The original Timbuk2 messenger improved by 25 years of expertise.
Great Bag with Great Customer Service
Pros: Durable , Attractive, Comfortable , Roomy , Lightweight , High Quality, Good Strap Length
Cons: Quality Escape
Best Uses: Airplane travel , Commuting, Computer, Extended trips , Office
Describe Yourself: Practical, Comfort-Oriented, Career, Modern
Was this a gift?: No
tl;dr – great bag, good size, great strap, and supremely AWESOME customer service.
I LOVE nearly everything about this bag and the two gripes I had I’ve found fixes for. I got the Medium size in Dusk Blue with Surf Strip. I love the color; works well in professional environments with just a hint of fun due to the three-color straps. I’ve gotten a ton of compliments.
The new compression strap layout is so nice – keeps the bag small on light-load days and I love that I can stash my jacket under the bag on days when I don’t have space for it on the inside. The clips being under the flap looks very nice, but you do have the trade-off of it being not as fast to open. I prefer the 2014 look, but be aware that the clips are harder to get at. Not much, but noticeable.
I love the organizational panel layout, though I would make them just a bit deeper to handle pens better.
I love the size – perfect for carrying my work laptop around, lunch, books, and all my other EDC; it should go without saying that the side pocket (Napoleon pocket) is one of the best designs on a messenger bag. It just works.
I did have a small quality issue – the zipper toggle on the Napoleon pocket slipped free. I can see how the design is supposed to work and I think the shrink wrap wasn’t quite far enough up on the zipper to keep it from slipping off. I was able to re-thread the toggle and moved the wrap higher onto the zipper. A quick hit with the hot air gun and FIXED.
I cannot say enough good things about the strap adjuster cam – it is inspired design and engineering. I was nervous that it would bind or require a lot of effort to move. But it is nearly frictionless. Again, it just works. I love it. And because it is so easy to adjust, I have a new method for carrying the bag – adjust the strap to its shortest length, and then I can quickly grab the bag from my car and sling it over my shoulder like a backpack when you only use one strap. If I’m just walking from driveway to house, this is the easiest and fastest way to carry the bag.
When I carry the bag “normally” across my chest, everything is very comfortable. It took me a couple of tries to figure out exactly how the bag was supposed to hang, but now, it’s effortless. The cross-strap works well, though it does cause the main strap to bunch a little. The default strap pad is nice and comfortable; I’d like to test a bit more before calling it perfect, but for my day to day use, it is very nice.
The internal water bottle pockets are great, keeping everything upright and water-free. The medium sized bag is just slightly too short for my preferred Klean Kanteen 27oz bottle with a sport cap. With the flat cap, I think it would be fine. An 18oz fits perfectly, so for the short term, I’ve switched to that, but plan on getting the flat cap for my 27oz. Not a ding against the bag, just a trade-off.
I did have two gripes, both concerning the cross-strap.
1) The elastic band that is used to capture the tail is basically worthless – it holds the tail out of the way only in the most simplistic of cases. But, I fixed that. I ordered a 3/4″ thin bar slide online (Google it). Works SO much better, though it was a bit tricky to install; FIXED.
2) When I’m not using the cross-strap, the way it hangs annoys me, gets hung up on things, or nearly caught in my car door. However, Timbuk2 customer service rep Antonio absolutely made my day. I suggested that they make the female end of the cross-strap (the part that goes on the main strap) available for people to attach to the other cross-strap point on the bag to serve as a storage anchor. He agreed and is sending me one, no charge. AWESOME policy. Well done Timbuk2. Once that’s installed, I’ll just clip the cross-strap into that to keep it of the way. So, also FIXED.