Project Co-ordinator of Sinar Project and independant Project Consultant with broad experience in managing, developing and implementing tech for open governance and civil society using free and open source software and best practices in Asia-Pacific.
This is the complement bag to the Chrome Barrage Cargo backpack. When I don't need to carry a lot of things, it's purpose is as a modular bag with content which are easily accessible. I learned from my stolen Buran with dedicated compartments that one large compartment is better with how I use a bag. Sometimes it will hold change for the kids and other kid items like drinks, first aid, sunscreen and snacks. With an insert like KitPouch from GreenRoom136 it becomes a camera bag. WIth laptop sleeve, it becomes a work bag. This is much better value for me, to have one good quality bag that I can use in all sorts of ways.
There is also the usual list of things I need in a bag. It has to be waterproof, and in this case since I'm walking and soon cycling a lot, I need it to light up in the dark for safety. The Mini Metro Night fits this and it also fits into the Chrome Barrage Cargo Backpack.
The bag looks nice. There is a reflective strip across the cover and both compression straps are also reflective. There is also reflective material sewn into the material below the reflective strip. Although not as bright, at night it lights up a large area. So the bag is bright at night and cool black during the day. Unlike the Buran there is no top handle, so this isn't a very business llke bag where you can take it off and hold it briefcase style. I didn't realize how useful a top handle would be.
Typical of Chrome, you have heavy EVA padded shoulder strap that's very comfortable, the seat belt quick release buckle. The system is very easy, you just lift and pull to tighten or loosen the strap. At the bottom of the bag, there is also an additional loop for you to hook up something like blinking rear lights for additional safety at night.
There is a little bit of organizational pockets in front. You can fit a phone and some pens. There is also a zippered compartment to put small things in securely like wallet or other bits and pieces that might fall out. Behind the zippered pocket is a pouch space that goes all the way down. Useful to put things in like headphones in here.
One thing to take note is that unlike the Buran, this pocket isn't lined with waterproof tarp. While it's covered by the waterproof cover, if the bag is soaked, like if you put in pool of water, it will become damp including the contents you have in there. It was still quite dry for me even in tropical rainstorm, but something you should take note. I wouldn't put something like a thin piece of paper in here for example or a notebook.
Inside the bag
The bag is made up of 3 parts. Inside the main compartment is like one big waterproof pouch attached to the back of the bag. This is where you put most of your things that will stay dry. In the front, this main compartment pouch is attached to the front with heavy duty velcro straps. This allows you to separate wet and dry areas if you wish. I would put say my rain poncho or kids wet swimmers in here. It's not additional space, if you put stuff in there it will squeeze the main compartment though the bag can expand outwards a bit in front. Additionally there are to velcro fasteners that can securre Chrome Laptop Sleeve too. I didn't find putting the laptop in front to be ideal. Instead it's batter in the back, flat against your back. A 15in sleeve/laptop as shown in photos is a tight fit. Once you put it in there, the shape of the bag is such that it reduces space quite a bit. It becomes thougher to put in or pull out round things such as bags with a laptop and sleeve in there. Without laptop and sleeve, there is quite a bit of space in there about 20.5l according to specs. I've found that if I need to be out an about with a laptop and need more stuff like rain gear, I would reach for Cargo backpack instead.
The third part is little corner pockets on each side. You can fit in a thin 750 or 500ml water bottle in here. I put water bottle in one and fill up the other with shopping bags.
Overally I'm happy with this bag, and it complements my daypack well. It will also fit into the Chrome Barrage Cargo so that when travelling outstation, I would still have access to both bags at the remote destination. If you know that you would use a bag like this more often for work or for university and always have laptop with you, then the Mini Buran Night Messenger Bag might be a better choice.
Full size photos are available on Flickr.