First Impressions

Looking like it’s ready to storm a Normandy beach, the Chrome Barrage Cargo Pack just might have what it takes. Chrome constructs it from “military grade” materials and covers the rear with an adjustable webbing for carrying bike helmets, jackets and other gear. Out the gate, we dug the massively expandable rolltop approach and heavy-duty construction. But would the Chrome Barrage Cargo cut it in everyday urban warfare?


Well, that’s a good question. These days, Chrome seems to be expanding their product line dramatically. They boast five different bag types in five different styles. And they manufacture apparel and shoes too. That’s a lot for a small company that’s trying to stay true to its roots.

The Chrome Barrage Cargo Pack is essentially one big open compartment. Because it uses a large rolltop, the pack can expand to carry an amazing amount of gear (unlike the STM Impulse also reviewed here). According to Chrome, the pack compresses down to 22 liters capacity and expands to 34 liters. The rolltop closes with a wide, nylon strap and buckle.

Inside the Barrage Cargo, Chrome locates two pockets. The first is the main compartment I mentioned above. The second is the laptop sleeve. Although quite large, I found both disappointing. The main compartment just lacks the little extra organization features that I’ve come to like in a commuter (and even outdoor) pack. There’s no key ring, no accessory pockets, nothing. The laptop sleeve also lacks detailing. There’s no padding or protection for that precious piece of cargo. In fact, because of the Barrage Cargo’s waterproof lining, inserting the laptop into the sleeve is difficult. My 13-inch Macbook Air fit fine, but just kept catching on that somewhat tacky surface requiring me to wrangle the computer into place.

Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz
Capacity: 22 – 34 l
Materials: 1000 denier nylon exterior, 600 denier nylon interior

In addition to the main compartment, the Barrage Cargo includes another full-length zippered pocket on the exterior, as well as two water bottle pockets on either side. With that exterior pocket, it’s narrow. And everything you put into it just seems to fall to the bottom requiring a pretty serious “reach in” to get anything out.

On the plus side, that exterior cargo net came in handing on multiple locations, making convenient storage for an extra layer of clothing and other items.


All that military-grade construction comes with a penalty. Coming in at nearly three pounds, the Chrome Barrage Cargo is one heavy pack. Despite that, it’s pretty comfortable to wear thanks to the padded back panel and adjustable straps. I found the company’s signature Chrome belt buckles (in this case, about one-quarter the typical size and used on the sternum strap) cute, but not terribly functional.

Final Verdict

So where do we bottom out on the Chrome Barrage Cargo Pack? We found it comfortable and easy to carry despite the weight. We liked the cargo netting’s utility and massively expanding rolltop compartment. The urban styling was cool too. But we really missed the organization features from other packs and messengers.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to Chrome and Catch and Release Media for providing product for this review.