You know me, I’m always interested in a good bag (and hey, it’s built right into the name of our site, so you know…). While I’ve never tried out a Chrome Industries bag in person, they’ve built a reputation for building super sturdy stuff that can fit the needs of bike messengers. Which means regular office schlubs like you and me will have no issues with it. Just a few days ago, they announced a new collection that’ll help you stay visible in the dark winter months: the Chrome Industries Swedish Camo collection.
Now, first things first – you don’t have to worry you’re going to look like a mall ninja if you’re carrying something from the Chrome Industries Swedish Camo collection. Rather than a traditional camo that us Americans tend to think of, this looks like more of a mashup of digital and organic camo patterns, and then done in a dark greyscale that makes it not quite so garish. It also hides a great safety feature: highly-reflective bits in there that shine just as brightly as the lights that hit them. So, really, there’s no way that car doesn’t see you as you pedal down the road, or even cross the street. For the new collection, there are actually five different bags being offered up, depending on what you’re looking for
First up, you’ve got the Citizen messenger bag ($160), which is fairly iconic for the brand. If you think of a Chrome bag, this is probably the one you’re picturing and have seen. And for good reason, it’s been around since 1995, and is a staple of their lineup:
The Citizen Messenger features the quick-release iconic Chrome buckle, reflexive compression straps, ergonomic shoulder strap, and a guarantee for life. It is one of the first bags to be released in 1995, and as this bag has been proven to last a lifetime, through grueling real-world adventuring, it’s worth noting that the 20yr Bag is good for the environment and your wallet without repeated purchases.
Next up, you’ve got the Doubletrack ($70) which looks a little like a shrunken messenger bag. Rather than being intended to be slung over your shoulder, this is a handlebar bag, keeping the weight off of you. Until you’re off the bike, that is, and then you can deploy the should strap and carry your essentials with you.
Freeing up pocket space and eliminating the need to wear a backpack on rides, handlebar bags are the key to carrying snacks, extra clothing and essentials. The Doubletrack Handlebar Sling ratchets up the utility of this classic form by allowing you to wear it via a deployable shoulder strap.
Whether you run it on your bars and use sling mode when making a pit stop or mostly sling it and occasionally mount it to your bike, the Doubletrack Handlebar sling is a versatile system for carrying your stuff with efficiency and style. Run what you brung!
Next up, we’ve got the Barrage ($180). Just as with the Citizen, this bag is another iconic look for the brand (at least in terms of what I’ve seen wandering around in Chicago). Rather than the messenger bag sling, here you get the stability of two shoulder straps (and a sternum strap), and an expandable grid on the front that lets you hang just about anything you’d want on there.
With 34-38 liter capacity, external cargo net and an ergonomic strap and back panel setup, the Barrage Freight is ideal for commuters and travelers who need to carry a variety of gear and supplies in any weather.
The Barrage Freight is the next size up from Chrome’s best-selling standard Barrage backpack, adding up to 16L of extra capacity while retaining an overall compact form factor. Like the standard Barrage, the Freight is built with a 100% waterproof welded drop-liner surrounded by a tough nylon fabric shell with a molded/vented back panel and ergonomic straps for load distribution. Side pockets and the 5-point adjustable cargo net add even more capacity as needed.
Built to adapt to any environment or payload, the Barrage Freight is mission-ready, and as part of Chrome’s Heritage Collection, this pack is guaranteed for life.
Next up, we’ve got the Kadet ($95). To my eyes, think of this like a duffel bag, except downsized to something you wouldn’t mind carrying with you all day, to keep the necessary stuff with you, like a jacket, tablet, camera, and some battery packs. Though it’s shrunken down in size, you’ve still got that outsized Chrome character complete with the seatbelt buckle strap.
Minimal by design, the Kadet is built to transport what’s essential. This low profile sling bag fits a light jacket, tablet, camera, keys and wallet. Protected by military grade nylon and held secure with Chrome’s classic seatbelt buckle, the Kadet is made to move at a moment’s notice.
Now, if that’s even a bit larger than you’d like, well, you’re in luck, because there’s a Kadet Mini ($80) that’ll happily swallow your phone, compact camera, and a few other goodies (hey, why not a candy bar?). Same look at the bigger brother, just about 4L less in cubic space.
The Mini Kadet sling bag is built to transport your everyday carry – phone, a compact camera, wallet, keys, and a water bottle. Constructed with military-grade materials, the Mini Kadet is ready to serve. Guaranteed for Life.
All of the bags in the Chrome Industries Swedish Camo collection look to be rather robustly built, and offer a great range of flexibility and usage. Along with the reflective pattern in the fabric, I rather like the free-floating waterproof liner that the bags offer. This means you can separate your stuff if you need to, and replace the liner (or repair it) should it become damaged down the road, without needing the scrap the whole bag. All in all, I’d say it’s good stuff here. Check it all out over at chromeindustries.com