Timbuk2 Uptown: TSA-friendly Backpack Proudly Made in USA
On Why a TSA-friendly Backpack is Essential
When considering a backpack, travelers have to take several things into consideration. One of the biggest concerns is safety. While the TSA garners a lot of controversy with their inspection practices, an often overlooked aspect of the process is the scanning machines.
These machines broadcast x-rays to see through the fabric and material of backpacks to check for contraband. However, these same rays can have harmful side effects on electronics, leading to hard drive issues and other operational problemsTimbuk2 Uptown TSA-friendly Backpack Proudly Made in USA.
As a result, some of the best backpacks with TSA-friendly design now come with a material that allows the rays to diffuse over a wider area, permitting the machines to see into the backpack while simultaneously protecting the contents within. The Timbuk2 Uptown LaptopTSA-Friendly backpack is one example.
Design of Timbuk2 Uptown Backpack
Built for Comfort
Made of nylon, the Uptown provides superior comfort and durability, making it a great choice whether you are trekking across town or across the country.
With at least five color choices to pick from (gunmetal, black, carbon, Diablo, pacific), the Uptown can match any personality and style.
As a bonus, the material is thin and light, making long distances a simple matter. Even though the nylon is thin, it is extremely durable, standing up to heavy loads and abuse while on the road.
An external laptop compartment diffuses the x-rays of TSA scanners over a wider area, preventing a high concentration of beams in one spot that can cause damage.
In addition, it aids in the security process, allowing your bag to be scanned quickly before boarding the plane. Because the compartment allows the x-rays to function, there is no need for the TSA to remove your laptop during the process.
The newest version of the Uptown has an added pocket for transporting iPads of all sizes and generations, and the laptop compartment can easily hold up to a 17” MacBook Pro.
Good Strap and Back Panel Design
Another great benefit of the Uptown are the ventilated back panels. Unlike many backpacks, the Uptown allows air to pass around and through your back, preventing heat buildup and sweat.
When carrying it over a long distance, particularly in the city, this can make travel a lot more comfortable – as well as protecting the water-sensitive components within.
The custom-fit strap design allows you to adjust the straps as necessary so that the Uptown fits just the way you want it to. A side pocket allows you to carry a water bottle and keep it within easy reach, and the unique Timbuk2 swing around technology means you can access the contents of the pack without ever taking it off.
Plenty of Rooms
A massive amount of internal volume provides plenty of room for clothing and other gear. The main section of the pack is divided into sections, allowing you to carry the cables and other computer necessities in addition to your underwear and bathing materials.
The pack opens in such a way that it lays flat, preventing unnecessary pressure on any of the contents within.
Not a Backcountry Backpack Though
However, the backpack is designed mostly for easy use. It won’t hold up to the same type of abuse you would expect a backcountry pack to survive, so keep that in mind.
The pack is also not water resistant – if it begins to rain, find a way to cover the pack in order to protect whatever electronics may be inside.
There’s also no waist strap, so if the pack is overloaded and you carry it over larger hills can put some heavy strain on the back.
In the End
Overall, design of the Timbuk2 Uptown makes it more suitable when considered as the best backpack for college students, but not so much for backcountry trekkers.
It works great for carrying a laptop between classes or for strapping on your back for a quick cycle across town. It would even work well for short, intercity travel, but I would not recommend it for hardcore, extended camping trips.
Due to the lack of waterproofing, rain presents a major obstacle for the pack. Still, for travelers looking for the best checkpoint friendly backpacks, Timbuk2 Uptown is a major contender.
If outdoor backpack is what you are looking for, be sure to check out our list of backpacks that are best suited for outdoor purposes.