Like any global brand, Chrome Industries not only manufacturers backpacks and messenger bags, but utility cycling gear such as footwear and apparel, as well.

Starting off in Colorado’s Boulder in 1995, the company shifted base and started operating out of Denver and then San Francisco (2002) for a while, before finally settling in on “The City of Roses” in 2017.

With retail stores across major American cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle and Portland, and offices in Denver and Washington D.C (apart from San Francisco), it’s no wonder that Chrome Industries dominates the world of backpacks on the home ground as well as away — it’s got both a great reputation as well as a huge global customer base.

A few of the other reasons why the company enjoys the popularity it does can be attributed to the excellent quality of its products, all the ideal combination of utility, durability, and functionality (they wouldn’t be giving you a lifetime guarantee if they didn’t have faith in their products, now, would they?). Their most popular lines of messenger bags, the Mini-Metro, Metropolis, and Citizen series, carry the company’s signature — a seatbelt buckle release that you can also use to open up that bottle of chilled beer. The company has retained its manufacturing process of using salvaged items, such as seatbelt webbing and buckles, in its product offerings, borrowing from its initial days of manufacturing bags in a garage.

Today, the company also has a best-selling apparel line (you’d agree if you ever both their merino-wool Cobra hoodie) as well as a shoe line that’s captured feet everywhere with products such as the Kursk street shoe. They also sell other gear such as skid-resistant soles, crashpad insoles with polyurethane contouring, reflective hits and shoelace garage. Chrome’s products are also now available online on Tilt, which further cements their position as a global brand.

It isn’t just the common folk who swear by Chrome Industries; the company’s also sponsored professional skateboarders such as Alonso Tal, Massan Fluker, John Cardiel, and Damian Riehl. They’ve also pulled off successful partnerships with a range of entities such as Motorhead, Tim Kasher, Bad Religion and even organizations such as the World Food Program the St. Anthony Foundation based in San Francisco.

Why Choose a Chrome Industries Backpack?

Let’s take a minute to talk about what features actually define a good backpack. Good backpacks should have a variety of features, such as:

  • Water-resistance (in the material used to make the backpack); even if the bag itself isn’t water-resistant (though we highly recommend that you get one that is!), it should at least come with a rain cover
  • Security in the form of lockable zippers
  • Multiple, specialized compartments for increased organization and packing efficiency
  • An internal frame (instead of external, where the rods stick out); this makes the bag more compact, lighter and easier to move, and frankly, better looking!
  • Padded and adjustable hip belt and shoulder straps for comfort and even weight distribution
  • A contoured or padded back that’s preferably air-mesh ventilated
  • A front-loading backpack for easier packing and access to your belongings

A common question that most users face is whether the size of a backpack really matters. There isn’t a standard size that’s deemed the best option; it depends on your comfort and how much you wish to carry. It also matters what your build is, as this could affect the weight distribution of the backpack and result in issues like backaches. Look for a backpack that can comfortably fit your belongings as well as your body!

Additionally, if you intend to use your backpack for travel, get one that’s IATA-size approved. This means that you could save quite a bit in baggage fees and skip long queues at the check-in counter as your bag will be treated as carry-on baggage.

If you’re also debating whether to get a suitcase or a backpack, no prizes for guessing which one you’d rather have when you’re climbing the stairs to your room at a heritage Sicilian villa that refuses to use lifts or bellhops. More realistically, think about which you’d rather have when walking long distances, especially if the terrain’s uneven. Additionally, your luggage is going to face a lot of abuse, being thrown about in the backs of buses and flight cargo holds and bumping into lamp posts and corners everywhere.

Backpacks present a world of convenience; they’re easier and lighter to carry, with you at all times, can fit into relatively tiny spaces, don’t have to be picked up and placed when you’re switching ground levels (such as escalators or stairs), and several models also double up as suitcases when you need them to! They’re also a much better option if you intend to travel to a lot of places during your vacation, as opposed to staying put in one place. Suitcases are better suited for short trips.


If you were ever considering getting a backpack (which you totally should, for the comfort, versatility, and functionality) and were wondering if Chrome is a good pick, we hope we cleared some of the air around the debate. There’s a reason these guys enjoy the popularity and market share they do; it’s evident in their products. Additionally, all Chrome bags come with a lifetime guarantee, an indication of the company’s faith in its products.

So take your pick, or not, as the case may be, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find bags that are such ideal combinations of functionality, style, durability, and efficiency elsewhere.

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