Why We Chose It: Super tough, fully waterproof, practical features.
Unless you’re a bike messenger or city courier, you might not have heard of Chrome Industries. But many of the pro riders who live, work and cycle across big cities all day, every day swear by Chrome’s bags and packs. They’re made tough. So, if you ride to work, maybe it’s time to get a bag that is purpose-built for fast-paced urban life.
Similarly, if your daily commute involves navigating busy streets or cramming onto packed buses, tubes and trains, the Barrage Cargo will be the perfect companion. Purpose-built for cross-city commutes come rain or shine, it is Chrome’s most rugged backpack. It’s also fully waterproof – ideal for wet and windy UK cities then (Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow, we’re looking at you).
Who is the Chrome Industries Barrage Cargo Backpack for?
Chrome’s bags are much-loved by bike messengers and city couriers, so they’re a great choice for cyclists and commuters. But this rugged and robust bag will make a great urban daypack for almost anyone who lives and works in a town or city. Of course, the stylish looks, practical features and uber-tough construction means it works just as well in almost any environment, from travelling to weekend use.
Chrome claims that this bag is tough, and we certainly can’t dispute that. The outer shell fabric is made from 1050-denier nylon, lined with super heavy duty 18oz truck tarpaulin. All the seams are fully welded, and the top closure is a rolltop design that secures with a burly side-release buckle to ensure a 100% waterproof construction. The back panel is made from soft, moulded EVA foam, while the front cargo net uses rugged seatbelt-style nylon webbing with reinforced stitching at all critical points.
The Barrage offers versatile storage, with a roomy main compartment and a rolltop closure that gives you a useful four litres of expanding capacity, taking the pack from 18 to 22 litres. The generous internal dimensions measure 21” in height by 11.5” in width, with a depth of 5.5”. That’s enough space to slide in a 15” Macbook Pro and still fit in all your daily essentials too.
On the outside of the pack, there’s an adjustable exterior cargo net designed to accommodate a bike helmet, plus a zipped stash pocket and twin utility side pockets. These are perfect for a water bottle or a cycle D-lock. The zipped pocket is a useful place to keep your keys, wallet or travelcard.
When it comes to carrying comfort, the harness and back panel aren’t perhaps the most well-padded designs we’ve ever seen, but they’re more than adequate for an urban daypack. And the shoulder straps are well cut, with ergonomic contouring for added comfort. A chest strap adds stability, especially if you’re riding a bike, and features a quick release push plate buckle so you can take the pack off in seconds – great if you spot the last free seat on the bus and need to nab it pronto.
The main USP of the Barrage Cargo backpack is its hard-as-nails, fully waterproof construction. And though that sounds like a fairly simple selling point, those are two areas in which many other daypacks fall down. We’ve seen so many otherwise decent designs that are let down by flimsy hardware or sub-standard fabrics and stitching. There’s none of that here. Similarly, a fully waterproof rucksack that doesn’t just look like a drybag is a surprisingly rare thing – but again, Chrome has delivered 100% watertight protection for your stuff, in a stylish package.
In short, if you’re looking for a rugged and durable waterproof daypack for cycling and city commuting, this is a great choice. We trust the brand too – Chrome Industries has been making useful, durable gear for more than two decades. From its iconic courier bags to utility rucksacks designed for urban life, the products are purpose-built for those who work hard, play hard and ride hard. Oh, and their bags look awesome, which is always a bonus.