This is my favorite bag. I have many (too many) bags, but this is the best. I 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. I’m so used to it that every piece of junk I carry with me has its place inside.
And even after more than a year of solid use, it’s as good as new. The bag is the Zero Messenger from Rickshaw, and here’s why it’s so good:
The Zero Messenger Performance Tweed is made from recycled water bottles woven into a classic tweed fabric, cut from a single piece of this fabric, and cleverly folded and stitched so as not to waste any material. Hence the “Zero” in the name. Inside there is a second layer of fabric, in a light color that actually lets you find things in there.
This simple construction, along with the fairly soft strap, keeps the bag very light, weighing in at a shade over 600 grams on my kitchen scale.
The lack of weight and the soft, non-padded body make the bag super comfortable when lightly loaded, and it’s possible to carry a heavy load without breaking a shoulder. But it gets better.
With the Zero Messenger, I can just toss everything into the main compartment, or drop them into the plain flap pockets at the front (these are big enough to hold an iPad). But you can get fancy. Thanks to the four soft Velcro strips inside the bag, running horizontally along the front and back walls, you can stick pockets in there. Rickshaw will sell you a couple: a waterproof, heavy, zippered pocket (you can see it in my photos), or an organizer-style pocket with slots for pens and a ribbon for keys.
Or you can stick any other pocket in there. The yellow blob you see is a memory—card pouch that came with a Kata camera bag. Stuck in the bag it keeps my spare SD cards and my camera connection kit. Neat.
As a messenger bag, the Zero has a cinching mechanism on the strap to shorten it for riding a bike. It is light, tough, easy to use and way better than any other I have seen. It makes the Timbuk2 fasteners look like old 1950s car seatbelts (if cars back then even had seatbelts).
And finally, feature-wise, there are some metal d-rings. These work great with a cross-strap to stop the bag swinging when riding.
But none of this tells you why I like the bag so much. It could be that it is so comfortable, or that it has a hint of classic style with the tweed fabric. Or it could be that the bag just swallows things, while still being organized. But mostly, I think I use this bag so often is that it’s so adaptable, doing the job of many other bags. I like it so much that I have a spare, should this one ever wear out.
From $70. Recommended.