Chrome Bags Metropolis Messenger Bag in for Review
Wicked blue! That is the first thought that ran through my head when I ripped this bag from its packaging. Chrome Bags was a small Boulder, Colorado start-up by a few biking goons who wanted a bag that could outlast the stories of time. I can say, with factual evidence, and based on personal experience, Chrome Bags definitely succeeds at their objective to create a functional, sustainable, and durable bag.
About the Metropolis Messenger Bag
The Metropolis Messenger Bag is their second to largest bag, behind the Kremlin. The bag has a 2000 cubic inch volume capacity and creates various compartments to fully utilize the space available. The bag is available in right or left shoulder positions for the strapping and shoulder elements and provides some serious comfort.
Personal Experience with Chrome Bags and Metropolis Bag
First, I am jumping the gun and giving this initial review because I have been a customer of Chrome Bags for four plus years now. I have a hunter green, first generation(?) Metropolis Messenger Bag and I love everything about it. I wanted to compare the first generation to the new generation bags and determine what all differences they have, then allow Robb to really dig in and review the new pretty blue bag we received.
A bit of back story, Chrome Bags came as a recommendation to me from a good friend, following suit, myself as well as seven friends all own Chrome Bags and everyone who I interact with who asks about the bag ends up ordering one as well (so they say), which is definitely great business for Chrome. Their bags come equipped with some wonderful technology, their signature seat-belt clasp and buckle that everyone seems to recognize immediately; the quick release handle, which is different on the new bags, but still very wonderful; and the bright red and black logo they sport on the flap of their merch.
My Metropolis has been around the world, literally. It has been to all fifty states; snow-boarding at Whistler, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; throughout Asia: Japan, Korea, China and Russia; and into the urban jungles of Mexico. My bag is pushing five now and it honestly looks brand new. I have one of their macbook sleeves and I carry my notebook in it, no matter what bag I am carrying. I would recommend it to everyone.
Photographs of Chrome’s Metropolis Bag
Information about Chrome
Chrome Bags www.chromebags.com
580 4th Street
San Francisco, California 94107
.. more detailed introduction article soon!
Manhattan Portage Bags Delivered for Review
The kind folks over at Manhattan Portage shipped us three pieces of gear to review. They were kind enough to allow us to pick out three of their bags that we felt would be good trials for our requirements. We decided to go with their signature messenger style bag, a ballistic laptop tote, and their popular “J” bag. Each of the three bags have their own specific purpose, but we definitely wanted to see if we could stretch the limitations of the bags and give them some serious feedback!
A Glimpse Into Manhattan Portage
Manhattan Portage is pretty old (est. 1983), but definitely not out-dated by any sense of the statement. We could go on and on about how the company was a pleasure to speak to and all that jazz, however their company information page says much more than we could ever come up with from our small brains:
There was a simple philosophy that Manhattan Portage set out to achieve back in 1983, “A Bag For Everyone.” Twenty Five years later it is certainly ringing true. From Montreal to Melbourne, Osaka to Oslo, and Stockholm to San Francisco, Manhattan Portage’s line of bags are indeed everywhere and carried by everyone.
Let’s break down the quality of our simple discussions. We spoke with “Linda” and she was a serious pleasure to work with. She assisted Robb and I in deciding which bags would be best suited for our review purposes and the type of materials and functions that our viewers would appreciate in a bag. We then worked with her to make sure the bags arrived and that everything promised was delivered. In fact, they have been very patient with us on our review process.
As I mentioned above, we received three bags from Manhattan Portage:
I removed the bags from their packaging and immediately plopped them out for some initial review notes. The bags seem very durable and stable, in terms of materials used during manufacturing. Each bag has a very unique sense of usefulness and the materials used in each bag is represented by its “classification,” per se.
I decided to pull out some gallons of water and stuff them in the New York Style Manhattan Portage Messenger Bag to see what exactly it would hold. We all can read the technical specifications, but what does 1800 Cubic Inches really mean to an end-user? It means that the bag has the ability to hold more than two gallons of water and room for plenty more, like my notebook and a clean t-shirt.
The New York messenger bag that Manhattan Portage sent over was definitely a piece of eye candy to look at. The dark black exterior contrasted against the water proofed interior in bright yellow was a nice touch. Their logo and patch on the front of the bag looks very clean against the black bag. In fact, all three bags had the logos prominently placed, however they did not make the bag an eye sore.
A brief break down of thoughts
Apologies, I get a little too wordy at times with these reviews. But I am super excited to be reviewing gear from big names in the commuting industry. Manhattan Portage has been around for more than twenty years and their customers keep coming back, I am sure its because they manufacture some sick bags that are sure to get some attention.
We intend to really gives these bags some thorough reviews and to give you an update, the Manhattan Portage New York Messenger Bag is being reviewed by a local here in Tulsa, Oklahoma named Aaron. He commutes 100% by bicycle and is a wonderful addition to our reviewing staff. He has been using the bag for everything from his daily commute to work, to picking up groceries. The J-Bag just arrived back in the states from a two week stint of travel, biking and hiking through India. Heather decided to give it the ultimate review while traveling and hiking in the Himalayan mountains during the first few weeks of March.
I, myself, am giving the Ballistic Laptop Tote from Manhattan Portage a great trial run as my commute takes me six miles to and from the office, now through snow, rain, and tormenting wind. Thus far, the bag is holding up well and we will have full reviews of each bag in the coming weeks.
A few photographs of the bags
We definitely have more photographs of each bag, but want to give you a quick teaser of what to expect to see! For more views, check out each bag on the Manhattan Portage website.
Manhattan Portage Ballistic Laptop Tote
Manhattan Portage New York Messenger Bag
Manhattan Portage J Bag
Ballistic Laptop Tote Interior View
New York Messenger Bag
Manhattan Portage J Bag
Technical Specifications of Each Bag
We ripped these specifications from the Manhattan Portage website:
New York Style Messenger Bag
Size: 22 x 12.5 x 8.5 inches (56 x 32 x 20.5 cm) (WxHxD)
Weight: 1.2 lbs (0.60 kg)
Volume: 1800 cubic inches
Fabric: High-Quality CORDURA® Plus Nylon, by Invista
- One zippered pocket on the front flap (good for keys, small change or metro card)
- Two zippered pockets and one open pocket (with attached clip and key ring) underneath the flap
- Large roomy interior compartment for books, folders, laptop, or clothing
- Additional small zippered pocket inside the main compartment
- One open pocket on the back for magazine and newspaper
- Both Velcro and buckle closures
- Double reinforcement on the corners for durability
- Water resistant coating
- Soft shoulder strap and handle on the top for carrying it by hand or across the shoulder
Size: 16.5 x 21 x 7 inches(42 x 53.5 x 18 cm) (WxHxD)
Weight: 0.80 lbs (0.40 kg)
Volume: 800 cubic inches
Fabric: High-Quality CORDURA® Plus Nylon, by Invista
- Zippered pocket on the front for your smaller items.
- Large main zippered compartment
- Wear over your left over your right shoulder
- Padded shoulder strap for your comfort
- Ergonomic design that distributes weight evenly across back
- Water-resistant coating
Ballistic Laptop Tote
Size: 13 x 16 x 5 inches(33 x 40.5 x 13 cm) (WxHxD)
Built-in padded-sleeve: 11 x 14 x 1.5 inches (28 x 35.5 x 4.5 cm) (WxHxD)
Weight: 1.0 lbs (0.50 kg)
Volume: 1000 cubic inches
Fabric: 1680D (14 oz) Ballistic Nylon
- Free shoulder pad on the strap
- Total of four pockets to help with your organization
- Sleek side pockets for your cell or water bottle
- Two more zippered pockets on the front and back of the bag
- Interior padded laptop sleeve
- Key ring attached to exterior, so you will never be locked out again!
- Main compartment has tons of space, and also includes a mesh bottle holder
Manhattan Portage Details
110 Greene Street
New York, NY 10012
Tel (212) 925-1085
Fax (212) 925-1057