Chrome Mini-Metro Messenger bag Review: A clown car in a bag!

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Written by: Oliver Hong

Introduction:

 

I had just moved into the city, and the first thing that I really needed when I got there was a new bag. The old bag I had was an old nylon sling bag that was slowly tearing at the seams. I was in the market for a bag that could hold a lot of stuff, and be able to take everything my travels threw at it. I wasn’t afraid to spend a little extra cash for something that would constantly be on my person I was looking in the $100-$200 range. I wanted a messenger bag or sling style bag, mostly because toting around a backpack around made me feel like I’m back in grade school, and I’m well over the age of going to elementary school, lugging around a bag of heavy textbooks on my back.

The Chrome Mini-Metro Bag.

The bag that caught my eye was Chrome’s Mini-Metro bag. It had the easy access of a sling bag, with the spacious design of a messenger bag, plus, the quick release seat belt buckle on the strap was a nice touch, and a good conversation starter. So, after doing a little research, I finally settled on buying the Mini-Metro, the smallest of the three messenger bags they had available. Their medium sized bag, the Citizen, and their large bag, the Metropolis, were a bit too large to warrant carrying around every day.

 

The Space:

This is the kind of bag that you look for stuff to put in it. The usual items I bring pale in comparison to how much space is inside. The size outside of the bag may be a bit deceiving, but it’s more or less a clown car on the inside. I’ve only had a folder full of documents, my Kindle, a couple of small paperbacks, and a 36 oz. Water bottle that I carry around every day. With that small amount there was still plenty of room for me to put an entire gallon of milk to fit inside of it. It’s gotten to the point where I’m constantly on the lookout for other things to fit in this bag, because I feel that the stuff I put in this bag isn’t utilizing all the space it has.

The Design:

The design is nice, the Velcro and buckles that keep the bag closed is very secure, and a great thief deterrent as well. The quick-release buckle on the strap makes it easy to put the bag on, and clicking the belt buckle in place gives me the feeling like I’m suiting up for some grand adventure The pockets on the inside can hold multiple pens, which is nice for the small collection of fountain pens I own. The zipper pocket is big enough to hold the small Moleskine map book of the city, and the large inside pocket is a perfect fit for my Kindle 3G Keyboard.

The Mini-Metro is capable of holding all your stuff, and still have room for more.

It is a little inconvenient to open the bag, I have to unbuckle the support buckle attached to the belt buckle strap, sling the bag to the front, unbuckle two more buckles, and roll up the flap of the bag in order to access it. It’s definitely a longer process than the “Unzip bag, then zip bag”, but something you get used to after a while.

I also wished it was easier to clean. It’s a big dust magnet, and the care instructions involve cold water, mild detergent, a nylon brush, and a bottle of WD-40. (For the metal release buckle). It’s just way too much effort to clean a bag in my opinion, especially when you can’t just toss it in the wash and call it done.

Wearing the bag:

Wearing this bag around the first few days was a little rough. The shoulder strap takes a few days of wear before it finally molds with your shoulder, but when it does, the bag functions as a wonderful day-bag. It wraps around my body, and it doesn’t seem to wiggle back and forth when I run, a problem I had with my old bag.

This bag also withstands the elements really well. My paperback books were completely safe from the elements when I had to run through a torrential downpour without an umbrella. The bag was soaked, but all the items inside were dry.

I wouldn’t suggest carrying too many heavy things in this bag. While it has the room, it will be a huge strain on your shoulder. The bag is designed to go diagonally across your body, so most of the weight is going to be on one shoulder, something that I found out carrying a gallon of milk from the corner store to my house. It was not a pleasant experience.

Conclusion:

Overall, this bag is great for carrying around your everyday belongings. It’s a little pricey, and a little uncomfortable at times, but totally worth it. There’s plenty of room for most of your stuff, and it’s pretty stylish to boot. I got a feeling that this bag will be my go-to bag for years to come.

 

Pros:

  • A whole lot of space
  • Neat little buckle release system
  • Secure

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Complicated care instructions
  • Carrying heavier things is uncomfortable
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  1. Nicole says
    31 Aug 12, 9:01am

    Hi there – nice review.

    I’ve had my Mini Metro for a couple of months now and I absolutely love it for all the reasons you’ve stated. I know what you mean about it feeling uncomfortably heavy though – but have you tried cycling with it? This thing is a miracle of design – walking around with it full of stuff, it starts to weigh on your shoulder painfully. But get on a bike, and the way it sits on your back – it’s like it’s not even there. The weight just disappears. It really is amazing. And it stays in place more securely than a backpack, let alone other shoulder bags.

    Basically, it’s 100% designed and built for cycling. I love it.

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