Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Review

The Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag lacks internal organization but has a whopping five external pockets, so every piece of gear has a home in the 7-liter pack.

Our Verdict

7.4 /10
Good info

Form

73/100

Design

70/100

Value

80/100
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Pros

  • Five pockets to store gear, so everything has a home
  • A dedicated spot for scratch-prone gear like your phone or sunglasses
  • Ambidextrous design is great for lefties and to switch things up

Cons

  • No internal organization, so main compartment can get messy
  • Strap lacks padding or aeration, making it uncomfortable with a heavy load
  • The back panel gets very hot on warm and sunny days
Recent Pack Hacker Video

Technical Details

98 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 141/144 Airlines

31 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity

    7l

  • Weight (lb)

    0.73 lb (0.3 kg)

  • Dimensions

    15.7 in x 7.09 in x 1.57 in (39.9 x 18 x 4 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    Recycled Nylon, Recycled Polyester, Polyethylene, Duraflex Hardware, YKK Zippers

  • Manufacturing Country

    Vietnam

  • Warranty Information

    Lifetime Warranty Repair

Buying Options

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$99.00 
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$99.00 
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Full Review

When you first look at the Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag, there’s a ton going on. Upon further inspection, it’s pretty simple—a few small pockets on the front and an amply sized main compartment. The duality of simplicity and a large number of pockets is hard to wrap your head around, and we’re excited to see how everything comes together. Let’s dive in!

External Components

The bag is crafted from recycled nylon and polyester, a great shout from a sustainability perspective. All the zippers are YKK #5 models—don’t worry, we checked every single one! The pulls are metal with a TIMBUK2 imprinted on them with a little fabric tab on the end for an easier grip.

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Front
Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag | The bag is pretty large but is sleek and stylish.

The strap buckle is a Duraflex Stealth Warrior, which we’re all too familiar with. It’s a durable buckle that can handle just about anything you throw at it, and it has proved itself once again.

The Timbuk2 logo is on the front of the pack near the bottom on a little fabric tap. It’s actually a loop—so you can attach things here. We threw a carabiner on there a few times, though we rarely have a use for it in that position other than carrying a carabiner. Either way, it’s nice to have a Nite Ize S-Biner SlideLock with you while traveling!

Fit Notes

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Side By Side
Left: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm) | Right: Lauren Maternowski, Height: 5’6” (168 cm), Torso: 16.5” (42 cm)

Regarding the strap, there isn’t any padding or aeration to speak of. It’s relatively comfortable, though if you load the bag full of heavy items, like…rocks, you’ll start to feel the strap digging in. The pack’s pockets aren’t designed to hold overweight gear, so it isn’t usually an issue—we’ll get into that.

The strap is ambidextrous because it has two attachment loops on the bottom, so you can switch where it attaches. The top of the strap has a large piece of fabric that connects with the bag, which adds comfort and stops it from digging into your shoulder or side, depending on how you’re wearing it.

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Strap
Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag | The strap is simple, but comfortable.

You can wear the sling on your front or back, but it can be a little awkward if you try to transition from one way to the other. If you start with the pack on your front and you’ve got the logo right-ways up so folks looking at you can read it, when you switch it to back carry mode, the logo will be upside down. This isn’t a huge issue, though it goes both ways and is something that can be bothersome.

The back panel has a thin polyethylene foam padding to add comfort, but overall, there isn’t much going on here either. There isn’t any aeration, and the padding is so thin it isn’t uncommon to feel what you have stowed on the inside of the bag resting on you. We’ll dive deeper into that shortly, though.

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Studio
Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag | The back panel.

The lack of aeration paired with a deep black colorway gets warm quickly, especially on hot sunny days. It sweats similarly to other packs we’ve tried without features that promote airflow, though it’s manageable if you move it around every so often. On moderate days, it isn’t an issue.

Inside The Sling

The bag has five total pockets, four of which reside on the front face of the pack. There are two sets of identically sized pockets—two in the center and one on each end.

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Nintendo Switch
Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag | You can fit a Nintendo Switch inside.

The two in the middle open from the sides, so depending on which way you’re holding the pack, one of the zippers will be easy to access, and the other will be on your blind side.

The top and bottom pockets have zippers on the top, so they’re accessible no matter how you’re wearing the bag. Well…unless you’ve got it on your back, but you get our point.

All of these pockets are extremely basic and don’t have any internal organization. They remind us of a weekly pill organizer—they’re all roughly the same size and can hold small items you might lose in the main compartment. It’s also oddly satisfying looking—almost in a practical, dad-savvy way.

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Key Leash
Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag | More than enough length to open the door.

The center-right pocket has a key ring inside. It reaches far outside the pocket, so you can unlock the door to your hotel or Airbnb without removing the keys, which we dig. The clip is crafted from metal and easily manipulated with your hand. If you wear the pack so that this pocket is facing away from you, we dig that the zipper faces outwards. At first, we thought it was a design flaw, but when you open the zipper, your keys fly out. So long as you don’t stow other gear in there, it’s a super efficient way to access your keys when you get home.

The very top pocket has an interior crafted from a super soft material, making it a great spot to stow items you don’t want to be scratched, like your phone or sunglasses. If you have a plus-sized phone with a large case, you may struggle to fit it inside. All the phones we tried fit without an issue, though we don’t have any huge cases in the office because…minimalism, or something.

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Phone Pocket
Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag | The soft pocket is great for delicate items.

The main compartment also lacks major organization features, and we’re okay with it in this use case. It feels more like a folder than a compartment—meaning that flat items do better here than large or oblong-shaped gear. To illustrate that metaphor even further, let’s say you were to add a bunch of different features to a folder you were storing papers. Eventually, you’d end up wrinkling your papers because you had added so much to the folder that it lost its function. This isn’t designed to stow documents, but we use plenty of flat items in our daily lives, and the Vapor is well tailored to carrying them.

There’s one divider pocket inside along the back wall, which is a perfect spot for electronic devices. We can fit a tablet, an e-reader, or a cased Nintendo Switch here without an issue. The divider has a little padding, but it isn’t super thick, so it doesn’t offer much protection from the items you stow on the other side of it. There’s a strap that overhangs it with a hook and loop fastener, which is sturdy.

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag In Use
Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag | Sunglasses, too!

The back panel is directly behind the divider, so if you throw an oblong snaped item like a camera inside, you’ll feel it on your front or back quickly.

On the opposite side, there’s a little tag that reads ‘Keeping junk out of the dump since’ 89,’ which is clever and fun, we think.

Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag Back
Timbuk2 Vapor Sling Crossbody Bag | Time to hit the road.

We dig carrying this thing around because it can fit all of our daily essentials and looks sleek, but there are more options for travel. You can fill it up, stow it in your daypack or travel backpack, and remove it when you get on your flight for entertainment once you reach 35,000 feet. Once you arrive at your destination, remove the non-essential gear, and use it to take on the town.

It’s the perfect size for a commuter around town, quick store trips, or a jaunt over to the local park. The best part is that you’ll also look great while doing it.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Five storage areas—including four front-access pockets to segment your gear
  • Materials feel durable yet soft and look sleek
  • The Duraflex buckle is large and feels capable of the load
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • No knicks or abrasions on the materials
  • The liner cleans up quickly if it marks up
  • It takes a while to get used to the organizational methods, but they continue to work well
mm
By Eric Hergenreder
Created August 12, 2022 • Updated August 12, 2022
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