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Timbuk2 Copilot Review

Our most favored roller suitcase.
Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $299 List | $269.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Smooth ride, sensible features, excellent organization, great style
Cons:  Zippers could be smoother, some reported handle issues
Manufacturer:   Timbuk2
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 21, 2020
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81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 11
  • Reliability - 25% 8
  • Storage & Organization - 25% 9
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 8
  • Weight - 15% 7
  • Style - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Timbuk2 Copilot is a versatile two-wheeled suitcase that balances fashion and function. This bag is highly durable with the storage and organization any frequent flyer requires. We appreciate the super smooth skateboard wheels used in its construction, taking on any hard surface with ease. We tested the large case, which offers about 80-liters of space, making it useful for trips that last from a weekend to a few weeks. It's also offered in a small (42L), medium (52L), and extra-large (108L) size. While it's not our first choice for carrying bulky gear, this Editors' Choice winner offers the functionality you need for most vacations, family visits, or work trips.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller
This Product
Timbuk2 Copilot
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $269.00 at Amazon$295 List$233.48 at Amazon$179.98 at Backcountry$369.00 at Backcountry
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Pros Smooth ride, sensible features, excellent organization, great styleStylish, simple, reliable constructionWell-built, great organizational features, suit & dress holder, great travel abilityDurable, simple storage design, great transportability, excellent water-resistanceAmple storage, water-resistant, durable, heavily featured
Cons Zippers could be smoother, some reported handle issuesExpensive, drags up stairsPotential zipper and handle issues, high priceSticky zippers and handle button, less padded handlesMany features are not useful for most people, bulky design
Bottom Line A durable and high value suitcase suited for all types of travel.A smooth, simple, and luxurious spinner suitcase for all types of travel.A business-savvy suitcase that has a variety of applications.A simple and durable suitcase built to keep you adventuring wherever you go.A reliable tactical trunk ideal for bulky gear.
Rating Categories Timbuk2 Copilot Away Travel Large Platinum Magna 2 26" The North Face Stratoliner 75 Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30
Reliability (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
Storage & Organization (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
Ease Of Transport (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
5
Weight (15%)
10
0
7
10
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5
10
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7
10
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7
10
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7
Style (10%)
10
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8
10
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10
10
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9
10
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7
10
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3
Specs Timbuk2 Copilot Away Travel Large Platinum Magna 2 26" The North Face... Eagle Creek ORV...
Measured Weight (lbs) 10 12 10 10 10
Measured Volume (liters) 80 110 87.5 75 98
Construction Clamshell & peek-a-boo access, softshell Clamshell, hardshell Clamshell, softshell Clamshell, softshell Zip open, softshell
Measured Packed Dimensions 25" x 14" x 10" 27" x 19.5" x 11.5" 25" x 18.5" x 12" 28" X 16" X 12" 30" x 17" x 15"
Expansion Zippers? No No Yes No No
Number of Wheels 2 4 2 2 2
Number of Large Interior Compartments 2 2 1 2 1
Interior Storage Features 2 Mesh dividers with organizational pockets. Seperate toiletries bag, one mesh divider, organizational pocket that can be detached. Removable dress/suit holder, mesh organizational pocket, waterproof organizational pocket. Seperate toiletries bag Three smaller organizational pockets
Number of Exterior Pockets 1 pocket on top, 1 large sleeve None 1 small, 1 large 2 2 large pockets, top and bottom. Several gear loops on the exterior.
Compression System Internal compression straps Interior compression straps, no exterior compression Internal compression straps Interior compression straps, no exterior compression Removable gear holder keeps items in place, but not compression. Compression buckles on the outside. Expandable boot pocket on the interior of the backpack.
Handle Height from Ground 40.75" Low: 37.5"
High: 41"
Low: 38"
Med: 40"
High: 42.5"
43" 42"
Built-In Lock None Yes None None None
Main Exterior Material Nylon & polyester Polycarbonate shell Ballistic nylon fabric with water resistant coating 900D Polyester With TPE Laminate, 1680D Polyester Bi-Tech Heather, 1000D Helix Polyester Twill
Unique features Peek-a-boo front pocket, padded front pocket for a 13" laptop. Unique compression system Removable attachment for a suit or dress Hide-away zippers on the front for ample water resistance. Gear specific storage
Warranty Lifetime limited warranty Lifetime limited warranty Worry free warranty Limited warranty Lifetime warranty
Other Volume & Size Options Small (42L), Medium (52L), XL (108L) The Carry-On, The Bigger Carry-On, The Medium Small (21"),
Large (29")
45L 136L

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Timbuk2 Copilot 28 stands out for its casual stylings, excellent organization, and reliable construction. This wonderfully versatile suitcase wins our Editors' Choice Award for offering unbeatable performance while traveling. Take it with you on your next business trip or throw it in the back of your car when you're ready to visit the in-laws. It has something for everybody.

Performance Comparison


Whether you're taking a weekend trip to the country or hitting the airport  the Timbuk2 Co-pilot 28 stands out as our favorite roller bag.
Whether you're taking a weekend trip to the country or hitting the airport, the Timbuk2 Co-pilot 28 stands out as our favorite roller bag.

Reliability


We are truly impressed with the reliability of this case. The two-wheel construction is durable, while the exterior nylon material offers some water resistance for traveling in all types of weather. We appreciate the solid craftsmanship of this suitcase, making it a great option for any mode of transportation.


Any great suitcase should last for many years. While we didn't have the pleasure of testing for years (yet), we did get to use this bag while traveling from the USA to Canada, and on several trips in between, over several months. So far, so good. While there are a few concerns, we haven't observed any failures and assess the quality of this suitcase to be way above average.

The wheels are super bomber and easy to remove. The smooth exterior makes the ride vibrationless on smooth surfaces while moving well over most obstacles.
The wheels are super bomber and easy to remove. The smooth exterior makes the ride vibrationless on smooth surfaces while moving well over most obstacles.

One of the things we love most about the Copilot is the super bomber skateboard wheels. They have no wiggle and held up to being dragged up numerous flights of stairs, thrown around in the back of a truck, and put through luggage claim repeatedly. This reliability was further verified by other online users, except for one or two reports of the wheel axel breaking. This did not happen to us and, luckily, the wheels are easy to remove and change out if anything negative does happen.

The handle is bomber  even when being pulled over large rocky obstacles. It's also comfortable  and easy to move up and down.
The handle is bomber, even when being pulled over large rocky obstacles. It's also comfortable, and easy to move up and down.

The handle is a simple design of average quality. When towing about 50 lbs of gear, it retained its shape and didn't bend under the weight.

To test the water-resistance of each case  we got caught in the rain. For a more objective  as you can see here  we also sprayed each case down for at least five minutes. Here  the TImBuk2 Co-Pilot proves to offer great water resistance but is far from waterproof. This was the result of each case  with some offering more water resistant features than others.

The outside fabric offers a little water resistance, but the bag itself is far from waterproof. Like all suitcases given our water test, it was fine at repelling a light rain, but water pooled quickly in the front pockets and interior of the case when given a full hose-down. The exterior nylon offers some resistance to scuffs, but we noticed it wearing down in a few places after our three months of use, making it a little less durable than other cases we've tested.

The large zippers are a little sticky around the edges and they aren't waterproof by any means.
The large zippers are a little sticky around the edges and they aren't waterproof by any means.

Storage & Organization


This suitcase offers great storage for trips that last anywhere from just the weekend to a few weeks. It boasts great storage features that make items easy to access and organize.


The outside of the Copilot features two wonderfully functional pockets. The top one has zipper access and is large enough to fit a pair of shoes or an extra layer. We see this is a great way to go from sneakers to heels in a flash.

Easily fit a pair of sneakers  heels or sandals in the top compartment. This is also a great place for an extra layer or the items you need to access easily.
Easily fit a pair of sneakers, heels or sandals in the top compartment. This is also a great place for an extra layer or the items you need to access easily.

The other front pocket is perfect for stashing away a magazine and is deemed "laptop compatible." Our 13-inch MacBook Air did fit inside; however, the padding in the pocket is minimal, and we wouldn't trust just the suitcase to keep it safe.

This 13-inch MacBook fits into the front compartment  but there's no way we'd trust it to keep it protected without additional padding.
This 13-inch MacBook fits into the front compartment, but there's no way we'd trust it to keep it protected without additional padding.

If you want to use this front pocket for your laptop, but sure to acquire a super-thin sleeve to provide a little more protection. Large laptop sleeves are too bulky.

With a bulkier sleeve  our laptop doesn't fit easily inside the front pocket. As a result  we'd recommend just carrying a laptop backpack instead.
With a bulkier sleeve, our laptop doesn't fit easily inside the front pocket. As a result, we'd recommend just carrying a laptop backpack instead.

The inside of this bag is well thought out, with excellent organizational capacity. It features two large compartments, each offering about 40 liters of volume, for 80 liters total. The compartments each have a zippered mesh system to keep all clothing and other gear in place. We love this feature as you can open the bag in any direction, and your clothing won't fall out.

A look at the internal storage of the Copilot 28.
A look at the internal storage of the Copilot 28.

Half of the interior space has a mesh divider for additional organization. It's an easy way to provide a dedicated space for something you want to find efficiently.

The peek-a-boo external pocket of the Copilot allows you to access any items that you might want without having to unzip the entire suitcase. A feature that we love  especially for road trips.
The peek-a-boo external pocket of the Copilot allows you to access any items that you might want without having to unzip the entire suitcase. A feature that we love, especially for road trips.

A unique feature that no other suitcase in our review offers is the peek-a-boo pocket, accessed from the outside of the case. When it is unzipped, you can get to items in the frontal interior compartment. We found this particularly helpful when trying to get to an extra change of clothing quickly while squished into a car. Instead of having to unzip the entire suitcase, you only have to unzip the one exterior pocket.

A look at a few clothing articles just thrown in for a two-week trip to Canada.
A look at a few clothing articles just thrown in for a two-week trip to Canada.

Ease of Transport


Due to the integration of skateboard wheels, this case glides over hard surfaces with ease. The wheels are wide enough to provide stability and smooth enough to ensure zero vibration. Handles on all sides also make the Copilot easy to tote around, though there is only one height for the main handle.


We took this case over sidewalks, smooth concrete surfaces, cobblestone, gravel, and even through our rock and pine laden yards. While this case does have a more narrow base, making it a little less stable than others, it offers the smoothest ride on hard surfaces of all our tested models.

Here we see the Copilot wheeling effortlessly over pavement littered with small pebbles.
Here we see the Copilot wheeling effortlessly over pavement littered with small pebbles.

The Copilot has a harder time on soft surfaces, mostly because the height from the ground to the bottom of the bag is relatively low. This means it can get caught on small rocks and other items relatively easily. When taking it up flights of stairs, it made its way up, but roughly.


The handle casing runs the entire length of the back of the case, providing additional protection to the fabric. However, when dragged up stairs or over rocks, the metal material catches and gets scraped up. This happens with all suitcases, but many integrate plastic material that makes the transition smoother.

The bottom of the case is also a handle  which is helpful for picking it up and putting it into the car.
The bottom of the case is also a handle, which is helpful for picking it up and putting it into the car.

As a result of these observational tests, we'd recommend the Copilot for most missions where you'd expect to see harder surfaces and only intermittent gravel. The handles make it easy to transport and comfortable for on-the-go adventures.

We love the handles located around the whole case that make it easy to grab and put into a vehicle.
We love the handles located around the whole case that make it easy to grab and put into a vehicle.

Weight


Using a hanging scale, we took the time to check the weight for each tested suitcase. Empty, the Copilot weighs about 10 lbs, which is exactly as advertised. With airport restrictions, that means you can pack about 40 lbs of additional items when flying. This lightweight design makes it easy to handle, with the case spinning on a dime, and not moving in weird directions on its own. Overall, we appreciate this relatively lightweight bag for easy travel in planes, trains, and automobiles.


A look at the weight of the suitcase.
A look at the weight of the suitcase.

Style


The Copilot offers sleek lines and a look that can be used for either formal or informal occasions. While it may not be a top choice for those seeking a case that looks "rich," it's a great choice for those who want versatility in style. We received many compliments on this bag, with friends pointing it out amongst the group, saying how much they liked its look. In our eyes, this is a great option if you're looking for an informal/formal suitcase that can be used for many different applications.


A sleek but more outdoorsy look is great for those seeking a casual case or a business option for less formal work.
A sleek but more outdoorsy look is great for those seeking a casual case or a business option for less formal work.

Value


Any good suitcase is an investment, and the Copilot is no different. This case offers great craftsmanship and the ability to change parts easily if something does break. There are many deals you can find online as well, so you may not have to pay full price. If you're looking for something that'll keep going, whether you're a frequent flyer or a once a year vacationer, we have confidence in this recommendation.

Eddie rolls the Timbuk2 from the car to the airport for a short weekend trip.
Eddie rolls the Timbuk2 from the car to the airport for a short weekend trip.

The limited lifetime guarantee that is offered with this case only covers manufacturer defects. This means if a wheel fails, you will have to replace it by buying a new one — it will not be covered under the warranty. However, if you receive the case and it fails due to manufacturing issues, it can be returned.

Conclusion


The Timbuk 2 Copilot wins our two-wheeled Editors' Choice Award for its amazing all-around performance. It stands out for its great look, features, and smooth, smooth ride that'll have you rolling all over the world. Make sure you keep to the street with this case and feel free to take it wherever your heart desires.

This great looking case is an Editors' Choice for its great looks  durable construction  and easy transportability.
This great looking case is an Editors' Choice for its great looks, durable construction, and easy transportability.


Amber King