If you're like us, every one of your mobile devices could use a performance boost in one crucial area: battery life. Timbuk2 saw the exigency to keep phones, tablets, PMPs and cameras in the juice, and aims to meet that need with the Power Commute messenger bag announced earlier this year. And now you, dear reader can pick one up starting today for $199 from REI or through Timbuk2's website. Before you rush off to part with a pair of Benjamins for the bag and its waterproof Joey T1 portable power source, however, read on for our hands-on impressions.
Timbuk2 Power Commute messanger bag hands-onSee all photos
The Power Commute sports a form factor that's familiar to any Timbuk2 fan, as it's essentially a Commute Laptop TSA-Friendly messenger bag with a couple tweaks to set it apart. That means you get sturdy weatherproof construction, padded compartments for your 15-inch laptop and tablet and a pair of faux-fur lined pockets for storing phones and PMPs. Plus, there are myriad internal options for holding cables, peripherals, pens, drinks and anything else you find yourself lugging around on the daily. The new version differs from Timbuk2's standard laptop messenger in its coloration (exclusively black and gunmetal gray with green accents) and exchanges one of the interior water bottle pockets for a power pack pouch.
As a gadget lover frequently on-the-go, this editor can see the appeal of the bag's many nooks and crannies, which allow for stowing and organizing everything needed for a days work. The bag's equipped with thoughtful touches like the Napolean pocket up front -- which keeps oft-used sundries like gum or a transit card handy -- that's accessible even when the bag's top flap is shut.
Of course, the main appeal of the Power Commute lies in its waterproof Joey T1 power supply, which Timbuk2 claims can recharge most phones twice. In an effort to minimize waste, the Joey doesn't come with a wall plug. Instead, the company figures you can use your phone's unit to charge it up via micro-USB. The Joey outputs electricity through a standard USB 2.0 port, and charging starts when you plug in any device -- the Joey's onboard circuitry handles the rest.
In our brief testing, we found that the Joey's 13Wh cell could only recharge our Galaxy Nexus a bit more than one and a half times. That's less than promised, but more than enough to get us through a day at even the most hectic trade show. Because it's a 5V unit pushing a single amp of power, it's not the speediest of charging methods, but it provides more than enough oomph to keep a gadget or two flush with electrons even when there's no outlet in sight.
Timbuk2 Announces Partnership with Joey® Energy to Launch the First Series of Purpose-Built Bags with a Power Supply to Charge a Variety of Electronics while on the Move
The San Francisco-based pioneer of the laptop bag unveils Power Commute and Power Q for the most innovative technology portage yet
SAN FRANCISCO - Timbuk2, the San Francisco-based manufacturer, announces a partnership with Joey® Energy to offer the first series of purpose-built bags with a power supply to charge a variety of electronics while on the move. As a result of this collaboration, Timbuk2 will unveil two new bags – the Power Commute and Power Q on November 8, 2012.
"There are a few 'battery' and power bags on the market, however none are from existing or trusted manufacturers in a lightweight, simple and compact format that also charges different brands and types of technology while on the go," says Timbuk2 CEO Mike Wallenfels. "Timbuk2's core consumer has a nomadic lifestyle. It made sense for us to partner with Joey Energy to offer the most innovative charging capabilities designed to keep consumers moving in two of Timbuk2's top selling bag styles."
Not for individual sale, the Joey® T1 power supply is designed with rugged electronics and a tough, water resistant case. Offering a very slim design and wire with a satellite USB port, the Joey® T1 unit features include:
Energy on the Move – Consumers can charge the T1 before a business trip or vacation to provide up to weeks of charging while in the bag. No more searching for power outlets while on the go. One Source for Power Supply - Charges virtually any technology that charges via a USB cable, including smartphones and phones, iPads and Kindles, iPods and other MP3 players, GPS units, tablet computers, etc., eliminating the need for multiple cords.
Purpose-Built for Life Integrated in a Bag - It's USB ports and LEDs are built into a "satellite" unit in a dedicated compartment inside of the Timbuk2 bag with ports to thread the charger cable to the iPad/tablet compartment or smartphone pocket inside the bag.
Extremely Efficient Cooling Capabilities - Ensures longer life of electronics and Joey.
Button-Free – It's powerful computer simply does what is needed without input from the user and won't run the risk of accidentally turning the unit on or off.
Convenient Pass-Through Mode - Both Joey and the user's device can be charged from a single wall outlet cable.
Recyclable - Designed to be recycled at any of the many thousands of electronics recycling points throughout the U.S. and the world. Recycling information is available with bag purchase.
"We're passionate about developing innovative solutions for people's frenetic lifestyles," said Joey Energy Co-founder and Outdoor Industry Veteran, George Farkas. "Timbuk2 customers are highly mobile people who don't want to spend their days searching for wall outlets, nor do they want to carry multiple wall charge cables for the electronics in their bag. We're pleased to be partnering with Timbuk2 as they align with our mission to keep people moving and do so in a smart, stylish and functional way."
Available November 8, 2012 on www.timbuk2.com and REI stores across the country and in February 2013 at select additional retailers, Timbuk2's new Power Line includes the Power Commute and the Power Q:
Timbuk2 Power Commute - A TSA-compliant messenger bag with a Joey® T1 Power Supply.
Available in Black/Gunmetal/Algae Green
Retail price: $199
Power Commute design features include:
· Joey® T1 charge unit fits in a dedicated pocket on the inside with weather proof ports to thread the charger cable to the iPad pocket or phone pocket
· TSA-compliant quilted/tricot lined laptop compartment fits most 15" laptops
· Removable shoulder strap so you can carry as a briefcase or messenger
· Separate dedicated pockets for your iPad, laptop power brick, etc.
· Napoleon side-entry pockets with faux fur lined phone/iGadget pockets
Timbuk2 Power Q – Timbuk2's best-selling pack with a Joey® T1 Power Supply.
Available in Black/Gunmetal/Algae Green
Retail price: $199
Power Q design features include:
· Joey® T1 Power Supply fits in a dedicated pocket on the inside that charges virtually any device that charges via USB cable – while in the bag
· Swing Around tricot-lined side access compartment fits most 15" laptops (and 17" MacBook)
· Ventilated back panel to provide breathing room
· Custom-fit strap design for truer, more comfortable fit
· Dedicated pocket for laptop power brick and accessories
· Multiple grab handles and compartments
· Refined weave 840 ballistic nylon
For more information about Timbuk2, visit www.timbuk2.com.
Timbuk2 is a San Francisco-based company that pioneered the messenger bag.
Born and bred in 1989 in a San Francisco garage by a bike messenger named
Rob Honeycutt with an old sewing machine, Timbuk2 has been building bags and
accessories for urban adventurers with a simple philosophy – create
good-looking, durable bags you can truly make your own. They're sold at
specialty retailers and online at www.Timbuk2.com.