Timbuk2 launch new Especial Series of high-end bags

Tough backpacks for urban riders

Messenger bag icons Timbuk2 continue to expand their range of cycling-specific soft goods with the new Especial Series – a flagship collection of tough Cordura Ripstop backpacks and panniers aimed at today's more technologically equipped crop of urban riders.

The Especial Dos is the smallest backpack of the bunch, with roughly 10 liters of total capacity and a dedicated sleeve for a 13in laptop computer. The main compartment allows easy access via a wraparound zipper and open clamshell layout, while smaller pockets on the outside separate items like keys and wallets. 

An exterior loop is specifically sized to holster a mini U-lock, too, while a molded Backbender back panel cushions your body against sharper items and provides some ventilation. Routing is provided for headphone wires or a hydration reservoir hose, too. Claimed weight is 0.7kg (1.5lb) and retail price is US$119.

The timbuk2 especial dos backpack has a laptop sleeve designed for up to a 13in screen: the timbuk2 especial dos backpack has a laptop sleeve designed for up to a 13in screen
The timbuk2 especial dos backpack has a laptop sleeve designed for up to a 13in screen: the timbuk2 especial dos backpack has a laptop sleeve designed for up to a 13in screen

The Timbuk2 Especial Dos backpack has a laptop sleeve designed for up to a 13in screen

The Especial Tres backpack is substantially larger at nearly 30 liters – or even greater if you leave the top open and utilize the multiple compression straps – and a laptop sleeve that can accommodate a 15in computer. 

However, its real draw is its weather resistant construction, courtesy of a rolltop layout, waterproof zippers and a welded laptop compartment. Other features include a Backbender rear panel, lots of reflectivity, routing for hydration reservoirs or headphone wires, and a U-lock holster. Claimed weight is 2.0kg (4.4lb) and retail price is $209.99.

The Timbuk2 Especial Tres uses a rolltop design to help keep out water

On paper, the Especial Cuatro backpack is only marginally more spacious with its 35-liter capacity but secondary straps and various tie-down anchors allow the top flap to extend up and over much longer or bigger items. We recently received a sample for testing and it's truly a monster.

Some gear organization is provided by the welded 15in laptop sleeve, a zippered interior panel and a pair of exterior pockets sized for standard water bottles and mini U-locks, but at least on first inspection, the Cuatro is really aimed at hauling serious amounts of gear. 

The new Timbuk2 Especial Cuatro is a monster of a bag with 35 liters of capacity with the flap closed but much more if you leave it open and utilize the supplementary straps

As with the Dos and Tres, it gets a cushioned Backbender rear panel, a host of reflective bits and a loop on the exterior shell for mounting a light, several compression straps, routing for hydration hoses or headphone wires, and an easy-access document pocket. Claimed weight is identical to the Tres at 2.0kg (4.4lb) and retail price is $229.99.

The final member of the new collection is the Especial Viaje, which looks to be a comfy load with the Backbender rear panel and padded straps but it also converts to a pannier with the hardware mounted on the other side. The flat bottom stands up on its own, an interior organizer helps separate smaller items, the welded sleeve accommodates a 15in laptop and there's also a separate rain cover included for riding in poor weather. Total capacity is 26 liters, claimed weight is 2.3kg (5.1lb) and retail price is $229.99. 

The Timbuk2 Especial Viaje serves double duty as either a backpack or pannier

All of the Especial bags are subject to Timbuk2's custom program as well. Additional information is available on the Timbuk2 website.

James Huang

Former Technical Editor, US
James was BikeRadar's US tech editor from 2007-2015.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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