Our intrepid reviewer, Owen Rubin, reviewed these fine Rickshaw bags on 10-30-08:. His incisive review and great photos are a must for those needing a quality messenger-style bag.

At the MWSF ’09 show Owen introduced me to Mark Dwight, owner and designer of these pragmatic and stunning bags. At the time I was carrying my MacBook around in a smallish backpack, along with MacWorld materials, and running out of room. Owen said, “come with me. I know exactly what you need.”

I was introduced to and immediately taken by Mark’s openness and interest in my thoughts on his product. He told me that most of the designs came from customer responses to other bags he designed, and the bags just kept getting better and better.

*photo from Owen’s original review

Mark took about 20 minutes to give me the big tour of the entire bag, front to back, top to bottom, and the process that makes these bags so enduring and beautiful. I was amazed at the attention to detail. Let me give you a miniature run-through, which should be enough to further whet your appetite for this versatile product just in case Owen’s article escaped your attention. I refer you to his article again for a complete tour.

First, the handle. Many bags have their handles attached at the top of the bag. This caused undue pressure over a period of time which can cause the handle to rip away from the bag. Rickshaw designed the handle so that the weight of the bag is supported by two reinforcement straps which go past the zipper and top of the bag all the way to the bottom, putting virtually little strain on the zipper, the top of the bag, or the handle itself.

Next we have the front flap. Most bags these days are secured with velcro. Not a bad thing in itself, but when you would open one of those bags you will get the loud ripping sound we’ve all come to, well, hate. Mark’s idea was to incorporate both velcro, and magnets. The velcro portion is covered by the magnets’ housing, so when the bag is closed the magnets keep it secured. It can now be opened and closed without needless noise. Need more secure closing? Simply remove the magnetic covers, and voila, velcro. You may now rip to your heart’s content.

Another feature I like so much about Rickshaw bags is the padded quick-adjusting shoulder strap. This is ingenious. Comfort, plus ease of adjustment to almost any length. And the generous padding is covered in a no-slip material so if you wear the bag over one shoulder it won’t slip. Want to wear it cross-shouldered? Flick the adjustment tab, pull to the length you need, and lock ‘er down. That’s it. Simple. Useful.

There are many more features, and I implore you to go to Owen’s MyMac.com article mentioned above, or directly to the Rickshaw website. The crux of my article is really how the people working at Rickshaw, under Mark Dwight’s leadership, really care about the products they make, and the people who need them. They want your feedback. They will work with you to make these bags the best they can be, and they can be customized to your taste and needs. Materials and attention to detail are first class all the way.

I’ve seen a lot of bags, some really good, and some not so hot. I challenge you to find a better bag than the Rickshaw. You’ll be looking for a long long time. Maybe in vain.

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