Review: Chrome District Backpack

I’m a pannier person. About 95% of the time I’m riding a bike and carrying stuff it’s going in a pannier. But, there are a few occasions when I could use a backpack, like walking to the local coffee shop to do some work, quick errands around town, going someplace to take photos where I don’t want a bag hanging off one shoulder for hours, etc., For those times, I use the Chrome District Backpack bag.

Chrome District

The Chrome District is a little different than other Chrome fare. It’s not quite as cavernous as its messenger bags and its a bit more understated then other backpacks in their line with two outward facing pockets. The black version which I have, is sleek looking and dresses up rather nicely. Instead of the regular red and black logo on the bag, the District chrome is strictly black on black. The only accent of color is on the closure strap which has a strip of reflective material. It’s a grownup’s Chrome bag.

The Distrct has one large main compartment with a really strong velcro closure to keep it together. Inside, there is a sleeved compartment that fits a MacBook Air or iPad perfectly, though I would recommend using a thin neoprene case to help protect it from banging around with other gear inside. On the outside, there is a single wide flap that exposes some organizational elements like a zippered pocket and slots for things like a phone, pens or notebook.

I’ve used the bag for event style shooting, with a few lenses and a spare body inside. It’s not the quickest bag to get into (or the quietest! that velcro means serious business), but is smallish and stealthy. This past Christmas, Laura and I took Amtrak down to her mom’s house. I was able to pack a few days of clothes and some small electronics in it no problem. If you’re a light packer, it makes for a great overnight travel bag that doesn’t yell backpacker. While not an extremely formal bag, its not too out of place in casual business meetings.

If you want something to carry everything you own and the kitchen sink, there are bigger bags for that. If you’re doing a short commute around town and want something a little less messenger-y looking that makes a good urban rucksack, the District (especially in black!) is for you. The construction feels solid and has the typical Chrome bombproofness to it with a more upscale feel. Overall, an excellent bag! Only downside is it is a little spendy, but because of its classic good looks it will be perfectly fashionable for years to come.

Conclusion: 9/10