Last Updated: April 6, 2022
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Timbuk2 Authority Pack Review (Do You Really Need It?)


Timbuk2 Authority Pack

The Timbuk2 Authority backpack is a lightweight, functional backpack that is great for everyday use. Not only is it super-stylish, it also has loads of organisational features to easily find all your important stuff. View Latest Deal

Who doesn’t need a good, sturdy backpack for everyday life? It’s much more convenient than a laptop bag, and it is much more comfortable to carry around than a messenger bag. Well, the Timbuk2 Authority Pack is just that – a high-quality, awesome backpack for everyday activities.

It has some great organizational features, which really set it apart from everyday backpacks from Timbuk2’s competitors.

But its high price tag is also what sets it apart. But if you are looking at reviews then you probably already know how much it costs, and you are wondering is it really worth it.

Well, if you want to find out, I’m here to help. Join me in this detailed review of the Timbuk2 Authority Pack and see for yourself whether you really need this backpack in your life (and whether that price tag is justified)!


  • Great for everyday use
  • Lots of organisational features
  • Super lightweight
  • Stylish


  • Expensive

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 11.4” (Bottom Width) x 18.1” (H) x 5.9”
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
  • Volume: 28 Liters
  • Laptop Sleeve Dimensions: 9.8” (W) x 17.7” (H) x 0.4” (D)

Main Specs Of The Timbuk2 Authority Pack

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack, Jet Black

First of all, we are going to see what the basic specs of this backpack are. Check them out in the table above.

As you can see for yourself, this is a decent-sized backpack. You can fit plenty of items inside it, including a 17” laptop. And the best part of it is that it’s very lightweight. Additionally, the backpack features one main compartment, one front compartment with an organizational panel, two pockets on the front, and one side pocket.

Who is this backpack for?

Well, this is the perfect backpack for work or school, because of its many organizational features. Those features are also the main selling point of the Authority Pack, and we’ll talk about them very soon. But first I want to show you the variety of colors and materials of this Timbuk2 backpack.

Materials And Variety

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack, Jet Black

There is plenty of variety when it comes to the Authority Pack. You can choose between 8 different colors, but you should keep in mind that not all backpacks are made from the same material. That’s particularly important if you have any preferences when it comes to the materials. So, here’s a list below:

  • Jet Black, Surplus and Nautical (pictured) – Coated Nylon
  • Jet Black Static – Static Nylon
  • Moss, Storm and Fog – Melange Polyester
  • Oxide Heather – Cordura

Depending on the fabric, the backpack will perform differently. For example, the ones that are made of Melange Polyester actually have the best water-resistance. That’s something you should definitely take into consideration, particularly if you live in a very rainy area.

In addition to that, this backpack has very sleek design, which makes it more than appropriate for work. It almost looks like the messenger bag, but it is much more comfortable to carry around.

Padded Laptop Sleeve

This is possibly my favorite feature of the Authority backpack. I have a friend (hi Dave!) who is very passionate about backpacks, but also about his 17” MacBook.

And, he is kind of the reason I’m doing this review – he couldn’t stop raving about the fact that this Timbuk2 backpack has a padded laptop sleeve that is large enough to fit his laptop.

So, if you are just like Dave, in that that you have a giant laptop and want to carry it everywhere, then you will also adore this backpack. And honestly, there aren’t too many other options for you out there – most manufacturers conclude that a sleeve for a 15.6” laptop will be just fine. But not Timbuk2, and I’m very happy about that.

Additionally, the sleeve is located in the main compartment, which you can quickly access with the zipper.

Ventilated Back Panel And Sternum Strap

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack, Nautical

Even though this feature is something we see more often in sporty backpacks, it’s always good when manufacturers also include it in everyday packs. The Authority Pack has an airmesh ventilated back panel that allows for great airflow.

So, no matter how hot it gets outside, your back should stay cool and dry. Additionally, this pack also has a sternum strap on the padded shoulder straps. This isn’t really surprising, since almost every high-quality backpack has this feature – that says a lot about how useful it actually is.

Even if you adjust the shoulder straps of a backpack perfectly, sometimes they will still slip off. That’s where the sternum strap comes in; it has the function of ensuring that they stay on your shoulder. But, if you are one of those people who prefer to carry their backpack on just one shoulder, you should know that the sternum strap is removable. So if it bothers you, you can just take it off.

Organizational Features

This backpack is equipped with an organizer panel in the front compartment. The panel features several pockets of various sizes that can perfectly fit your phone, tablet, notebook, chargers, etc. And, there are also a few penholders on it.

For one thing, this means that you won’t have to rummage through your backpack in search of a pen. But I also really like that this panel isn’t in the main compartment. That allows you to put some of your larger stuff in it, and keep all your smaller items (that could easily get lost in the main compartment) separate.

As I already mentioned, these are the features that Timbuk2 puts the most emphasis on. And, they certainly don’t disappoint. So, if you really need a good backpack that will help you stay organized at work or in class, definitely consider this one.

Side Water Bottle Pocket

This Timbuk2 backpack has one side pocket. It is made of neoprene, so that it is quite stiff, but it is also very stretchy on the top. It is designed to fit a water bottle, which is something you should always carry around with you.

Although most backpacks have two stretchy side pockets, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is a bad thing that this pack has only one.

That is mostly because you don’t actually need two water bottle pockets on a day-to-day basis. And the inclusion of just one is a great example of how minimalistic design can actually have great benefits, in terms of practicality.

Additional Features Of The Authority Pack

Timbuk2 Authority Pack Compression Straps

There are a few more cool features that don’t necessarily need to be talked about in too much detail. So, I’ll just briefly tell you what those are and what their purposes are.

Key keeper in the front pocket. This is a feature I’m always happy to see in backpacks. Keys are always so small, and for some reason their favorite place to be is at the very bottom of every bag and backpack I own. With the key-keeper in the Authority Pack, you won’t have to rummage for days looking for your keys – provided you keep them in their designated pocket.

Bottom compression straps. This is a very clever inclusion, particularly because the bottom of the backpack isn’t padded (I’ll talk more about that in the next section). These compression straps are supposed to secure a load of your backpack so that it doesn’t lose all its shape if you pack too little or too much in it.

Reflective zipper pulls and tape behind the compression straps. Two awesome features for people with poor eyesight in the dark. You won’t have to blindly grope the backpack looking for zipper pullers, or waste your phone’s battery because you need the flashlight. The pullers will light up in the dark, and so will the compression straps.

Downsides Of The Timbuk2 Authority Pack

Even though it’s a good backpack overall, the Authority Pack does have a few downsides. But, so does basically every other manmade thing, and they aren’t really a big deal. So, since I firmly believe that you should always know everything about a product before making a purchase, read through these and decide for yourself whether the benefits outweigh the downsides.

  • The Authority Pack isn’t really versatile. It lacks TSA friendly opening to be a great travel backpack, as well as a larger capacity. And, while the 28-liter capacity may be great for day-to-day use, it certainly won’t be enough for hiking or camping – particularly because those organizational features just take up more space.
  • Different colors mean different quality. But not different price tags. All three fabrics that the backpacks are made of have different properties, and they act differently. And even though the differences are not that big, they still exist. The polyester ones have the best water resistance, while the nylon ones will be more durable. And, subtle differences count, particularly when the price tag of every one of the backpacks is over $100.
  • No bottom padding. Bottom padding is important for a backpack to stand straight when you put it on the floor. Since this backpack doesn’t have a padded bottom or a stiff construction, that basically means that it won’t be able to stand straight when it is not fully packed. So keep that in mind when you put it down – especially if your laptop is inside it.

Don’t get me wrong; the Timbuk2 Authority Pack is still an awesome everyday backpack. But, if you are looking for something that can be used for many different types of activities, then I would advise you to keep looking. Unless you really like solving sudokus and crosswords on your hiking trips, in which case that penholder will really be useful to you. :>

Do You Really Need The Timbuk2 Authority Pack?

That depends. If you desperately need a good backpack for day-to-day activities, then yes, you need this backpack. You will love all of the organizational features that it has, and they will make your life at work or school much easier.
And, not to mention that this is an incredibly lightweight backpack, which is particularly important when talking about something that you will have to carry on your shoulder day after day.

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack, Oxide Heather
  • THE AUTHORITY PACK: A supremely organized monster of a work pack, optimized for your daily commute
  • KEEP IT ORGANIZED: Interior pocket fits most 15" to 17" laptops; Internal organizer for pens, phones, and other small stuff; Large main compartment for books, jacket, and other carry-on essentials; Side stretch pocket for water bottle

But, keep in mind that this is a pricey item, and not everyone feels good spending so much money on a backpack. If you are like that, then check out these Osprey and Gregory backpacks – you will find some that are more affordable there. Also, check out some of these anti-theft backpacks; you can find an awesome backpack for day-to-day activities for less than $30!

Otherwise, if you really like the Authority Pack and don’t mind spending more to get its really cool features, head over to Amazon. You can find all 8 versions of this Timbuk2 backpack there. :>