As someone who has purchased plenty of new gear specifically for travel I can tell you that you most likely don’t actually need to buy many new things before you go abroad. One of the most tempting purchases to make before studying abroad is a new book bag. In this series of articles we’ll run through some of the most popular bags on the market and help you decide which, if any, you really need to pick up.
I drooled over Timbuk2 bags for a while before I got mine. They have a cult following of trendy nerds who need to get things done and almost always get from place A to B in style. The bags themselves come in a range of sizes and styles and are totally customizable if purchased online, which I find both fun and exceptionally daunting. For this review I’ll be talking about the Medium laptop messenger bag.
Well Constructed: I’ve lugged my bag through a lot of places (and a lot of weather) and it has never even pretended to fall apart.
Waterproof: My bag has been rained on and spilled on and my stuff remained safe. Although, since the bag closes with Velcro and buckles as opposed to having a full zipper closure, I’d still be a bit wary in bad weather.
Dedicated (sturdy) Laptop Pocket: The laptop section of this bag is very padded, sturdy, and feels protected. This is extremely important if you’re planning on using this bag as your carry on (which I have) and are worried about kicking your laptop while it’s under the seat in front of you (which I’ve done).
Front Organizational Pocket: The organizational pocket on a Timbuk2 is truly a thing of beauty. Most “organizational” pockets on bags seem kind of thrown on as an afterthought, but not on this bag. It has several pouches and pockets for keys, pens, usb keys, bus passes, toothbrushes, and anything else you could carry with you. In addition, there is an organizational area on the front of the bag for easy access. All in all, it is large and functional and I have utilized it’ marvelous organizational properties on many occasions.
It’s Really Big: I used to assume that Timbuk2 bags looked so gigantic because they were stuffed with precious documents, now I know they look (and feel) big even when carrying just a laptop, journal, wallet, and sweater. That may sound like a lot of stuff, but it’s actually minimalistic when it comes to school gear and airplane carry-ons.
Shopping: It will cost you 140-160 USD to get a fully customized, tricked out laptop messenger bag, but, there are plenty of places you can order pre-designed ones for much less (including directly from the timbuk2 website). If you’re interested in getting a Timbuk2 but not in spending over $100 to do it, I suggest heading over to your favorite outdoor gear shop and seeing what they have to offer. Also, be sure to pay attention to the size of the bag you’re ordering. Timbuk2 bags come in a variety of sizes and it would be a shame to pick out your dream bag only to realize that your laptop won’t fit inside.
Would I Recommend it?: It’s a really good bag but not the end all be all travel bag that I once thought it was.