The original Timbuk2 messenger improved by 25 years of expertise.
Refined Update, Minor Concerns
Pros: Attractive, Roomy , Lightweight
Cons: Wears quickly
Best Uses: Day Trips, Airplane travel
Describe Yourself: Practical, Classic, Stylish, Modern
Was this a gift?: No
In San Francisco for the weekend, I took the opportunity to check out the new version of the classic messenger at the Hayes St. store. Fortunately for me, they had the dusk blue/ yellow stripe bag in stock, and I spent an inordinate amount of time deciding whether or not to purchase.
Eventually (after taking a 20 minute walk to think it over), I did purchase the new version in extra small. For one thing, I love the new, refined look. It is crisp and streamlined in appearance. The Cordura makes it lighter and supple against the body. I really appreciate the way it wears on me. The narrower, much more flexible strap is a great improvement, and I am glad that the bag’s dimensions and carrying capacity are unchanged.
And yet. Two reasons I had to take a walk to think over the purchase: the lack of Napoleon pocket (my favorite Timbuk2 feature), and the redesigned buckle. I had my doubts about this feature, and three days of non-stop walking later, my concerns were valid. While I can appreciate the reason for putting a smaller, quieter clip on the lighter, looser strap, the buckle itself is a bit too trigger-happy for my taste. That is to say, one accidental bump and whooosh! down slides the strap, and down goes the bag from my back to the lowest point on my hip. Since the strap is sewn at both ends, the bag is not going to fall off, but at the same time, I don’t like my bag to slip at unexpected moments. I wrestled with it constantly for three days. The length is oddly short as well. I am 5’3, and it the bag sits at lowest point of my hip at the strap’s furthest length.
Another quibble is the non-removable strap pad. Though much better than the previous version, it is not a great pad, and I would like the option of switching it out with one of my third-party pads when necessary.
One possibly more serious issue is with the new fabric. The corner of the bag that was against my side has some loose thread already. Not sure if this is just where the ‘Cordura’ label is stitched in, or if it is something at the seam. I only noticed it this morning, and need to take a closer look.
I do like the bag, and do not regret the purchase. Hopefully this nicer looking, lighter weight classic extra small messenger will be as reliable and durable as my others.