Marketplace: Timbuk2

Okay – so we all know I love school. I have been a student for all of my life (yes, it’s true), and when I have actually taken a pause from¬†wearing a student hat, I have¬†been a teacher and professor. Education is my thing (in addition to design, of course) and back-to-school season¬†is one of my favourite seasons. Yes, I’m that kind of person.

When I started MBA classes in September, I soon realized that I needed a backpack. While carrying a¬†cute canvas tote was okay, I realized that it wasn’t so great for my back¬†once it was stuffed with my text, notebook, laptop, lunch,¬†etc. On top of that, I also carried a separate purse. Anyway, I started my search¬†for a¬†good quality backpack in the fall. I looked at backpacks in a variety of stores, but nothing really caught my attention. Maybe I was too used to purse shopping! These were my backpack requirements:¬†comfortable, sleek, roomy, not bulky, reliable, well-made, lightweight, affordable, and¬†a bit out of the ordinary. When Jeff told me about his positive experience with San Francisco-based Timbuk2¬†bags, I¬†added this company to my research list (thanks, Jeff).

Timbuk2¬†specializes in bags that are put to major tests (i.e., cycling and hiking) and its collection include¬†messenger bags, backpacks, and computer-safe bags. I¬†liked the¬†selection of sizes,¬†styles, and colours, but what I especially appreciated from the Timbuk2 website was the demonstration videos¬†of each bag.¬†Since I¬†couldn’t¬†see a bag in person, watching these videos helped me¬†better¬†understand each backpack’s size and features.

I was set to order theEl Rio Laptop backpack in black because¬†I like that it’s simple, has a lot of¬†pockets, and has a sweet interior lining. That’s good design, I tell you! Here it is in white:

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El Rio laptop backpack, $99

I have used my El Rio for a week now, and it has served me very well! It is¬†very comfortable, very lightweight, well-made, and well-designed. This backpack¬†has several useful good-sized pockets¬†on its¬†exterior and interior, and I have managed to make use of them all (chapstick pocket, phone pocket, paperwork¬†pocket, notebook pocket, etc.). The large interior compartment easily fits my laptop, textbook, notebook, other notebook, lunch, water bottle, and a pair of shoes. It has changed how I walk to work – I’m sure I’m faster now!

The size of the El Rio is a good one for someone like me, but there were other ones that could serve more active purposes:

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Especial Medio Cycling laptop backpack, $179

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Especial Raider backpack, $79

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Especial Tres Cycling backpack, $209

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Terracycle showdown laptop backpack, $99

Timbuk2’s collection¬†includes more than backpacks, and there’s even a custom option that allows you to design a bag with your choice of colours and patterns.

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Scrunchie yoga mat tote bag, $89

express shoulder bag timbuk2

Express shoulder bag, $59

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custom swig laptop backpack, $129

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custom envelope tablet sleeve, $39

I also like that there’s a size guide as easy to follow as the one below.¬†These kinds of details in online shops really help to visualize the product in real life, don’t you think?

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I¬†have had “buy backpack” on my to do list for months now, and I’m thrilled to say that¬†I have now crossed this item off! Yay!

Many thanks to Defne and Timbuk2 for generously offering to send me the El Rio. So far, so good!

The Friday Five: Backpacks

Well, I was only half-certain that my PhD was going to be my last degree. I was right! Earlier this week, I learned that I have been accepted into¬†an MBA program! It’s part-time¬†so I’ll continue on with life as “normal”, and my studies will take up “just a bit” of my free time. Ha!

Anyhoo – I’m pumped!¬†I’m excited to learn¬†and¬†to push myself in a new direction. I’m also excited to buy school supplies (let’s get real, right?!).¬†At the top of the list is some sort of backpack. I’ve been using a one-shoulder tote forever, and it’s just not cutting it anymore.

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via Stylight

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via LA Cool & Chic

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via LoLoBu

Here are five backpacks that look to be super sleek and fashionable (any just may even hold a textbook or two!).

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via Kokosina

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via Amazon

stella-mccartney-backpack-luisa-via-roma

Stella McCartney backpack

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Asya Malbershtein backpack

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Harper Ave Philip backpack

I must got check out some affordable options in person one day soon!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Will you be back to school shopping?