Chrome Industries Barrage Duffle review TL;DR: Durable holdall for hauling all your stuff in one go, perfect for cyclists and gym buffs.
I can't get enough of Chrome Industries bags and accessories. I love the brand's Citizen messenger bag, and my go-to work bag at the moment is the BLCKCHRM 22X Yalta 3.0; just like every other bag from Chrome, the Yalta 3.0 is rugged, versatile and stylish (at least in my eyes).
The subject of this review, the Barrage Duffle, is a slightly different bag. When I first laid my eyes on it, my first thought was, "this would be an excellent addition to T3's best gym bag guide", despite it not being a gym bag as such. Chrome Industries is primarily a cycling bag company (although they also do camera bags), but its bags are great for other purposes, too.
The Barrage Duffle is an excellent example of what makes Chrome Industries my number one choice when it comes to bags: it's robust, easy to pack and feels pretty much indestructible. It's a bit on the large side, but it won't be an issue if you're slightly taller (I'm 6"1').
Should you get one for yourself? Read on to find out.
Chrome Industries Barrage Duffle review: Price and availability
The Chrome Industries Barrage Cargo is available to buy now directly from Chrome Industries (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price of $150/£126/AU$275. It comes in only one colour (Black), making the decision process much more manageable. I love when a product has 1,000 colour options, but admittedly, I spend hours (days, even) mulling over which one represents my personality the most.
Chrome Industries Barrage Duffle review: Build quality
The Barrage Cargo is made of tough 1050D Nylon and 500D TPE Tarp with a 500D TPE Tarp liner. The tarp not only makes the bag waterproof but also more rigid, so even when it's empty, it won't collapse, so to say.
The zipper seals the 55-litre main compartment shut; you can quite literally pour water on the top of the bag, and not a drop of liquid will get inside. There are three sets of handles: a shorter one for carrying the bag in hand, a couple of longer tote handles, and a shoulder strap that can be unbuckled to allow better access to the bag's main compartment.
There is a cargo net system on the lateral side of the bag held up with four buckles. It's ideal for storing stuff such as cycling helmets. These buckles can be tightened to make the bag a bit narrower.
There are two pockets at each end of the bag (can be used for water bottles and bike locks) and two comparatively large zipped pockets above these open pockets. There is also a huge zipped compartment on the medial side for laptops and whatnot.
The bag is a bit on the hefty side: it weighs 3.62 lbs (1.62 kg) when empty - not lightweight by any means.
Chrome Industries Barrage Duffle review: Practicality and ergonomics
The Barrage Cargo isn't just big; it's humongous. This 55-litre bag is long and tall (not too deep, though), giving you the impression that A) you'll be able to store a million things inside and B) it'll be awkward to carry around. Surprisingly, none of this is true, at least not 100% true.
Let's talk about space first. The main compartment is more voluminous than your standard backpack (they are around 20-30 litres, generally speaking). You also have the cargo net and the two external pockets.
The trouble is, the Barrage Cargo is a tall and narrow bag, not a standard barrel-shaped duffel, making it a bit more tricky to fill it up to the brim (you'll have to stack things on top of each other). Plus, the bag is also more rigid than your average holdall, thanks to the tarp lining.
In short, there is space, but you'll have to organise things a bit differently to make the Barrage Duffle work for you.
As for awkwardness, I didn't find it challenging to carry the bag at all. Its slender nature makes it super easy to throw the Barrage Duffle on your shoulders and go. I wish the shoulder strap was a bit more comfortable, though. Especially when the bag is full, the strap feels a bit short, and there is no padded sleeve on the strap either to make it less uncomfortable.
This is especially surprising considering Chrome Industries has a unique seatbelt buckle system on its messenger bags - that would work perfectly here.
Chrome Industries Barrage Duffle review: Verdict
Despite its shortcomings, I would recommend the Chrome Industries Barrage Duffle to people who like big bags and tend to travel around on two wheels, either to the gym or to work. The bag is sturdy and will last a lifetime - no wonder Chrome says this on its website: GUARANTEED FOR LIFE.
If you need a new general use holdall for day trips and are happy to shell out the dosh for it, you'll be more than satisfied with the Barrage Duffle. Maybe not as much as I am, but hey, I'm a big sucker for all things Chrome Industries, and as someone who owns multiple Chrome bags and shoes and accessories, I reserve the right to feel like I'm the brand's no1 fan. Join the queue.
Chrome Industries Barrage Duffle review: also consider
Need a backpack instead? The Matador SEG30 Segmented Backpack is every organiser's wet dream, and thanks to its many pockets, it'll be super easy to find whatever you need in the bag, not to mention it also looks cool AF. And just like the Barrage Duffle, it's also a bit pricey.
Check out the Built for Athlete's Hero backpack for an even more spacious backpack. It's also a tough cookie and has many pockets as well as a daisy chain organisation system. Have I mentioned you can personalise the bag with velcro stickers?