Timbuk2 : Mogwai

Pros Awesome construction. Sturdy heavy-duty ballistic nylon. Fantastic laptop protection with a padded removable sleeve. Outside mobile phone pocket!
Cons Handles on both the messenger bag and laptop sleeve are kinda flimsy.

Timbuk2 : Mogwai » Bag Review

For sometime I’ve been rseeing some competition in the news groups between Waterfield Design and Timbuk2. If you browse these reviews you all know I am a BIG fan of Waterfield Design. I think they make some of the best messenger bags for laptops in the world. If Waterfield Design has any competition it is, most definatly, from Timbuk2. Geez the Timbuk2 bags are some great bags!

I called Timbuk2 to request a sample for review. Bagreview.com isn’t famous enough for manufacturer’s to call me. I have to do all the leg work. Anyway, they said yes and I asked if I could build it through their site. Again they said yes. Let me clarify. The Timbuk2 site is a flash (ot HTML) based site where you actually choose the colors, size, extras, you want and, three days later, your vision is reality. it really rocks!

So there I am. I order green and silver colors on the outside. Orange shoulder strap pad. And to carry the orange inside the bag I chose an orange laptop sleeve. I also added all the pocket variations and only left out some minor stuff that I knew I would never use.

The flap closes with both velcro and snap buckles. Under the flap there are two small pockets flsnked by pockets that don’t zipper close. I carried my Visor Edge in onem and a pen in the zippered pocket and my cables/cords in one of the flank pockets.

Inside there is one main compartment divided into two sections. One for the laptop inside it’s sleeve and one for stuff. Sewn in the inside front of the bag are like 9 smaller pockets. You know, pens, business cards, CD-ROMs, ZIP Disks. There is also a key holder in here.

On the back of the bag there is stiff padding which zips to reveal another compartment and several baby compartments (pockets).

There is one feature that makes Timbuk2’s messenger bags stand out above all others. Way above. You see, I like getting “extra” for my money. Like when you buy a ski jacket and the lining zips out, and the ouiter shell reverses. It’s like getting three jackets in one. These bags are the same way. Curious yet? Well here it is. The divider that creates the laptop compartment is removable. Yes, you can take it out. “So what” you say. Think about it. Not only are you getting one of the best laptop messenger bags made on the planet, it can be converted to a regular messenger bag. It’s like two bags for the price of one. Put the divider in, carry a laptop. Take the divider out, have a classic messenger bag. I have never seen theis before but I love it.

Now, some of you may be wondering “which is better, the Waterfield Design or the Timbuk2”? I am not gonna say if I like one better than the other. I couldn’t. I will say there are aspects I like and dislike of both.

Timbuk2: I like designing my own bag. I like the laptop sleeve and removable divider! I also like the feel and the fact that the bag stands on it’s own. I don’t particularly like the way the shoulder strap attatches to the bag. I don’t like the fact there is no flap pocket. It would be a nice touch.

Waterfield: I like airline seatbelt buckle. I think it’s WAAAAAY cool. I like the pocket on the front outside of the flap. Very Handy. I also like the rear pocket.

Let me say this...both the Timbuk2 and the Waterfield are awesome bags that will serve faithfully for years to come. On the chart of better/worse, you are not moving up and down, you are moving laterally. One is no better or worse than the other. Just different.

If you are looking for a high-end, top level laptop messenger bag, this is it. Go to the site, “design” your own, and wait impatiently for 2-4 days. These bags are a good size and not too heavy. I have had a very hard time giving mine up.