on July 29, 2010
Simple, compact design
Good organization pockets
Quick access pocket
Sewn in shoulder strap for good stability
Small size is great for 13" MacBook Pro
No grab strap
No laptop sleeve
I was looking for a bag to haul my MacBook Pro 13" and work papers to and from my work. I wanted something compact, light, and comfortable and in a fairly conservative color. The small Timbuk2 Classic fit the bill. I really like this bag, although there are a few additional features I wish it had. I tried out this bag as well as the Timbuk2 D-lux, Timbuk2 Commuter, and Patagonia Half Mass in a local store before deciding on the small Timbuk2 classic.
1. Design. Simple bag. Weather proof lining. Organization pockets on inside for your iPod, phone, keys, pens, etc. Has a quick release extension to ease getting it on, but I don't find that I every need to use it with the small bag. adding it
2. Size. The small Timbuk2 is the perfect width for a MacBook Pro 13" and 8.5x11 inch papers without a lot of extra room on the sides for things to jostle around or get lost in the bottom. There isn't much extra room after putting in a laptop and few textbooks, but I found that the weight of the full small bag is about as much as I would want to carry in a messenger bag that puts most of the weight on one shoulder. The medium sized bag seemed to be a big step up in size and was too bulky for me. For days when I need more room, like for workout clothes, I just bring a second bag rather than carry around extra room with me every day. (If you have large bulky, but relatively light, items to carry around then you may want the medium or large bag.)
3. Neapolitan Pocket. So handy to have a pocket you can access without opening the bag. Enough said.
4. Divider. A pleasant surprise here. I was disappointed that the divider was not suitable for my laptop (see below) and had considered cutting the darn thing out of the bag. However, now I find myself using it all the time! It is a great for storing papers/reports so they are both protected and easily accessible. Sit down on the subway...pull out a report. Super!
5. The Shoulder Strap. The strap sewn in along both sides of the bag and is not removable. Having the sturdy wide strap sewn gives the bag a lot of stability. Bags with straps that clip on, swivel and pivot at the point of attachment. This bag doesn't wobble like that.
1. Velcro. The Timbuk2 bag has both clips and velcro for securing the flap. I hate the velcro. It is unnecessary because it already has clips, but worse it is noisy. I am reluctant to open the bag during a meeting because of the loud rIIIIpping sound it will create. There is no discrete way to open this bag. (Note: The velcro closure could be negated covering it with a velcro hook strip which I will do at some point.)
2. No grab strap. Other than the shoulder strap, there is no handle on the bag. I often find myself grabbing for a handle on the top of the bag which doesn't exist. You can get a grab handle if you build a custom Timbuk2 bag on their website, but you pay twice as much for the bag.
3. No laptop sleeve. Although the bag has a built-in divider which fits the MacBook Pro perfectly, only the inside side is padded (see my video). There is no padding on the outside or bottom of the divider. This means that if you set down your bag hard on the floor, you run the risk of damaging your laptop. I just use my existing neoprene sleeve with my laptop. It is too bulky to fit into the divider, but is quite secure in the main compartment of the bag. (Note: the D-Lux version does have a padded laptop sleeve. See my discussion on other bags below for why it didn't work for me)
===========Other bags I considered===========
Timbuk2 D-Lux: It has a padded laptop sleeve (although I wasn't impressed by the padding at the bottom of the sleeve), but it doesn't come in black which was a deal breaker for me. I also didn't like the modular organization system which attaches via velcro to the inside of the bag; the pockets weren't as securely attached to the bag which makes getting things in and out of the pockets more difficult.
Patagonia: What I really liked about this bag was that the padded laptop sleeve does not touch the bottom of the bag, the sleeve was a bit bulky and was oddly attached to the inside of the bag. Also the construction of the bag didn't feel as solid.
Timbuk2 Commuter: A bigger bag than the small Timbuk2 Classic, but with more functionality. It has a cool laptop case that flips out to be TSA compliant (i.e. you don't have to take the laptop out of the bag). It also has a grab handle (yeah!) and no velcro on the flap. It was 2nd on my list, but in the end I decided it was bigger than necessary for my daily commute. The laptop case is made to fit a 15" laptop although it my 13" didn't move around too much. I didn't like the detachable shoulder strap with swivel straps as much; I prefer the sewn in shoulder strap of the Timbuk2 Classic. However, this would be a great bag for airline travel as if gives a little more room than the Timbuk2 Classic and the TSA compliant laptop compartment. I may end up buying this as a second bag for traveling.
on July 24, 2011
I just wanted to mention about the particular size of the bag I bought (small) since it was the hardest part for me when I was buying..
To begin with, I already have a huge messenger bag from another SF based company. And I still like the bag very much, yet it's a little uncomfortable at times, or looks silly when I have a notebook and a pen in a bag that can handle at least two 12 packs. For that reason, I eventually stop wearing it on a daily basis, and started using my backpack instead. But I really wanted my messenger bag back.. as it's so much more convenient and looks better IMO, esp. when you commute on bike.
So I decided to buy a small messenger bag, but Timbuk2 instead this time. The biggest selling point for me was how it had many small inner organizers/pockets, as well as its divider where you can separate your notepads, books, or small laptops (they are very practical for a college student like me). Also, I picked small because x-small looked a little TOO small and medium looked fine but knew I didn't really NEED that much space when I commute everyday cause I prefer to travel light.
Here's list of things I carry usually: textbook(s), notepads, bunch of pens, a mini stapler, an eyedrop, a 10" netbook or a 13" mbp, and a fleece jacket. (plus couple more small stuff). Well they all fit perfectly without trying and my back really appreciates the load and the way it sits securely on my back. If I don't put in my jacket, then I can stuff in a lot more; I just choose not to. You can also strap your jacket using the secure straps. I usually commute by bike or skateboard, and the bag always sits tight on my back. VERY comfortable if you know how to wear it properly. There's also a loop on the bottom front of the bag where I put a blinker on for night riding..
There's tons of favorable reviews on Timbuk2 products. I just wanted to let you know that small can be adequate enough for daily use, and feels a lot better than having a loaded big thing on the back. It also helps you to limit the things so you don't carry unnecessary things. My first Timbuk2, def. not my last one.
on April 19, 2010
This is my second Timbuk2 bag. I got the XS size first to just use it like a purse. I commute by bike to work about one day a week and the XS bag just wasn't big enough for a change of clothes and my lunch, etc. I debated getting a Large one but am so glad I went with Medium. It's huge! I'm only 5'1" so it looks a little ridiculous on me but I can ride my bike fine with it full of stuff. I think I will also use it as my luggage for trips occasionally. I got it in Silver/Lime-Aide/Lime-Aide color which is great for visibility on my bike (I don't trust the drivers in NM too much so I try to be as visible as possible). Timbuk2 bags are certainly expensive but worth it I think. They are quality bags and will last forever. I was also glad to find them on Amazon for much cheaper than the Timbuk2 website.
on September 29, 2010
This bag arrived on my doorstep last week, and since then I have been carrying it to and from work every day. I was so happy I found this color in a size Small (it's sold out all over the internet and more expensive on the direct brand's website). I purchased this looking for a bag that would a) not ruin my back due the weight and b) fit my netbook and other graduate-school items such as textbooks, portable hard drive, etc. First of all, I can fit all of my textbooks, netbook, papers, cords, and other little things I used to keep in my purse, with enough room to shove my water bottle in on the side. When it rains, which it has several times this week, the water is completely repelled by the awesome "ballistic" material. When it stops raining, however, I can loosen both of the straps on the front flap and slide my umbrella perfectly along the bottom of the bag, pulling the straps a bit to make the fit tighter.
With that said, I do think it's a slightly confusing bag! So many pockets and compartments, I may have to make some labels to attached to each so I remember where I put things! Also, I would like an outer pocket for a water bottle of some sort. But, since my bottle doesn't leak, I can put it inside.
I am actually happy it does not come with a laptop compartment. The Timbuk2 Freestyle netbook bag could not even fit my netbook (which is slightly larger, at 11.6 inches) because of its precisely-measured compartment. This bag in a size Small does the trick and fits it perfectly, even with a sleeve I previously purchased on it.
As some reviewers have noted, there is no grab strap. However, just shorted the strap so it lays flat against the top of the bag, tuck the extra strap material into the bag, and there's your shorter "grab" strap, should you need it.
on November 19, 2011
I'm one of those "like to be prepared" people - always have on me a flashlight, multi-tool, sketchbooks, compact umbrella, and so on. Been using my excellent small bag (my "man sack") for a few years, with the only drawback being it's not waterproof - in heavy rain, I take a plastic bag (which I carry in the man sack) and put the bag in it to protect it.
All I really wanted was the same basic deal, but in waterproof form. This product seemed to fit the bill...but there were doubts. One reviewer stated that the flap does *not* go all the way across, leaving gaps where water just pours in (and now that I've seen the bag, the waterproofed *inside* would therefore fill up with water!). However, there were two different pages on Amazon of the exact same item, and the pictures were different:
In that one, you can see the flap doesn't go all the way across (in the tri-color I'd settled on - gunmetal/cement/algae green).
In that one, it *does* seem to cover the corners (in the same tri-color I picked).
I gave them the benefit of the doubt - maybe since that other reviewer complained, they'd fixed the problem (not hard, really - when I got the bag, I saw exactly where some simple extra stitching would be required).
As it turned out - nope. Still the "gap" problem. Which made it pretty useless in terms of waterproofing.
I was going to make do with it anyway, maybe stitch up the gaps myself, but after a couple of days the other negatives (various reviewers have mentioned some of them) caught up and I just wasn't at all happy with this thing. The drawbacks (from my perspective):
* The "memory strap" is clunky and uncomfortable;
* The clips for the top flap have *long* dangling straps that just get in the way (when *closed*!);
* The VelCro really does get as annoying as other reviewers have said;
* The bag doesn't flatten out as nicely as I'd expected it to (as my old one does) when loaded;
* The compartmentalization isn't as efficient as it could be (a lot of spots are hard to get in and out of when I just want one of my items quickly);
* Even though I got the "extra small" size, this thing is *huge*. I can understand that might be a "pro" (not a con) for some buyers, but my whole point in getting one of these is to have something *compact* but useful. If this is the "extra small," perhaps Timbuk2 needs to make an "extra extra small" for the folks who are looking for the same thing I'd like to find.
* And, of course, even though the material is waterproof, the bag - thanks to the poor design of the flap and opening (the stitching needed really is pretty obvious!) - is *not* waterproof. I'll be kind and say "water resistant," though even that term would lead you to expect that a product won't *fill up* with water (which this one most certainly will in the rain).
Ah, well. At least Amazon's got a great return policy. Thanks, Amazon - no thanks, Timbuk2.
on August 6, 2011
I just got this messenger bag in a size medium and am absolutely obsessed with it. I wanted a new bag for school and since my university involves walking around the city and taking the subway, I needed something that could carry a lot of stuff but still looks cool and allows me access my things easily on-the-go.
I was afraid that a medium would be too big but I'm 5' 4" and medium looks fine on me. If you are concerned about accidentally ordering a huge bag and want to look at pictures of people with different Timbuk2 bags and sizes check this site out: [...]. It was really helpful with my decision. I think that medium is the perfect size honestly and it has enough pockets to carry all those little things you didn't know where to put before. I can fit my laptop, a couple folders, 2 large science textbooks, gym clothes, a water bottle, pens, highlighters, ear plugs, band aids, ibuprofen, lotion, wallet, keys, all my computers cords, and a calculator. (not gonna lie though, it's heavy with those damn textbooks)
I have a 13" macbook and was actually glad I didn't spend the extra money on the "love glove." It's probably really nice but I already have a padded sleeve for my laptop and with it on, my computer fits really nicely in that slot.
There is a pocket for everything. Seriously. There are pockets in the front, including the Napoleon pocket which is really nifty. And then the pockets on the inside. AND THEN there is a zippered pocket that has more pockets inside (behind the former inside pockets).
Since I'm a college student, this seemed like a lot of money to dish out for a bag but there are AMAZING deals on Amazon. I bought mine from Amazon Warehouse Deals for only $43.99... Yeah, it's used but as long as you find one that says "like new" it actually looks like new. I can still smell warehouse on it. But, if you aren't happy, you can always return it with Amazon's awesome return policy. So no worries.
Overall this bag is amazing and if you are looking for a durable bag for school, work, beer, babies, what have you, this is the bag for you.
on March 15, 2011
Bought the extra small size. Suspect it is the same details except the size of bag. **addendum: All the pockets are proportionate to the bag size. Just received medium. Pockets are more numerous and larger than XS. Much better for my big hands. Medium is big but not as big as expected. For my 6'2" it is ideal. Shop carefully as you increase size price does not increase proportionately when on sale.
Extra Small size fits my note book if I turn it sideways or put it in the main compartment. Basically this size is like a large purse meaning you do not have room for cloths. Hung it on the car seat backrest next to me. Handy to grab wallet, keys, pens, writing pad, water bottle, calculator, and other small things. When someone else gets in I swing the bag around facing rear seats. Well made in every way.
Liked XS enough to order a Medium size to carry cloths. If I wear shorts and T carry long pants and long sleeve plus wind breaker "in case" weather changes which happens often. These bags well suited to bike or bus travel. People with cars can carry TOO much with ease. Nice for travel or fairs too? When you have too much to leave it all at home take some with you, LOL.
Up to Medium there are good discounts. Large and above seem to stay closer to retail. Medium size is good for a few books and extra cloths. IHMO above medium good for more cloths and other LIGHT BULK. Large and above will cost more per unit space but medium will hold all the books, heavy stuff, carried comfortably. Add a laptop or notebook the weight will be serious weight on your shoulder. Medium makes most sense for price/couple books/warm or cold cloths change/AND lots of small stuff in many pockets.
Of course you will pick the size that you think is best consider this; XS is about 580cu", small is about 730cu"(+25%), medium is about 1590cu"(+220%). Note the last MEDIUM doubles space. It costs me maybe $5 more than small. Next size Large jumps much more (50%?). My cu" (cubic inch) estimates are off because the bags taper bottom to top. However the top flap allows lots of expansion up and out. My size estimates are just for comparison purposes based on listing. MEDIUM is more for the money, if it suits you, than any other unless you find a special deal which come and go fast and in colors you may not like.
Suggestion: prices seem to vary quite a bit from day to day or week to week. Pick you color and size and follow for a couple weeks. Saved me about 40%. It would help to SEE and Touch various sizes before selecting.
on April 1, 2011
I bought the Small Classic Messenger a couple of weeks ago. I'm constantly told how "tiny" I am, standing at 5'3" on a tall day, and the small is huge on me. I thought about getting the medium initially, but it would have been entirely too large of a bag on its own. The bag is extremely well made and durable. The pictures make the bag out to be a lot darker than it is in person. The Empire Red/Graphite bag and its more of a burgundy and almost forest green/gray colored.
I was stuck in a downpour of rain and my umbrella didn't cover the bag, but by the time I got to school (after riding two buses and standing in the rain for ~20 minutes) everything in my bag was completely dry. I carry a 10" netbook and its super snug if I leave the sleeve on and put it in the laptop compartment. This bag will hold my netbook, its charger cords, my algebra textbook, my binder, my makeup bag and my wallet. I didn't like the velcro at first, and almost didn't buy it for that reason, but there are some days I just have too much crap in there to buckle it shut! The velcro comes in handy if you often find yourself carrying more stuff than you intended. I also use it to carry groceries home from the store.
The only reason I gave it 4 is because it has no grab strap. Some days I don't want to deal with slinging it over my shoulder, I'd just like to carry it like a briefcase. I wish there was one you could change into a backpack.
on February 8, 2012
After thinking long and hard about whether this bag would be right for me, I ended up buying the Classic Messenger in Night Blue/Village Violet/Night Blue, size Small. I actually originally got a size Medium in another color, but this color combination and size was better suited to me and my needs.
My biggest debate when buying was size. I originally bought a Medium size bag, but, after filling it and putting it on, I felt it looked way too large on me. I'm 5'8" and a rather larger woman, so I was surprised. It was a bit overpowering when on. It did, however, fit everything I would ever need. Still, I decided to downsize to the Small because it didn't overwhelm my body when I put it on. As long as I don't pack the bag to the gills, my 15-inch Macbook Pro fits in the main pocket. I can also pack all my gym clothes, including a towel, tennis shoes, and a few books for school without trouble. Small is enough. Trust me.
Other than that, it's an extremely functional bag. All the little pockets can sometimes be annoying (where did I put my lotion again?), but they do keep me organized. The velcro closure is very very secure, and adding the clips makes me certain no one can break into my bag without me noticing. I do wish there were a handle on top of the bag, but it's not so much of an annoyance that it really bothers me. The strap is excellent, and fits across my body well, even though I'm a size 22 (this is something many plus size woman have to worry about). I also think this bag is very durable and will last me a very long time. It helps that I love this color combination completely!
Altogether, it's a great bag with lots of pros. The only cons are minor annoyances (no top handle, loud velcro, almost too many pockets) that in no way harm the bag's functionality or my love of it. Truly, this is a great bag!
Amazon seduced me into buying one of these when the size and color (black, medium) I wanted went on sale. Fortunately, the impulse buy proved to be rewarding: these are well-designed, ultra-rugged bags that are meant to be used and abused for years and in all kinds of conditions.
Before buying this one, I had been looking at Chrome, Mission Workshop, and some of the other premium brands' offerings, and while I concluded that Timbuk2 may not *quite* be up to the same level of build quality, the difference is not that great when you factor the difference in price. It's like the difference between a Toyota and a Lexus; the latter has some extra features and greater prestige associated with it, but both types of car are famous for being reliable and well-made. Timbuk2 is like the inexpensive beige Corolla you drive every day for 15 years before you start thinking about replacing it.
The manufacturer does not skimp on materials; it's heavy-duty nylon backed by a waterproof lining, just like Chrome bags, and accordingly, it shrugs off the heaviest rain just as well. I would have no problem with standing outside all day in a downpour with my laptop in this bag.
As for ergonomics, the bag fits like a glove, provided it's sized properly. Just snug up the strap and the bag adheres to your back without sliding around to your side; it fits like a piece of clothing. In this respect, it's almost like a backpack. The medium, which can fit the equivalent of a bag of groceries, is about the maximum practical size for a person of average stature. Realistically, the larger size gets unwieldy, and this is especially true if you tend to get around by bike.