Now I’m not one to be seduced by cheap gimmicks, but the Timbuk2 Chug Laptop Backpack has a bottle opener on its strap. You heard.
If that alone is not enough to convince you that you want this bag, then I guess you should continue reading the rest of the review…
Ok, this bag is very affordable. Many people often lament, myself included, at the cost of cycling clothes and accessories – especially if you want something towards the more stylish, lycraless end of the market. An RRP of £30 isn’t bad, but Timbuk2 are now offering this practical bag at a very reasonable £22.50.
So what’s this bag for?
As the name suggests, this backpack is recommended for popping in your laptop while you ride around. Inside, it contains a plethora of pockets – many with seals/zips including one which will comfortable fit a laptop up to 15 inches. There’s also a larger rear pocket for any notebooks/documents/magazines you tend to carry, as well as smaller pockets that I found useful for keeping any random bits and bobs I for some reason decide to carry about.
On the exterior of the bag is two pockets, one stretch pocket on the side that I tend to keep my passport in (although can be suitable for water/beer bottles) and an easy access zipped pocket on the front.
Quality and comfort?
Prior to getting hold of this Timbuk2 backpack, I’d been using a pretty basic big red Adidas backpack (costing around the same price). It wasn’t until I started using the Timbuk2 bag that I realised how poor the Adidas bag was in comparison. While the Adidas bag tended to weigh down at the bottom of my bag, had straps that dug into my shoulders and cause an incredibly sweaty back, its Timbuk2 peer was a sanctuary of comfort and convenience.
The straps, adorning the previously mentioned bottle opener, provide much stability and meshy comfort to my shoulders – regardless of the load carried – as well as minimising unwanted back sweats. They are much thicker and spongier than the Adidas counterpart and also have several strips that you can tuck your thumbs into if you like to walk around wearing a backpack in the fashion of an eager schoolboy (or like to attach lights/extra reflectors to your bag).
The bag actually possesses an almost slim-fit style in the way it is constructed. Some bags tend to stretch and be bottom-heavy when you fully pack them (especially when I’ve stocked up on baked beans from Morrisons) causing an uneven weight distribution and therefore more pressure on your shoulders and back. Instead, the Timbuk2 laptop back retains its shape, holds everything in place and by doing so spreads the weight across your back, resulting in a much better posture and general riding experience.
Having not had much rain in Gibraltar (moderate brag) I haven’t had much chance to give the bag a ‘waterproofing test’. To make up for this, I decided to give the bag a good shower in my bathroom. As anticipated, this bag is water resistant but not waterproof. The front and bag hold up well with the waxy material repelling most water. However, the lower sides of the bag don’t fare quite so well in such brutal showering conditions and let in small amounts of water. This was quite a tough test on the bag and I would expect it to farewell in most showers (of the rainy variety) – just maybe not so much in a monsoon.
In terms of looks, the bag looks good. Not amazing, but good. It does the job, but it’s not going to be seen on any lavish fashion shoots anytime soon.
Nonetheless, I like this bag a lot.
It’s extremely comfortable, it’s lightweight and can carry pretty much everything I need on my daily commute without my back being in searing pain.
You can purchase the Timbuk2 laptop backpack here for £22.50.
Value for Money: 9/10