicker, stronger and waterproof. The bottom of the bag is the same waterproof wipe-clean durable lining as well, so I’m less nervous about where I plop it down at the end of a trip. The biggest difference between the two is the padded black corduroy lined laptop sleeve in my new bag that cradles your electronics like a baby in bunting. I’m a bit jealous of the coosh ride. The laptop sleeve back is velcroed to the interior back wall of the bag and stitched on the top so it can be pulled partially out for though all cleaning.
So that’s a bit about the internals, how it feels on the ride? The shoulder strap has an easy slide and adjust catch buckle on one side, and speaking as a women, the strap wasn’t too fat, binding or wide across my (ahem) “front”. The cross strap fastener is attached with Velcro and can be quickly detached and moved for those who prefer the bag over the right shoulder. On the bike, I could use the strap system to maneuver the load to a comfortable space on my back, or lower if needed. I took this bag all over Iceland with me a few weeks ago where it served primarily as my carry on bag and camera bag. Again, that cross strap came in handy for securing the load on your back and out of the way while wrestling with airplanes, luggage, taxies and hotels. It’s handy for throwing lunch and necessities in for quick day jaunts as well. If I load it properly, it’s easy to adjust the fit to a comfort level that works for the commute, be it on wheels or on feet.
I did find in rainy commutes that though everything remained dry inside there was a damp feeling on paper and the like, possibly due to the humidity in the air, so I would still use a thin waterproof sleeve around my electronics before dropping them into the padded cell.
I’ve set up my old bag as my art supply carrier. It’s like Christmas, you forget what you have stashed in the pockets until you start to empty them again. It’s great to have my current projects, drawing pads all in a central location, that’s easy to pick up and jump on a bike/into car and book it to the park or museum.
And if the ready made options don’t work for you, Timbuk2 has custom options available on their website as well.
The star quality of the Timbuk2 messenger bag is that while it’s design to work exceptionally well as a bike bag, it translates just as easily to a throw over your shoulder, take it with you pack as well.