Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Timbuk2 Swig Laptop Backpack

Originally submitted at Timbuk2

My Swig after 12 miles of riding Chicago streets in pouring rain

The Timbuk2 Esales set up is pretty cool. After your purchase it asks you to review the product (pretty standard for esales nowadays) and after you review you can take the HTML code for your blog!

That said, you should buy your Timbuk2 at Fleet Feet Sports - Chicago (shameless plug).

Here's my review plus a few additional thoughts:

I've been using this bag for bike commuting and grocery shopping for about 2 weeks now.

So far I've really appreciated the bag's relatively low profile and super comfortable fit (thanks to articulated shoulder straps). I've been able to stuff a ton of groceries in the bag thanks to the messenger-inspired flap closure which helps expand the bags capacity significantly. I've also been able to stick an Addaday Ultra Roller into the bag with one end peeking out (a great race day feature)!

I also really like the loop on the back that lets my slide my LED light onto the bag without fear of losing it.

I haven't had to use it yet, but I think the side access laptop compartment is pretty awesome as it is totally a pain to carry-on with a laptop buried in its sleeve in your bag. The zippered side access port makes it easy to slip it in and out at airport security checkpoints.

Finally I dig that I don't have to travel with a dry bag anymore. I got caught in pouring rain today and thanks to the waterproof flap closure most of my stuff was kept dry. The area underneath the loop holding my taillight is not waterproof so some of my stuff got wet. If it wasn't raining as hard and if I didn't have the closure opened up for groceries, I think things would have been fine.

4out of 5
Pros: Roomy, Zippered Side Access, Crazy Durable, Comfortable, Sweet Color Blocking, Some Waterproofing

My biggest gripe with this bag is that there is only one water bottle pocket and it is on the left side which makes it hard for me to grab without taking the bag off. This is particularly annoying as my bike doesn't have a water bottle cage.

The other problem I have with this bag is because of the messenger-inspired Velcro/buckle closure it is time consuming to stash your stuff on the go. They've tried to address this with two zippered side access pockets, but the way I use the bag, the pockets (which are on the right side of the bag when you're wearing it on your back) aren't easily accessible. I've resorted to leaving the left buckle undone and relying on the Velcro closure in order to be able to get my U-lock in and out more quickly.

Cons: Blocks Peripheral Vision, Easy Access Pockets Aren't Ambidextrous, Could Use an Additional External Water Bottle Pocket

Best Uses: Travel, Race Day, Commuting, Cycling, Groceries, Computer

What'd you think of this review?

Since I write about gear for a living, I'm not sure how many of these I'll be posting, but I do hope to write reviews from time-to-time.

I no longer write about gear so I feel more free to write gear reviews. What should I review next?

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