I’m a fan of Timbuk2 products. Before anyone else seemed to know the brand, I had my trusty three-toned messenger bag, which I used in college, then repurposed as a rugged diaper bag when my kids were small. I’ve since tried out several additional Timbuk2 bags and backpacks, but the Copilot is my first piece of Timbuk2 luggage.


At 21.7 inches tall, the medium-sized Timbuk2 Copilot I tried comes in on the larger end for carry-on luggage. While this feature is usually a positive (yay, more room in my bag!), it can also be a negative on smaller aircraft. It won’t, for instance, fit in the smaller-sized overhead luggage bins, though it fits into the standard-sized bins with ease. Because I love the size and design on the Copilot so much, I haven’t let this stop me…but I do plan where to stash my bag accordingly. (The Copilot does come in a smaller size, at 20 inches, as well as a checked-bag size at nearly 29 inches.)

Why I love the design: the Copilot sports a clamshell design, opening like a book when unzipped to reveal two equally sized main compartments, separated by two mesh linings. In addition to being able to separate my clothes in this way, there are two additional, smaller compartments built into one side of the mesh, giving me packing cube-sized space for smaller items such as undergarments, swim suits, and tees. Those who have read my packing cube posts know I’m a fan, and I still do pack in cubes, but can use two less when using the Copilot.

In addition to opening as described above, the Copilot’s top of the two main compartments can be accessed separately, via a top outer panel. This is great if you want to grab a jacket on the go (just be sure to pack it in the right place). There’s also a small top outer compartment for toiletries, perfect for pulling out that 4-1-1 bag at security.

While this feature is a bit lost on me, my teens love that the Copilot rolls on skateboard wheels, and I love the padded handle. There are also reinforced grab handles on the side, and a clear ID window. The entire bag is very streamlined, so despite its size, I never feel like I’m lugging too much stuff when I have it with me.

I have only one small complaint: it must be noted that after 3-4 domestic air trips, my Copilot is showing some wear around the corners where the seams meet. So far, it’s only cosmetic, but be advised that I’m seeing this pretty early on for normal wear and tear. Hopefully I’m the exception, not the rule.

Pick up the Copilot for $168 for the medium, discounted from $225 on the Timbuk2 site. Also available on Amazon for a few bucks less. It comes in multiple muted colors, which makes for a nice change from the usual black bags filling airports these days. I have the black nylon color, and even this one stands out as different than the pack.

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