the perfect bag…

As many of you know, I love bags. I’m not sure if this alone qualifies me as Metro, but I’m sure it figures in there somewhere.

Ever since I made my first belt-hung pouch, I’ve been addicted to finding the perfect bag to carry all my essentials. Of course, that list has grown a lot over the years, and it’s once again time to rethink the strategy.

My recent interaction with Timbuk2 (great stuff) has got me thinking again about how I lug my stuff around. I used to have this little not unpurse-like dealie that held my currency, cards, palm pilot, and a notepad and pen. For many years that was all I needed. During my recent trip to the land of the rising sun, I observed that a large number of men were using waist-level bags for their gear. I’m soooo ahead of my time (laughing at self).

Then, I got a laptop. I decided I needed a laptop bag. At this time, I was looking for something integrated. Carry it all in one bag. One bag to rule them all, so to speak. I first used a Victorinox laptop messenger bag. It worked well until I got my powerbook. It wasn’t really big enough for the new lappy, and I wanted more padding, since I spent my own money on the thing (as opposed to being a work-owned machine). Ultimately, I found Timbuk2. The Commute bag had everything I was looking for.

After about 3 years or so with the integrated approach, I’m ready to move on. As anyone who has lugged a lot of junk around at a conference all day with a messenger bag can tell you, they kill your back for long hauls. So, I’d like to be able to transfer key gear from a messenger bag to a backpack, for “better body mechanics”, as A2C would say.

So, this is the approach I’m taking now: modularity. I’m going to get a laptop sleeve and several small gear bags for things like cords, and get a plain messenger bag, and a plain backpack. I’ll see how this goes in terms of convenience and comfort. I can already think of some situations where the backpack is going to save me. Also, there are times I don’t want to lug the laptop around at all (I know, I know, perish the thought!), and it’d be nice not to lose the space dedicated to an integrated laptop compartment in my bags.

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Timbuk2, the continuing saga…

so, I received my Detour last week. Yay!… well, almost Yay. I didn’t like it. 🙁 It was bigger than it seemed from the dimensions on the web site. I mean, this thing is huge.

The Detour is supposed to be a 3-in-one bag, a jack-of-all-trades. Indeed, it is the master of none. as a messenger bag, the thing is really long vertically, so it has to be strapped up pretty high, but then that isn’t exactly comfortable. The backpack straps, while well-concealed, don’t fit quite right. There are many good points, and I’m sure there are users who love it, but it doesn’t work for me.

Luckily, Timbuk2 have a great return policy, and I sent the bag back on an RMA, and I will hopefully get an online store credit. So far, no problems with their service. They’ve been prompt and helpful.

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timbuk2 Rocks!

Almost 2 years ago, I received a Timbuk2 Commute from A2C. It’s been one heck of a bag. Plenty of storage, decent padding for the 15″ PowerBook, and it’s well-constructed and nearly waterproof.

About a year ago, I noticed that the stitching was coming undone around the tote handle at the top of the bag. Also, the thermal molding on the back of the bag was coming apart. I emailed Timbuk2 customer service, and they said they’d be happy to replace the bag. Awesome. So, I waited until it was convenient to send the bag out.

A year goes by. I finally decide I can give up lugging my laptop around long enough to get the bag replaced. I fill out an online form and send in the bag via UPS. Timbuk2 still honors the warrnty claim, even though it’s been over a year since I made the claim. They really stand behind their products.

My new Detour (a backpack/messenger hybrid bag) is on its way. I’m psyched. I’ve managed to acquire a strap pad, an iPod case and a phone holster since I first got the Commute. Now they’ll just be transferred over to the Detour.

Anyway, I’d highly recommend their bags for anyone looking for a good general purpose laptop bag. I know I’ve certainly been pleased not only with the bag, but with the stellar customer service from Timbuk2. It’s companies like this that continue to renew my faith in small companies.

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