Timbuk2 Power Commute Laptop Messenger review: Power Commute makes recharging easy, stylish

The Joey T1 is also designed to be weather-resistant, and Timbuk2 says that it can be taken to any electronics recycling center when it reaches the end of its life. Recycling information is included in a pamphlet when you buy the bag.

James Martin/CNET

As befits a Timbuk2 bag, the Power Commute comes with more than just the T1. The TSA-compliant laptop compartment will fit most 15-inch laptops; there's a removable strap and handle so you can convert it from messenger bag to briefcase; and it has dedicated pockets for tablets, laptop power bricks, cables, and other miscellaneous tech debris.

This bag is seriously replete with pockets. Before you even get into the bag, you've got a bucketload of pockets. There's two faux-fur-lined sleeves, then a horizontally zippered pocket with a built-in keychain, and a second external pocket with a vertical zipper. Finally, there's an unzippered, open-air pocket. Inside the bag, there're slots for pens, two open-top pockets, and one with a Velcro flap. The T1 pocket is indicated by a lightning bolt icon, and there's also a mesh pocket.

There's a simple, bag-width Velcro-secured pocket toward the back, and then you have to flip the bag over to get at the laptop and tablet compartments. There's even an exterior pouch on the back, with an open top and a Velcro-sealed bottom for easy access -- or potentially, easy loss.

James Martin/CNET

Bottom line: if you've got a lot of random gear, chances are each piece can get a cubby-hole all its own in the Power Commute. There's enough pockets to help you get organized, but the main space is open enough so that you can haphazardly throw in whatever you want.

The Power Commute is also compatible with many of Timbuk2's ancillary accessories. We tested it with the Snoop camera bag insert and a thicker shoulder strap. It worked well with both. In fact, we loaded it up with a Canon 5D Mark II, three lenses, a beastly Lenovo ThinkPad T400, a Samsung Chromebook, and a Nexus 7. The bag was jammed tight, but it did hold it all, and still felt comfortable -- if heavy -- on the shoulder.

Besides the lack of customizability, one of the few drawbacks to the bag is that it's not cheap. The Power Commute and its backpack sibling, the Power Q, each retails for $199, about $50 more than their similarly sized, Joey-free cousins.

That price isn't outrageous, and I found it well worth the money to have the peace of mind of knowing that a nearly dead phone was no big deal.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Color gunmetal
  • Weight 2.6 lbs