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IGreen Guru Ruckus Backpack

Green 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 pockets 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 accommodates a hydration bladder, but the paranoid person inside me doesn’t like the idea of mixing a bladder and the electronics many of us tend to have on board.
The 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.
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 inner tube you’d like, with smaller day backpacks, commuter packs and messenger bags also available.