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Rickshaw Commuter 2.0 laptop messenger bag review

Ignore the fact that messenger bags have become standard issue for ironically bearded, PBR-sipping hipsters everywhere. Ignore goofy marketing slogans like “A holistic approach uniting form, function and footprint.” Ignore the name itself, which brings to mind a slow, antiquated form of transport.

Rickshaw makes what might be the world’s most refined messenger bag.

As it should, considering who’s at the helm. Having founded Timbuk2 in 1989 and pioneered mass production of customized products with the iconic three-panel bag, Rickshaw co-founder Mark Dwight had nearly two decades of experience designing bags by the time he started making them under the Rickshaw label in 2007. And it shows. Every aspect of the Commuter 2.0 has been honed, tweaked and distilled down to produce a hyper-functional messenger bag with all the right features in all the right places.

Removable magnetic closures make it easy to open and close the flap without the screech of velcro. A beefy grab handle prevents it from cutting into your hand under egregious loads. A one-snap adjuster for the shoulder strap makes it a cinch to adjust in a hurry, even when you’re already riding a bike.

Throw in top-notch materials, the same custom-design formula that rocketed Timbuk2 to success, and bomb-proof construction done right in San Francisco, and it’s hard to find a spot Rickshaw could improve upon. This is the bag you would stitch yourself if started with a sack of cloth, a sewing machine, and 20 years of field testing to make it as useful as possible.

Of course, at $150, you would come to expect this kind of over-the-top attention to detail. But Rickshaw doesn’t disappoint. We dragged the Commuter 2.0 all over Portland on two wheels, doused it in rainstorms, and toted it around for 10-hour days on trade-show floors. Final word: You get what you pay for.