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Drive By :: Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack

by , February 29, 2012

Drive By :: Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack

We love you guys; such an inspiring community. Why? Because you love carrying and carry products so much you send us emails with ready to serve reviews. Not saying everything we get goes up, but damn, it’s nice to know that lots of others are as carry obsessed as us.

Recently, Mike Gadd got in touch to tell us about his idiom backpack (we posted that mini review on Facebook), emails went back and forth which ultimately resulted in the below Drive By on the Especial Tres Backpack from Timbuk2. Pretty cool read.

All photos are from the Timbuk2 site, all text/info is from Mike. Oh, and we’ll have a more indepth Road Test from one of our contributors in coming weeks…

“I dig the Timbuk Especial Tres. I have never owned a rolltop bag before, but I like the idea of having one large main compartment. (Like the idiom bag I had.) Modular packing if I feel like it…or throwing random stuff together into a sack if I’m lazy. Works well both ways.

Overall I’m very pleased with my purchase so far. The bag feels like it’s going to last me a long time. I’m taking it up to Santa Barbara for a weekend soon, so I’ll see how it feels with that type of gear opposed to outdoorsy gear.”

Drive By :: Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack

First impressions:


  • Very sturdy feel. Not sure if it has some sort internal frame, or large plate/semi-rigid panel in the back, but it feels very strong on my back. Like it wants to stay there. The rolltop is also rigid enough to stay open by itself (standing up) and the bag will also stand up on its own. Very easy to adjust shoulder strap length, and sternum strap with elastic end. Comfy.
    • Having previously owned a stuff-sack type of backpack, this is something I never thought about. I’m used to leaning my bag against something while packing it, or having it lay on the floor and just stuffing it that way. But with this thing, I could just set it down, unroll the top, and dump stuff in it like I’m bagging groceries. I could actually sit it upright on my bed, leave the house, go to the car, grab something, and come back…and it’s still just sitting there. I was very happy about this.
  • Large main pocket. This thing is cavernous. I stuffed 6 pairs of socks, 4 tshirts, pants, a hoodie, an insulated m65 jacket, a 15″ macbook pro, laptop charger, helmet, thermal, midlayer Patagonia Nanopuff jacket, gloves and 2 pairs of goggles in it. With room to spare. Incredible.
    • Wet gloves, sweaty helmet, sweaty socks, sweaty goggles sat in the main pocket for 6 hours and did NOT get my laptop wet. At all. Very pleased.
  • Snug laptop compartment. Not corduroy velvety like my timbuk2 messenger, but very safe and secure feeling. Did not have to worry about laptop sliding around inside.
  • Cool document pouch. Between the laptop sleeve and the main pocket, there is a pouch secured by a velcro flap. I had a meeting on Monday, which I planned to take after a morning on the slopes. Had to bring a manila envelope full of documents with me in my bag. Slid right in there. Easy to access. Would work great for holding a magazine, too.
  • Waterproof zippers. Looks badass. Zipped smoothly. Made me feel cool and techy. Also reassuring.
  • Exterior pouches. Very slim. Held pens, a knife, a mutlipurpose tool, my wallet, keys and phone. Shit I would put in my pockets fit in these pouches. Convenient.
  • Bottle opener. Did not use this but felt (and still feel) cool for having this feature attached to my backpack.


  • Attracts lint: Maybe cuz it’s brand new, but the black cordura attracts lint/fibers/dust. Annoying.
  • Roll top compression strap: I am still getting used to this, but it seems like one of the straps needs to twist over itself in order for the male/female connectors to click. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.
  • Connectors: Roll top connectors could be heavier duty. The ones on my messenger CLICK when you close them and POP when you open them. The ones on the especial are not quite as satisfying. I was surprised by this, as it is something I associate with timbuk2, just like their loud velcro.
  • U-lock holster: I don’t ride a bike, and I don’t have a u-lock. I intend to use this to carry a water bottle. The top strap that you would slide the U through…is permanently attached to the bag on both ends. It’s not velcro or snapped or clipped or anything. You can’t move it. I would have loved to been able to velcro/unvelcro this thing so I could put it around my water bottle, for stability of my drink.
  • Dark interior: Some contrast would make it easier to find stuff in the dark. (I got the black model.)

Drive By :: Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack

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