William Webber – Verified Buyer
Friendly, small retail outlet inside the "factory" which is so clean and quiet it doesn't seem so much like a factory as a big workshop.
The bags take some getting used to. Their biggest competitor (the entire industry's biggest competitor) if Timbuk2 and in terms of features these bags seem "spartan" to the extreme. I mean over the past few years Timbuk2 hasn't seen a feature it doesn't like and promptly added to their bags.
That's good and bad. T2's offerings have evolved into the daypacks of messenger bags, with organizers, from pockets, side pockets, pen slots, cell phone holders, etc. I went through an old T2 bag and "accidentally" found some credit cards that had been missing for a couple of months, their pockets being so plentiful and sometimes downright sneaky.
In contrast the Rickshaw Bags Zero Messenger is not only "zero waste fabric scraps" it's also, seemingly, "zero featured." Except for the two front panel slots, there's just this darn empty space inside.
But not quite. First, the simplified open/close set up is a joy to use. I never fumble, wonder, or have any problems. Second, the two front panel slots work perfectly for me - reading glasses and iPod Touch (in a pouch) in one slot, cell phone and Gu in the other slot. With room left over for a boarding pass or candy bar or whatever.
Inside, the Small bag has a single "soft" (fuzzy side) Velcro strip on the back of the front panel, where you can Velcro in your choice of accessory pouches. For me the Simple pouch works best, just a place to stash a spare credit card or two (and not forget where!). It's only $5. There are also laptop pouches that Velcro in (be sure to match size to bag size) and I suspect there will be a pouch for the iPad and Macbook Air (there are accessory pouches already, but they don't have the matching Velcro mounting strips yet). The Small has the Velcro mounting strips on only one panel; the Medium has them on the front and back panels.
It's real easy to figure out your own storage needs and use Eagle Creek or other lightweight cubes, pouches and pockets. I'd like to see one "o" ring sewn inside at a seam, or at the bottom, for "tethering" a carbiner style clip (there are "snap clips" on Eagle Creek pouches), maybe one will come later or be an option. Or even an "o" ring Velcro patch!
The main point is you aren't giving up interior volume, while adding weight and bulk, to YOUR messenger bag based on some pre-conceived "features engineer's" notions of what YOU need. You figure out your own organization system and use your existing pouches, cases, ditty bags, or buy some of Rickshaw's reasonably priced accessories.
Using double layers of Cordura - inside as liner as well as where expected, on the outside - makes sense once you understand how "iffy" the traditional messenger bag "tarp" materials are - PVC, out gassing, recycling. Cordura by itself is plenty tough! For extra waterproofness, you can choose xPac for the exterior material (also easy to wipe dirt and dust off) or specify a "thin film layer" between the two Cordura layers, but you need to include a special note for that option when you order, it's not an "official" website option yet.
The strap is thicker than seat belt webbing, but not as thick and stiff as T2 webbing. SO it conforms better to your body (no sharp, stiff edges to dig in) and allows use of a lighter, quicker clamping/length adjustment system. The "wings" on the bag itself help position the bag comfortably close to your bag, but don't offset the carry angle so much that they would kill shoulder carry (I find cross body carry on the Zero very comfortable, but could never get used to it on my T2's).
The main thing to keep in mind about the Zero is that is won't "wow" you at first (though the colors, xPac, and pricing for a custom bag are pretty great). It isn't a "features" bag, it's a subtly designed, well-thought out, "user" or "great ergonomics" bag, and it takes some actual use to discover its charms. I find mine a lot more fun and useful than my old (but recent model) T2 bag, and THAT is saying a LOT.
[as posted on Yelp]
Francisca Santana – Verified Buyer
I really love my Small Zero Messenger bag. The fabric is lovely. I get lots of compliments, and of course, I love telling people that I customized the colors! The only downside to the bag is that it is a little small. It doesn't fit my 15 inch laptop (which I knew before buying), but it doesn't quite fit a 13 inch-er either. Sometimes I stuff it really full, and thankfully the velcro always holds. Overall its a wonderful, sturdy, cute bag. I'm already planning my next purchase, likely the Messenger bag, the next size up!
Rian – Verified Buyer
I recently purchased the Rickshaw Small Zero Messenger, and I am very happy that I did. I shopped around online for a messenger bag that I would actually want to use everyday, and I found that Rickshaw was the only company where I could truly get my money's worth. I customized the bag and got the colors I wanted as well as buckles and a waterproof liner.
The Small Zero fits all of the necessary items (wallet, keys, phone, u-lock, book, lights, multi-tool, sunglasses) I usually take with me when I'm running errands by bike or just out on a ride for fun. However, it is a bit on the small side. It's about as big as a mid-sized purse, but much more comfortable to carry when riding a bike or walking around the city.
That being said, I'm so satisfied with my Small Zero that I plan to buy a Medium Zero sometime in the near future. Maybe I'll even buy a large someday because I know that I can get a bag that is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, and it's pretty great that I can get exactly what I want in terms of bag features.
Joshua Flores – Verified Buyer
it's the best bag i own, everyone loves it!
Mike A – Verified Buyer
Thought about the medium, but realized that I have other bags that are smilar in size and are already way too spacious for me. The rickshaw small size holds all the daily essentials that I have to bring to and from work with some extra room to boot. I read some people's reviews about how this bag forces them to pair down what they carry around, but honestly, this bag is even more spacious than I thought, so it's perfect when I have some extra stuff I want to bring with me...like a tablet for example. The bag also doubles up as my camera bag which is great for my dslr body and bulky lens.