Women's gear, up first
What is the best all-around urban backpack? Kirsten Edmonton, Alberta
It looks like the Rickshaw Bagworks Ted2009 Backpack ($200; rickshawbags.com).
This customizable commuter bag, which debuted at the February TED (Technology, Ideas, Design) Conference in Long Beach, is an urban assault vehicle. With heavy-duty, removable backpack straps, a shoulder strap with a stabilizing chest strap, and a handle big enough to slip over any carry on, you can ride with it, fly with it, or parkour across Manhattan with it. Inside, there's room for a 17-inch laptop, sweaty yoga clothes, a bike helmet, farmer's market produce, an iPhone or any other junk you might happen to need in the next 24 hours.
Designed by a core urban crew, the bag also features a rubberized, waterproof bottom that you can set down on wet pavement, custom pockets that perfectly fit a Moleskin notebook, and a front flap that closes with Velcro, magnets, or buckles. The company makes every bag to order in San Francisco so you can rest assured that your pink-and-green plaid Rickshaw pack won't be mistaken for your boyfriend's stealth black one.