Since I focus on the Bay Area, I’ll start my Interbike coverage with Timbuk2, based in San Francisco, and go from there.
Having owned a Timbuk2 bag for about 10 years, I have a bias for the product. Other good bags, some made in San Francisco, are sold. I can vouch for the Timbuk2 quality. It’s top-notch.
Timbuk2 is best known for its classic “messenger” single-strap shoulder bag, a concept that no doubt pre-dates recorded civilization. Greg Bass, Director of Product and Design, talks about the company history in an audio interview (2:05 m):
What I like about the single-strap bag over a backpack is that the bag sits at waist-level or below, lowering your center of gravity. In addition to improved bike handling with a lower center of gravity, your back is exposed to the air, which reduces sweating.
However, the shoulder bag has one minor drawback – the weight wants to shift to your side as you ride. A waist strap reduces but does not eliminate the weight shift. I need to shift the bag back into position on a regular basis, but for me the advantages outweigh this annoyance.
Customize colors, fabric
Timbuk2 offers a wealth of color and fabric customization with its three-panel bags, and these custom bags are made in San Francisco, so we can support the Made in USA label.
Many improvements have been made since I bought my bag. For example, there is now reflective material built into two adjustable buckle staps. The old bags have plastic buckle reflectors, which I immediately lost.
Another neat feature of the custom bags is that you can choose a lining color. I can’t tell you how many times I couldn’t find something buried inside my black bag. Now you can order a white liner. That should help.
I won’t go into detail regarding all the bags made by Timbuk2, which includes everything from messenger bags to seat packs and tour bags. You can get that on the company website, as well as place an order.