That’s really all I’m asking for. Zipper pulls.
I’ve owned a lot of backpacks over the years. Messenger bags, too. And, for several years, mostly just so that I would be able to confidently tell people, I’ve commuted with a messenger bag for years, I’ve been commuting somewhat consistently with a messenger bag. And, I’ll tell ya what: I really don’t like commuting with a messenger bag. It’s almost always too bulky, too unstable, and, whenever it’s loaded with more than a few pounds, it’s also torturously uncomfortable after only a few miles. That’s my view on messenger bags. Sorry messenger-bag makers. Me no-likey.
So, I was stoked to get my hands on Green Guru’s Spinner backpack, a mid-sized, commuter-specific, made-from-recycled-bike-tubes, honest-to-goodness backpack. My left shoulder, ya see, had been wanting to try out a new two-strapped bag for some time.
I’ve been riding to work with the Spinner on my back for a little over a month now, and I can tell you: both of my shoulders have appreciated the opportunity to more comfortably share the load. The Spinner pack has nice, wide, padded, semi-rigid shoulder straps that fit well and stay put, despite the lack of a sternum strap. Nevertheless, the pack does feature a simple webbing hip-belt which seems to work well to stabilize the pack when loaded.
Inside, the Spinner pack is divided into two simple compartments that provide just over 1600 cubic inches of storage space. The larger interior compartment is designed to carry a laptop, files, and other big items. The smaller top compartment is set up to provide a simple organizational space for pens and pencils, along with a small zippered pocket.
For my own needs, I found the Spinner more than adequate for transporting my pump, keys, wallet, rain-gear, and iPad to and from work on a daily basis, as well as sundry other items now and then, as well.
The bike-tube construction on the top panel tends to make the bag a bit floppier, in a more-boneless sort of way, than bags with more common all-Cordura construction. But it also adds a bit to the bag’s curb appeal and likely to its utility as well. Being made of butyl-rubber as it is, it’s certainly different, and arguably substantially more waterproof, than your run of the mill nylon-Cordura bag. Green Guru has also added a few strips of reflective webbing and a couple easy-to-access compression straps and pockets on the outside of the bag. Nice touches for a bag aimed at the commuter market.
Thing is, they overlooked the zipper pulls. A small detail. Perhaps. But, as far as I’m concerned the lack of zipper pulls are a serious oversight for a bag at this price point ($100) and which is obviously intended to be utilized by a somewhat sophisticated, experienced end-user.
See, zippers without pulls are harder to use than they need to be. Zipper pulls make zippers easier to pull. Duh. But they also keep zippers from rattling. And, I gotta tell ya, the way the Spinner rattles sometimes, depending on where I’ve parked my zippers, is enough to drive me mad… or at least to make me stop half-way to wherever I was going to reset the zippers into a less-rattly position.
Leading me to conclude: I like the pack, Green Guru. It does what a good pack should. But I’d have gotten to wherever I was going just that much sooner, perhaps minutes ahead of schedule, or at least on time, if you’d simply installed a couple sets of zipper pulls.