Urban Velo

Green Guru Ruckus Backpack

green_guru_ruckus-1Green Guru has been recycling and repurposing durable but discarded materials into useable items for some time, learning and refining the process along the way. From simpler beginnings the line has grown to include full feature bags, such as the Ruckus Backpack. The bag is made from six repurposed bicycle inner tubes and recycled PETE fabrics and features a large overlapping flap closure, with multiple pocket for easy organization and a built in laptop or document pocket for the commute. The back is heavily padded mesh with large channels for airflow, reducing the feeling of wearing a giant piece of impermeable rubber against your back and also has removable waist and sternum straps for stability on the bike or on your feet. A sleeve also accomodates a hydration bladder, but the paranoid person inside me doesn’t like the idea of mixing a bladder and the sensitive electronics I tend to have on board.

green_guru_ruckus-3The stated size of the Ruckus is 30 liters, expandable to 41 liters, with the unorthodox test of 12 oz glass bottles coming in at just one or two short of a case. It’s a big bag, capable of carrying most everything you need for the day. Zippered pockets help to keep important things in place, and Green Guru didn’t forget the pen holders so many new bags are ditching. The light colored liner with drawstring closure is welcome, as dark bags can form an abyss that can easily swallow keys and wallets — out of sight out of mind.

The bag itself is somewhat heavy at 3.5 lbs, but unlike other materials that can absorb water when wet the recycled inner tube construction doesn’t get soggy. Even the extensive mesh back padding doesn’t absorb water in heavy downpours. After months of mid-Atlantic winter and spring commuting the bag itself is holding up well, even if some of the nylon clips have broken. Perhaps a bad batch of clips, either way Green Guru stands up for their gear and will replace broken hardware without fuss. The friend that has done the bulk of the riding (and the carrying around of cases of bottled beer…) reports that the stitching is solid, the laptop compartment fantastic and trustworthy in the rain, and that besides those clips the bag is holding up to his ongoing abuse. Even when loaded down, the shaped and padded straps and yoke have proven comfortable.

green_guru_ruckus-2 The Ruckus backpack retails for $140, in my estimation a fair price for a sustainable, made in the USA backpack of this ilk that carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. Available in any color of black bicycle innertube you’d like, with smaller day backpacks, commuter packs and messenger bags also available direct at www.greengurugear.com


  1. Mike messenger bag review guyJune 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Hey Brad, did you have a chance to ride with one? Just wondering of how close it sits agains your back. In other words, will it get sweaty? At 3.5 lbs is not light for sure but then again the buckle on my chrome citizen bag must be at least a pound.

  2. JustinJune 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I have been riding with my Ruckus backpack for 3 years now and it is the best bag i have ever owned. Don’t let the 3.5 lbs scare you all backpacks with the same build Chrome, Mission Workshops, Timbuk 2 all weight the same, a lot of them weight 3-4 lbs.
    All the pockets are great to organize and i love the stash pocket for the hydration or whatever you want to conceal, “behind the back”

  3. RyanJuly 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    One of my friends has been boasting of this bag’s style for the last year and a half. It seems to be amazingly durable, and I am planning to pick up a different version from this company soon.

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