A few weeks ago, I discovered Rickshaw Bagworks, a San Franscisco based company that makes custom order bags and laptop sleeves for cyclists. I’m not a cyclist, but I totally fell for their products. After trying out the Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger, I was discouraged that I would ever find a messenger bag for camera gear that would totally check all the items on my wish list. Timbuk2 makes great bags, but the material they use is stiff and plasticky, and the bag was hard and very inflexible. Rickshaw bags are made from a material called “Cordura”, which is a nylon that wears almost like a canvas. It’s made in the US, and they have a bunch of amazing colours to choose from. Yes – they make the bag in the colour YOU want. Fabulous! They also use a material called “Performance Tweed”, that is being made from plastic bottles. Not only is the material soft and fashionable, it’s also very dirt and water resistant. To make sure the bag was completely waterproof, I had them sow in a waterproof liner between the outer and inner layer of fabric. The liner is so thin and pliable that the bag remains soft and conforms to the shape of your body when you wear it. I tried it out for the first time last weekend, and I loved it.
All Rickshaw messengers come with velcro strips sown into the inside of the bag (the soft part), and you can buy organizing pockets to outfit the bag just the way you like it. It has two huge front pockets that fit all kinds of stuff, and a cavernous interior with a flat bottom. The bag stands upright even when empty, and all that without any added sheets of plastic or cardboard.
What’s so amazing about the Zero is the way they manufacture it without any waste. The bags are completely made from fabric rectangles, and even the cut off corners are being used somehow in the production. I am very impressed with mine. The only thing missing was the camera insert. Luckily, the Timbuk2 Snoop insert (sm) fits the medium Zero perfectly! So in the meantime, I can use the Zero as a camera bag, and strap the tripod under the flap as well.
I am waiting to hear back from Rickshaw for further information about a camera insert they are planning to make that can be velcroed into the bag like all their other accessories. Oh, and just in case you are wondering if I am affiliated with Rickshaw in any way, I am totally not. I’m just a customer, and a happy one at that.
My messenger is a Rickshaw medium Zero, in the Cordura colour “Coffee” on the outside and the Performance Twee “Graphite” 0n the inside. You can find Rickshaw bags here.