07 January 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Timbuk2 Accessory Case

I, for one, thought that it would be easy. After fighting with poorly thought-out camera case on vacation this summer, I resolved to replace it. The old case was essentially a sleeve with a Velcro flap and belt loop which perpendicular to the flap. Seeing as I don't like to wear a belt whilst riding, and the waist strap on most of my packs is pretty minimal, these pretty much suck. They don't stay put and, as the belt loop doesn't open or close, are all but impossible to get on the shoulder strap. The sternum strap can work, but the camera bounces around and that gets old, fast.

After a bit of searching, I found Timbuk2's 'Accessory Case' at our local REI. Unlike pretty much everything else I'd seen, the 2in wide Velcro-able tube that runs along the long dimension of the bag at the back. The pocket itself is a bit fleecy and holds my 4x2.5x1in camera snugly, aided by elastic sides. It even has a thin sleeve at front, for money, cards, or a spare SD card. It's not remotely waterproof and only lightly padded, so take care and/or buy that no-fault camera warranty.

After a bit of experimenting, I settled on fitting it to the end my pack strap, where it joins with the bag (see picture). This way, the camera is out of the way but easily accessible without removing the pack. It scrunches the Deuter pack strap a little bit, but not so much that it's uncomfortable. Other than that, there's not much to say. At $20, its a bit pricer than other (less suitable) bags that I saw. Unlike Timbuk2's messenger bags, which are largely made in the US, its made in Vietnam- a bit of a disappointment, as that would have accounted for the price. Still, the best option that I've seen, and being silver (blue and black also available), a shade of my favorite color.



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