Shoulder Style: TimBuk2 D-Lux Messenger
Published on 11/05/2012
By Peter Reese
The one-hit wonder phenomenon isn’t limited to music’s Top 40. Some of the early innovators in the outdoor industry followed the one-and-done path or disappeared to emerge years later swathed in technical fabric and spouting wild-eyed claims of radical designs.
Timbuk 2, the company that translated bike messenger bags into practical products for an entire generation, never stopped bringing new styles and looks to the street: The soul of the first urban-savvy satchels continues to permeate Timbuk 2’s view of life.
The D-LUX MESSENGER/RACE STRIPE is rooted in the Company’s commitment to durable, adjustable, comfortable and eye-catching products. Testers immediately unfurled the flat, packed-for-shipment Medium bag like a balloonist eagerly inflates their envelope in the pre-dawn stillness.
Medium, really? This bag compared favorably to more expensive weekend-worthy travel bags in useful volume, with the potential to transition from commuting to travel. As sandals, shorts, hoodie, toiletries and extras poured into the 24 liter D-LUX, 17” MacBook and charging accessories remained safe inside the well-guarded sleeve.
Active Junky’s enthusiasm for the D-LUX’s carry-on credibility nearly overlooked the internal accessory management system. Despite the energetic cycling graphics on the Red Bikes model being tested, there was lots of logic and love from Timbuk 2’s engineers waiting inside.
Two rows of webbing “rails” run horizontally around the entire interior of the main compartment. Much like military webbing belt systems, this one anticipates attachment of accessories tailored to the task at hand.
Standard issue are the 4”, 3-pocket penholder and a 9 ½” zippered pouch laced with exterior webbing loops (and two elastic interior pockets waiting to be discovered). Testers slipped a vintage Vonnegut paperback inside the eBook-ready pouch as membership cards tucked into the inside pockets.
Patience is advised here, as the hook-and-loop attachment is precise and powerful. Contents may need to be removed to reposition the accessories properly, knowing they’ll stay put during life’s ups and downs, on the bike or off.
Outside and under the flap, three zippered 7” pockets are tiered below an open sleeve. Had enough organization, yet? Testers relished the ability to personalize even this compact area that includes a side-entry Napoleon pocket.
Strap adjustment has been simplified to deliver better length stability (as in, straps don’t spool out under loading). The Memory Adjust Cam Buckle is somewhat bulkier than traditional hardware but stops slithering straps in their tracks.
Exterior, three-panel graphics fit the race strip Timbuk 2 look, with a whimsical cycling pattern offering a counterpoint to the bag’s bomber functionality. Testers who’d ridden T2 in the past – and been rocking other bags since – were back with the program.
Even though, truth be told, Timbuk 2 never lost their urban-inspired vision since first taking to the streets of San Francisco in 1989.