Chrome Barrage Freight Backpack
Chrome Industries, experts in cycling gear, have introduced a larger version of their popular Barrage Cargo backpack - the Barrage Freight. Designed for urban cycling, the mission ready, 100% welded-waterproof rolltop backpack is made with military grade materials. It features a low-profile design and side compression straps, a cargo net to haul gear on the outside, plus a waterproof bucket liner for keeping personal items dry. The versatile bag can expand the main compartment from 34L to 38L. There is also a laptop sleeve that fits a 15" Macbook Pro. This durable 100% waterproof backpack is ideal for commuters and travelers who get gnarly in all weather and need to carry a variety of cargo. As all Chrome Industries bags, the Barrage is guaranteed for life. Available in black, or olive.
Our thanks to Chrome for sponsoring the site this week. The post was written by the BTS team and not influenced in any way.
Chrome Industries Barrage Freight Cargo Backpack
The Barrage is probably the most iconic bag that Chrome make. They’ve taken all the best features of the Barrage and added a bit of extra space with the Chrome Barrage Freight backpack. The capacity has increased to 34L which is plenty of room for carrying almost anything you can think of (we’ve seen everything from bike frames to gardening gear being carried in them).
On the back on the Chrome Barrage Freight is the distinctive, expandable cargo net. The net can be adjusted to fit around a whole variety of different items including cardboard boxes, helmets and shoes. The net will still carry gear even when the main backpack compartment is full.
Inside the main compartment on the Chrome Barrage Freight is space for a 15” laptop (external sleeve recommended). The Heritage Construction that Chrome uses on the Barrage means that the main compartment is totally watertight so you can carry your electronics and perishables with peace of mind.
- Ergonomic shoulder strap design with EVA foam back panel for improved fit and breathability
- Sternum strap with iconic mini seatbelt buckle for load distribution
- Industrial metal cam lock under arm compression buckle
- Dimensions (H x W x D cm): 51 x 29 x 14
- Volume: 34-38 L
- Weight: 1.4kg
- Waterproof roll top closure accommodates a range of load sizes
- Industrial strength Velcro accessory shoulder mounting straps
- Easy access side U-Lock/Waterbottle pockets
- Abrasion resistant Weatherproof 1000 denier CORDURA Brand grade nylon outer shell
- Welded-Waterproof 600 denier military grade truck tarpaulin liner
- Waterproof roll top closure
- Dual compartments separate wet/dry cargo
- Adjustable external 5-point cargo net system for storing / transporting helmet, wet race gear, or shoes
- Interior sleeve pocket fits 15” laptop (padded laptop case recommended)
- Sternum strap buckle colour is either silver or black depending on bag colour
- Use a damp non-abrasive cloth to remove marks
- Dry naturally
- Bikers garage
- Bernina quilting frame
- Antique cherry font
- 2010 silverado fuse box diagram
- Free downloadable puppy birth certificate
Chrome Barrage Freight Backpack
The Chrome Barrage Freight Backpack is an absolute monster of a messenger bag that is comfortable on the back and full of useful features beyond just its huge size. It's not cheap, and it's not light, but it is excellent.
The first thing to say about this backpack is that freight is a great choice of name. It is very much like a rough and ready vehicle with a cargo net and huge capacity. It is also impressively weatherproof and well made; it's the kind of bag that you would expect to see a grizzled bike messenger still using in 20 years time.
> Buy this online here
The Barrage Freight sits between Chrome's Barrage Cargo and Barrage Pro models, and in my opinion is the most convenient size of the three. The Cargo seems a little small given the rigid design of the bag, and the Pro is so big that if I see people with it I assume they're transporting a dead body as there can surely be no other reason to need a bag that big on a bike.
So just how big is the Barrage Freight? Unrolled it has a capacity of 38 litres, reducing to 34 when rolled down. For comparison, the bag I would normally commute with is around 20 litres, so this is almost double. (The Cargo is 18/22L, while the Pro is 80L.) To indicate just how much space the main compartment provides, I managed to fit enough clothes and shoes for me and most of the necessary kit for a four-month-old baby for a three-night stay in two different compartments and could still roll down the top without any issues.
Adding to this capacity is the well-designed 'cargo net' at the front of the bag, which allows you to chuck larger kit in if you need extra room or if you want to keep things separate for quick access. I found it most useful for holding my bike locks when on a trip with multiple stops.
Rather than being elasticated, this cargo net is made from strong, almost seatbelt-like material, which adds to the robust nature of the bag. The net's hold on any contents relies on the straps on the side of the bag that reduce (or increase) capacity in the main section of the bag. Here, as you tighten or loosen the net you are also tightening or loosening the sides of the bag.
It takes a bit of getting used to if you're trying to increase or reduce the size of the main compartment, as you can need to adjust four straps to do it, but it gets quicker and easier the more you do it.
Across the bag there are five pockets, giving you a certain degree of organisation for your kit. At the front there is a large pocket that you can access from the right of the bag which is useful for larger items like notepads or tablets, and on the left is a smaller pocket that's really useful for phones, keys and a wallet.
The main compartment is split into two, with one side being open and the other a zipped compartment. Within the open compartment there is also a laptop sleeve, which my 13-inch laptop fitted into easily (anything up to 15 inches will fit, apparently).
Rounding things off, there is also a bottle pocket on the side of the bag.
On the back, this bag is really comfortable for something this large, and it even offers pretty good ventilation thanks to the fairly rigid panel that maintains ventilation channels to allow air to flow effectively. With traditional large roll top bags there is often a danger that they will basically envelope your back, which then leads to a hot and sweaty mess. However, the Barrage Freight maintains rigidity across the back, making it comfortable to cycle with.
The straps have a decent amount of padding and their part-mesh design helps to dissipate heat and help with comfort. They also offer impressive adjustability, with straps above the shoulder to change the weight distribution and make sure the bag sits as comfortably on your shoulders as possible.
A strong chest strap also helps take some strain and keeps the straps in place on the shoulders.
This bag is also 100% waterproof and basically indestructible; all Chrome bags have a lifetime guarantee and I would not be surprised if the guarantee won. I took this out several times in the rain and at one point even just hosed it down, but nothing got in when it was properly closed, with even the pocket zips being taped.
The bag closes with a strap and clip, which works well and allows the bag to be effectively rolled and unrolled when required. The strap also has a large reflective strip that runs up the centre, which helps to keep you visible in low-light conditions. The only slight disappointment is that the clip is plastic rather than metal or the famous Chrome clip. It still feels robust, and is likely to last years, but a metal buckle would be... nicer.
As you might expect from a large bag that maintains its shape, it isn't exactly featherlight, hitting the scales at 2,450g. It's definitely not the kind of bag you're likely to throw on your back for a long tour, but for commuting in urban environments the weight isn't too much of an issue.
At £200, it's at the upper end of the price range of backpacks we've tested on road.cc, but given the quality and how long it's likely to last, it'll earn its keep.
In terms of features you could compare it to the the Braasi Industries Webbing 18ltr Urban Backpack which is now £115, but despite having a similar webbing design and zip pockets it doesn't come close in terms of capacity, ruggedness, or weatherproofing.
The 60-litre Scott RC Raceday 60 Backpack costs £159.99 but has a very different function. It is more luggage than backpack, with more sorting ability, less ruggedness and less weatherproofing.
It does look expensive compared with Ortlieb's 39-litre Messenger Bag, though, at £110, and then there's the 30-litre Craft Cadence, which we tested back in 2018. It's gone up since then, but is still only £79.99 for the latest model.
> Buyer’s Guide: 18 of the best cycling rucksacks
Overall I really like this bag, it offers a huge amount of practical storage space with more than enough pocket separation to keep things practical and organised. I also like the cargo nets, subtle high-vis elements and, most importantly, its incredibly robust material and hardware that make it very impressive. There is no getting around the fact that this is a very expensive bag, but I'd argue that the price is justifiable given how long I would expect this bag to last. If you need the capacity, this bag is an excellent choice.
Brilliantly robust and well-designed bag likely to last a lifetime
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
Make and model: Chrome Barrage Freight Backpack
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
This is a large capacity everyday bag that can be used for commuting and deliveries, or more leisurely purposes. It is designed to be durable and long lasting.
Chrome says: "34 - 38L version of our durable 100% waterproof backpack. Built twice with 100% welded waterproof liner and abrasion resistant coated nylon shell. Mission ready."
This is an accurate description; it offers impressive durability, weatherproofing, and capacity.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
23" H (rolled), 30.5" H (unrolled) | 13.25" W | 6.5" D (bottom), 10" D (top)
34 L (2-rolls down) - 38 L (unrolled)
4.7 lbs | 2.13 kg
up to 15"
Rate the product for quality of construction:
I think you would struggle to find a more robust bag. The material is thick but with enough flex that it won't crack, the hardware is excellent, and despite throwing it about a bit it still doesn't have a mark on it. The only thing that's stopping me giving it a 10 is that the main clip is plastic rather than metal.
Rate the product for performance:
Does exactly what I needed it to. I could fit in a huge amount of shopping and could even pack in enough kit for me and my daughter for a three-night stay away.
Rate the product for durability:
It's early days, but all the signs are you will struggle to find a more durable bag.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
It is not designed to be a lightweight piece of kit.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Surprisingly comfortable to carry for a bag of its size, thanks to the adjustability of the straps, the chest strap, and the rigid back.
Rate the product for value:
There is no getting around the fact that this is an expensive bag. However, given how long this is likely to last I would rather spend a bit more initially and not need to replace it for the next 20 years.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it has more than enough space to pack away almost anything, is comfortable on the shoulders, and has useful pockets and zips to keep everything organised and secure.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cargo netting is a really nice addition allowing for quick access or additional storage if needed.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There is no ignoring the price – this is an expensive piece of kit.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
In terms of features you could compare it to the the Braasi Industries Webbing 18ltr Urban Backpack which is £105, but despite having a similar webbing design and zip pockets it doesn't come close in terms of capacity, ruggedness or weatherproofing. There's the 60L Scott RC Raceday 60 Backpack which costs £159.99 but has a very different function, more focused on being luggage rather than a backpack with more sorting ability, less ruggedness and less weatherproofing. The Craft Cadence does make it seem very expensive, though, the latest version costing just £79.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a superb piece of kit that could survive a hurricane and still keep everything inside dry. I would not be surprised if this bag outlasts me. It's expensive, but if you have the money it's very good.
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Chrome Industries Barrage Freight Cargo Backpack
We ship accessories Monday - Friday and aim to dispatch all orders within 2 days of receiving them. Free shipping orders are sent with Royal Mail and for bulky items, we may use DPD (at no extra cost).
In stock bikes are usually shipped within 14 days of you ordering as they undergo a Pre Delivery Inspection before dispatch. Bikes are delivered by DPD who provide a delivery window via text message on the day. Some electric cargo bikes are not available for delivery. They are, however, available for click and collect.
Click & Collect
We can arrange for all items to be collected from store. For items other than bikes this usually takes 2 - 4 working days. Bikes can take up to 14 working days to be available. We’ll let you know when items are ready for collection. Please bring a form of ID and a bank card with you when you pick up your order.
We accept returns on orders up to 14 days after the items arrive with you. All accessory returns should be in saleable condition and be sent to our Hackney address with a note with has your name and order number on it. Refunds are processed within five working days.
International delivery charges are estimates and are subject to change. Please contact us for more information.
The Chrome Industries Barrage Freight backpack is designed to be stylish and with plenty of capacity for transporting awkwardly bulky – and sometimes mucky – items such as shoes and helmets and waterproofs.
Chrome Industries has been making luggage solutions for the urban environment for over a quarter of a century, with a range that has been branching out into greater cycling specificity with more on-bike bags.
Chrome Industries Barrage Freight: construction
Made from a waterproof and incredibly robust-feeling fabric, the Barrage Freight backpack certainly has an air of toughness to it. This overbuilt construction extends to the shoulder straps and main buckle, both of which are large and similarly rugged.
The Barrage Freight’s party piece is its front nylon webbing, which is adjusted by four straps and can easily swallow a helmet, pair of shoes and a waterproof. These are generally quite awkward items to carry, being either quite bulky or just not the kind of thing you’d want to chuck inside with the rest of your stuff. The ability to carry these on the outside stands to be a real boon.
There are two side pockets for carrying water bottles or a D-lock. These pockets are made from the same material as the rest of the bag and so there’s no elasticity for holding the items tightly in. They do, however, have drainage ports at the bottom so that they don’t fill up with water in the rain.
At the sides of the front of the bag, there are two zipped sleeve pockets. One of these is quite large and better suited to bigger items – such as a map or tool roll. Although the pocket is lesser in size, the absence of any internal dividers does limit its use for organising smaller items.
At the edge of the roll top there is a zip, which you might expect to lead to a sleeve pocket encompassing just the flap of the roll top. In actual fact, it extends all the way down to the very bottom of the bag, making its two-dimensional area massive although without much volume.
Inside the main compartment of the bag, there is a very simple and non-elasticated sleeve pocket for a 15in laptop or folders, with the rest of the bag being simply a large blank canvas of cavernous space.
The shoulder straps are padded and come with straps for adjusting how closely the bag sits against your shoulders. On the front, there’s some Velcro straps for quickly attaching items to the shoulder straps for immediate accessibility. There’s also a chest strap for keeping the bag placed securely on your shoulders.
Picking up the Chrome Industries Barrage Freight, the first thing you notice is the weight. At 2,330g, it’s incredibly heavy for a backpack. For context, the Stubble&Co The Roll Top backpack is less than half the weight at 1,060g – although it does only have a 20L capacity (the Barrage Freight has 34L) and doesn’t feature any webbing.
More direct competition comes from the Vaude ExCycling Pack, which has 40L of capacity and an expandable compartment, while still weighing only 1,250g (claimed).
If you’re after a lightweight solution for zipping about town, the Barrage Freight isn’t for you. On the other hand, the construction of this bag is such that it feels like it could withstand a direct hit from a meteor, so durability shouldn’t prove an issue.
The front webbing is an incredibly useful feature. Typically, it’s quite difficult to find a good place for transporting a helmet in a way that it won’t get battered about, while shoes and raincoats are also items which aren’t generally best stowed away with the rest of your belongings.
But with the generous length of the straps securing the nylon webbing, these could be simply and safely strapped to the front of the bag. However, this did mean when I wasn’t using the webbing, there was a lot of excess material from the straps flapping about and not a clear way of managing this.
With the side pockets made from the same material as the rest of the bag, their contents aren’t held particularly securely in place. It also means there isn’t any ability for the pockets to expand and accommodate larger loads. It would be great if the pockets could instead be constructed from an elasticated mesh or feature an extra fold and an elasticated hem as you see in some other designs.
With three zipped pockets and the sleeve inside the main compartment, there is potential for neatly partitioning your things. But this is somewhat mitigated in that all bar one of these are huge – and without any internal dividers, you still have to dig around to find your smaller items. The dark material doesn’t help with this, unlike designs which utilise a bright inner lining.
With the roll top unrolled, the bag is incredibly deep – pretty much the complete length of my arms – and so fishing things out of the bottom is a little bit of a pain. For reference, I’m 177cm and would imagine this would be even more of an issue for shorter people.
For its volume, the Barrage Freight isn’t particularly deep for its height. If it was made a little shorter but stouter, it would make it a lot easier to reach the bottom of the bag. The length of the bag does also mean that when cycling in an upright position, there is potential for the bottom of it to foul on the saddle.
Although, in being quite wide, the bag does do a good job of staying squarely in place and not flopping off to one side.
At £200, this is quite an expensive backpack, especially given some of its idiosyncrasies.
For a stylish roll top backpack for riding around town, Stubble&Co’s The Roll Top is almost half the price at £105. It’s also significantly lighter, has elasticated bottle pockets and more internal dividers for keeping smaller items organised.
But it does have a smaller capacity, at 20 litres compared to 34, and it doesn’t have the webbing, so for transporting cycling kit, the Barrage Freight is more practical.
Alternatively, there is the Vaude ExCycling Pack, which boosts more storage at 40 litres and also has an expandable pouch. This one is a bit smaller than the Barrage Freight’s, but the straps are more manageable. Cost-wise, it comes in much cheaper at £120.
Prices - Chrome Industries Barrage Freight Backpack:▼
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