Well Considered: Timbuk2 Q Laptop Backpack

First things first, this is my initial impression of the bag. This bag is a gift for my Godson for his graduation, and I have heard him several times express how much he likes my Timbuk2 Wander travel backpack because he could fit his gaming laptop in it. Now, I always try to be accommodating with those requests but I felt that he should get a bag he can use on his first job or freelance career, so I wanted to get him a durable enough bag with adequate organization and versatility to be used as a daily carry.


  • Well-built
  • Affordable ($47 from $99)
  • Adequate organization
  • Small size despite being able to fit my 17" laptop


  • Straps are just a little tight on the neck area, but may loosen with use
  • Subjective - All black version is a little plain, bag looks a little weird at some angles

So the first things I did was to look through the Timbuk2 site and found the Q laptop backpack, which has been on sale for a while and available in black. Timbuk2 has a wide array of bags to choose from but here are my reasons for choosing the Q:

  • It can fit a 17" laptop.
  • It does not look too flashy to attract thieves. My nephew commutes and I don't want him to get into trouble with a flashy backpack.
  • Durability. Timbuk2 bags are backed by a lifetime warranty. I have full confidence in the Timbuk2 brand and have owned several of their messenger bags to boot.
  • Organization. Which usually means pockets. Lots of pockets.
  • Affordability. I got this for $47 dollars.

So I bit the bullet and bought it along with the Timbuk2 Mission Sling, because I wanna get something for myself as well ?. I admit I was personally excited in getting the bag and I was curious on how the bag would be able to impress me, and it did not disappoint when it arrived. I tested out a few loadouts and I was very impressed with how much I was able to fit in. The build quality is better than I expected and was comparable to my Victorinox Deluxe backpack. The straps are solid and stiff and will break in well over time. There’s also a side handle if you want to carry it briefcase-style.

There are a lot of organizational compartments. Here’s the list:

  • Quick-access pocket with tricot lining. This can fit a glasses case and/or your cellphone. I was able to fit both but it was a little tight. I don’t think a Galaxy Note would fit in this space.
  • Laptop compartment with tablet sleeve. My nephew has confirmed that it fits his gaming laptop great. I was also able to fit my ZBook comfortably and that laptop is thicc. The laptop is also raised about 3/4” via a liner, offering protection when you put your bag down on the floor.
  • Main compartment; can fit a jacket and other things. The capacity is smaller than my Victorinox bag, but I think this is still spacious enough for minimal weekend travel.
  • Organizational front section for pens and other tech. This can fit a notebook while the other pockets can be used for cables, cards and other EDC items.
  • Bottom pocket, best for charging cables and your mouse. This is also an alternative space for a jacket, do take note that this shares space with the main compartment.
  • Bottle or umbrella holder. I wouldn't use the bottle holder when using carrying the bag suitcase-style as it would only hold a 20oz bottle half of the way, therefore it could fall off as you're swinging the bag. You can just put the bag in the main compartment

The bag as I mentioned has a side handle on one side. It’s a simple nylon strap that I find ok but it’s going to be uncomfortable to hold when you’ve packed your bag heavily. It also has a sternum strap and a bottle opener which is a feature you would find on most of their backpacks.

Overall Impressions

The Timbuk2 Q laptop backpack is a really sturdy bag in terms of construction and feel. The all black color does look uninspiring but it does make it stand out too much to thieves, which was one of my main considerations in buying this bag. The only improvements I could ask for would be bigger zippers for the main compartments, a more comfortable side handle and maybe just a little more space in the main compartment. This is a pretty great buy for it’s current price and an excellent daily carry.

Specs from website

  • Large main compartment for books, jacket, and other carry-on essentials
  • Padded front pocket offers protection for iPad mini
  • Padded, tricot-lined laptop compartment (fits up to 17" laptop )
  • Smart power brick pocket remembers where your cords are so you don't have to
  • Tricot-lined floating pocket protects sunglasses or smartphone
  • Laptop Compartment fits 17”
  • Volume: 26.00 L / 1,587 cu in
  • Weight: 2.3 lb / 1.0 kg
  • Width: 11.8 in - 30.0 cm
  • Height: 18.9 in / 48.0 cm
  • Depth: 5.12 in / 13.0 cm