Sunday, February 22, 2009

Timbuk2 messenger bag

I've been looking for a good messenger bag for a long while. Usually I take my backpack on bike rides, it's a real good Jansport hiking pack, but I've had a bad accident with that one, which left holes in it making it no longer rain proof. And hauling a big backpack on city streets seems a little dorky, shouting out either "I am a nerd" or "I am a collage student". Well, as the story goes, I happened to notice some bank that's giving out free messenger bags to people for opening checking accounts with them last year. The bag looks nice, and opening an account cost nothing, so I went with it. The free bag lasted for just a month and then all the compartments inside started to fall apart...... at least the main structure was intact so nothing is falling out, but it already looked like a nasty bag made out of old dirty rags.

So, I started my search for a real messenger bag that doesn't fall apart. Timbuk2 bags seemed to be the most common ammong bikers on Philly streets, and the quality really feels nice. So after a long half year wait for some store to offer them on sell, I finaly found it at Performance bike's winter clearance sell, and here it is.

This tag truely shows it's designed with urban bikers in mind. As seen in the previous picture, there's 2 reflective strips for your safety around town, really useful although definatly doesn't mean you can ignore crazy drivers.

The whole inside is a big white water proof layer of plastic.

The back of the bag look pretty much the same.

"Legendary Quality" well, I'll see about that in the future, but all the on line reviews point out that this bag is "close to indestructible". I hope they are true.

There's this huge organizer attachment at the front side of the inside. The small pouch the the left has an inner coating that prevents scratching your precious gadgets, yet that pouch is so small I can't fit my phone nor music player in there. Mind you, my Walkman is about the same size of an iPod nano, and my phone is not a smartphone either.

There's a neat red key strap inside the largest zippered comapartment, but I prefer to keep my keys with me, so not so useful for me. There's also a wrapped up support strap in this compartment for fastening the bag to your body if the shoulder strap didn't provide enough stability.

The other side of the instructions card in that support strap package.

The reflector straps are detachable in case you don't want them swinging around when not on the road.

After a week's use I am most impressed by the fabric of the bag. The outer cloth of normal bags tend to absorb water and mud, and thus after just 10 minutes of in-the-rain riding, you've got a really dirty splatered bag with black spots all over. Some of the stuff might not be just mud but some dark oilly stuff that would take a huge amount effort to get off absorptive cloth, as with my previous free bag. Will the Timbuk2 bag has dirt/water repelling fabic on the outside, and I was surprised when just with a simple brush of a hand, I've cleared off all the dirt and it's still shinny. I tried washing the bag with water, and water just formed little droplets on the fabric, with absolutly no absorption. This is so handy, and it is not even advertised on the tags!

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