Made in San Francisco, the Rickshaw Bagworks Zero Messenger laptop bag comes in a near-infinite variety of premade and custom fabrics, printing and configurations, including a highly reflective fabric and a well-liked Performance Tweed made entirely from recycled post-consumer plastic. Users and reviewers love the thoughtful details that make this bag easy to stuff and easy to carry, and find that it withstands years of abuse. While the starting price is reasonable (*Est. $60 and up), add-on accessories quickly add to the tally.
Nearly all reviews mention the sturdy stitching, construction and details of the Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag. Those reviews that test the bag over years of abuse typically are of the Performance Tweed fabric, which is made entirely from post-consumer plastic, and they say it wears like iron, looking like new after the test period.
Many reviews specifically mention the gusseted strap attachment points, which allow the bag to lie flat instead of curling around the body when filled; the wide, soft, adjustable strap; the soft feel of the bag's material; and the light weight.
The Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag has a unique shape, with a narrower base and a wider top that some users call "origami-like." Because interior color and exterior fabric come in nearly infinite combinations, users and reviewers are able to find exactly what they want, whether it is a highly reflective bag for night cycling, a custom print or a 100 percent post-consumer-plastic tweed.
Those users who report working with Rickshaw's customer service department tend to rave about the experience, saying the small size of the company makes them feel personally attended to.
A $90 messenger bag isn't cheap, but it's at the low end of the spectrum for one with these features. That said, there are a half-dozen accessories for the bag, ranging from a $10 strap pad to a $20 laptop sleeve, and odds are you're going to want at least a few of them. Some fabric and custom configurations are extra, as well. Most as-reviewed models were closer to $200 than $100.
Reviewers and users say if your laptop will fit into the Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag (which doesn't carry the largest notebooks), you can't go wrong with it as a comfortable, durable, stylish choice.
"This is my favorite bag. I have many (too many) bags, but this is the best. It doesn't have any fancy features. It has no padding, and there's no way to lock it securely shut. But unless I have a special task requiring a special bag, it's the one I always grab," Charlie Sorrel writes of the Rickshaw Zero Messenger laptop bag, awarding it a perfect 5-star rating. He goes on to praise the bag's lightweight construction, extreme durability, flexible Velcro strips for attaching interior pockets and thoughtfully designed adjustable strap.
Review: Why Rickshaw's Performance Tweed Messenger Is The Best Bag I Ever Owned, Charlie Sorrel, Feb. 22, 2012
Stephanie Kent gives the Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag a perfect 5-mouse rating, writing, "For my uses, at least, it's the mythical perfect messenger bag, offering just the right combination of features in a beautiful, portable, comfortable carry-all." She raves about the bag's many thoughtful features: its construction and materials, its comfortable strap and the security of the interior laptop sleeve.
Review: Rickshaw Medium Zero Messenger Bag, Stephanie Kent, Aug. 19, 2011
The editor of the PracticalHacks.com blog gives the Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag a very positive review, praising the way the strap attaches to the bag via gussets (allowing the bag to rest straight and comfortably on the hip), the overall construction and materials, the many options in color, materials and accessories and the way the bag works when fully loaded. The bag could use a grab handle and feels flimsy when empty, he says, but he commends its overall value.
Review: Review: Rickshaw Bagworks Medium Zero Messenger bag, "Kevin", Sept. 13, 2011
One of the two owners of a bicycling blog reviews the Rickshaw Zero Messenger laptop bag after using it for over a year. He praises the performance tweed version's fabric made from 100 percent post-consumer plastic, the thoughtfully sized strap with its quick-release buckle and the styling. He highly recommends it, adding that it feels "finely finished and decidedly not-recycled."
Review: Rickshaw Performance Tweed Zero Messenger Bag, "Alan", Sept. 4, 2010
Jonathan Norman discusses the Rickshaw Zero Messenger laptop bag as a carrying case for his iPad tablet plus the rest of his daily needs. He finds it "the perfect size" and "stylish," and applauds its minimal-waste manufacturing approach. He carries his iPad inside the bag using one of the company's sleeves, noting that while the bag offers plenty of protection without it, some people will want the additional sleeve for their hardware to avoid damage from the other items they carry in the bag.
Review: Review : Rickshaw Bags -- Zero Messenger, Jonathan Norman, March 27, 2012
Jeff Mac compliments the gusseted attachment of the Rickshaw Zero Messenger laptop bag's strap, which allows the bag to lie flat against the side of the body. He stuffs his bag to brimming with tech, demonstrating that the 7-inch Velcro strip for the flap still closes securely. He also critiques several of the interior accessories available for the Zero, finding them well thought out and useful, if not cheap.
Review: Rickshaw Bags Zero Messenger Review, Jeff Mac, Aug. 18, 2011
In a characteristically short-but-entertaining review from Gizmodo.com, Michael Zhao writes about the Rickshaw Zero Messenger laptop bag in the Ultra-Glo fabric option, which wraps the bag entirely in reflective material. An accompanying video demonstrates how brightly the bag reflects light, praising both its effectiveness and its waterproof lining for laptops.
Review: Carrying This Luminescent Messenger Bag Is Like Having a Firefly's Butt, Michael Zhao, Apr. 14, 2012
More than 110 users of the Rickshaw Zero Messenger laptop bag (both premade and custom) weigh in here with reviews, giving the product an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. All say they would recommend the bag to a friend, and more than 90 percent of reviewers award a perfect score. They praise its space, light weight, product quality, adjustable strap and durable fabric. Users say they frequently return to buy the interior accessories for more flexibility in storing small items. A few users say they find the strap uncomfortable without the $10 strap pad.
Review: Custom Made Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag, Contributors to Zazzle.com