Chrome Industries Vale Sling Bag – Review
I’ve been enjoying trying out a bit of Chrome Industries gear in the past year. First the impressive Ex Gas Can Waterproof Backpack, then the legendary 415 Workboot and, most recently, I’ve been getting to grips with the Vale Sling Bag.
The bag has basically been designed with creating the smallest – yet most practical bag – that you’d want on a daily basis. It’s designed to carry a 13” laptop (which only just fits, so forget any larger laptops), with the neat compression straps also enabling the bag to effortlessly expand if you want to throw in a light jacket or any other bits.
The Vale Sling is pretty much a messenger bag synonymous with students and bike couriers – but it still manages to keep a premium look to it.
Cycling Laptop Bag
It’s packed full of handy features. For starters – and importantly – you can carry the bag on your back by throwing it over your head or by using the strap clip to more elegantly put or take off the bag. When riding, the guys at Chrome have also added a smart fastener to the bottom of the bag which can be used attached to the chest strap in order to prevent it from moving around a lot as you ride – this is also removable, though, so if you don’t use it, you can take it off with minimum fuss.
There are three main sections to the bag: the main compartment, and then a front and rear zipped pocked. I found the rear pocket to be especially useful as this provides quick and easy access for keys and other of your daily bits.
The main compartment features two more lining sleeves, one padded one to fit (supposedly) a 13” laptop, as well another which is good for keeping other belongings separate. However, as you may have figured, my 13” Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro laptop didn’t quite fit in. It got in some of the way, but there was no way I could get the whole thing to squeeze in, which is a bit disappointing. Apparently, though, it will fit a 13” Macbook Pro…
Urban Cyclist Messenger Bag
Chrome Industries is a company devoted to urban cyclists and that is clearly apparent in many of the bag’s features. For starters, there’s plenty of subtle reflective detailing dotted around the bag to increase visibility, while the side of the bag that sits on your back is very well padded indeed. It’s safe to say that this is a very comfortable lightweight bag to cycle with. The bag is also water resistant and will keep your stuff dry in all but the most extreme of downpours, with a coated top zipper to boot.
To give you an idea of the sizing of the bag’s innards, it measures 13” wide, by 9.25” high, with up to 5” of depth and a total volume of 14L.
All-in-all, I really like this bag. It looks good and is very practical – although an extra inch of width would hurt to make popping in a laptop at little easier). Nevertheless, the Vale Sling is yet another great urban cycling bag from Chrome Industries.