To kick things off a review!
The Timbuk2 Messenger bag as the name suggests was originally built for bicycle messengers carving out a living on two wheels across the cities of the world. Built from ballistic nylon and with a waterproof liner this is a tough bag that has been in production for 19 years.
I have been using this bag for 8 months on my daily commute to work and it has many advantages as a carry all for your average rider and commuter. Messenger bags generally offer similar storage capacities to backpacks but because of their design are less prone to move around when you cycle. The wide strap and pad on the Timbuk2 is comfortable and easily adjustable via the chunky buckle, the bag is secured in place with a smaller cross strap that can be attached to either one of the bottom corners of the bag. This means you can wear the bag over your left or right shoulder depending on your preference and that unclipping the cross strap you can easily access the contents of the back by swinging it round in front of you.
Inside the bag are a number of storage pockets for securing anything loose or valuable such as keys, pens and your mobile phone, although I did find that if the bag wasn’t full my phone tended to slip out of the soft lined ‘mobile’ pocket into the bottom of the bag so a flap to keep it secure would have been a nice touch. However this is a very minor quibble, the bag holds its shape well no matter the amount you are carrying and the large size I have easily holds everything I need for a day at work including my laptop, a change of clothes and my kit for the gym afterwards.
Despite me throwing the back around at home and work and having ridden through the worst of the winters rain and snow the exterior of the back shows little if any wear at all. In addition I’ve had no problems in the wet and the waterproof liner has kept the contents dry at all times. The bag is secured shut by four large strips of Velcro which show no signs of weakening and give me confidence they will continue to work for many years as well as two clips for extra security.
At around £60 for the large bag an extra £10 for the shoulder pad the Timbuk2 is not a cheap option, however it is the bag that I reach for first on most occasions both on and off the bike and one I can see lasting me for many years especially as replacement parts are available should any clips or straps break.