Chrome Industries Doubletrack Handlebar Sling [Review]
Typically, when I commute, I need to carry my laptop with me. That means I normally need a decent sized backpack (which at the moment is Chrome’s Mazer Vigil Pack).
But sometimes, particularly on an exploratory weekend ride, I don’t need nor want to carry a backpack. I just need something in which I can throw in some useful bits, like a water bottle, a snack and maybe a notebook and other bits of everyday carry.
I was pretty excited, therefore, to see Chrome’s new Doubletrack Handlebar Sling. A bag that seemed big enough to fit all of those bits that I might want to carry, while also being possible to attach it easily to my bikes handlebars or thrown over my shoulder as a sling.
Chrome Handlebar Bag
One issue with many handlebar bags is that while they’re great on the bike, they’re not the easiest to carry off it. However, that’s not the Case with Chrome’s Handlebar Sling Bag.
The bag has two Velcro straps so that you can securely it to the handlebars. This isn’t the most elegant system in the world, but it’s simple. But the great news is that when you take the bag off the bike, there is a sling strap that you can untuck so you can throw it over your shoulder and securely carry it around with you.
Inside the Bag
For such a small bag, it is actually pretty spacious inside. I was pleasantly surprised to see that a metal 500ml water bottle (such as the LARQ self-cleaning bottle) can lie horizontally in the bag. You can also comfortably fit in a book and some other bits of pieces. In my case, I managed to comfortably fit in a bottle, a book, earbuds, wallet, sunglasses, tissues, a Rubik’s cube and a small jar of Marmite comfortably – you know, everyday stuff, as evidenced below:
On either side of the back, there are two elasticated mesh pockets. These are great for things like keys or energy gels.
The bag has a roll-top closure, which is sealed by magnetic clasp – which keeps fiddling to a minimum. I like the rolltop closure as this also enables you to utilise a bit more space in the bag with it open, for example if your route isn’t too bumpy and you want easy access to your drink or snacks.
Is the Doubletrack Bag Waterproof?
Strangely, I didn’t see any mention of whether the Doubletrack Handlebar Sling was waterproof or even water resistant on their website.
So I decided to find out for myself…
To my surprise, it was indeed waterproof. I rat in under a gushing tap for a minute and it remained bone-dry on the inside.
I can’t confirm what IP water-resistance rating this bag is, but if you’ve properly rolled it down on the top, there’s no way rain is getting in, no matter how strong the downpour.
I also messaged Chrome’s team about this and they confirmed that the bag is indeed waterproof, although the seams aren’t sealed – no don’t expect everything to stay dry if you decide to go for a swim with it!
In Summary: Chrome Doubletrack Handlebar Sling Bag
All-in-all, I must say I’ve been extremely impressed with this Chrome handlebar bag.
It’s not the slickest in terms of attaching and reattaching to the handlebars as the Velcro straps are a touch fiddly, but apart from that it’s spot on.
It’s spacious inside, it’s essentially weatherproof, it has easy access pockets on the outside and it can easily be turned into a shoulder sling in a few seconds. It’s also a damn good-looking bag.
Unless you don’t need to carry larger items like a laptop on your daily commute, I’d call this more of an adventure bag than one for cycling to work. It’s great for all the little bits you might need during the day and is extremely versatile.
It’s available from Chrome for £60 / €70 / $60 – which I’d say is reasonable value for a very well-built and practical bag.
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