Timbuk2 describes the Command TSA-Friendly Laptop Backpack as “a dressed up TSA-compliant backpack for road warriors.” All I know is I’m a huge fan. I’ve used it for my last three trips and it served me quite well. It looks good, is well made and keeps my gear safe and organized on the go. And it’s under $130!
I’ve long been a fan of Timbuk2’s bags but this one far exceeds any of the ones I have previously used. It looks good, is incredibly well-made, and it has all the organization you might possibly want for a day or two on-the-go.
The backpack has a front zip pocket for small bits that keeps small items you might need safe yet accessible.
There’s an internal organizer. This is good for stowing pens, phones, and other small items you think might come in handy during your travels. But that’s just the beginning.
The large main compartment holds a ton. Put your books, or a jacket or other carry-on essentials you want to keep handy during your trip. That’s what I did and I was impressed with how much I was able to put in it.
Better still, the two compression straps on the bottom let you fill the bag with the items you will be bringing along and then tighten the main compartment so that the items inside won’t flop around during your travels. It’s one of those small extras that make a huge difference. It is just one small way Timbuk 2 is able to make some of the best bags on the market.
The bag also has a tricot-lined floating pocket that’s ideal for protecting sunglasses or smartphones while still keeping them easily accessible. In an era of smart wearables, having a phone in hand all the time is less necessary than ever. This pocket plays right into the wearables trend.
I already mentioned the bottom compression straps. They work amazingly well and once you start using them you will never want to use a backpack without them again. There are other extras worthy of mention:
First, there is the elasticized external side pocket for water bottle or U-lock. It sits close to the rest of the backpack unless you want to stow something in it. When you do, the elastic expands and holds whatever you put inside securely without the need to have a flap or a snap to keep it inside. When I’ve taken the bag on my trips I haven’t used the pocket for its intended purpose but have used it for headphones and other items I wanted to keep at hand.
Second, there is an on-strap bottle opener for “party tricks and quick refreshment.” Honestly I never totally got the whole “bottle opener on the strap thing, until yesterday. I wanted to have a hard cider but could not find a bottle opener. Then I remembered I was reviewing this bag. Seconds later the bottle was open and I was enjoying my cider. Thanks, Timbuk 2!
Timbuk 2 really thought of everything when designing this bag.
That includes the reinforced grab handles on all sides for a quick and easy grab and go. It also includes a vista loop for attaching bike lights and reflective hits for safety. Don’t be surprised, after all, Timbuk 2 got its start creating bike messenger bags.
But wait… There’s much more. You see, this backpack was designed to let you keep your laptop and tablet with you. There’s a fully padded laptop or tablet compartment. Like the eyeglass/smartphone pocket, it is lined with quilted tricot fabric. There is even a strap that softly but securely holds a laptop up to 15″ in size. I kept both my iPad and my 13″ MacBook in it during my travels.
Then there is a padded front pocket. It is perfectly sized for an iPad mini or similar-sized small electronics.
As much as the backpack is great with regard to the storage design it is even better in its usage design. Let me explain what I mean by that. A backpack is only as good as its comfort. That’s especially true if you are carrying a bag that is loaded down. Thanks to the channeled air mesh ventilated back panel this backpack is super comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
Plus it has a custom-fit sternum strap that lets you keep the bag tight and in place.
And there is a floating should strap system that can move and adjust to your body and the weight of the pack. The best feature of the bag and the way it really proves itself as a backpack designed for travel is the TSA-compliant laptop access. This lets you separate the laptop/tablet compartment so the electronics lay flat when the bag goes through the x-ray machine at the airport without the need to pull the laptop or tablet out and run the risk of it getting damaged or, worse yet, stolen. Yes, this may look like a standard backpack but this is a laptop backpack that can go through security without the need to remove your devices from it. Now that’s a great feature on a great bag that does a great job of letting you travel to some of the greatest places around!
The bag has all this yet it weighs under 2.5 pounds.
Here’s our video review:
You can learn more and order your backpack here on the Timbuk2 website!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like:Well designed and executed; Light; Good organization; TSA-Friendly; Grab handles!!!!; Comfortable to wear; Ample storage; Decently priced.
What Needs Improvement:Nothing I have found that is a negative and I’ve already used it a ton.