Look What You’ve Done

When we decided to reimagine our classic messenger — our original gangsta, beloved work horse, our bread and butter — we turned to you. Your stories and ideas are always surprising and always push us to think differently about our product, process, and what is possible.

So first we asked you to show us your messengers. We wanted to see what 25 years of messenger heritage looks like. How have our bags aged over time? What is working? What is not working? What materials work best? Is anyone still carrying a Scumbag from 1989?

Hundreds of photos streamed in (see the greatest hits here).

Customer Mosaic

Seeing bags from different vintages — 1993, 1997, 2001, 2009 — quickly made us aware of two things. One, CORDURA nylon ages really well and two, our cam buckle has changed dramatically over time.

On CORDURA: Used for Timbuk2′s launch in 1989, CORDURA is an outrageously durable nylon coated with polyurethane for water resistance. Significantly lighter than ballistic nylon, CORDURA has a clean, matte finish and exceptional abrasion and tear-strength, which means it will last a really (really) long time. In a head-to-head comparison with the 16800 Ballistic Nylon we’ve used for the last decade, we discovered that the latest CORDURA has to offer really is superior to Ballistic (see below). So we made the switch. Now our ready-made classic messenger and our custom messenger are available in a rainbow of CORDURA. We’re really happy with its look and performance and think you will be too.


On the Cam Buckle: Designed for speed and ease of use, our cam buckle has seen half a dozen iterations. But modern times call for modern measures, so we decided to reinvent the cam buckle once again. Our senior designer Bopanna is secretly more of an engineer than a designer, and he found a way to make the cam easier smaller, lighter, stronger, to use with one hand, and perhaps most importantly, intolerant of excess webbing (i.e. no more webbing loop dangling behind you).

New Cam Buckle Drawing

Cam Buckle Design Drawings

Cam Design Tech Specs

Cam Design Tech Detail

3D Cam Rendering

3D Cam Rendering Side

Next we dove deep into the photos you’ve shared on Whatsinyourbag.com to better understand what you carry and how that has changed over time. And guess what? What we carry has changed! Flip phones, CDs, and super-sized laptops aren’t so hip anymore.

Some have simplified.
Tour de France Messenger WIYB
Simplified CMB
Rasta CMB

But unusual things are still (and hopefully) always carried.
Puppy in CMB

So we arrived at a simplified, more flexible organization solution fewer, larger pockets — phones are back to Zack Morris size these days — distributed throughout the bag for a balance carry.

CMB Inside

Finally, we turned to Facebook to ask for super specific feedback and ideas on how we could improve our Classic Messenger. We had 72 ideas on how we’d improve it, but we wanted to know how you’d improve it. So on September 26, 2012, we posted this to Facebook:

Classic Messenger What Would You Change

58 Likes, and 3 shares later, we’d arrived at the most-requested features we built into our new Classic Messenger. Comments that actually drove features include:

Water bottle pocket(s) for on-the-go hydration.
Water Bottle Holder

Grab Handle for an easy heave-ho.
Grab Strap
Grab Strap +1

Improved water resistance via our Velcro “ears” on the flap closure.

A u-lock holder for keeping it safe in the city.

Compression straps for adjusting the bag volume and extra carrying capacity.
Compression Straps

Admittedly not all the recommendations made it.
My Name in the Middle

But the best, most frequent suggestions were keepers. We also tossed in a few of the features we’d been dying for like a more refined, modern look through our updated branding and hidden SR buckles. We’re confident this is the best messenger we could make and we’re really proud we made it together. Thank you for the inspiration and for sharing your always-better-than-expected and watch-out-cause-we’ll-use-them ideas.

First it was the Snoop, then it was the Snoop Camera Insert, then it was the Stork, and now it’s the new Classic Messenger. Cheers to our best yet.

Meet the world’s greatest messenger.

New Classic Messenger Bag


  1. Greg says:

    The thing I have never understood is why do you have the velcro as you do. On my current Timbuk2 bag, the straps for the front clips always get stuck on to the front velcro (the hooks). If the hooks and loops were switched, this wouldn’t happen.

    • Noel says:

      Thanks for the feedback. It isn’t an issue we’ve encountered too much but we’ll take a note of it. Rock on, Timbuk2

      • Zaron says:

        Actually I have this same issue and it’s pretty irritating. Even my competitor’s bag has it like this and all the webbing is tearing apart due to the velcro.

        • Noel says:

          The hooks (the rough parts of the Velcro) are on the front of the bag for the users convenience–if these were on the flap, every-time you’d open the bag your skin or clothing would would snag against it. For this reason, our designers have kept the hooks on the front, many brands have done the same thing because of this. We’ve got our velcro silencers which are a solution to this problem: http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/bag-silencer-strips

          • Thomas says:

            Or, you know, you could scrounge something that was free/less than $3+shipping, like what I do with every piece of velcro I have ever been consistently annoyed by. I started finding things that had been lying around unused, or were being thrown out. The coolest velcro cover I think I ever found was from this (I call it this) hippie hoodie that looked like it had been set on fire. You know those brightly patterned, and thick woolen-sorta hoodies? The fabric makes a great accent, and if you take something like the woodsaw on a leatherman, and run the blade over it like you are buttering bread, it frays the fabric a bit, but since it is so damn thick, it still sticks and has now kinda become part of my laptop bag now. It will be assimilated.
            But yeah, velcro annoys the crap outta me. I think DARPA should fund a new version that isn’t so annoying.

  2. Pete says:

    I really wish that you would go back to the original strap swivel. I hate to have to often rotate the strap around the bag to eliminate twisting.

  3. Dick says:

    A “D” ring on the inside would work great for things that I like to clip but not lose at the bottom. I carry things like USB sticks, small flashlights, keys, etc. Sewn somewhere at the top would work great!

  4. Gary DeBaun says:

    I’d like a dedicated, easy access pocket for my .45 – ya never know when you are gonna need it…

    • Alex Macevicius says:

      I use the Napoleon pocket for that ;) works perfect, never have to open the bag, just slide down the zipper.

  5. SaturnNyne says:

    Great to see someone getting the grab handle right! In this low profile form, it’s a great addition to the bag, but the obtrusive kind you’ve used in the past were a deal killer for me. When I bought a D-Lux, I went with an older model mostly because the improvements weren’t worth putting up with the bulky grab handle that was added.

  6. James D says:

    I’m kind of disappointed to see Cordura, I’ve always preferred ballistic nylon for its non-sweater-destroying smoothness and as far as abrasion resistance goes I’ve never had any bag of either material even get close to failure from tearing.

  7. Robert C. says:

    Why are you getting rid of the iconic swirl?

  8. Tina Ingle says:

    This bag turned out awesome. Perfect combination of lightweight durability for a messenger bag. It was great being able to work with you guys.
    CORDURA(R) Brand
    Account Manager

  9. boobala says:

    can the bottle pocket NOT be mesh?

  10. Michael says:

    T2 what have you done? I got my first bag in 2013 and recently ordered a second one and had no idea the cam buckle had been redesigned. It’s horrible! So much time is taken up having to constantly readjust the new buckle. Customers should have the option of picking which cam buckle they would like! If I hadn’t purchased a custom bag I would have returned it. Ugh, Chrome here I come!

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