Friday, May 31, 2013

Timbuk2 Showdown Review

Ah, the good ol' days. I remember my favorite part of going back to school. While mom would go do the shopping, I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking through hundreds of Trapper Keepers trying to find the perfect one. I looked forward to doing that every year. While I don't remember many of the ones I picked, I remember my favorite had picture of a large waterfall surrounded by green. I have a very similar photo hanging up in my house now.  Hmmmmm.

I've carried the same laptop backpack now for quite a few years. I walked into a chain store, picked out one that seemed okay, and that was that. I've had it for probably 7 or more years. It didn't bring me joy, but it worked. I use my backpack a lot for work. Sometimes it hauls a laptop back and forth to the office. Sometimes it hauls around military electronic equipment while I'm out walking in the woods. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it recently had a blowout of an inner lining. It was time for a new backpack.

I'm not a big fan of paying full price for things. I went to a few places that tend to have the best prices on outdoor gear: LeftLane Sports, The Clymb, Sierra Trading Post, and The backpack choices are astounding. I was transported right back to the 80s, hanging out in Target, picking out my Trapper Keeper. There were a few things I needed in a backpack: a place for my laptop, a place to shove a water bottle, and a place for my phone. I also didn't want anything too large since I would be hauling it through the airport, on an airplane, to the office, and in the woods/field/desert/etc. I also wanted something that would fit into my work environment (think army meets engineer) as well as something I could use to go for a day hike. Enter the Timbuk2 Showdown.

There were many to choose from, but I decided on the Showdown. It met all my requirements, and, hey, I liked the way it looked. The laptop compartment is completely separate which is nice. Plenty of times going through security at the airport, I would pull out my laptop and the papers in the divided section would come out with it. Big deal? Nah, but slightly annoying. This backpack solved that issue.
Laptop Cocoon of Luxuary

The phone pouch is oh-so-soft and will keep a phone riding in style, scratch free.

Room to throw in a water bottle, or in this case, a Flying Monkey Silipint cup.

There is a large zip pocket on the front with a mesh pocket. My sunglasses case fit perfectly at the bottom of this pocket. On the other side below the phone pouch, there is another zip pocket that is about half the size.

The main compartment has a zip pocket as well as an area for pens and other items.

There is a detachable sternum strap, a bottle opener (never know when you'll need one of those, right?), and a padded area with air channels for the back.

Two of the best things about this pack are that I managed to get it for $40 less than retail at 6pm, and it comes in smaller than most at 22 liters. It's not a waterfall, but it is a darn good backpack.

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