Timbuk2 Part 1: Muttmover & Ramble Pack Review
by Kirsten Weisbeck
After over a year of mulling it over and trolling petfinder.com - it happened. I found her.
This was the first photo that made me say who is she?
And the second and the third (gratuitous proud dog-momming, can't help myself):
Bandit was renamed Fiz, and she has been a total dream. Of course, riding with Fiz became a top priority because who wouldn't want to take this peanut everywhere?
I’ll start with the Muttmover.
This bag gets major points for functionality. Depending on how cooperative your dog is, the large front flap allows for easy travel prep -- unzip all the way, set pooch inside, and zip ‘em up. The pup-compartment is completely breathable, and has a little hook to that clips to your dog's harness. The side pouches are great for water bottles, keys, phone, etc. and the two front pockets are great for storing dog treats and portable water bowl (which I was pleasantly surprised to find out is included with the Muttmover).
I took Ms. Fiz on the Metro North to Poughkeepsie, which means we did a bit of subway riding and navigated Grand Central Station, all in the Muttmover. Each leg of the journey was a breeze, and passersby were immensely stoked to see a pup head float by (especially the young ones).
My experience with the Muttmover was a bit different on two wheels than it was on foot, and it comes down to two factors: the size and shape of your dog, and their outlook on cycling.
Fiz is about 15lbs, and I think the medical description of her shape would be 'string bean with legs'. Although this didn’t seem to matter on our train trip, I could feel her fussin’ around a bit more while on two wheels.
My guess is that her long shape made her feel a bit awkward. A dog that was a bit more squat and just smaller in general (by even just a pound our two) would be PERFECT for this pack. This has been corroborated by several friends of mine with smaller pups who are diehard Muttmover fans.
Secondly, although I would describe my personal outlook on cycling as “all about it”, Fiz was more in the realm of *Tina Belcher Noise*. Although she has warmed up to her new environment really quickly, I got the impression that the sensation of riding was weird and made her squirmy. I’m totally confident she would not be able to actually jump out of the bag, the clip made sure of that, but it it's definitely something worth easing into.
All that said, the Muttmover is a perfect bag for going through the dogs-on-bikes training process. Easy to use, easy to pack up, and very comfortable. Slowly but surely, Fiz is joining the mutt movin' part of society.
And now, the Ramble Pack
In addition to being a proud new dog-mum, I’m also a student studying public health (epidemiology more specifically, hay data nerds). I stare longingly at those bitsy backpacks that I see at least once per block, wishing that Mary Poppins bag wasn’t my MO. I love the lil' guys, but when your day involves several stops that do not include home base, it's nearly impossible to manage a petite backpack.
I’ll go ahead and say this, even though it feels a little superficial: As a master’s student, the classroom vibes are completely different than any undergrad. Your peers and professors are your potential colleagues, and as over the top as it may seem, showing up to class and looking somewhat professional (whether or not you’ve had work that day) is not a bad idea.
While durable, weather-proof, and really comfortable, the Ramble Pack is also fits a perfectly business casual in its aesthetic. The black canvas especially has a bit of an understated look to it, and will certainly house a computer, bike lock, change of clothes, water bottle, extra pair of shoes, and likely whatever else you need to get through a day of hopping from one obligation to the next.
Easy dog-loading capability, harness clip for securing your pup, extremely comfortable (at least up to 15lbs)
Perfect for walking and training long distances, and perfect for cycling if your dog is down for it
May not work for long-ish dogs, or those over 15-20lbs
No space for other larger items unless you have a very small dog who wouldn’t mind sharing the main compartment
Really solid design. Perfect size for daily use especially if you’re carrying a laptop around, and excellent design of compartments to keep all of your small bits and bobs organized.
None, highly recommend this beaut’!
Check all these excellent pieces out on Timbuk2's Site.
Thanks for reading! Special thanks to Gaby for all your help and patience.