All new 2014 Timbuk2 Classic Messenger bag

After 25 years in service, Timbuk2’s Classic Messenger has received a complete overhaul. To avoid pulling a Gap logo screw up of their iconic product, they asked customers to chime in about what could make it better. The top five requests were:

  • water bottle holder
  • grab handle
  • lighter weight
  • sleeker looks
  • compression straps

They did all that. It got lighter -a whopping 25% lighter- by going back to 940 denier corder. Similar to what they used before going to ballistic material. This is an updated fabric that’s smoother and sheds water better. The shoulder strap changes to a lighter weight webbing, and its width is now size specific. Smaller bags get thinner straps.

Look inside to see the rest…

All new 2014 Timbuk2 Classic Messenger bag

The clips moved to just under flap for a cleaner appearance, and the straps continue all the way around and under the bottom to double as compression straps. On the back, a low profile grab handle is integrated over the center strip, and the stock bags come with a color-matched shoulder pad.

Those three features used to be an optional extras, so you now get much more bag for your money.

All new 2014 Timbuk2 Classic Messenger bag

The cam buckle got a lot smaller and now runs the loop through a Z-shaped pulley so excess strap isn’t just flapping around. It both speeds up removal and makes it look much cleaner. The only downside is that it, along with the padded section, means you now need to choose between fixed left or right handed designs.

Inside, it’s using a lighter TPU liner and gets raised sides that fold in under the flap to improve waterproofness.

Front pockets drop to three, including the Napoleon pocket, and two internal mesh side pockets add extra organization, one of which is sized for water bottles.

They started shipping this week. Pricing stays the same as before, starting at $89. The extra small was scaled more, with better proportions for the size. It’s $79, and they go up to a size Large that starts at $109.

It’s worth mentioning a couple of differences in the custom bags offerings. The shape and build are the same, but you’ll pay extra for some of the things mentioned above, including: water bottle pockets, padded shoulder strap and grab handle. I also noticed that color selection has gone down a bit from the original version, losing about 1/4 of the hues. The upside is that custom bags are made in the USA, stock ones are imported.

We have one on the way for review, stay tuned.


  1. Looks nice and will certainly sell well. But I wonder what’s gonna happen to “messenger-style” goodies, since messengers as a breed are disappearing (hello ftp and pdf, buh-bye hipster). I used to have a very large messenger style bag that i used to commute on. tho the bag was useful, waterproof and had a cavernous internal space, it was horrible. it swiveled across my torso, the messenger fit is ergonomically terrible and it gave me back pain. I switched to Deuter, almost 10 years ago and never looked back.
    but this sure is a nice bag.

  2. @ghammer, messenger bags will still continue to sell just fine. The amount of products sold to messengers compared to the general public is very small.

  3. Seems odd to put he water bottle pockets inside the bag. Risk getting everything else inside the bag wet w/ condensation and/or spillage. Also have to open the bag to take a drink? Odd.

  4. I’d still try to find a PAC Design bag. Pat is not making them anymore but they are out there and they will outlast any Timbuk2 bag. She was the originator of so many things every bag company out there does. Stabilization strap, x strap, and quick adjust buckle up front. All stuff other people took after she figured it out. Granted, she should have patented it all but that is in the past. Do yourself a favor and seek them out. They are forever bags.

What do you think?