I’ve been lucky to have tried a lot of cycling gear in the last decade, but I’ve realized that in the last couple years, my tastes have definitely shifted towards more neutral colors and simple designs, which can be harder to find in the land of spandex and neon in high vis. So when Timbuk2 launched their Tuck Backpack with fully customizable colorways, I naturally gravitated towards gray on black on gray, and I have been in love with it this past month.
Admission: a custom Timbuk2 messenger back in gray and black was actually my first-ever messenger bag 10 years ago when I worked for ElleGirl. I used it for years, finally retiring it when I switched from bags to backpacks for heavy loads. But man, that thing lasted. And gave me a deep love for customizing colorways to be the most neutral options available. Call me boring, but I think it’s classy as hell.
This one was even more fun to customize, since now Timbuk2 has a huge variety of fabrics and colors compared to their original offerings when I was building my messenger bag. The construction—after beating the crap out of it in five countries and carrying tons of insanely weird-shaped stuff—is impeccable. And I loved my combo of houndstooth, a touch of slightly high vis, and basic black for a classic-looking bag. I use the backpack for regular backpack stuff, but it’s also held almost 50 pounds of groceries for a three-mile walk (and since the top can be left untucked for extra space, it can hold A LOT. It’s water-resistant, but walking in rain in the Netherlands proved that it actually is pretty much waterproof, because to get through that without a damp notebook is pretty tough.
Construction-wise, it has a tuck top with a snap closure, but also a zipper on the backside that goes right into the padded laptop pocket for easy access. Other than that and water bottle holders on the sides, it’s an extremely simple design—no crazy pockets here, but I’m good with that. Bonus: it matches the tote bag/purse that I finally settled on after a ton of perusing stores and the interwebs (more on that later) so it actually looks like I tried to coordinate my luggage.
At $99 for a ton of customization, it’s a good deal—I’ve been super happy with it, and if it can survive me riding and walking with the amount I carry, it can handle anything.