I know I’m going to sound like some kind of Chrome pimp since this is my second entry about something they make, but the truth is they make good stuff and the hype is justified. This time I’m talking about the thing that made them who they are, their messenger bags.
I’ve had a “messenger bag” of one kind or another for pretty much as long as I can remember, and by that I mean a horizontal bag with a single shoulder strap. These all worked to different degrees until I tried to actually ride a bike with one – then it became nightmare after nightmare. They would swing around to the front, or hit my leg, or hurt my shoulder or any number of other things that made me dread wearing one on a bike. A two strap backpack worked better, but had similar weight placement and shifting issues. The more I road the more I needed to find something actually workable and the more I kept noticing people with Chrome bags. And when I say people, more often then not I mean actual messengers. At first I wrote it off to fashion but after talking to a few people with them I realized that if people who had to used these bags packed with any and everything, for 8+ hours a day many days a week were choosing this one brand over everything else there had to be a reason for it beyond tasteful design.
After being my usual wishy washy self for a while, I found a slightly used one on ebay for cheep and bought it. The first time I used it I understood exactly why they were so popular. Immediately it’s clear they were designed by people who ride bikes and had experience the same issues I’d been struggling with. First of all they distribute the weight perfectly – load it up as full as you can, put it on and climb on a bike and you won’t even realize you are wearing it. It’s crazy really. But this is an important note -these are designed for the position you are in while biking. I’ve tried wearing one around while walking and a few hours into it my shoulders are killing me so if you want something for hiking or other non-biking activities I’d advise against (though Chrome makes any other kinds of bags that are probably pretty good for that). So right away I knew what the hype was all about, but as I continued to use it the attention to detail really hit me.
A few bad ass features – reflective material woven into the straps, essentially waterproof inside pockets, side strap to keep it in place, water bottle pockets that won’t sweat into main pockets if filled with an icy beverage, super wide & padded shoulder strap. After having one in very regular use for almost 2 years I haven’t had a single thread come loose or buckle break. These things are designed for hard daily use for sure. The initial one I bought was the mini.metro and it’s small, but still large enough for my 15″ MacBook Pro and some cables and stuff. Recently I picked up the Metropolis because I wanted something larger that I could go grocery shopping with and that’s pretty great, though I often find myself thinking I need more in it to justify using it – I can’t even imagine if I had a Kremlin. Tara has the Citizen size and that’s pretty much ideal, if I was starting from scratch I’d probably grab that one. So, if you didn’t gather already, I love these bags.