Chrome Kadet Product Review

I have been slinging this guy around the city for a while now. Mainly on small in-city runs to and from meetings where I needed a few essentials but not a massive bag full. Here’s what I found:

The Welterweight Kadet – $100 from Chromeindustries.com is a single strap low profile “sling bag” – this particular one has been weight reduced by using Aluminium buckles and selective use of lighter materials. Regular versions can be purchased with steel buckle and many spicy fashion-forward colour options.

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It carries U lock, notepad, can of beer, a few pens, keys, mobile, wallet really well. If you omit the can of beer you can squeeze an iPad in there (tested one was 9.7″ version), but I’m not so sure I recommend it, as it feels a bit too large and rigid – not quite right. What it doesn’t carry well is a medium sized camera, think of this Kadet as carrying slimmer things well but beyond that, you struggle either with not being able to zip or lumps. Maybe a pocket sized point and shoot but not a small mirrorless or dslr – My smaller camera is 5″ x 2.5″ x 2.5″ and it was just a bit too awkward which is a shame really (even though on the chrome website it shows a camera in there, they have obviously not tried to zip it up and ride). The sling bag can accommodate a lightweight rain shell folded with care along with your other daily.

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On the inside are a few pockets and a key loop. The inside is black and all trimmed out, nothing fancy but some organization. On the outside a black on black stealth look, this is the Welterweight Version with a black daylight appearance but highly reflective night panel covering most of the front, which is great should you find yourself drunk and leaving your blinky in the bar. The ninja dark look is well designed with black straps and dark grey nylon / cordura.

The materials, stitching and zippers are Chrome quality, very durable and constructed and finished well. The zippers are rugged YKK type and the main zipper having a water shield. The rest of the bag being constructed from a 1050d Nylon – the ballistic”y” looking kind, (see last photo below) which is very durable and resists wear.

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chrome_kadet_web-5The advantage of this not being a backpack means the across body fit has a nice swing around access, which means you don’t have to unbuckle it. Simply slide around boy when need to quickly access – now if only I could get my camera in there! Another feature is a stabilizer strap that can be removed. Just like the original messenger bags the strap helps with the stability of heavy loads. Maybe a bit of overkill here, and more of a brand heritage feature, as you are not going to need the strap, I never did, even with two small beer cans.

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The backside of the bag has an area of padding and a U lock holder – kick ass feature! where a mini u lock slides straight into the pocket and rides close to the back making it feel like less weight than it actually is. Other nice details include reflective stripes built into the adjustable expansion loops. With four loops on the bag so you can attach other stuff as needed and maybe other Chrome accessories, or you could rig it an get your Yoga matt in there. I joke but apparently, this Yoga thing is appealing to some people, maybe flexible well balanced Ninja’s that use the black on black bag.

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So, why would you want this sling bag? A few logical reasons.

  • Smaller than a backpack, less bulky, more convenient than a larger bag.
  • Sling style swing around accessibility for on the go-ness
  • A single strap look without the played out messenger fixter look
  • Available in other colours in the regular models
  • You want a fresh look for on or off the bike

Consider this

  • how much stuff you need to carry, this bag has a specific niche.
  • Chrome should lose the Chrome badge off the front. You don’t need it chrome, you own this market. Have some confidence and make a design statement.
  • Not really for riding with a camera, Chrome should make it fit a compact mirrorless camera, the “sling around feature” is a sell for this – riding and shooting.

 

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Above: Corner detail shot :  The front reflective panel, side nylon and base come together. A well-made product with a nice contrast of materials – the designers were on this.

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