I'm commuting with a backpack, and I don't like having the weight of my laptop on my back for the whole commute (30 minutes).

So I'm looking to buy a pannier that I can easily take off when I get to my destination, and use it as a bag, like a messager when I'm off the bike.

Do anyone know of a good one that would fit a MBP15 retina? Something like this would be great: http://www.timbuk2.com/shift-laptop-pannier-bike-messenger-bag/439.html?dwvar_439_color=2001&dwvar_439_size=7

But not only it's sold out, it doesn't fit the MBP15 Retina.

  • ortleib.com/… If it works let me know and I will post as an answer
    – paparazzo
    Jul 7, 2014 at 21:20
  • FWIW the specs are 14.13 x 9.73 x 0.71 inches (35.89 x 24.71 x 1.8 cm). Jul 7, 2014 at 21:45
  • If it says it fits the MBP 15 (which it does), it will fit the MBP 15 Retina, as it is smaller. Jul 7, 2014 at 23:20
  • You can also put your laptop in a sleeve and use most panniers.
    – Batman
    Jul 8, 2014 at 3:07
  • 1
    The links on this are all dead and this isn't even a year old. Jun 3, 2015 at 17:20

2 Answers 2


I have the Timbuk2 Especial Viaje convertible backpack/pannier which I use to commute with my work laptop, a MBP 15" Retina. It uses the same rack-attachment hardware as the current edition of the Timbuk2 Shift. That hardware has broken 4 times in my ~8 months of owning the bag. Timbuk2 has been good about sending replacement hardware, but it's still not fun to have to maintain the bag that much, especially considering Timbuk2 sells their bags as being very durable. They're now offering me store credit to get a new bag, but they don't have any equivalent bag currently available, and won't until 2015, so I'll take them up in fall after the hot, sweaty summer is over.

I wonder if they only tested the all-plastic hardware in SF's very mild climate, as opposed to somewhere with seasons— perhaps using the bag through the winter weakened the plastic?

I also had a previous edition of the Timbuk2 Shift, which had even worse pannier hardware with 2 hooks held in by tiny little pins as its only points of support. When one of the hooks fell off because its tiny pin slipped out, I was very lucky the bungee the bag had didn't get caught in my rear wheel and cause a crash, which would have been especially bad in lower Manhattan traffic.

So, I guess my answer is: I suggest the Ortlieb as they're a lot more experienced with manufacturing/sourcing durable pannier hardware. Or maybe look into the Arkel as well: http://www.arkel-od.com/us/messenger-pannier-laptop-bag.html

If you do want the Shift, REI has it: http://www.rei.com/product/847594/timbuk2-shift-pannier-single And it's nice to be able to take advantage of their return policy, if you need it as I did.

  • Thank you, I went for the Ortlieb office bag. It's not as fancy as a Timbuk2 bag but it does the job and seems pretty solid.
    – erwan
    Jul 21, 2014 at 9:19

This model from Ortleib should work
Ortlerib Office-Bag High Visibility

  • 1
    @erwan If you went with this answer then whey does this answer not have the check?
    – paparazzo
    Jul 21, 2014 at 13:04

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