I briefly mentioned in a February post that I had a new messenger bag from Chrome to try out. Now that I have been using that bag, their Metropolis model, for a couple of months, I can say that I really do like it a lot. Previously, I was commuting with a North Face messenger bag, which you can see in one of the pictures below. I was fine with that old bag until I got the new one from Chrome, so I want to point out a few of the reasons why I prefer this new bag after a few months of use.
First, I have to say that I love the way this Chrome bag looks. The two tone color scheme, the reflective straps, the black and red logo, and of course the distinctive buckle all make for a really nice looking bag. Certainly aesthetics are subjective, but I think this bag looks a lot better than my old one. Quite a few color combinations are available to choose from. I chose black with the white interior and accent, because it is not too flashy and still looks stylish. Once I get to work, I basically use the bag as my briefcase, so I didn’t want one with really bright colors. Still, I think the white accent stripe improves the visibility a bit over a solid black bag. Speaking of visibility, I added the flashing light that you see in the pictures. There is a strap sewn in that spot, so transferring over one of the clip-on lights from old bag was pretty easy to do.
You can see from the pictures that this bag is quite a bit wider than my old one. With a capacity of 2000 cubic inches, it will definitely hold a lot of stuff (and it gets pretty heavy when that stuff is beer…or so I have heard). Chrome’s Kremlin messenger bag is even larger at 3000 cubic inches, but this Metropolis holds more than I need for my average ride to work. The bag is about 26 inches wide, considerably wider than my North Face bag, so I like the fact that I can fold my work clothes and pack them side-by-side. I usually have file folders, my sketch book, and other items for work stashed behind the clothes, so it is nice to be able to pack everything as flat as possible. Once the bag is loaded, and secured with the cross chest stabalizer strap, it wraps around my back nicely. It took a little getting used to, but I prefer the stabilizing strap, which passes under my arm and buckles to the shoulder strap, to the traditional waist strap setup on my old bag. The North Face bag shifted on my back from time to time, but that has not been an issue with the Chrome bag. Trust me, stability is a big deal for anything that is strapped to your back while riding, so that is a big plus to me.
One feature that I didn’t consider before, but have grown to like, is the white interior of this bag. My old bag had a black interior, and it sort of became a black hole. I would put something small in it a work, forget about it, and then not notice it when I opened the bag at home. With the bright white interior (and I assume it would be the same with some of the colored interiors) the contents of the bag are more visible at first glance. It is also worth noting that the thick tarp material, which makes up the weatherproof interior liner and the accent stripe, is really tough stuff. After a few months of use, I expected the white interior to get dirty, but it wipes clean and still looks like new.
As you can tell, I really do like this bag. It is one of those products that I like more and more as I continue to use it. There was one thing about it that bothered me when I first started using it though…the absence of a handle on top. I was used to carrying my old bag by the handle after I arrived at work and changed clothes. Now that I have used this bag for a while though, I don’t mind always carrying it by the shoulder strap. If you feel like you need a handle in addition to the shoulder strap though, Chrome has other products like their Laptop bags and the Messenger Packs, which do have handles on top.
I haven’t tried Chrome’s other bags, but I can say that the one I have is a nice design that is very well made from quality materials. I would recommend it without hesitation…and I definitely plan to keep using this one.