21 October 2018

REVIEW: Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop Backpack

Winter, sorted

As the days grow short and the weather that little bit more treacherous, what plan do you have for carting all your expensive electronic gadgets about town? Using the same bag you've been carrying all summer might not work, as a sudden downpour of both rain or snow could kill your laptop dead. That's why we've been happily testing a bag that Jack Frost himself fears. We check out the Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop Backpack.

Here are your headlines: This is a tough, waterproof bag with expanding storage space due to the rolltop closure. Chrome are keen to point out that this is an updated version of their older model, boasting more space, better internal organisation, and more waterproof pockets. Noice.

When we last reviewed a rolltop waterproof backpack (this one from Over-board) we discovered just how invaluable they can be... for cycling. In fact, that same Over-board bag has been called upon for the past three winters, so were glad to get our hands on the Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop Backpack. If you cycle in bad weather, while also carrying the likes of a laptop and expensive phone, you need something like this.

We were also happy to see that Chrome have been talking to cyclists about comfort. The adjustable shoulder straps feel great, even over long periods of cycling, and there are external hoops to hook on a bike lock. Needless to say the bag's main material, a poly/nylon blend with a "Knurled Welded" construction (?), are completely waterproof, and the rolltop can be sealed in such a way as to make it almost totally air tight, too. Cycling through puddles, getting caught in a storm, sweating buckets... no worries at all.

There are some internal pockets, but not all that many. There is an obvious place for a 15 inch laptop, and a few other smaller compartments such as a padded tablet sleeve, but waterproof bags like this are usually just good for stuffing things in. Once you've packed all 28L of space, you also have a quick access pocket on the outside - sensibly against your back - for the likes of a phone or wallet. It too is waterproof.

One aspect we like about the Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop Backpack is that it can be used without having to seal that rolltop. Should the weather be good, and should you be merely popping along the road, you can simply fold the top over, or use the two top carry handles, shopping bag style. Granny. Either way, it has use outside of extreme weather situations.

So, as you're already planning how best to tackle the coming winter, we heartily recommend this rugged thing. You'll come for the waterproof material, but you'll stay for the overall practicality and versatility, whether you're a cyclist or not.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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