May 21, 2009

A Great Laptop Bag for Traveling

I think back in the day laptop/briefcase bags were kind of a niche market. First off, laptops were ridiculously bulky and heavy, and so you generally needed a massive bag to support the weight. Plus, not everyone had a laptop. Nowadays, it seems that everybody has a laptop, including my grandma, and they are much smaller, lighter, and oh so portable. It makes sense that if you're going to get a backpack, you might as well get one that is designed to hold and protect your laptop.

In comes Timbuk2, with their line of laptop bags that are designed to be stylish and functional for a commute, especially if you're biking around town. Timbuk2, a San Francisco based company, has been making bags for twenty years. I first came across their bike messenger bags when I was living in Boulder, Colorado back in 1997. I remember seeing their tri color packs and thinking these guys not only make a great waterproof bag, but they are super stylish. So, it only makes sense that Timbuk2 would evolve their line and bring in some great laptop backpacks.

The guys at asked me to review one of their briefcases, so it was only natural to pick Timbuk2's Underground Daypack. First off you'll notice that the bag is made of ballistic nylon. It's lightweight, but the material was designed to protect World War II airmen from flying debris. Just think about what it can do to protect your precious things inside. The material is also water resistant, and I can attest to this since I wore the bag out in the pouring rain for about 30 minutes, and my valuables were still dry.

The bag has 5 compartments. One main area where you can slide your laptop in the back, plus room for books, camera, or whatever else you need for the day. There are two side compartments that have great organizing sections, one side that can hold a water bottle and has a mesh small pocket, and the other side that has sections for pens, a key ring tether, and a mobile phone pocket. There is a pocket that runs the whole front side of the bag, where you can put items that need to be easily accessible, like some change, a granola bar, sun screen, etc. The pocket I love the most is on the top of the pack, which is a little compartment to hold your mp3 player. It has an inner sleeve to keep your music player in one place, and also has a slot to run your earphones out of the bag, so you can listen to your favorite tunes while you're dodging pedestrians or traffic on your bike or walk to work, school, or just sightseeing around town.

There are a couple other features worth mentioning. The bag has some serious padding on the back, with mesh to keep you a little drier while being active. The undersides of the shoulder straps also have this same mesh. I like that the padding is pretty thick as well, since you know it's going to protect your laptop, and I also hate when items in my bag dig into my back. The bottom of the bag also has two rubber guards that help to protect it from the elements and scraping against the pavement.

All in all, I think this is a fantastic bag for the traveler and for the city dweller. The pack is great as a carry on bag for planes, trains, and buses. I also think it's a good commuter pack if you're heading to school or to work. The design helps it sit higher on your back, and this is awesome when you're on a bike. I give Timbuk2's Underground Daypack two thumbs up, and for $83.99 plus free shipping here at, you can't pass it up if you're currently shopping for a new bag. It comes in three color variations to choose from, but the one featured here is the Army/Spinach/Army colors.

Since I had such a great time testing out this pack, I want to give one lucky reader the chance to win it for free, and enjoy it for a lifetime. Drop me a line at, and tell me why you have to have this bag.

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