“Messenger bag!” The idea hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been planning for my upcoming 6-month trip and was trying to figure out what to do for a daypack.

When my wife and I went to Europe back in 2006, we took two large backpacks with all of our clothing and such, and then an extra backpack for a daypack. The problem was that when we were traveling, one of us had to carry the daypack on the front, an uncomfortable and unfashionable proposition.

So, vowing to not repeat the same mistake again, I set out to figure out how we could take a daypack with us, without being forced to look like we were 8-months pregnant.

I had considered buying a new backpack with an attached daypack, but not only did I not want the additional cost of a new bag, but the attached daypacks tend to be a bit smaller than I wanted.

That’s why getting a messenger bag seemed like such a great idea. Not only could I swing it around the front when I was traveling, but I would also be able to sit at a table in a crowded restaurant, bag still slung over my shoulder, without having to worry about someone grabbing it off the floor.

After some extensive research, I decided to purchase a Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag. The reviews that I read gave the bag high-marks, and it looked very sturdy.

Since my bag has arrived, I haven’t taken it on my big trip yet; however, I have taken it, and my travel backpack, on several week -long trips, and have used the bag for several days of sight seeing.

Honestly, I couldn’t be happier. My bag is big enough for everything I need, without being obnoxious, is incredibly sturdy, and looks great.

For the traveler, there are several pros to the Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag.

First, the bag has a ton of pockets, allowing you to stow your items securely and separately from each other. You no longer have a giant pouch that you have to search through just to find something.

Second, there is a separate laptop sleeve built in, so you don’t have to leave your laptop in your hostel dorm room if you’re staying somewhere sketchy. Your laptop will be there with you, but still separated from the rest of your things.

Third, the bag provides some great security. The bag is made from what Timbuk2 calls “ballistic nylon”. While I’m not going to pretend to know what that means, I do know that you aren’t going to get your bag slashed while traveling in a crowded market. Also, the bag features two buckles and two velcro straps. This means that the bag is loud when you open it: bad for quiet temples, but great to keep prying hands out.

As I stated before, you can also sit with the bag across your chest and on your lap when sitting at a table eating dinner. It is also very easy to swing around to the front when you are on a crowded subway or bus for added security.

While there isn’t anything about the bag that I don’t like, there are a few things that I wish the bag included.

First, there isn’t anywhere to put a water bottle. This may not be a big deal for most people, but if you are planning on taking the bag into the tropics, the condensation from a water bottle might be an issue.

Second, it would be nice if there was some way to zip the bag. This would make the bag more waterproof, and protect the items inside. While the bag itself is waterproof, the edges of the top flap could allow some water in if you aren’t careful.

Overall though, this is a fantastic travel bag for anyone looking for a good daypack for your travels. I purchased a “small”, which is big enough to hold my DSLR camera in its case, a 10″ netbook, a guidebook, small water bottle, and whatever you can fit in the pockets. A woman without a big camera and computer might be more interested in the “extra small”, but I wouldn’t recommend going larger than the “small” if you are using this bag as a daypack for your travels.

Note: This is an independent review of the Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag. I purchased my bag with my own money and have not consulted with Timbuk2 regarding this review. If you click on the links in this article, I do receive compensation from Amazon for your purchase. This has had no effect on my review. If you want, feel free to purchase the bag from Amazon or Timbuk2 directly.