Laptop bag review: The TiBag
Reviewing a laptop bag is always fun, it takes us out of the office for a bit so we can take it out for a ride. After all you can’t get a true sense of what it looks and feels like unless you try to use it as your daily driver for a while. This is what we did with the TiBag, a small form laptop bag that might just be the one for you if you are getting fed up of having to lug around a camping sized bag every time you walk to the office.
A small form laptop bag
The first thing that you will notice with the illustriously named ‘TiBag’ is its small size. With a size of just 11 x 15 x 5 inches, this single-strap bag will fit laptops and tablets less than 14 inches wide, 10 inches tall and 1 inch thick. The layout is vertical so your laptop will rest in the portrait position, meaning this laptop bag isn’t as wide as most single strap bags. In fact from a distant or even a close view, it really doesn’t look all that big, and you can almost not see it when people are wearing it. A very discreet package indeed that doesn’t really draw much attention and yet looks pretty slick once you notice it.
Of course most small form factor bags always come with drawbacks, the main one being that it will limit the amount if items you are able to put in it. The great news there is that we were able to fit in the following items without the TiBag looking close to bloated:
• A 14 inch Lenovo Laptop
• Our spare mouse and mouse pad
• An iPad air with its folio case
• Our mobile phone (a Sony Experia z3)
• Chargers and cables for the laptop / iPad / Mobile phone
• Wallet / keys / Pens / Asthma Inhaler
• A work folder (soft folder with clips and lots of random papers)
Our 14 inch Lenovo fit in very snugly in the laptop sleeve near the front of the bag, along with our mouse mat. It is an unusual position, as a lot of bags will have the laptop sitting down at the back of the bag, but that’s not a bad thing. It is actually optional as there is also plenty of room in the main compartment. One good thing about using this method is that instead of our laptop slapping directly against our body when we walk around, it gets protected by the items that sit in the main compartment behind it. In our case our folder and paperwork. And speaking of bags slapping against the body when walking around, the TiBag is actually pretty good at hugging your body, meaning it hardly moves around. Of course this might depend on your walking style, but it’s a feat worth mentioning.
There is enough room in there to put a laptop (14 inch or less), as well as additional items like paperwork for example. We chose to use the main compartment to place our folder, iPad, power adapters and our asthma inhaler. It all fit in rather nicely, as the bottom of the main compartment can be made to be larger than the top of it, making it ideal for our adapters to sit down at the bottom of the compartment whilst not betting too much in the way of our folder and iPad.
Large Zippered pocket
We used that pocket to store our phone and our wallet. It is a fairly large pocket which could fit our iPad Air, but not quite wide enough to fit the iPad along with our large folio case. This large zippered pocket feels like a safe place for the phone and wallet, because the zipper is solid and the pocket lies under the main flap which is shut with Velcro. In other words, you don’t feel your phone or wallet will ever fall from the bag, nor does it make it easy for pickpockets to reach.
Medium Zippered pocket and pen holders
Those sections sit under the main flap too, and we felt happy to have our keys in the zippered pocket whilst keeping our pens on the pen holders. Those sort of pockets are pretty common across laptop bags so nothing exceptional there, but good to have the protection from the main flap as well as the zippered pocket so your keys won’t go anywhere.
Flap Zippered pocket
We didn’t use that pocket, not that we didn’t like it, just that all our items were able to fit in the other compartments. However we could have used it to store our phone and wallet without any worries. The zipper is firm so nothing would fall out. We probably wouldn’t put our keys in there as we wouldn’t want those to hit our laptop when we close the flap, but the flap zippered pocket is good for light and flat items you want to access immediately.
The TiBag is mostly black. The vertical / portrait mode layout of this bag makes it less wide, so it hugs your body a little more and swings around less. The layout of the bag is pretty traditional other than that, with compartments, zippered pockets, a front flap and a strap. Nothing too exciting there, however that doesn’t make for a bad looking bag. The front logo with its blue and black ‘periodical table’ style has that ‘Breaking Bad’ appeal to it and the simple addition of the blue stripe once you open the flap looks good. Simple, but good, no extravagant colors are used here, instead the TiBag aims for the slicker looks.
Our laptop bag shows a good built quality, the model we received certainly didn’t suffer from loose stitching or stuck zippers. It is actually quite the opposite: the stitches are clean, and the zippers are fairly big and solid. The mesh materials used at the back of the bag feel comfortable and the polyester fabric of the bag gives it a nice textured appearance whilst feeling rigid. As far as the bag’s strap goes, it’s a pretty standard affair, but the shoulder pad does feel comfortable and the carabiner connectors and D-ring connectors for the strap do feel like they will last a long time; as long as you don’t make a point of overloading your bag every day. The padding in the bag itself is a little on the thinner size, but once you fill the bag everything feels pretty snug in there.
As we mentioned earlier, this laptop bag is pretty small. You can fit quite a bit of its size, but it will not be an ideal bag for staying too long under the rain or doing the great outdoors. You wouldn’t use this as your main travel bag, but as a cabin bag it is great! The quality is good for a smaller lighter bag, and it works great for day to day office use and meetings. In fact that is where this bag shines at its best, when you want to show up without a rucksack or a briefcase to those meetings. The bag looks slick and its simplicity means it will take no time to grab your laptop and impress that client with your new project.
We will say that the bag lacks a bit of the ‘exciting factor’, but once you start using it really tends to grow on you because of its simplicity. It’s just a bag and you soon forget that you are walking around with it. Maybe a bit more padding could help this bag, but it would also make it bigger and therefore less practical. Basically if you’re looking for a protector for a rough trek then this is probably not your best choice, but for the light / casual use it is almost perfect.
• Light, small print, practical
• Good quality overall
• Fits more than it looks
• Serious / slick look
• Thinner padding
• Limited room
If you’re looking for a laptop and paperwork bag for work and meetings, then the TiBag is perfect. Don’t expect to fit in all of your life’s possessions in that small form bag, but it will carry the essentials for work. This is a good quality bag, perfect for office use, and it looks slick too. When all is said, this is a great little bag and we can see many people using it as their daily driver for the office.
This bag was sent to us free of charge for reviewing purposes. We did not receive any monetary compensation for it, and all the opinions stated in this article are our own. Check tibag.co for more information on how to order your TiBag.