Design your own laptop bag with Timbuk2

Alison Young
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May 04, 2007
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I’m picky about the laptop bags I choose because I want to be sure they look good and provide adequate padding for my computer. Our friend Russ Kaya (and MidWeek layout artist) told my husband and me about Timbuk2.

No, I’m not talking about the African city or the backup software. It’s a company that makes cool-looking bags you can design yourself.

The one I have my eye on is the Laptop Messenger Bag since it comes with a nice padded laptop sleeve to protect my computer. After you click on the link, it gives you an option of small (fits 12-inch laptops/$120), medium (15-inch/$130) or large (17-inch/$140). You then choose your material - ballistic nylon (higher sheen, brighter colors, smoother finish) or cordura (fine weave, matte finish, traditional look favored by outdoor enthusiasts).

Next is my favorite part where you choose the colors. You have a variety to choose from for the left, center and right panels of the bag. You can also select the color of your bag’s liner, and the logo that goes on the outside. Decide between reflector tails or tabs to make yourself more visible in the dark.

In a right-handed world, you left-handers have the option to pick a left-handed strap! Extras you can add on include a strap pad ($10), accessory case ($20), cell phone holster ($15), strap pouch ($15) or a smartphone case ($20). At any time during your customization you can change the viewing angle to the front, left, right, back or the inside (default view is the front).

As far as using the build-your-own option, you can also do this with the Messenger bag (sizes X-small/$80 through X-large/$120) or the Market Tote (sizes small/$65 through large/$85). Otherwise, Timbuk2 has a variety of other eye-catching bags you can pick from, including a bunch of girlie styles that will match your personality. In fact, my second choice is the Marina Computer Bag. It has a more feminine look and can fit a 15-inch (or smaller) laptop along with enough room for your power cord, mouse and other miscellaneous items. It comes with a rubberized bottom, exterior zippered organizer pockets and no-slip shoulder handles. Unfortunately this one is not customizable.

I can see these bags being popular among the artsy crowd. If you have that creative streak, the Artist’s Canvas Bag has your name written all over it. It’s a completely blank canvas bag (or middle panel canvas with two outer black panels) that you can paint on. Timbuk2’s website has an artist’s gallery where you can see what others have done with their bags. I can see Russ doing this since he has great artistic talent. But for people like me without that ability, I’m satisfied with the pretty colors and nice fabric.

Build a bag of your own: If you want to give this as a fun gift, see the Bag In A Box option - a $100 gift card is packaged in a distinctive box. Regular gift cards are also available in custom specified amounts.

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