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Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag - The Last Bag You'll Ever Need

Updated on October 2, 2014
shay-marie profile image

Shay is a writer and former digital marketer with a knack for falling down Internet research holes.

There are few brands that I would lay down on the train tracks for, and Timbuk2 is one of those brands. These bags are quality. They look great, they've got a ton of fantastic features, and they really do hold up over time. We have got 5 Timbuk2's in our household (my husband has 2 messengers, I have one, and we each have a "Wingman Suitcase"). I don't think I'll ever buy another messenger bag brand in my lifetime.

I first discovered Timbuk2 in 2007 while living in San Francisco, which is where the brand headquarters is. Messenger bags have become amazingly popular, mostly thanks to this company. They're still doing it better than anyone else. Most of my friends from SF have one or more Timbuk2s.

Here's the deal: When you live in a big city, you basically carry everything that you'd put in your car in any given day on your person: I'm talking food, beverages, personal electronics, extra layers, wallets, keys, toiletries, etc. Initially, I used a normal backpack for lugging my life around, but backpacks aren't very stylish for day-to-day use. Most backpacks either make you look like a humpback, a tourist, a student, or a tourist student.

Timbuk2 Messenger Bags look much more streamlined, meaning you won't whack someone in the face when you turn around in tight spaces (buses, airports, trains, the mall on Christmas Eve...). It really is the perfect travel bag as well, because it's harder for thieves and pick-pockets to access, plus you can swing it around and carry it on your chest. Lastly, the Classic Timbuk2 Messenger is the ideal bag for bicyclists. They even have (discreet) reflector tags on them.

If you're a guy, the Timbuk2 Classic Messenger is the "manly man purse" you've been looking for. The classic messenger (which is the one I own) is a a unisex bag, so it's great for both men and women. They come in a ton of color options, and 5 sizes. I recommend a size small or medium for most folks, but if you're super petite lady, you might want to opt for the extra small size (which fits a tablet). FYI, I'm 5'5" with a petite frame, and I don't feel like the size small classic messenger overwhelms me. As for color, you can't go wrong with the all black one.

I purchased mine 2008, but in 2010, Timbuk2 updated and upgraded their classic messenger. The newer one is seriously cool and making me froth at the mouth. Like the one I have, the classic messenger is made of ballistic nylon with a waterproof liner. Yes, it's actually waterproof. I've worn mine out in the San Francisco rain on many occasions with no issues. The classic messenger has a few zippered pockets up front, and a hidden zippered pocket you can slip your hand in and access while the bag is buckled shut. (What is this wizardry!?) On the inside, you'll find an organizer for all your little stuff, including a tether for your keys, plus a sleeve that fits a laptop like a champ (the small fits a 13 inch Mac laptop).

All Timbuk2 bags have a lifetime warranty.

TIMBUK2 Wingman Carry-On Travel Bag, Black, Medium
TIMBUK2 Wingman Carry-On Travel Bag, Black, Medium
This bag is a multi-tasker. I have a Timbuk2's Wingman suitcase it can really fit a lot of stuff. It has pockets on the sides that are great for shoes, straps on the inside (just like a normal suitcase) and a padded pocket in the back that's great for laptops. It also has backpack straps built in (and easily tucked away) so you can carry it like a suitcase, a messenger, or a backpack. It's good for weekend or overnight trips, and it's also an ideal airplane carry-on. You can pry mine out of my cold dead hands.
Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag Review (+MJ)
Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag Review (+MJ)

I unearthed this photo, taken circa 2009 at the California State Fair with my trusty Timbuk2 Messenger in tow. And yes, I am really REALLY excited about Michael Jackson's chair swing ride. Don't Judge Me.

Timbuk2 D-Lux Laptop Messenger Bag (Grey/Cold Blue, Small)
Timbuk2 D-Lux Laptop Messenger Bag (Grey/Cold Blue, Small)
This souped up messenger is the way to go if you've got a laptop you want to baby. It is very similar to the classic messenger, but it has a padded laptop/tablet compartment built in, plus a zippered pocked in the back for easy access. The one pictured here is an amazing grey tweed pattern (ooo!). There's a great review of it in the videos below.

The video below is a review of the D-Lux Laptop Messenger Bag (size Small). It's basically an upgraded version of the classic messenger.


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    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      6 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Quite intriguing. I want one now so I can find the hidden compartment. Looks like it could be great for travel too, which would be good since school is out of me. I always enjoy the humor in your lenses.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have loved this brand for years! And, the whimsical name is pretty cool too. You know, there are so many great manufacturers of messenger bags, laptop bags, and backpacks that there is surely one to suit everybody's needs.

    • Susan300 profile image


      6 years ago

      Comment just before me is about "what's in your bag", and advert right above is for the Epilator. Now I'm picturing people in SF running around with rip-it-out-by-the-root hair-removal devices filling their messenger bags, LOL!! Seriously though, that is a super-cool bag. It's time to upgrade the backpack!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am a huge fan of Timbuk2 bags! Have you checked out their blog? I can spend a lot of time there. I have two of their bags and I'm hoping to get a third in the summer.:)

    • profile image

      sierradawn lm 

      6 years ago

      An excellent review of an excellent product! You have sold me!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Style and utility. Just what I need.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      6 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Thanks for this great review Hope you have a great Day.....

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 

      6 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

      Great review. Sounds like a trusty bag to own. I like that it's waterproof, too.

    • shay-marie profile imageAUTHOR

      Shay Marie 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      @favored: They come in so many colors too. If you don't see something you like, be sure to check out their website.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      6 years ago from USA

      My sister could have used this when she lived in the city. Great bag and she loves pink.

    • marcuskay profile image

      Marc Khoury 

      6 years ago from Lebanon - UAE

      Great and fun review. Had my eyes set on one for quite a while. You gave me that extra push over the edge. Cheers!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image

      Dawn Romine 

      6 years ago from Nebraska

      Just found my son's Christmas present, I'll be back, as they say

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      7 years ago from GRENADA

      Excellent review! You've made me feel like I am seriously missing out on something.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the inspiring review. I can see how this stylish bag is handy dandy!

    • shay-marie profile imageAUTHOR

      Shay Marie 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      @MerylV: The bigger ones can feel bulky if you have a smaller body (I feel silly carrying my husband's size medium bag - mine is a small), but Timbuk2 does make a lot of products that are more streamlined/feminine than the classic messenger. Quite a few of them are marketed specifically as "female" bags. I myself cannot do a laptop tote because of my bum shoulder, but do you know what brand it was?

    • MerylV profile image

      Meryl van der Merwe 

      7 years ago from USA

      I have one ... it has lasted well but I must say as a woman I find it very bulky and regret getting it. My daughter got a tote with a laptop pouch (not Timbuk2) and that is so much nicer to carry.

    • RoadMonkey profile image


      7 years ago

      Great review. I am one of the backpacker crew - I carry a rucksack with me to university. Didn't think anything else would carry all my stuff but it looks like I could get one of these when my rucksack wears out (It's over 12 years' old).

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Looks like you could even use one of these for those celebrity style pet carriers. With the secret pockets, nobody would even know you were smuggling dogs. Fun product review. Can't wait to see what you do next.

    • shay-marie profile imageAUTHOR

      Shay Marie 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      @mastemga: Timbuk2 does have a "Power Commute Laptop Messenger Bag" which includes a charging unit. Is that what you mean?

    • mastemga profile image


      7 years ago

      Looks like a great bag, do they have a powered version?

    • jeffersuan profile image


      7 years ago

      oops...typo. They are great...

    • shay-marie profile imageAUTHOR

      Shay Marie 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      @getmoreinfo: Woo, they are. Thanks for stopping by!

    • shay-marie profile imageAUTHOR

      Shay Marie 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      @smine27: Thank you!

    • shay-marie profile imageAUTHOR

      Shay Marie 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      @Lorelei Cohen: Laptop bags are usually pretty ugly, right? Plus, you can only use 'em for laptops!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Awesome review!

    • shay-marie profile imageAUTHOR

      Shay Marie 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the review on these messenger bags they look really sturdy and of good quality.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      7 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      this is such a great review!

    • profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago

      I use a messenger bag to carry my laptop and I love it. It is covered in a floral design and just so much nicer than I could find in other laptop bags. Tons of pockets for other belongings too. I love it.


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