Timbuk2 has been making messenger bags in San Francisco since 1989. Their bags are durable, spacious, and loved by their owners (I have several myself).
Recently, over the past few years, they have branched out from the standard messenger style bags into more lifestyle bags, such as travel bags.
Back in March, my wife and I went on our belated honeymoon to Europe. We visited five different countries (Ireland, England, France, Belgium, Italy), and in an effort to keep the trip from getting prohibitively expesnive, we decided to stay in hostels and travel primarially by train between our destinations. Traveling in a quasi-nomadic style meant that we were also traveling light, one bag per person that wouldn't have to be checked on the airlines.
I always make a point of visitng the Timbuk2 booth at Interbike and Outdoor Retailer, and in January, I was introduced to their travel line, and more specifically the Aviator Travel Backpack. The Aviator Travel Backpack was exactly what I was looking for, a spacious travel bag that could be comfortably carried and would fit in the overhead bins on the airlines.
Need to check the bag? The straps can be stowed away so they won't snag or get caught while the ground crew are "carefully" handling your luggage.
Above pictures from the Timbuk2 website.
Aside from being the perfect size to count as a carry-on bag, It also has several other well thought out features that set it apart. For one, the backpack straps and waist belt can be unclipped, and stored inside their own special pocket on the back of the bag to get them out of the way for those times that you do need to check the bag. It has grab handles on all sides for ease of carrying. There is also an attached rain cover just in case. Carrying it around as a backpack was comfortable - even when fully loaded, thanks to the padded straps and waist belt.
Another nice feature is the accessability. The top and main compartments open up wide for easy access, and there is a zipper inside the bag between the compartments so you can access items in the main compartment from the top. The compartment on the front of the bag is also accessable from the inside as well.
If you are familiar with Timbuk2 bags, you'll be glad to know that their travel line shares the same durability as the rest of their bags. We had our bags stuffed to the gills (1700 cu in of storage space), and the bag handled it like a pro.
Normally, my commute is nothing noteworthy. Today may or may
not be an exception to that.
First, some back-story…
My commute isn’t that bad. I live 30 miles from my office. A
distance that is not unmanageable on the bike, but one that is if I don’t want leave
the house 2+ hours before work, and get home the same amount of time
after.Because I love my family, and
want to spend time with them, I’ve made some concessions, namely riding to the
train station, taking that downtown, then riding from the train to work.My ride to the train is approximately 4
miles, and the ride from the closest train station to my work is a paltry 2 ½ blocks
(about ¾ mile).
Recently, I’ve been unsatisfied with my commute, and have
wanted to mix things up. Looking for more time to ride, I’ve been getting off
the train further and further down the line in order to extend my riding time
from the train to work. Currently, I get off the train at 2100 s (I know this
won’t mean squat to those of you who don’t live in SLC, so to try and explain,
I work on 200 s – about 3 miles additional distance as the bike rolls).
Okay, on to today’s commute.
At some point after I boarded the train, I noticed a
co-worker who works on the same floor as I do board the train.We rode along till the 2100 s stop, where I
exited the train and started riding towards work.The ride was uneventful and unremarkable as
always, except for the fact that I was enjoying my commute instead of
struggling to stay awake on the train. I arrived at my office, locked up the
bike, entered the building through the parking garage entrance, and pushed the
button for the elevator. When the elevator doors opened, I was standing face to
face with the same co-worker who was on the train with me.
Even though I departed the train 4 stops sooner than he did,
I still arrived at the office at approximately the same time (I probably
arrived before him since my time to the elevator included locking up my bike).
I’m also fairly certain that I enjoyed my commute a lot more
than he did his.