Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to use the Timbuk2 Hemlock as my primary bag for getting me through the day.
All in all I think it’s a solid bag.

First thing to consider is the fact that it’s a backpack style bag. I personally feel that they’re more comfortable to wear while riding your bike since it sits symmetrically on your back. It allows you to pack your belongings in an even, balanced fashion which not only keeps you stable on a bike but on your feet as well if you’re carrying heavy loads. The shoulder straps are very comfortable without being overly thick and padded. In fact, it even came with a tag pointing out this feature, so I guess it’s pretty significant. I noticed that the underlying portion of the shoulder straps are lined with a moisture wicking mesh material which is great for helping you keep dry as long as possible (or at least not drenched in your own sweat). Unfortunately, Timbuk2 doesn’t include this same moisture wicking material for the backside so be prepared for a shirt soaked in sweat if the day is hot. With this said, however, fit and comfort are overall very good and a bit of sweat isn’t going to convince me to put this bag down for something else.

The Timbuk2 Hemlock features a roll-top main compartment, side-accessible laptop compartment, smaller accessories compartment, one side pocket (for a drink/thermos), and an itty-bitty secret pocket on the backside that’s good for bike tool, keys, etc. Upon receiving the bag, I was happy to see this assortment of places to put things. I find most bags lacking in this department, but the Hemlock does quite a satisfactory job with providing pretty much all that you would need. The only thing I wasn’t used to was packing the main compartment because when the roll-top is open, the length of the bag becomes longer than my arm’s length which proved a bit difficult in the placement of items inside the bag. It was a minor issue at best and I’m sure each person who comes across a roll-top bag will become accustomed to it in his or her own time (as I did eventually). And if you’re not packing much, the compression straps on each side of the Hemlock keep the bag slim and close to your back – and might I add it looks really nice when it’s all strapped together.

On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this bag a solid 7.5.
Aesthetically, it’s rather pleasing and it provides plenty of places to put things. It provides great protection from the elements and it’s very comfortable to wear. I would’ve liked a secondary means of access to the main compartment (I’ve seen this done on some bags – like a side opening) and some perspiration management on the backside of the bag, but overall, those things were minor issues that didn’t affect the bag’s purpose.
Oh, just a note about the lack of reflective strips on the bag. I was a bit disappointed to see that the bag came with none at all and I hope Timbuk2 will include some somewhere on the bag on future revisions of this great bag.

Overall, a very good offering from Timbuk2 and one that is definitely worth the price especially since it’s on sale for $65 at the Timbuk2 online store. If you’re reading this later and the sale at Timbuk2 is over, you can pick up the Hemlock at Amazon for $80.