\n\nTravel gear is an essential part of life these days. As anyone who has been \u201cin tune\u201d with bicycle bags and the like knows, Timbuk2 is a name to be reckoned with.\u00a0 They were formed more than 23 years ago in San Francisco, and have built up an amazingly loyal follower base (this is something that differentiates the top-rated bags from others).\u00a0 They expanded their line numerous times to include messenger bags (A review of the Commute will be forthcoming when mine arrives), backpacks, and everything in between.\u00a0 For a long time though, Timbuk2 had an empty spot in their line up \u2013 put simply, they had nothing to distinguish themselves and make people go \u201cWOW!\u201d.\u00a0 Yes, Timbuk2 makes bags that have more customization options than you can shake a stick at, but those aren\u2019t something to showcase what you can do \u2013 the Especial line are these showcase pieces.\n\n\n\nThe Tres is a very LARGE bag \u2013 so much so that it is one of the largest bags in my collection (even topping the Titan for sheer size), but it is easily one of the most approachable. If you prefer something smaller but also versatile, check out the Timbuk2 Classic. The look of it isn\u2019t anything high fashion like the Titan, but neither is it homely \u2013 the Especial Tres is in a class all of its own.\u00a0 It is more rugged looking than any of my previously reviewed bags, but it also has an air or simplicity and playfulness around it.\u00a0 In fact, the playfulness starts as soon as it arrives at your door.\u00a0 Unlike getting a package in the mail in one of those ugly brown boxes like everything else, products from Timbuk2 are shipped in a bag that has a bike map of San Francisco printed upon it.\u00a0 Now even though I don\u2019t plan on taking a bicycle trip across the nation any time soon, I still was compelled to save the bag (much to the dismay of my wife).\n\n\n\nAt any rate, back to the real bag \u2013 the Especial Tres comes in two color options \u2013 a distinct departure from the extreme color customizations that Timbuk2 offers on their other bags.\u00a0 There is a nice Cordura Rip algae green with a non p-PVC gunmetal, and there is the model I was sent which has a very simple black color scheme, with black for the Cordura Rip and for the non p-PVC sections.\u00a0 Personally I like the black on black better, as it pairs with pretty much anything I\u2019m wearing while using it.\u00a0 Not only that, but it stands out against the other bags in my inventory because it isn\u2019t flamboyant in it\u2019s colors. It reminds me of the Under Armour Undeniable Medium Duffle.\n\n\n\nThe one issue that I have with the Especial Tres deals directly with it\u2019s large size though.\u00a0 You see, having a bag as deep as the Especial Tres is in theory a great idea, until you realize that there is almost no way to separate things inside the bag, and trying to get something off of the bottom of it can be a tedious challenge.\u00a0 If the Especial Tres would have some extra pockets sewn into the lining inside, it would have alleviated the problem but the few that are there don\u2019t let you sort out much in the way of smaller items.\u00a0 Now I can\u2019t completely be down on it for this though, because the Especial Tres does have a zipper on its side that allows you to open the entire bag from it.\u00a0 This lets you easily access anything provided you can find it \u2013 making it much easier to get say, a fresh shirt out of it, but still not offering much if you\u2019re looking for an elusive USB cable, or searching for your small point and shoot.\n\n\n\nOne of the absolute best features of the Especial Tres though, comes in the form of it\u2019s internal welded laptop pocket.\u00a0 This pocket is designed for laptops fifteen inches or smaller, and it guarantees to waterproof your laptop.\u00a0 Now I wasn\u2019t bold enough to put a laptop in and take it into the pool, but I did stick one inside and lay into the bag with a hose.\u00a0 The laptop stayed dry as promised, which instantly pushed this bag to the front of my wardrobe for when I\u2019m going out cycling and still want to be able to get work done when I stop to rest.\u00a0 Being able to withstand the full force of a garden hose made me feel that no rain would ever be a problem for the Especial Tres and any laptop inside of it.\u00a0 Another bonus is if you have a smaller laptop and a tablet, you can fit both inside easily (useful if you tether your laptop or ultrabook when on the road) \u2013 as long as the compartment closes, it\u2019s waterproof.\n\n\n\nOn the front of the special Tres is another small pouch to put things for quick access \u2013 and while you can not put an over abundance of items inside of it, it works good for something like a cell phone.\u00a0 On the back side is the extremely comfortable shoulder straps (one of those straps has a very useful bottle opener sewn into it), as well a molded frame to ensure it rests soundly on your back.\u00a0 I have only used one other roll top bag in the past, and it was nowhere near as sturdy as the Especial Tres \u2013 this beauty stands on its own, and the roll top it stiff enough to stay open when you need it to.\u00a0 I do wish that the connectors for the roll top straps were of a bit more heavy duty material \u2013 out of how high quality everything else on the bag feels, those are probably the cheapest feeling components.\u00a0 That\u2019s not to say that they\u2019re not good \u2013 because they work, but in my opinion they should have been metal rather than plastic.\nEditor\u2019s Rating:\n[rating:4\/5]\nGreat\nThe Bottom Line:\u00a0 The Especial Tres is really a special bag \u2013 the waterproof feature is well worth the cost of admission alone, if only the few minor issues I had weren\u2019t there it would be perfect.\n\nPros:\n\n \tNice little document pouch between the laptop sleeve and the main compartment ensures your papers won\u2019t get wrinkled or ruined\n \tThe waterproof laptop compartment is astounding\n \tThe few exterior pouches are nice for holding miscellaneous things\n\nCons:\n\n \tThe Especial Tres is so deep and so dark that it makes it hard to find small items that are loose\n \tThe black (not sure about the green model) really attracts lint, and I have five dogs that love to shed\n \tThe connectors for the straps aren\u2019t as high quality as I would normally expect\n\nYou can pick up the Especial Tres from Timbuk2\u2019s site for $209.