30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Nice casual bag, but buckles are problematic,
This review is from: Thule Crossover TCMB-115 15.4-Inch Macbook/Pro/Air or PC Messenger Bag (Black) (Personal Computers)
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I have a nubmer of different laptop bags that fit my 15" MacBook Pro, most of which are made by Timbuk2. I have both the messenger style and a backpack style, which Thule also makes.
The Thule messenger bag is very stylish. It's been crafted with an eye toward design, and that much is obvious in just looking at it. It's a beautiful bag made with heavy-duty quality materials. I like that this bag is an understated black--it looks dressier than its Timbuk2 counterpart. The two problems I have with the Thule bag are the lack of pocket organization and the buckles used to close the bag. Both of these issues aren't a problem for the Timbuk2 bags I own.
At first glance, this bag looks well organized. A slightly padded rear compartment with a velcro latch houses your laptop. Although the padding is not excessive, I don't have any qualms about it. I feel my laptop is safe enough in there as long as I don't throw it around--pretty much like any other laptop bag you might find. On the other side of this zippered compartment is a mesh pocket that might be used for folders or documents. Under the main flap is a thin zippered pocket with a soft interior where you might put CDs or DVDs. There's a phone holster with a velcro strap specificially for iPhone-type devices, and two other pockets that are very slim. I can't fathom what one might put in these pockets... business cards? Next to them is a single pen holster. I carry at least four or five pens with me at all times, so this is a gross oversight in my opinion! Inside the main compartment is a zippered mesh interior pocket and the main compartment. Normally, I put my notebooks and books, iPad, etc. in the main compartment, but I haven't figured out what to put in the two zippered compartments. They aren't deep or wide enough to hold power cables or chargers, so those have to go in the main compartment. The design is just a little awkward when it comes to organization and I'm not certain I like it.
While the buckle closures are certainly well made and nice looking, they are just too awkward to close on the fly. Heaven forbid you have to open your bag and close it in a hurry, because you simply cannot close the buckles without putting the bag down and manually sliding the metal hooks into the extremely tiny loops of webbing. I much prefer Timbuk2's quick release buckles for ease of use, or even SealLine's stretch hook closure. Thule's buckles look nice, but man, they are a pain! Not to mention they do a great job of scratching the paint when you put the bag in the car...
Also, because it doesn't have a cross strap, you can forget about riding your bike with this over one shoulder. It's made for casual use, not commuting, which is a shame, because it looks like the interior is nearly waterproof!
The one other nice addition to this bag, outside of the travel-friendly laptop compartment, is the grab handle sewn into the bag. It's sometimes more convenient to pick the bag up by a shorter handle rather than the long strap. I do like this bag, and I'll undoubtedly continue to use it, but the detractors make it more of a casual messenger bag than an actual functional one.
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Initial post: Dec 25, 2014 10:54:14 PM PST
On the closures , I developed two solutions. The first is to take a jewelers hack saw and make the the space on the aluminum fastener just a smidgen wider than 1/8". If you do that it is much easier to use and close 'on the fly'. One another one that I own, I took it to a clothing alterations shop and had them remove the aluminum fastener and install parachute clips. They're quick release and work well, also.
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