Timbuk2 Uptown Review – Best Backpack For Business Travel?

Frequent business travelers need something that’s versatile, has a lot of space, and that is TSA-friendly. Finding a bag or a backpack that can match all of these requirements is kind of tough, so when we heard that people claim that such a product exist, we simply had to check it out. Read on for a thorough review of Timbuk2 Uptown review.

If you travel by air a lot, whether for business or pleasure, you are aware that your needs when it comes to luggage are pretty specific. You need to take your laptop with you, but also a change of clothes or two, your chargers, papers, and a bunch of little things that take up a lot of space in the end. So, a normal laptop case is never enough, and lugging a suitcase around is simply impractical. A good backpack is what you need, but, where can you find a backpack that has all of this? Apparently at Timbuk2.

Timbuk2 became famous for their messenger bags, but they’ve been getting out of their comfort zone lately, and they’ve done it quite successfully. They are a San Francisco based company that manufactures all their bags in this city. Their models range from bags to briefcases and backpacks, and they are always incredible when it comes to design, quality, durability, and functionality.

This time we got to introduce ourselves to their model that caused a thrill when it first got out – their TSA-friendly backpack, Uptown.

All About Timbuk2 Uptown Laptop TSA-Friendly Backpack

Before you decide whether to get this backpack or not, read our review – we checked the material, durability, and everything else this Timbuk2 model has to offer.


timbuk2 uptown review

Well, when it arrived, our first impression of this backpack was that it really looks nice. No matter which color combination you take, it’s not flashy, and it can be combined with any clothing. A sleek silhouette and clean lines make it perfect for any occasion.

The very look of this backpack is working for it. It’s not great just for students, professionals can also carry it without worrying – it looks serious enough for a workplace, while still being casual enough for everything else you might want to use it for.

It comes in seven different color combinations, so we’re sure you can find something that will fit your preferences.

Material and Durability

This backpack is made of incredibly durable 400D Nylon Faille. It can handle almost anything you throw at it. We know this might sound a bit excessive, but it has Timbuk2’s lifetime warranty that is legendary. As their bags are sewn by hand, the may have some small flaws, sure, but, for everything bigger than that, Timbuk2 stands behind their products. If there’s a defect in the backpack, they will fix it for free, or replace your backpack. Of course, this warranty is not valid for normal wear and tear, or intentional destruction of one of their products.

Timbuk2 Uptown Backpack Overview and Review

The material itself is pretty durable and water resistant. So, you know that if you get caught outside during a shower, your laptop and things will still be safe. But, as it isn’t waterproof, just water resistant, if you expect heavy rain, you should get a backpack rain cover.

One flaw that seems frequent on backpacks is having bad zippers. YKK zippers are high-quality, there’s seam-sealed construction all along the zipper lines, as well as some quality stitching. Zipping and unzipping goes smoothly. In spite of our numerous attempts, we didn't manage to get those zippers stuck even once. Tests.

Features and Functionality

This is the part you’ve been waiting for. A backpack can have an amazing design, the materials can be the best out there, but if it isn’t functional, you can throw it away.

It’s a good thing this backpack is incredibly functional.

It has three large compartments. The one right next to your back is meant for your laptop and tablet/Kindle. Its zipper is right behind the shoulder straps, and it makes your tech as safe as can be. The laptop pocket has enough padding to keep your device safe. If your laptop is 17” or smaller, you can freely take this model. You can unzip it all the way through and lay it open for the security checks.

The other big compartment is basically just a bag – you can fit books, clothes, toiletries, towels, even a pair of shoes in here. The third compartment has two small organizer compartments and one mesh zipper pocket, but it also has quite a bit of space also. This backpack has a 30-liter capacity. That means that you can probably fit even more things in there.

At the front of this backpack, you have one big and one small pocket. The big pocket is full of compartments for all those little things you might want to have close at hand – keys, tickets, pens, your wallet. The small pocket can be useful for your phone or a portable charger.

We love that it has a briefcase-like handle on one side, so you can also carry it like a briefcase when necessary.

At the top of the backpack, there’s a fleece lined pocket for your sunglasses. Not always necessary, but nifty to have.

We like another thing Timbuk2 thought about – the water bottle pouch on the side. It might not be something you think about often, but it’s mighty useful.


Whether you’re just going to school, work, or traveling, this backpack is comfortable to wear. The back panel won’t make your back hurt. The shoulder straps are wide, so they won’t cut into your shoulders or cause neck pain.

The back panel has nice padding, and it has a mesh cover. It isn’t there to just protect your laptop, but also to enable air flow, so your back won’t get wet while you’re wearing this backpack.

The sternum strap is pretty useful as it stabilizes the backpack even more. Just bear in mind that it doesn’t have much space for adjustment, so if your shoulders are a bit wider, you can forget about using it.


  • Designated pockets for everything you might want to carry
  • Solid straps
  • Lifetime warranty
  • It opens up to lay flat on its way through security


  • Laptop case Velcro strap is loose when you put a smaller laptop in it
  • The bottom needs reinforcement
  • Side handle seems a bit weak

Final Verdict

Timbuk2 Uptown Laptop TSA-Friendly Backpack

Doing this Timbuk2 Uptown review we checked every pocket, strap, and zipper on this backpack, and we can only give it a stellar rating. 5 out of 5.

People we spoke to, who have one of these Timbuk2 backpacks, are simply loving them, and after checking it out for ourselves, we can understand why. Sturdy, well designed, safe, and high-quality backpacks like this one aren’t so easy to find. Sure, they aren’t exactly cheap, but they are built to last, which more than makes up for the price.

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