I've been wanting a nice messenger bag pretty much forever. I knew the Rickshaw Zero was "the one" as soon as I saw it. It is lightweight, durable, and so attractive. I love that I was able to customise my colours and fabric. I chose the performance tweed, which is quite brilliant. I've had many positive comments on my bag when I'm out and about with it. I know it'll last a long time, too: it has a feeling of absolute quality that you can tell just by picking it up and touching it. It's is a well-constructed bag that will go with me on all my travels henceforth, and I have every confidence its ability to perform.
For the most part this bag is awesome. It was a blast getting to design it, and the online customizer really gives you a good idea what your bag is going to look like, as my bag arrived and looked just as I had imagined (in a great way!). All of the seams are clean and seem strong and one of my favorite parts is the easy-adjust strap. There is this solid clip mechanism on the strap that makes adjusting the length easy, fast, and secure. The velcro system is also ingenious. I got the Deluxe Drop pocket and it is absolutely perfect for this bag. I recommend it.
I have a couple of complaints however. The two large front pockets are great for organizing your things, but the way they are sewn they don't stick out from the main body of the bag but rather take up space from the main compartment. So if you put much in these pockets it reduces the capacity of the main compartment. I also carry a water bottle around with me where ever I go, and my previous messenger bags always had a pocket that was good for holding one, on the side or front. This bag has no good place for a water bottle. If you put it in the outside pockets, as I said above it takes up space from the main compartment and becomes bulky. And if you put the bottle in the main compartment it shifts around and you have to worry about condensation getting on your books and papers. It's far from a deal-breaker but worth mentioning.
All around solid bag and I give it a confident 4-stars. If there was a good place for a water bottle it would be an easy five.
I ordered the Graphite Tweed Medium Zero Messenger, with a burgundy interior. A disclaimer to this review: I've been using it as a combination purse/rucksack, and not really for its intended purpose as a 'bicycle' messenger bag. :)
First off, it's a nice bag, and VERY spacious -- once I'd started putting things into it, it expanded. A lot. It was much larger than I had anticipated when viewing it online, even with the measurements.
It makes a great duffel-substitute; it will easily fit a laptop, bag lunch, bottle of water and a light jacket. It’s a bit large to use on casual trips to the store or for a brief outing, but it's going to be great, next time I have to take a flight. ("What? Just one carry-on allowed? No, no, this is my PURSE!")
However, be careful if you're wearing a sweater or similar fuzzy or knitted fabric. Unless you fold the top under, I learned the hard way that the velcro WILL catch on your clothes -- I snagged one of my sweaters that way. It can be a little awkward, if you're trying to hurriedly reach into the bag and still avoid the velcro at the same time. Some people may not have issues with it, but I always do, perhaps due to the fact that during winter I wear mostly wool and (oh no!) chenille. An option to replace the Velcro with a buckle or snaps instead would be great.
One last semi-complaint is about the tweed. It's mostly my fault; I neglected to scotch-gard it. I am beginning to notice a few snags and a ‘fuzziness’ to it, which will happen if you rub against a woven fabric long enough, or when it scrapes up against things. I'm very hard on my bags, dropping them on the ground, and hanging them wherever, and I should have considered this before purchasing 'spot-clean-only' tweed. It does, however, give it a very nice, polished (dare I say professional?) look.
All in all, I would buy it again, although in retrospect I should have thought more carefully about the fabric and size. The next Rickshaw bag I get will probably be nylon, and I'll retire the tweed to just make an appearance on dressier occasions. :)
FANTASTIC Customer Support! Bag is perfect and I am blown away by how much it will hold. Medium bag will hold all of my Linux programming books, 13" laptop, notebooks, moleskine, portable hard drives...... . Excellent value! I thought about a competing messenger, but they were all made in China. American made, world class customer service and top of the line quality. How can you beat that!
The medium Zero Messenger Bag is outstanding. Mine is customized with Marigold tweed, Saffron interior, and Mandarin binding. It looks fabulous and it's just the right size. I can fit my laptop and iPad in the Richshaw laptop sleeve and it attaches super easy inside the bag. I've still got more than enough room for other things like bicycle mags, a power supply, glasses, keys, and a drop pocket. The bag sits well on my back and doesn't slide around even without a cross strap. I think the tweed fabric has more grip than the cordura. Rickshaw made a great and they did it in the US. You can't beat that.