Timbuk2 Shift Pannier Messenger Bag - Medium Specs
Travel Bike commuting & touring
1,486 cubic inches
Ballistic nylon/thermoplastic urethane/aluminum
14.17 x 10.24 x 5.12 inches
Gear capacity (L)
Gear capacity (cu. in.)
Timbuk2 Shift Pannier Messenger Bag - Medium
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Rated 3.1429/5 based on 7 reviews
Rated 1out of5
by AlanKHGfromFailed dangerously within 2 weeksI just moved to New York, and was hoping that this would be the perfect mix of pannier and messenger bag for biking and walking around the city. As a waterproof pannier it worked well for a bit, even in pretty heavy rain. As a shoulder bag, it was ok, though parts squeaked while walking. As a messenger bag on bike without a rack, it was very painful, with the stiff back panel driving the pannier hardware straight into my spine. And the bag didn't end up being very big.
These might be compromises you'd be willing to make. What was unacceptable was that, within 2 weeks of purchase, one of the pannier hooks (held in by a small metal pin) separated from the bag, leaving the bag held on by one hook. Fortunately, when this happened, I was riding on a calm bike path, but I was just scooting through lower Manhattan traffic. If the hook had failed then, the bungee to secure the pannier to the rack could have easily gone into the rear spokes, pulling the bag in with it and unexpectedly locking my rear wheel in traffic, which could have put me in a world of hurt. Unacceptable.
Date published: 2011-12-10
Rated 2out of5
by Rachel the Runner!fromThis bag didn't work for me...This bag didn't work for me. I commute to work via a Giant OCR 3 road bike, 15 miles round trip. I generally carry a 15" laptop, my lunch, a 500 mL nalgene bottle, pens/pencils, and some small personal items.
To begin, when it comes to materials, seams, and craftsmanship, the construction of the bag is top notch. I have owned one other Timbuk2 messenger bag for nearly 5 years and it has performed flawlessly so I was drawn to the Shift Pannier immediately. My personal issues with the bag are as follows: 1) The bag is just right for carrying the above listed items on a daily basis, but there is not room for much more. If I carried anything over this, I would have to strap it to the rack. 2) This Timbuk2 bag lacks a key fob, which is something I use every day in my other messenger. 3) The pannier lacks the interior organizational pockets that my messenger has. This isn't a deal breaker, but I would have preferred it. 4) The bag is completely off balance when using the shoulder strap. Because of the placement of the strap attachment to the bag, my bag was constantly rotating outward when walking and I would have to use my hand to hold the bag against my body. 5) The pannier hooks were *constantly* catching on my belt or the waistband of my pants. It was really frustrating. 6) The bag sits high on the rack, making the bike top-heavy. This isn't that big of a deal, but it definitely makes the overall ride less balanced and you have to be more cognisant of this while riding.
Over all, this bag wasn't for me and I knew it after commuting one day with it. I returned it the next day. I still really appreciate Timbuk2 and their workmanship and won't be discouraged from trying another Timbuk2 bag, but this bag just didn't cut it.
Date published: 2011-07-21
Rated 2out of5
by northstar5fromNice, but dangerousI have been using this bag for several months, and I have tried dearly to love it. Alas, I only kind of like it.
The bag allows me the convenience to pop it on and off my bike quickly and carry it around like a normal over the shoulder bag. Traditional panniers don't allow for this kind of use and simply look odd/dorky when you waltz into the bar or show you just rode to with an awkward pannier in your hands. Plus, it is waterproof and has a stiff back panel to keep it in place on your rack.
The bad news- Timbuk2 chose not add the full complement of interior organizational pockets that they include with all of their other classic messenger bags. It has the zippered outside pockets like their messenger bags, but the inside is just a tub with one open top divider. Weak stuff from a company that obviously knows how to sew this kind of thing into a bag, and does so on bags costing much less... So instead of truly replacing a messenger bag, one is left to just dump everything inside the one big tub and then sift through it all later when you need something. As such, the bag is oddly, yet certainly overpriced.
The really bad news- the hooks and metal hardware on this bag will immediately, aggressively and constantly chew into your bike rack. In the time I've had it, this bag has never failed to put fresh, deep gouges into the rack's paint. Not that it affects the performance of either, but now my rack looks awful.
I've tried many methods to cover the rack rails to protect them, as well as adding additional pieces of velcro and fabric to the outside of the bag to cover the metal hardware. But this devious bag just keeps on chewing my rack up.
So, its pretty good for what it is. Just be prepared to have it make a meal out of your rack's paint job. Sigh...
Date published: 2012-08-06
Rated 4out of5
by Bike Commuter and EnthusiastfromGreat commuting productOverall, love the product. I'm a bike commuter and love having a pannier that is versatile enough to look appropriate in multiple settings. Although it's a fairly small bag, it's big enough for me to carry a small pump, patch kit, basic repair tools, books, and a lunch. It's also waterproof which is a big plus because I'm an all-weather rider. I loved it so much I bought another one for my partner.
I have two minor complaints. One, I wish it were a bit easier and faster to put on my bike. I love my Ortlieb touring panniers for that reason and wish that this bag had the same functionality. Two, I wish it were more comfortable to carry. When wearing as a messenger bag, the hooks for attaching the pannier to the bike rack dig into my back. I just carry it over one shoulder and it's fine, but I hope that some day they will make this a bit differently.
Date published: 2013-01-02
Rated 4out of5
by gah1982fromNice Option for Light LoadsI use this bag nearly every day on my commute to work. I pack pretty light, so if you're carrying a full load of clothes, shoes, lunch, etc., this will not be the bag for you. Generally what I stow in it for my daily commute are a full size U-lock, shirt, laptop, snack, and toiletries. The messenger bag strap comes in handy as well, although the rigid back of the bag makes it uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. There are also several zipper pockets in front to organize smaller things like your wallet and phone. The velcro on the flap of the bag coupled with the clasps are an efficient means of securing everything and cinching down the load for your ride.
Don't be turned off by the smallish size, though. I did manage to fit three bottles of wine in this bag.
It's very waterproof as well. I was able to put this to the test recently when a surprise (torrential) downpour hit me out of nowhere. The contents of the bag stayed dry as a bone. The overall quality of the materials and construction is impressive. It just feels like it's put together well.
All in all, great product. It won't work for daytrips or commuters with heavy loads, but if you like to ride light, I'd say go for this bag.
Date published: 2011-07-08
Rated 4out of5
by PeteyXfromSolid pannier, solid messenger bag.The bags themselves are very sturdy, and waterproof enough for any reasonable commute. The weak point is definitely the pannier hooks, which are effective but minimal — less convenient than snap-on clips, and less durable — but also easier to repair if they do break. One of the lower hooks got completely ruined when I caught it in my disc brakes (no apparent damage to the breaks, fortunately) and I was able to swap in a hook from the hardware store with hardly any effort.
The shoulder strap is easily adjustable, and has a clip for quickly going between adjusted and maximum length. The clips that enable these features are pretty bulky, and get in the way when in use as a messenger bag. The back of the bag is pretty rigid, which is good for protecting your stuff but looks slightly awkward when bouncing against your hip.
There are a lot of small pockets up front for small items (wallet, keys, MAYBE a tire lever or allen wrench) but a few mid-size interior pockets or elastic straps would be great for holding lights, tools, and such. Those things tend to rattle around on the bottom of the bag and become hard to find quickly when you need them.
They expand well to carry different-size loads, and it's nice that they lie almost flat against your bike when empty. I found I needed two to carry a lock, change of clothes, and rain gear. I'll probably leave one at home during the summer, but in the meantime, I figured out that I can clip a single shoulder strap through both bags' loops, which helps but doesn't seem to have been intended by Timbuk2. Making the clips and/or loops just a little bigger would make this substantially easy to do.
All in all, I got what I wanted, which is a nice-looking pair of panniers that I can carry around easily.
Date published: 2012-06-20
Rated 5out of5
by wesleyjackfromKind of wish I had twoI use this product almost every day on my commute to work. It gets my coffee, some deodorant, and clean shirt, flat kit, lunch and a book or two to work and back perfectly. The bag is lined with a water proof material that makes cleaning the inside of the bag a breeze. It's mounting system is extremely simple and goes right on and off the bike in just a few seconds. The mounting system also makes it quite versatile, I can't imagine a rack it wouldn't fit on. I really couldn't be happier with this product.
However, if you are looking for a pannier to carry a laptop in I'm not sure this is the one as the lap top would be placed against the bike rack with little padding to protect it.
Date published: 2011-08-30
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Timbuk2 Shift Pannier Messenger Bag - Medium Customer Reviews