June 28th, 2008

buzzed, B&W

Freitag is the new Timbuk2

My brother's last tweet alludes to the popularity of Freitag as compared to Timbuk2. For those who don't know, Timbuk2 is a bag company, that started off as a messenger bag company.

I got my Timbuk2 Messenger bag back in 2002 I think, before they had become popular, particularly in Ohio. Back then, they only offered the one bag in various sizes (though now they have a huge variety of bags), and the online bag builder had debuted a few years earlier. I custom designed my bag, skipping the internal divider, but electing to have the boot, padded strap, and laptop sleeve. (New options include the grab handle, and smaller reflector tabs instead of the flags.) The boot is no longer an option for the bags, but it's an extra layer of material on the bottom of the bag for improved durability. I got the bag since it seemed uber-practical, and being able to customize the colors on the website was huge. I loved the bag, and I still use it occasionally.

More recently, I've been using the Osprey Torque. While I wasn't able to custom pick the colors, the integrated laptop sleeve, grab handle, external pocket, and nice selection of internal pockets are all advantages it has over the Timbuk2. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the convenience of the velcro flap for easy access, and it's a semi-rigid bag, which has it's pros and cons.

Anyway, I've seen a few Freitag bags here and there, and I'd imagine by brother's comment about then being the new Timbuk2 is two fold.
  1. They allow customization. In fact, this is probably their main selling point, as they re-purpose old truck tarpaulins.
  2. While I'd say Timbuk2 has jumped the shark, Freitag is the bag for trendsters . . .
I'm not a huge fan of the bags, as they fail in practicality in my mind. The PVC coated materials are too coarse/brittle, and the lack of internal pockets is a deal killer. They're ridiculously expensive as well, costing over $200. Still, I have to admit their customization process is pretty cool (though I think their web tool could be improved greatly to better explain/show where each piece you select is going). I'll stick with Timbuk2 though for messenger style, and my Torque for a good overall bag . . .

Other hipster bags of note could include Manhattan Portage, Chrome, and maybe even Crumpler.