Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Courier Bag Review
The Timbuk2 Classic Messenger bag is a product that has evolved into the current version over a period of 20 years. Looking back into the Timbuk2 archives reveals that the same tricolour design hasn’t changed at all either. Even the colours used way back in 1992 could quite easily be a representative of today’s palette. What a fantastic endorsement for the 1992 original that it has undergone only a number of design tweeks, rather than a complete ground-up overhaul, in two decades. The Land Rover Defender of bags!
So, what you get now is fully developed, fully functioning product that is tough, versatile and can hold it’s own in any social situation. It’s a loyal, take anywhere bag that will, in time, become your best friend. The Classic Messenger is a do anything workhorse of a bag with zips and pockets for every item that you need to store whilst in transit.
Construction of the bag is a durable nylon exterior with a bright acid green waterproof liner. In the six months that we tested the bag both layers proved to be both durable and waterproof when the rain came down. The only time that we got any water ingress was when it was full to the max and the messenger flap not secured properly with the ample velcro strips. User error.
Timbuk2 makes a big song and dance about the chunky ‘TrueFit cam buckle’. Proper use of which dictates – Unclick cam > Fit bag over head > Click cam > Hey presto perfect fit! I found myself adjusting the cam depending on my usage – shorter straps on the bike and slightly longer when walking. Horses for courses. One thing to note is that cam buckle is huge and that might be a minor issue with people of slighter build proportions.
Where do you start with the pockets and zips and compartments? Well, there’s lots. Apart from the large divider / slash pocket at the back of bag which could accommodate a laptop or iPad, all of the other storage options are built into the front face of the bag. At the front there’s 3 colour coded organiser pockets and a handy, zipped Napoleon pocket which you can access without opening the main flap. The top zip pocket has a secure key leash for those who lose their keys regularly.¬†Inside the front face there is a large zipped document sleeve and storage for pens plus other compartments, including two with a softer material texture.
Before you ‘Add to Cart’ have a look good at the bag dimensions¬†and make sure that your chosen size meets your needs. Our test bag is 49cm wide and 20cm deep but is a size MEDIUM. My feeling on first inspection was that we had got sent a LARGE. But the ‘L’ was a perfect size for our requirements – easily swallowing up a 15-inch laptop, SLR cameras, clothes and toiletries for a weekend away, and a full set of cycing gear and helmet when off the bike. Not all together, I’d add. I found it to be the perfect size for hand luggage on a short haul flight with enough space for magazines, water and overnight clobber.
If I have any criticism about this excellent bag, it’s that when fully loaded the shoulder strap can dig into your shoulder a bit. For the few pence or cents that it would cost, why don’t Timbuk2 add a bit more padding to the strap pad cushion?
The Classic Messenger comes with a ‘Cross Strap’ that works really well in it’s mission to stop the bag moving around your body when riding your bike or running for a train. Of course the additional strap can be stowed onboard in any of the pockets or compartments. The ‘Cross Strap’ fits be means of a karabina to metal ring at one end and velcro at the other, fixing around the shoulder strap.
For library users – opening the Classic Messenger makes an absolute racket. For those who like drawing attention to themselves in crowded spaces this will be a complete bonus.
So, there you have it, probably the best and most versatile messenger bag that you will ever own, which will be made even better with a few extra millimetres of foam padding on the shoulder strap cushion.
Full details of the Classic Messenger and all Timbuk2 products plus their retailer network can be found on the website.
Bikesoup.cc rating – 9/10
Price – ¬£69.99