Anybody have the Timbuk2 Especial Medio or Especial Tres backpack?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Anybody have the Timbuk2 Especial Medio or Especial Tres backpack?

    Santa Claus is coming to town, and I think I've narrowed it down to these two packs. I'm thinking that the Tres is overkill/too big for most normal commuting needs (the most I really carry is a full change of clothes, lunch, and the usual bike related bits). I try not to carry a full change of clothes and stash stuff at work. I'm leaning towards the Medio.

    Any input? (other than Timbuk2 used to be awesome and made in the USA, but then they outsourced everything overseas and now their product sucks, etc. I know all that stuff and still want this crappy product.)
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  2. #2
    Graveyard Shift
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    I have the Medio and I really like it. I find the design does a good job of keeping the weight focused on your shoulders and upper back and it has a lot of little positives that cater to cycle commuting. I think the storage capacity is good, you'll be able to get all of that in there with plenty of room to spare, including full-sized laptops (15.6"). As for the waterproofing, I commute in Vancouver and the design hasn't failed me.

    Things I would improve are:
    - The laptop sleeve could be sealed. It hasn't ever been a problem, but it's nevertheless something other bags do that this one doesn't.
    - The helmet stash is kind of tight, I think. Most road helmets will probably fit but it's much more useful if you wear compact helmets, and larger ones certainly won't.

    I think the Tres would be a great pack as well. If you were a bit more open-ended in how much you might want to put in it then it'd be the safer choice, but I feel pretty satisfied with the zipper-opening Medio.
    Long is the way, and hard.

  3. #3
    Natural Born Killer
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    My first thought after looking at these was: "hmmm, no waist belt?". Any thoughts? I like a waist belt even for a cycling pack because it helps support and control the weight of the pack on the hips and lumbar area. I personally don't like any pack where the weight hangs off the shoulders but that is probably less of an issue on a bike than actually walking/hiking. BTW, the Tres looks huge to me, I'd go with the Medio based on size for my commuting needs.
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  4. #4
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Christian, thank you! That's great input.


    They both have a removable waist belt. I definitely like having the waist belt on my commuter pack, but I don't cinch it up tight like I would on a backpacking pack. Just enough to keep things stable. They both have a removable sternum strap also. I do not use the sternum strap on my current pack.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  5. #5
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I am packing a small MacBook Air laptop also, so protection is an issue, but size of laptop storage shouldn't be an issue at all.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  6. #6
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    I have the Especial Vuelo, which differs slightly from the two you are looking at, but has similar overall dimensions. It's a well constructed bag, but I'm regretting the purchase a bit as far as using it for commuting, since the upper left corner of the bag protrudes into the field of vision for my take-a-look mirror. The Tres and Medio look to have more rounded shoulders so may work better - the Vuelo has a very squared off shoulder - anyway, if you use a mirror, try the bag first. I've reverted to messenger bag or panniers or old less sophisticated backpacks.

  7. #7
    Bedwards Of The West
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    ^^ That was one factor for me... I didn't like the big blocky looking corners of the Tres... The reviews on the Medio seem to indicate that it's good for visibility. I'm not a mirror guy, but I do the shoulder glance thing when I'm in traffic (which is rare). Thanks for the input...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  8. #8
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    Yeah, I've experienced no issues with the Medio in spatial awareness. I can see how the others might be problematic there.
    Long is the way, and hard.

  9. #9
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Just a follow up... I got this pack (the Medio) and it's GREAT for me. in comparison to a "normal" backpack shape, it's taller, and not as fat (doesn't stick as far out away from your back..so you gain space in height, but it's more of a narrower, rectangular shape (narrow is the wrong word...it's tall and wide, but not as...thick?... can't think of a good word to describe the distance that it sticks out away from your back). I was using a pretty standard sized North Face backpack prior to this, and I definitely gained room with this pack, but you have to pack it differently, since the rectangular main compartment is much more rectangular than the almost pear-shaped main compartment of a more "normal" backpack, if that makes any sense. Because of the shape, I do see it when I glance over my shoulder for traffic...but it's not obstructing the view. You just catch the edge of it in your vision more than you would a standard backpack shape. I can see how this could be an issue with the roll-top version (the Tres). It has pockets and organizers everywhere...I found it much easier to get my tools/commute essentials out of the way in places where they're not in the way and I can forget about them until I need them. The laptop storage deal is ideal, and I can't wait to test the weather-proof ability. I have no doubts there after looking at the construction. This is quite the man-purse. I like it a lot.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

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