You’ve probably noticed by now that the SF bag brand Chrome has entered the skate game. They’ve hooked up some of skateboarding’s favorites like Emmanuel Guzman, Bobby Worrest, and John Cardiel to rep the brand and in their short stint within skateboarding, they’ve already managed to do a bunch of sick collaborations that might light your board (FTC, Krooked, Motorhead).
Prior to their arrival to our realm, I’d only known of Chrome as a bag brand geared toward bicyclists and for some reason, crust punks, neither of which I’d hold against anyone really. I’d long been curious about the company, but I’d held off checking their products out firsthand because I’m more of a backpack person, and I’ve been loyal to the same pack for a long time, but when Chrome hit us up asking if we’d be down to check out some of their new line of backpacks, it was easy to say yes.
Chrome sent me two bags, the Ivan Medium Rolltop [green, on the right] and the Brigadier [black, on the left]. The Ivan quickly became my go-to bag, which is saying a lot since I’d been loyally running the same Clive backpack since high school. Does anyone even remember Clive?
Anyway, whether it’s my daily comute to and from work, or a weeklong trip, the Ivan has enough space and compartments to house everything I need and in a way where I can access it all fairly easily. The pockets are simple and effective, and there are even two waterproof main compartments so you can throw some food or a case of your favorite drinks in there with some ice and not worry about sopping everything else you’re toting around. It’s a fairly big bag, but it’s not at all cumbersome whenever I have it on, whether it’s just walking around or on a bike or motorcycle. Being as it is a bit of a bigger bag, it’s geared towards people with a bigger frame, so if you’re running some size mediums or smaller, this might be too bulky for your tastes. The Ivan is also American made.
The Brigadier has even more space than the Ivan and is geared with longer trips in mind. It’s got hideaway main shoulder straps, so if you feel like checking it at the airport, you’ll have no issues with it getting snagged. I also haven’t had any problems just throwing it in the overhead bins on airplanes. An advantage that The Brigadier has over the Ivan is that its side straps hold a skateboard fairly well, though I don’t think they were made with that function specifically in mind. I tend to pick the Ivan over the Brigadier just because the Brigadier’s got more space, so I get less selective with what I pack, and I hate overpacking.
With either bag, you’ve got a win. They’re weatherproof and comfortable and can fit everything you’d need for a trip, or for your day to day. You also won’t look like some froo froo dickhead when you’re stowing your shit away on an airplane, so that’s a plus.