The Chainlink

So I'm in need of a new bag and I have settled on Chrome because I have always wanted one. Most of it has to do with the look and the button, admittedly.

A little background: I currently bicycle commute between 5.25 and 8 miles to the Metra stations in Naperville (depends on which one I go to that day).  I then sit on the train for an hour and walk about a mile and a half across downtown to my gym for a shower.  I'll be carrying a change of clothes, possibly a pair of shoes, my ulock/cable, emergency toolkit, and the usual pocket stuff (phone/wallet/work keycard and keys/train ticket/headphones) while I'm on the bike.  When I'm off, I leave my helmet locked to my bike and stuff my kit and water bottle into the bag.  I may also occasionally haul my laptop (15 inch Vaio) and or Note tablet along with.

So here's the question:  Should I get the Citizen model or the Buran model?  Will either or both of these have enough room and pockets for all of the stuff that I need?  Some things can get left off, like the shoes, since I would only need to carry those when I wear a pair other than my work shoes (I leave those in my office).  Is the built in laptop compartment on the Buran worth the extra weight for the times when I don't have my laptop with me?

Thanks!

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I suggest visiting the Chrome store in Wicker Park and looking at the bags in person. Maybe bring your stuff that you will be carrying and try to fit it into the bags. It's also worth giving Mission Workshop a chance too. They founded Chrome way back when, and left to start their own bag company. IMO their bags are better.

If you want to shop local and have your bag made to your specifications I would suggest Wig bags.

+1 on Mission Workshop bags

Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

I suggest visiting the Chrome store in Wicker Park and looking at the bags in person. Maybe bring your stuff that you will be carrying and try to fit it into the bags. It's also worth giving Mission Workshop a chance too. They founded Chrome way back when, and left to start their own bag company. IMO their bags are better.

I'm not even a messenger bag fan*, but I won a Mission Workshop bag a couple of years ago, and it is without a doubt, the nicest messenger bag I have ever seen. 

*I just don't like to carry stuff on my back.

J.A.W. 15.08 km said:

+1 on Mission Workshop bags

Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

I suggest visiting the Chrome store in Wicker Park and looking at the bags in person. Maybe bring your stuff that you will be carrying and try to fit it into the bags. It's also worth giving Mission Workshop a chance too. They founded Chrome way back when, and left to start their own bag company. IMO their bags are better.

I may have to suck it up and go there.  I was trying to avoid a Wicker trip, because I'm really down on what it has turned in to.  I lived there about 15 years ago, back when it was still a mecca for musicians artists, etc.

The reco about bringing my stuff with me is actually something I hadn't thought of.  I wonder if it is something that the shop employees are used to or if I'll get a bunch of flack...

While all of the other bags linked are nice and all, I am really set on a Chrome for my own reasons.  A main one for me being the buckle itself.  As gimmicky as it may be, and as much as it may just add weight to the bag, I have always loved the look and feel of it.

Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

I suggest visiting the Chrome store in Wicker Park and looking at the bags in person. Maybe bring your stuff that you will be carrying and try to fit it into the bags. It's also worth giving Mission Workshop a chance too. They founded Chrome way back when, and left to start their own bag company. IMO their bags are better.

FWIW, I've been to the store a few times and was playing around with the small tool bags, trying to see if my stuff fit. The employees barely bat an eye at me. I think you'll be fine. :-)

If you're getting it for the buckle stop by a junk yard and swap in a real one.  Every time I see a Chrome bag I think how they're trying to be like my grandfather's 76 Plymouth.

I have the Citizen, and it easily carries all the things you mention (heck, I reguarly get $50 worth of groceries in mine, in addition to the stuff you list above). It has two main compartments, so if you want to separate your laptop/Note you can just put all the rest of your stuff in the other compartment. I don't think dealing with the weight for a separate laptop compartment on the Buran is necessary, although I wouldn't expect it to make a huge difference - the weight proportioning on my Citizen is never annoying when it's heavy, so you could probably expect the same from the Buran. It probably just comes down to which you prefer the look of.

It also make it easy for drunk jerks at parties/bars to press the button and make your bag fall off. XD

Tricolor said:

If you're getting it for the buckle stop by a junk yard and swap in a real one.  Every time I see a Chrome bag I think how they're trying to be like my grandfather's 76 Plymouth.

Meh, I'm 30 something now (north of 35) and have a kid trailer attached to my bike about half the time when I'm not commuting. While I do enjoy parties, I rarely take my bag with me any more.  Too many drunken nights when I was younger, I learned to travel light.

Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

It also make it easy for drunk jerks at parties/bars to press the button and make your bag fall off. XD

Tricolor said:

If you're getting it for the buckle stop by a junk yard and swap in a real one.  Every time I see a Chrome bag I think how they're trying to be like my grandfather's 76 Plymouth.

(Sorry for the double post, I don't know how to consolidate quotes in this forum format)

Thanks!  This is exactly what I was looking for.  I was honestly leaning towards the Citizen and then adding a laptop sleeve for the times when I need to take it with.

I appreciate all of the responses :)

Amanda L said:

I have the Citizen, and it easily carries all the things you mention (heck, I reguarly get $50 worth of groceries in mine, in addition to the stuff you list above). It has two main compartments, so if you want to separate your laptop/Note you can just put all the rest of your stuff in the other compartment. I don't think dealing with the weight for a separate laptop compartment on the Buran is necessary, although I wouldn't expect it to make a huge difference - the weight proportioning on my Citizen is never annoying when it's heavy, so you could probably expect the same from the Buran. It probably just comes down to which you prefer the look of.

I was in there once and had the same experience. 

The person that eventually came up to me was high out of his mind...so at least I got to laugh at his Spicoli like disposition.



Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

FWIW, I've been to the store a few times and was playing around with the small tool bags, trying to see if my stuff fit. The employees barely bat an eye at me. I think you'll be fine. :-)

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