Build Your Own Bag

byob.jpg Late last year, right before our trip to Maui, I tried out Timbuk2s Build Your Own Bag site. Ordering up his and hers bags in the Hugga Comfort colors. The bag builder offered very nice interactivity, with lots of custom features, previews, and more.

I was initially bummed to see that 992 other bag builders created the bag I did, but then kept trying and got this message: “this color combination has been created just once.” An original bag … cool. While the Bag Builder works well, I’d like to see it have persistence. It doesn’t remember you, if you leave and come back. I’d also like to edit what I created or duplicate it and for it to send me what I made and let me download it.

As for the bag, like all the Timbuk2s messenger bags I’ve owned, it’s well made (note that I only purchase the models handmade in San Francisco). The medium size fits well in the S&S case snug under the wheel. It’s filled with bike parts, tools, a saddle bag, etc. When I travel, I compartmentalize everything and all of the pockets, zippers, and pouches support that.

For trips with the Dahon, I use the much larger Crumpler bag (also in Hugga Comfort colors) and fill it with clothes and bike gear. Both Timbuk2 and Crumpler make quality bags, but with a different design aesthetic. Where the Timbuk2s are rugged and urban with lots of zippers, the Crumplers offer a cleaner, more designy style without zippers.

One issue with Timbuk2s bag is “floppiness.” That’s the less-than technical description for what happens when you load a bag and it falls over. My older Timbuk2 bags with thicker, heavier materials were sturdier and more rigid and didn’t flop. I liked the bag, but was repeatedly frustrated by the fact that it’d fall over when loaded with a laptop. There’s probably an equation for bag material density, rigidity, and floppage. I suggest they flop less.


I bought one of the large Timbuk 2 bags. The plastic buckle of the outside of the bag broke on the third use. Really not impressed with their product or customer service.

I’ve heard that from others—check their [company page]( on [get satisfaction]( and post on it. As noted above, I only buy their higher-end bags and haven’t been impressed by their “increase market share” bags you find in computer stores.

Full disclosure: I work for Timbuk2 as the Marketing and eCom Director.

DL Byron
I’m stoked that you used the little widget to find “this color combination has been created just once.” bag. We’re working on making it even better- like finding your bag’s doppelganger and having the ability to claim the color combo you where the first to create.

Sorry your buckle busted and you had a bad customer service experience.
We’re doing some major improvements to our San Francisco manufacturing facility and are hoping to include bag repair as an option. We used to repair bags that people brought in back in the 90’s and we should ABSOLUTELY offer that again.
I don’t know why your buckle busted- we typically use quality SR buckles but maybe you got a bum one and that sucks.
You should absolutely post your gripe to the links DL posted. Most of the senior management team is on the recipient list for all things posted to


Timbuk2 roxors! Also a big fan of Maxpedition, too. And Waterfield. Wish one of ‘em would make a waterproof Xtracycle bag system…That would be yummy.

Good point—and I’ve noted the lack of waterproofness as an issue with Xtracycle’s system, especially in Seattle.

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