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Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag

I don’t know why it took me so long to switch from a daypack to a messenger bag, but now that I have my Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag, it goes everywhere I go, every day.

It’s a fantastic bag for me because it’s roomy enough for everything I need for an afternoon or full-day outing, and more important, it’s comfortable and easy to use.  Thanks to the intelligent strap design, I can place the Zero Messenger Bag across my body, swivel the pouch behind me, and it stays close at all times. There are fabric hinges on each side of the bag that keep the straps separate from the bag, allowing them to lay flat against (and easily wrap around) my body without tugging the bag along, too. This small design feature makes a big difference.

Many other messenger bags I’ve used have straps that extend from the sides of the bag, so when I “wear” the bag, the straps are bulky and awkward and get in my way, especially under my arms.  Then, when I need to get into my car or bend over to pick up something, the bag swings around in front of me. I hate that.  I don’t have that problem with the Zero Messenger Bag. The hinge system makes the straps more effective and less noticeable, leaving the bag to just hang there and look good! 

If I want a really snug fit, there are D rings on each hinge and on the bottom of each side of the bag for a cross strap (sold separately for $5). I love that the Zero Messenger Bag allows me to carry my stuff behind me and still have my hands free--the two main reasons I stuck with daypacks for so long—without looking like a hiker who took a wrong turn and ended up on a city street. I like to think of myself as somewhat fashionable; style is just as important as function. (An added benefit of using a messenger bag over a pack is that I can quickly access whatever I need from my bag without having to take it off or even stop walking.)

Another design feature I love: the broad, flat base of the Zero Messenger Bag. I can set it down on the floor or a table and it doesn’t fall over! This design also gives the bag quite a bit of volume for its relatively slim profile (I tested the small size bag, which has is 4.5” deep at the base). I also like that there are no buckles on this bag. Instead, it seals with wide Velcro-like strips to keep the bag nimble. No extra materials!

For a “small” bag, the Zero Messenger Bag holds a lot of stuff and carries well. I stash everything in it so I never have to go home in between meetings or errands: my day planner, a book to read when I get bored waiting for someone, gloves, a hat, my cosmetics bag, my reflective vest (so I can go for a power walk in the dark), my notebook, a nutrition bar, and my glasses case. The bag has two deep front pockets that run the height of the bag (10” h).  I use one for my water bottle and the other for all the little things I grab as I leave the house: my lip balm, pens, my cell phone, and a little bag of hand sanitizers (it is the cold and flu season) that I never actually use. I also usually stuff a thin cashmere cardigan into the bag, too, as I’m dashing to my car. There’s a wide soft-side Velcro-like strip on the inside of the bag so I can add a removable pocket (sold separately) to the bag if I want a zippered pouch/pocket for storing small items.

Finally, I really like the “design your own bag” concept of the Zero Messenger Bag. Customers can purchase one of several color combinations or customize a bag by selecting their own fabric options (all Cordura Nylon) for the outside of the bag (42 colors), lining (27 colors), and binding (37 colors).  Bags are available in Mini, Small, Medium, and Large.

Eco Creds: made in the USA, low-waste manufacturing process.

Bottom Line: I love this bag. It's simple, stylish, and a dream to use. I just throw it on and forget it, which is how it should be with a bag!.—E.D. (Sept 2011)

BUY ONLINE: $55-65, click to shop.

Manufacturer: www.rickshawbags.com

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