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Friday, March 02, 2018

Review: Timbuk2 Command TSA Messenger Bag

I really like my Quora-Top-Writer issued Half-Mass messenger bag. It's light, roomy (I can carry Bowen's blanket, lunch box, and accouterments to school for him, so he can ride his single bike unloaded). However, it has one fatal flaw, which is that it's not waterproof.

I found an older model of the Timbuk2 Command Laptop TSA messenger bag on eBay for a decent price, and figured, why not. It's supposedly waterproof, and I got a small, having complained that the Quora bag was too big. The biggest difference between the old and the new as far as I can tell is that the buckles have been replaced by a hook/loop (not velcro) system.

When it arrived, I was dismayed to find that it was heavy: much heavier than the Half-Mass, which isn't surprising, since it actually is waterproof, and that doesn't come for free. I'm sure the TSA exterior zip-pocket for a laptop doesn't come light, either. The main (non-laptop) compartment is also messily subdivided into lots of little pockets with zippers, velcro pockets, etc. It's nice for organization, but I don't think I need to be that organized. The extra pockets also make it hard to use, and I'd prefer one big compartment so I can just dump Bowen's blankets, lunchbox, etc. It also didn't come with a side-stabilizer strap. An e-mail to Timbuk2, however, solved that problem: they asked me for a few pictures and sent me a side stabilizer strap almost immediately.

I recently got caught in the rain and verified that yes, the inside of the bag stayed dry even though I'd gotten soaked. It's heavy, however, so I'm not sure I'd use it unless it's raining. I don't know how bike messengers use this bag all day.  I think I'd recommend the Patagonia Half-mass over this except for the waterproofing, and of course, any of the Carradice saddlebags for day to day use.
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