Day 478/365 The Bag
This is a long post. A preview of what I hope will be a very positive review of Rickshaw Bags:
Check out the link above for a full rundown of the company, located in San Francisco. They make all the bags in the US. I customized my bag using their Customizer. That means I got to pick the colors. They have a bunch of different models. My particular model is the Messenger Bag for iPad 2 . The bag fits a small laptop easily and probably all tablets and netbooks. They use recycled material as much as possible. The quality as far as I can tell is excellent. Workmanship is top notch.
Basically this translates into a pricey bag. A mass produced bag like this would probably sell for less. But, as I said, it's made in the US. And they make it according to your specifications. They appear to be able to take material that you provide to make a bag though of that I'm not quite sure.
The major plus for them is their customer service. I had a question and Kati Jackson of Rickshaw Bags was on it right away. This was before I'd made any kind of purchase. The bag came exactly as I specified and VERY quickly using their free shipping. This is a real plus for me. I will pay extra for good customer service. Kati answered my questions quickly and completely. Excellent customer service.
But the rubber must hit the road. How is the bag itself? Since I've had the bag for a very short amount of time, I can't speak to its durability yet. My previous bag was a Tumi Tech. That bag has been through hell and is virtually undamaged. A great bag. Extremely well constructed. It even has a registration number where if your bag is found, they can return it to you.
Why use a bag at all? After all, am I not the manliest of men? The answer to that is a vigorous YES YOU ARE! When I traumatized my back a few years back, anything pressing on my back, like say a wallet or even a fanny pack was excruciating. A bag was a great solution. If you are having sciatica or have had back surgery or some sort of trauma to your back, get a bag. At least move that brick of a wallet out of your back pocket. It can be a source of pain. Real pain. Pain that makes you wonder who stuck a red hot poker into your spine.
So a bag for me. The biggest problem with a bag for me is that I tend to accumulate stuff. Below is what I took out of my Tumi. That's after I threw away the gum wrappers and receipts. The biggest thing is stupid number of credit card like things I carry. When will Apple please implement an app that will allow me to wave my iPhone at a retailer and choose which CC I'm going to use without having to carry the piece of plastic around?
Note the two emergency supplies of chocolate. You never know when you might be attacked by a sudden urge for chocolate.
Most of these things fit into the Deluxe Pouch which I ordered extra. If you're dumb like me and have a crap load of... uh... crap, then it's worth the extra 15.
The bag below is made of the Steel colored Cordura with Coal colored binding with a Cordura Digital Camouflage. I got the camouflage in case I need to disappear. I can turn the bag inside out and wear it on my head. I'm sure that will hide me from almost everyone. Pretty sure. As you can see below, it's pretty manly.
I won't be calling this just a bag by the way. If you're a fan of 24, you know Jack Bauer wore a bag which my wife and I laughingly called his Bag O' Death. That thing held explosives, guns, rope, you name it. Jack Bauer is manly. He wore a bag.
The strap is wide which is very comfortable. The Tumi's strap was a little narrow. The Rickshaw has an excellent easily adjustable buckle. You can get an add-on strap that will keep the bag in place if you're going to wear it on your bike. That will keep it from sliding around as you're biking. I don't bike. That's for sissies. Real men walk, crushing the concrete as they power along in a manly way. So why did I need a new bag if the Tumi had held up so well for so long?
Yeah, that's an iPad 2 peeking out from there. If the Tumi had been about an inch wider, I wouldn't have found the Rickshaw.
I have a couple of concerns which I will see how it pans out as I use my new bag o' death. Bag o' new death?
I intend to take my iPad2 wherever I go. There are two pockets in the bag. The back pocket holds the pouch and all my other other stuff. The front pocket holds the iPad. The flap has a long and wide velcro strap which holds the flap securely closed. It makes a hellacious ripping noise when opened. But will it be enough to keep a pickpocket away from my precious iPad? My feeling is if I feel that I am in a place of pickpockets I will slide the bag to the front and keep a hold of it. In a manly way. The Tumi had zippers which I felt were more secure.
There are two narrow side pockets. Too narrow for something like a water bottle. Not that I carry one around usually but it might be nice if heading to the airport. Without any kind of securing solution like velcro or a zipper, I hesitate to put anything in there like my headphones or flashlight. There is a d-ring on the outside which I could use to attach something to.
I wish the back had a simple open pocket where I could slide something in temporarily like a boarding pass while I fumble with whatever.
I wish it were a little narrower. Closer to the size of the iPad. But it easily will fit the iPad and any kind of sleeve or case you throw on the iPad. They make iPad sleeves as well btw.
These are all minor points. The rubber has yet to hit the road. I will be checking the workmanship, the durability, and comfort over the next few weeks.
As I told them, if the bag is as good as their customer service, then I will be super satisfied.
Now how's that for a photo of the day?