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04-11-2012, 09:11 AM   #1
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Timbuk2 Bag Question

Can anyone with experience tell me if they have ever used a Timbuk2 messenger bag for both their cameras and a laptop? Specifically, has anyone had experience putting a 15.6 in. laptop into the medium size Classic Messenger Bag? The specs seem like they'd work except the possibility that the base of the bag is a bit shorter in width. I'm not sure how much give the bags have. I also think I'd need a sleeve or some type of padding, which may break the deal on the medium bag anyway. My laptop will fit most of Timbuk2's medium sized sleeves although their page suggests I need a large.

Timbuk2's website states that my laptop needs a large messenger bag, but based on the dimensions, I really feel the large is probably going to be too big for me. I really just want the capability of carrying my 15.6 in. laptop + K5 (w/lens) + 2 more lenses and maybe a flash. From what I've seen via Flickr, YouTube, etc. the small bag would work for just the camera kit. That is actually still an option for me, but I like the idea of being able to fly with my laptop and camera all in one place.

The other option I am considering is just getting a Large Tenba Laptop Messenger Bag. The price difference is awash, and the bag is tailored for my purposes. I like the idea of the Timbuk2 bags because they do not scream camera or even laptop bag. I know the Tenba bag will work, but I feel that they do look like a laptop bag.

04-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #2
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You probably could fit the setup you described in a small Timbuk2 Snoop messenger bag, but it would be nearly impossible to have easy access to your gear. I have the small bag for when I want to travel really light, but I find that it gets crowded in there very quickly. I find it to be a perfect bag for one body (K7 or K5) with lens attached but without battery grip, and two other lenses. With that setup in the small bag, I have a hard time fitting my 13" macbook in there (it fits, but it's very snug). Personally I would recommend getting the medium. It would likely serve your purpose very well. I'm about to get the medium as well to make a little more room for lenses and stuff without sacrificing much on the comfort end (I find it to be a very comfortable camera bag).
04-11-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by -Spooky- Quote
You probably could fit the setup you described in a small Timbuk2 Snoop messenger bag, but it would be nearly impossible to have easy access to your gear. I have the small bag for when I want to travel really light, but I find that it gets crowded in there very quickly. I find it to be a perfect bag for one body (K7 or K5) with lens attached but without battery grip, and two other lenses. With that setup in the small bag, I have a hard time fitting my 13" macbook in there (it fits, but it's very snug). Personally I would recommend getting the medium. It would likely serve your purpose very well. I'm about to get the medium as well to make a little more room for lenses and stuff without sacrificing much on the comfort end (I find it to be a very comfortable camera bag).
Believe me, my plan is to get a medium. Thus the question of whether a 15.6 laptop could fit in a medium. Their webpage suggests I would need a large bag, and I basically refuse to buy a bag that big for the rare occasions (likely only air-travel) when I would have a laptop and camera together. If a 15.6 inch laptop won't fit in a medium bag, then I'd consider the small since I wouldn't be able to travel with a laptop anyway, but your experience with respect to the small is useful for that regard.
04-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #4
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Could you please be able to give the specifc model number of the laptop so I could check further?

There's an incredible difference between 15.6 models between different manufacturers such as; Dell, Alienware (strangely a Dell owned conglomerate??), and Origin PC.

04-11-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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I thought you were referring to the "Snoop" messenger bag, which I believe is their only camera messenger bag. I have no experience with the classic messenger bag, but I'm sure you could get the camera insert for it. As far as the Snoop goes, which I highly recommend, they only make it in XS, S, and M sizes. The M size of that model will probably suit your needs well.
04-11-2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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Timbuk2's website has a laptop look-up, which sounds like you used it. If it said large, that is probably what will fit - they also publish interior/exterior dimensions which should make it easy to measure. I have a small messenger myself - it barely fits my dell/alienware m11x (11.6" screen) in the rear small pocket - our 15.6" HP would basically stretch out the entire space in the main compartment (though it would fit, with nothing else). Unless traveling, I use the bag just for whatever camera gear I want with me - without the m11x there is plenty of room to hold 2 bodies and 3-4 lenses depending on size - adding that laptop takes up a lot of room though, so keep that in mind and measure carefully!
04-11-2012, 12:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
Timbuk2's website has a laptop look-up, which sounds like you used it. If it said large, that is probably what will fit - they also publish interior/exterior dimensions which should make it easy to measure. I have a small messenger myself - it barely fits my dell/alienware m11x (11.6" screen) in the rear small pocket - our 15.6" HP would basically stretch out the entire space in the main compartment (though it would fit, with nothing else). Unless traveling, I use the bag just for whatever camera gear I want with me - without the m11x there is plenty of room to hold 2 bodies and 3-4 lenses depending on size - adding that laptop takes up a lot of room though, so keep that in mind and measure carefully!
Actually, their website is notoriously conservative about the laptop fits. Many people complain about their laptops being too small for the recommended bag. That being said, most of these people are using Macbooks, which are often differently proportioned. The medium bag lists its dimensions as being 19.3 inches long at the top (plenty big) but only I thought I saw somewhere that it might be only 14+ inches at the base (the photos do not look that way, though). They also don't give the interior dimensions for their bags.

My laptop is a Lenovo Z560 which is 14.8 inches long, 9.8 inches wide, and 1.6 inches thick. It seems like it would fit into a medium bag.

As for using a classic messenger bag, I think the classic bags and snoop bags are essentially the same except the inserts. I was looking at the classic because I already have an insert. I also assume that these bags have some give to them? I'm trying to avoid having to return a bag, and I don't really have any way of testing them out without making a 3 hour trip. Of course, I might if it really comes down to it (San Francisco itself).

I thought I had seen, searching these forums, that some people were using Timbuk2 messenger bags in general as camera bags for day outings, etc. and it seemed like a good idea.

04-11-2012, 01:48 PM   #8
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Yeah probably the inserts are the only difference - you can pick up a tenba insert from amazon or b&h for around $20 and it will work great (I use domke inserts but they are a little flimsy, each side is a separate piece of foam sewn into a series of lens holes - the tenba inserts look firmer, with larger foam pieces that appear molded/wrapped around corners). For my small timbuk2 messenger, it is strictly rectangular shaped, no tapering from top to bottom - they do have a pretty large range though, and some of their other bags do appear to have a tapered style to them.
04-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
Yeah probably the inserts are the only difference - you can pick up a tenba insert from amazon or b&h for around $20 and it will work great (I use domke inserts but they are a little flimsy, each side is a separate piece of foam sewn into a series of lens holes - the tenba inserts look firmer, with larger foam pieces that appear molded/wrapped around corners). For my small timbuk2 messenger, it is strictly rectangular shaped, no tapering from top to bottom - they do have a pretty large range though, and some of their other bags do appear to have a tapered style to them.
Thanks for the info. I already have an insert, which was why I was thinking of skipping the scoop bag. It looked like the snoop may be the classic bag with an insert. I'll see if I can find out more.
04-12-2012, 02:56 PM   #10
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You might already know this but REI carries various Timbuk2 messenger bags in the store. I've seen various bags in both Sacramento locations, Folsom, and Roseville in my extensive quest for a bag. The in store stock is different from what REI shows online.
04-13-2012, 07:09 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjacks12 Quote
You might already know this but REI carries various Timbuk2 messenger bags in the store. I've seen various bags in both Sacramento locations, Folsom, and Roseville in my extensive quest for a bag. The in store stock is different from what REI shows online.
Hmmm... I don't ever get to Folsom and Roseville, but the Sacramento store I went to only had the Larges and Extra-Smalls last time I went and the Concord store I went to a couple of weeks ago didn't have any bags (Timbuk2). Perhaps I'll need to check again perhaps to the two stores you mentioned.

Last edited by emalvick; 04-13-2012 at 07:45 AM.
04-17-2012, 08:09 AM   #12
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Just an update... I found a medium messenger, which would be a nice size, but I'm fairly certain it won't work with my laptop because of the way they configured that area of the bag. The bag itself is wide enough but the "envelope" area is small enough. I suppose I could custom make a bag, but after looking at the Timbuk2 bags, I'm not sure how well it will work for me. The large bags are just a bit too large for my liking. Those extra couple of inches are significant enough.

I'm now looking at other options for getting a messenger bag and fitting a camera insert. I'm really wanting something that doesn't scream camera bag. Strangely, I'm finding some Canon forums to be useful for some ideas. Thankfully I don't have to tell them I'm a Pentax guy. I'll post something once I figure out what I am going to do or create.
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