Timbuk2 Command Laptop Backpack11 June 2019
Photo: Andy Crouch
I recently brought a new laptop bag for day to day use. I had previously switched to a slimline messenger bag as I have been trying to carry less. My commute has extended by 40 minutes over the last year on days I go to the office. I have found that I actually need to carry slightly more to keep me amused and to see me through one or two days. For these reasons and the fact Sam, our cat, decided to pee on my previous bag it was time for a new one.
For a long time, I have been looking at Timbuk2 bags. Started in 1989, Timbuk2 initially started by selling quality messenger bags for cycle couriers. These days they have widened their range. I have heard many people that I know (and some I don’t) recommend these bags. They have a reputation of lasting and being hard wearing while retaining a unique look. They also have a reputation for lots of pockets.
To be honest I missed a good backpack after a year with a slim messenger. After a little browsing, I opted to order a Command Backpack in Jet Black.
I have now been using the bag for a little over 2 months and it’s fair to say it’s worth every penny. The bag states it can hold up to 30 litres but I have yet to fill it to capacity. There is a main compartment which I use for packing a hoodie, 2-litre bottle of water, project books, reading books and protein bottles. There is still a lot of room left. There is a second main compartment with several organiser pockets and pen and cable organisers. On the front, there is a small easy access pouch and a Tricot lined glasses compartment.
The main laptop compartment is placed on the back of the bag and unzips on three sides. It is Tricot lined and will hold up to a 15” laptop. I suspect this really means a 15” Mac but my current daily driver which is a 15.6” PC Specialist laptop does just fit. It was tight though. When you unzip the compartment there is also a small section for a tablet or a small notebook. To be honest this is where one of the negative aspects of the bag is to be found. I get that the design is TSA compliant but that is little comfort when trying to get your laptop out in a crowded train. Due to the three-sided zip and the weight of the main bag, it can be awkward to get the compartment shut. This is especially true when you have only one hand or if you have a travel mug or bottle in the side pouch. I have learned to master it but it took time.
The other negative point is the compression straps on the bottom of the bag. They are there to “pull in” the bag if you are not using all the available space. Unfortunately, this means that there is no bottom for the bag to stand on. Not a big issue but it took a little getting used to and a few bag tips.
This Command is comfortable. The shoulder straps are wide and so should fit most body shapes. Even fully loaded I don’t feel the bag is heavy. I really like this bag. It has more than enough space while being practical and it comes with a lifetime warranty. Barring the need to get used to the different positioning and zip system of the laptop compartment I would recommend this bag.