Rickshaw Performance Tweed™ ZERO Messenger Bag

We’ve been using a Cordura nylon Rickshaw ZERO Messenger bag for over a year now and it’s become our favorite all-purpose messenger bag. It’s perfect for quick trips to the library or coffee shop when we need a bag for a wallet and phone, maybe a book or three, or even a small laptop and a snack. The best thing about the ZERO is that it’s manufactured using a “zero waste” process:

Our new ZERO messenger bag is the result of a “less is more” product development initiative that combines minimalist design, monopolymer construction, localized sourcing and wasteless manufacturing — a holistic approach that simultaneously unites form, function and footprint.
The ZERO is specially designed to optimize fabric cutting and eliminate manufacturing waste. The bag is made from scratch in Rickshaw’s San Francisco factory from domestically sourced materials, thereby shortening the raw material supply chain and reducing its ecological footprint. To facilitate recycling, the bag is made entirely of nylon. The result is elegantly simple and functional.

Now Rickshaw has kicked it up a notch with their new Rickshaw Performance Tweed™ fabric made exclusively for them from 100% recycled polyester:

We’re delighted to introduce our very own Rickshaw Performance Tweed™. Inspired by the famous woolen textiles of Scotland and Ireland, favored by British royalty, sportsmen and a famous Scotland Yard detective. Refashioned for modern mobility in upholstery-grade, 100% recycled polyester, with a high-tech, eco-friendly, stain-resistant coating. Rickshaw Performance Tweed™ is woven exclusively for Rickshaw in the USA.

We recently added a ZERO Messenger in Performance Tweed™ to our bag collection. This is an absolutely sumptuous bag that belies the fact that it’s made from 100% post consumer plastic. The outer fabric is beautifully detailed with a soft touch, not at all unlike a wool or cotton twill. The inside of the bag is lined with Cordura nylon for toughness. Around the base, the cloth is folded in-and-around itself, the technique being a part of the zero waste manufacturing design. The look is reminiscent of a piece of origami, a subtle (perhaps unintended) reference to the company’s moniker — pretty cool!

The ZERO Messenger is a simple bag with one main pocket and two smaller pockets under the flap for small items such as keys, cell phones, etc. The flap is held closed with a single Velcro strip. The strap is just the right width and includes a simple, but effective, quick-release buckle and two d-rings for the optional cross-strap (we haven’t found a need for the cross-strap).

The market is flooded with messenger bags in every size and material imaginable. Those that are designed for use by real messengers tend to be overkill for the average bike commuter or utility bicyclist. Others are overloaded with features that drive up the price and complicate something that should be simple. And while there are a number of companies touting the use of recycled materials and green manufacturing methods, none are producing bags that look and feel so finely finished and decidedly not-recycled as the Rickshaw Performance Tweed™ ZERO Messenger. Highly recommended.

Dimensions: 11″ H x 19″ W x 6″ D
MSRP: $80


Disclosure: Rickshaw provided the bag for this review.

4 Responses to “Rickshaw Performance Tweed™ ZERO Messenger Bag”

  • randomray says:

    Nice styling and I love the fact that’s it’s made in the US with recycled materials . Of course you would have to pay me to use a messenger bag or hold a gun to my dogs head to make me use one . I am going to see what else they make .

  • dynaryder says:

    But how waterproof is it? From the pics it looks like the liner is similar to my CourierWare,which I can sweat through and leaks in the rain. Also,JMHO,but I wouldn’t be interested in a bag that didn’t have straps for the flap. I’ve overstuffed my bag too many times with clothes and groceries to rely on one piece of velcro.

  • Alan says:

    “But how waterproof is it?”

    The bag is made from Cordura, so it has the same water-resistance you’d expect from other panniers, bags, and backpacks made from that material. Of course, one can use a treatment such as Scotchguard to increase the water-resistance.

  • 212 says:

    i emailed them about the waterproof thing and here’s the answer i got:

    Great question.

    The new Performance Tweed is made from 100% Recycled Polyester. Therefore it is not your typical Tweed made from wool. It’s not going to get smelly or gross in the rain, and it is fairly water resistant.

    However, because it is a woven fabric it is porous and therefore is not fully waterproof. If this is a deal breaker for you, just let us know and we’ll work with you to customize your Zero with a waterproof liner (adds $15 to the price of the bag).

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    We love our bags, we love our customers!


    Joe Montana
    Office Assistant
    Rickshaw Bagworks
    904 22nd St. @ Minnesota
    San Francisco, CA 94107

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