Timbuk2, born and raised in San Francisco, has built a solid reputation for producing bags that don’t bow down to a challenge. Timbuk2 was started in 1989, and isn’t going anywhere but up here in 2005.
I got my greasy little hands on the Timbuk2 Commute Laptop Messenger Bag. My precious little iBook 12” needs a comfy safe stylish traveling pack, and Timbuk2’s Commute was up to the challenge. I was going to enjoy putting this laptop carrying case through the *patent pending* LIVEdigitally Laptop Carrying Case Obstacle Course
The obstacle course consists of 5 tests:
1.) Capacity Test: Can the case hold everything needed for a trip with my laptop?
2.) One Hour Endurance Test: I will load the case with all my necessary items, and wear it for one hour. How do I feel after that hour?
3.) Water Test: Loaded with dry cardboard, I will douse the bag with water to simulate a rainy environment. Is the cardboard wet afterwards?
4.) Function vs. Style Test: Does this case suit both needs of looking cool while getting the job done.
5.) The Female Test: I will ask three separate girls what they think of the bag, does it make me look good? –if they answer yes, I may get some phone numbers! (bonus)
I made a cardboard iBook to use for the water test, this time I cut out an apple logo. Shoot me, I’m a geek.
Upon receiving the bag, I scanned it over and initially noticed that this bag has pockets. I’m not talking 4-5 pockets and compartments, this bag has an army of pockets. The timbuk2 bags have a urban warrior aura to them. The rugged exterior and the vibrant colors distinguish their design.
The back of the bag has a nice rugged padding for the contact point between your hip/back and the bag. There is a compartment behind this padding that allows for quick access to the bag, instead of unclipping the plastic quick connect buckles and unvelcroing the overhanging flap.
I quickly loaded up the bag with Rebecca (my iBook) and her peripherals, and hit the streets! The bag made me feel hip, suave, ready for action, and kept my baby Rebecca as snug as a bug in a rug. Walking the tough streets of San Francisco was no match for our hero (me) compliments of the Commute bag.
relaxing and looking good was on my agenda today, and as you can see this was accomplished. The bag came with me to work each day, and fit everything I need, and a bag of chips, and a carton of milk, with extra cheese, and still had room for more. This bag asked to be filled up with goodies.
Initially, I did not notice how useful the quick adjust latch would be until I hit the streets. It was unnecessary to adjust the strap length for taking the bag off and putting it on. But I did use it for traveling purposes. When getting on the bus, I’d quickly undo the belt latch, adjust the shoulder strap to a longer length, and plop the bag on my lap. As soon as I got off the bus, whip the bag around, quick adjust the strap. Bam, ready to go.
The belt that I mentioned earlier is the messenger bag fault savior. Messenger bags have a resonant frequency of my fast walk. As soon as I start into an almost-jog, the messenger bag starts bouncing like a jumping bean. It’s either a full on jog or a medium paced walk, no middle ground. The Timbuk2 designers gave some thought to this bag, and here’s one of those bowls of pudding. The belt is removable for those who aren’t keen on messenger bag fast walking. I however, quickly fell in love with the ability to quick adjust my shoulder strap, and fasten the belt for a backpack-like tight fit.
I slapped my 14” Dell Inspiron 600m in the padded corduroy lined velcro secured bag, with room to spare. I’m not sure a 17” laptop would fit so nice, but a 15” would slide in with no problem. The bag was almost overkill for my petite 12” iBook. Regardless, both of my laptops fit with plenty of room for accessories, toys, trash, and a complete collection of Milton Bradely board games.
With so much carrying power, I was tempted to fill up with useless goodies. Too many items in this bag turned out to be a huge issue 15 minutes after constant wearing. The fault is in the strap. A thin nylon braided strap holds the Commute by my waist. The strap is unpadded and uncomfortable. If I were to only carry my iBook, power cable, and bluetooth mouse then the strap would stand up to the one hour test. With only those three items in the bag, it would appear to an observer that I was carrying an empty bag.
The list of positives for this bag is as large as the capacity to carry things. I liked the adjustable strap, the look, the fact that I could carry not one, but two nalgene bottles, the padded backing, comfortable tote handle, belt clip, plethora of pockets, padded corduroy laptop compartment secured with a thick Velcro strap, and the list goes on.
Wrap-up and Breakdown:
Would I buy this bag?: yes, it’s a bit high in price, but you get what you pay for holds true in this case.
Does this bag do the job?: Definitely, even more. But I wish the strap was padded so it could do the job longer, more comfortably.
How Many girls hit on me because of the bag?: none, I don’t think it’s the bag’s fault.
Niftiest feature: the quick release adjuster, loved it.
Was Rebecca (my iBook) happy?: She has found a lifelong friend, no doubt.
And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, freaks and geeks, results for the LIVEdigitally Laptop Carrying Case Obstacle Course
1.) Capacity Test: Picked up this test, chewed it up, spit it out, and then slam dunked it while yelling “in your face”.
2.) One Hour Endurance Test: Tested at 1/3 capacity (my laptop and all her accessories) this bag did ok, but at 75%-100% capacity this would have really been a tough test to finish for mr. shoulders.
3.) Water Test: See for yourself! If a picture is worth 1000 words, and video is 32 pictures per second… (~960,000 words)
4.) Function vs. Style: Not much of a sophisticated look to this bag, no suit and tie attire allowed. Street and casual clothing are perfect.
5.) Female Test: “cute”, “fun”, and “cute” were my three responses. I’m guessing the bag is real cute, with a touch of fun. I did not get any phone numbers. One girl did say she’d give me her phone number if I gave her my bag. Ha, I liked the bag too much.
Thanks to Timbuk2 for supporting this review.