An Honest Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Review

When it comes to really nice backpacks, there are a lot of choices out there. Being able to find one that is just ideal for you can be rather difficult. If you landed on this page due to your search, then your search might just be over as you read through this timbuk2 authority laptop backpack review.

Based on my personal opinion I think this is a pretty sleek backpack. It has a modern look and some of its features are pretty unique and are not as common as the features in other backpacks. For example, it has a compression strap at the bottom of the bag that can be used to secure items such as a yoga mat, umbrella or a tripod outside the bag.

It also has a stretchy neoprene bottle holding pocket and there is an air channel at the back of the bag which helps for better airflow keeping your back dry while making use of the back. These are some awesome features and although they are awesome, they still have some drawbacks.

I intend to reveal everything to you that we found out about this particular bag so that at the end of the review you would have enough information to make an informed decision on whether this backpack is right for you or not.

Product Name: Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack

A Good Place To Buy: Amazon

My Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Do You Prefer To Watch a Video Review On This Bag? If So Then Please Click On The Play Button On The Video Below.

Design and Variations

Timbuk2 authority pack has a pretty sleek design which gives it a sought of modern look and It was made with 400D nylon fabric. All the fabric used both external and liner have resistant water coatings. The backpack is unable to withstand a heavy downpour because it does not have welded or taped seams.

So because of this, water can actually intrude into the bag if exposed to a downpour. Your best option in order to avoid getting the items in your bag drenched with water is to make use of a rain cover if you anticipate that there would be inclement weather.

The timbuk2 authority laptop backpack comes in various options giving you the ability to pick an option you feel would be ideal for you. They all have a grab handle for easy lifting. The available options are

  • Fog
  • Jet Black
  • Jet Black Static
  • Moss
  • Nautical
  • Oxide Heather
  • Storm

Air Mesh Ventilated Back panel

It is advised that when getting a pack to make sure you get a backpack with good back ventilation. Depending on how long you use a backpack on a particular day, your back might get sweaty. This is no good news especially for those that sweat a lot.

This is why I love packs that are designed to create good ventilation at the back of the backpack. I am not entirely a huge fan of air mesh at the back of a pack but still, I prefer it to bag that does not have any feature that encourages a dry back.

Timbuk2 authority backpack was designed with a mesh back panel at the back of the pack which also has an air channel which enables for a dry back when making use of the backpack. This is very important as air mesh are actually designed for airflow and cushioning. Although I would not say air mesh backpacks does this perfectly but it does to a very reasonable extent.

The back of the backpack has a lot of padding which makes it really comfortable when you put it on. The air channel at the back of the bag makes the padding to be elevated which allows for air to come in while making use of the bag so it can keep your back dry to a reasonable extent.

I have seen some complaints about the air channel not having much effect on the ventilation of the bag. Though these complaints are not much but it is still worth mentioning here so you know exactly what you are getting if you decide to get for yourself a timbuk2 authority laptop backpack.

Adjustable and Compression Straps

A pretty useful feature added to the features of this pack is the compression straps at the bottom of the bag. They are useful because they can be used to hold some items you probably don’t want to put in your bag or that cannot fit into the bag and a perfect example of this are your yoga mats.

You can also secure items like an umbrella or your rain jackets using the compression straps at the bottom of the bag which is made up of a plastic insert and a metal clip which the plastic is inserted into. The compression straps at the bottom of the bag can also be used to cinch down the bag.

The shoulder straps at the back of the backpack are padded and are pretty wide enough to be able to carry the weight of the pack leaving you comfortable even while making use of the bag for a long period of time.

The sternum strap on the shoulder strap of the backpack is removable in case they are not your thing or if they feel uncomfortable while carrying the pack.

Padded Laptop Compartment

If you were probably wondering if timbuk2 authority pack came with a laptop compartment, you can put your mind at rest because it does. At the rear entry of the bag, there is an entire compartment dedicated to housing your laptop. The compartment is well padded at both side of the compartment and this is actually meant to protect your laptop from damages.

As an added bonus, the bottom of the laptop compartment is elevated just in case your pack falls vertically on the ground. You never know what can happen while making use of your bag. It is good to have that extra bit of protection for your laptop inside the laptop compartment of timbuk2 authority pack and I am really happy that this was actually included in the bag. The laptop compartment is able to house up to a 17″ sized laptop.


The organization pattern of the timbuk2 authority pack is pretty decent. The pockets are not too much and are not too few and I think that it is just the right amount. This is just my opinion but if you are looking for a backpack with at least 20 pockets then this might not be a bag for you because I can assure you that the pockets are not up to 20.

If you are looking for a backpack with a lot of pockets then you can check out swissgear 1900 scansmart tsa laptop backpack or you can also have a look at yorepek’s extra large backpack.

If you are not a fan of too many pockets in a backpack then timbuk2 authority pack would be just right for you. At the front of the bag, there are two easy access pockets where you can place some of your items that you need quick access to.

The first pocket which is the top pocket can be used to store items like your sunglasses, cellphone or similarly sized items. The second pocket makes use of a side opening zipper which can be used to store small sized items. Inside the pocket, you would find a key chain holder or key fob with a metal clip that can be used to hold items like a key.

This key fob ensures you won’t have to be fumbling for your keys when you need to make use of them.

At the side of the bag, there is a neoprene pocket that can be used for a water bottle. The complaints I was able to find about this from other previous users are

  1. The water bottle-holding pocket might be too small to contain large water bottles
  2. There is only one water bottle pocket on only one side of the bag

Though these are complaints by few users of the timbuk2 authority laptop backpack, others are totally fine with this as they are able to make use of it just fine. These users probably consider this a small issue and probably overlooked it but if you feel that this might be a problem then you might be better of going for another backpack that has two water bottle pockets that are also large enough to contain a pretty large sized water bottle.

A reason why I like this water bottle holding pocket is that it stretches and is actually tight which means that if you are probably not making use of it, it still hugs the bag pretty well. The water bottle pocket can also be used to hold items like your umbrella.

Some Drawbacks of Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack

It is pretty difficult to find a perfect backpack and as we do in our other reviews, we would identify some drawbacks or complaints about this pack.

Water bottle holder

One complaint as stated within this timbuk2 authority laptop backpack review is one the water bottle pocket holder. It has only one water bottle pocket holder and the size of the pocket holder might not be big enough to contain large sized water bottles.

Anti-theft features

This is a pretty awesome backpack but one thing I would really like to see are some anti-theft features. With the type of world we currently live in, even putting your things in a backpack cannot guarantee the safety of the items in your bag.

A way around this is through the integration of anti-theft features into a backpack. These anti-theft features would make access into the pack pretty difficult.

Short Sternum Strap

There have been some few complaints about the sternum strap attached to the shoulder straps being too short which might end up making the bag a little uncomfortable. The good thing about the sternum strap attached to the shoulder straps is that they are actually removable so if you feel uncomfortable because of the sternum strap, you can just remove it and make use of the bag without it.

Who Is This Bag Ideal For

Timbuk2 authority laptop backpack due to its sleek design and style can be used by those going to work. It can also be used by students and if you intend to travel a little light, it can very much be used for traveling. For businessmen and women, this would be an ideal backpack for your daily activities.

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Questions

1. Question: Are laptops to be placed in the center or rear compartment?

Answer: If you take a closer look at the main compartment of the backpack you would notice that it has a sleeve that kinda looks like a laptop sleeve compartment. This particular compartment also has some padding but it is pretty small. It can also be used as a laptop compartment but it would be able to take only small sized laptops.

It is more ideal for devices such as a tablet and it does not have as much protection as the actual laptop compartment at the rear compartment of the backpack. So my answer to the question is yes it can also be used as a laptop compartment but it only depends on the size of your laptop.

But to be on the safe side so that your laptop can be properly protected I would advise you to make use of the main laptop compartment at the rear compartment of the backpack.

2. Question: Is the backpack tsa friendly?

Answer: This is not a tsa friendly backpack as it is not able to lay flat open up to 180 degrees. Tsa friendly backpacks are able to open and be laid down flat so you don’t have to remove your gadgets from the bag.

3. Question: Where are these bags made?

Answer: The authority backpacks are made in Indonesia but their custom bags are made in San Francisco, California


Whether you are going to class or going to work or whether you are heading out for a business meeting or probably just your regular daily commuting, timbuk2 authority laptop backpack can be your ideal backpack due to its sleek design and simple yet functional features.

It is made with 400D nylon fabric and has several features such as

  • A dedicated padded laptop compartment able to fit up to a 17inch laptop size
  • Adjustable and compression straps
  • Access pockets at the front of the bag with a key fob inside one of the pockets
  • A neoprene water bottle pocket at the side of the bag
  • Air mesh back panel with an air channel for comfort and keeping your back dry

I consider this a pretty awesome backpack and it is also a bag that I can highly recommend for anyone in the market for a sleek and modern looking pack with features and functionality for the modern individual.

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