Gear envy: We’ve all had it. I’ve always been a backpack kinda guy when it comes to travel. Perhaps it’s familiar from camping, maybe I just don’t like change. Either way, it felt natural just having all my gear on my back when walking off the plane. However, watching the business travelers’ seemingly effortless walk to the gates with roller in tow got me thinking, “Am I missing something here? Have I been schlepping my stuff around all this time when I could have been easy-breezy transiting my way through these giant, international airport terminals with a roller?”
Fast forward to a weekend sale and one conversation with a SUPER helpful Timbuk2 rep named Bonnie from the Denver store. A little research revealed that the Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller (small version) was size-wise going to fit in most overheads without issue while still packing a big punch. As a backpacker I know that buying a larger bag only leads you to find ways to fill it and excuses for extra gear, reason #2 for picking the smallest version. The actual name is the Copilot Luggage Roller, but given its durability, and easy rolling wheels, I’ve taken to calling it the Roller Derby 5000 (RD5K).
Let’s get to the review, shall we?
- Stow compartments: One exterior pocket and two main interior compartments, one of which is inside/outside accessible, making getting to your stuff a breeze – though you have to lay the bag down to get into the main compartment from the outside, which makes me feel like a homeless person in the middle of the airport. The external compartment is big enough to fit sunglasses, snacks, small electronics, chargers etc and is easily accessible from the overhead if you load it wheels first.
- *Small items were floating around. I would suggest an organizing grid to keep your small stuff in check.
- Wheels: Nothing handles city streets like skateboard wheels… So why not put skateboard wheels on luggage? Seems intuitive to me, and rolls like an airport ninja. No flat tires on this puppy.
Zippers: Big, heavy zipper pulls and zippers scream durable & reliable
- Exterior: Front flap protects and withstands any scrapes and scars the bag will inevitably get while being tossed from cargo hold to cargo hold.
- Handle: Easy to work and comfortable.
- Carrying capacity (42L version): Definitely enough space for a two-week trip to Europe or week long business trip **I tend to pack light**
My final opinion:
This roller complements my current travel pack-out and opens up a whole new set of options depending trip length. While I did notice some growing pains, I found it quite a bit more comfortable (and let’s face it, I felt more like an adult) to have this easy roller quietly humming behind me.
If I was only going to take one bag, would I carry it instead of a backpack? Depends on what the trip’s going to look like. Check out my Backpack Vs Roller article to see how the roll-on stacks up against the pack!
**I receive no compensation or cool schwag from Timbuk2 for my opinion, awesome though it may be.