Urban Velo

Rickshaw HALO ZERO Messenger Bag Review

Rickshawa HALOThe HALO ZERO is collaboration between Rickshaw Bagworks and HALO. Rickshaw was founded by the former CEO of Timbuk2, Mark Dwight, in 2007. The bags are proudly and sustainably made in San Francisco.

HALO is also from the City by the Bay. Their first product, a fiber optic LED belt, was especially well suited for urban cyclists. The HALO ZERO pairs a custom HALO LED optic strip with Rickshaw’s medium size Zero Messenger bag.

The Zero Messenger is an exercise in simplicity. The bag is made from Classic Cordura fabric with no additional liner. This mean’s the bag is light, albeit not waterproof. The bag has just two front pockets and the main compartment—no secret compartments or anything of the sort. In fact, the bag comes with neither a strap pad nor a cross strap—it doesn’t even have closure buckles on the flap. You do, of course, have the option of adding these things and more. But it’s kind of interesting to strip a bag down to its bare essentials and see how well it performs.

And the bag does perform pretty well. At about 11″ high and more than 18″ wide, it holds a decent amount of cargo for a smaller sized messenger bag. Its light and flexible nature allows it to easily conform to your body, making it stay in place relatively well under most circumstances. I do personally like the added stability of a cross strap, but I’ve begrudgingly made due without one. You can order one separately that attaches to the bag’s existing D-rings. I also kind of like having buckle closures, but they can be purchased separately at the time of order. Additionally, an optional padded laptop compartment can be conveniently attached to the existing Velcro strip inside the main compartment. It’s all very well thought out. I do rather wish that the bag came with larger Velcro strips, though.

Rickshaw HALOThe HALO component attaches via Velcro to the outside of the bag. The illuminated portion is about .5″ tall and 12″ wide, and is covered by a translucent fabric so that it’s essentially impossible to tell that it’s a light when not in use. It’s also removable, should you desire. The unit is powered by two standard CR2025 batteries which should last between 20 and 75 hours, depending on whether you use ride in solid, strobe or flashing mode.

Unfortunately, my one big nit to pick with this bag is that the light just isn’t very bright. Most high visibility rear lights will temporarily blind you if you stare right at them. This is not the case with the HALO light. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice addition to an existing nighttime safety system, but unfortunately I don’t feel as thought it’s bright enough to rely on by itself.

The bag is available in black with red, yellow, green or blue accents, and the HALO strip shines in the corresponding color. The HALO ZERO retails for $150 and comes with a lifetime warranty. Check out www.rickshawbags.com

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One Comment

  1. kasualMay 6, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Is there a lot of demand for a messenger bag that isn’t waterproof? I don’t see anyone who uses one regularly opting for a bag that isn’t. And really, how much heavier does a liner make the bag? sounds like a cop out to me. For 150 i’d would be grabbing a small junction from YNOT and a good quality led light with the change.

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