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