Chrome Industries are best known for their heavy-duty bike messenger bags, built to withstand everything the challenging urban work environment can throw at them. Chrome doesn’t just do big capacity city haulage, they also do a range of bikepacking bags which takes their durable bag building ethos with the aim to go beyond the city sprawl.
The Double Track Handlebar Sling is a feature-packed handlebar bag with five liters of storage and a magnetic secured roll top closure, but does this urbanite brand have what it takes to go above and beyond with the best bikepacking bags?
Design and specifications
Like the durable messenger bags in Chrome's line up, the Double Track Handlebar Sling is made from 1050d nylon and 1000d TPE tarp shell which has been DWR treated, and inside there is a 70d polyester liner. Chrome’s backpack designs also inspire the roll top design, rather than using a zip, and there's a magnetic buckle to hold it closed. The bag is attached to the handlebars with two simple hook and loop Velcro straps and stabilized with buckled headtube strap.
Inside there's roughly five liters of storage with two internal mesh pockets for important items. I say roughly as the roll top gives some flexibility to the amount of storage available as it can be left open if you need to carry a few extra things. Externally, both sides feature mesh pockets for quick grabbing or stashing of items and there are daisy chain loops too for attaching items.
Unlike most handlebar bags, the Double Track Handlebar Sling can also be worn as a hip pack or an across-the-body sling. The strap and chunky plastic buckle are tucked behind a panel on the rear when not in use, so if you are traveling without the bike or prefer riding with a hip pack sometimes it can be quickly converted.
Fitting is super easy and the Velcro straps are easily long enough to wrap securely around all sizes of handlebar. One thing to note though is the bag is 140mm from the bottom to the Velcro straps, plus a bit of natural sag, so riders on bikes with short headtubes might struggle with front tire clearance. When fitting the bag to a particularly small bike (190mm from bar to tire) I experienced some tire rub when riding over bumps.
While I'm not convinced I would opt for a roll top over a zip, due to the limited access you have running an out-front GPS mount, it wasn’t without its benefits. The magnetic buckle is simple to open and close one-handed meaning you can easily grab a snack or camera while on the move. The very rectangular five liter storage also feels cavernous compared to some other handlebar bags I have used and is very easy to pack due to the wide opening. I am big fans of side pockets as well for tucking away snack wrappers and other little items.
You have to be careful when packing though, it's easy to get a bit carried away and overload it. Generally, this isn’t a problem as the closure strap is long and can hold things in but if you are expecting rain you will want to make sure the shallow roll top can get a good fold in order to be as weatherproof as possible. Due to the larger capacity, you have to consider the packed weight of the bag when riding rough tracks as it can move about a bit when fully loaded. The roll top rolls towards the rider for easier access although I would argue that it would be better if it rolled away, as water can collect in the fold crease.
The Chrome Industries Double Track Handlebar Sling is a neat handlebar bag with plenty of easy-to-access storage. The roll-top closure, large capacity, and off-the-bike carry options definitely lend itself to cruising dirt tracks rather than rugged fast adventuring though.
If you're looking for a bag that can carry a good amount of stuff whether it's a chill gravel ride or a spin around the city though, it's a nice option as the off-the-bike versatility and shape works really well.
Tech specs: Chrome Industries Double Track Handlebar Sling
- Price: $70 / £63
- Capacity: 5L
- Materials: 1050d nylon and 1000d TPE tarp shell with 70d polyester liner
- Colors: Black, Duck Camo, Olive Branch
- Weight: 385g