Review: Chrome Industries Barrage Cargo backpack

The black Barrage Cargo backpack with contents including lock, gloves, notebook, shoes, hat, laptop and bike repair tools
The Barrage Cargo backpack can hold plenty
Cycling UK’s engagement officer Sam Reedman tested this hard-wearing backpack aimed at the commuter who demands more from their kit

Chrome Industries was originally set up in 1995, “Powered by scrappy means and curious minds”, providing heavy duty and functional bags for the professional bike messenger. Since then the company has grown its offering to include many different products for many different needs while sticking to its original ideals.

The Chrome Industries Barrage Cargo backpack was the subject of my testing, and I can confirm it’s a positive review.

This bag is very high quality and well made, giving it a premium feel. The materials are thoroughly thought through and up to the job. On the outside, it’s made of 1050D nylon. This is incredibly durable and abrasion resistant – even as a commuter bag on more rugged adventures.

A 500D TPE tarp lines the interior. This is a crucial component of the backpack as this fabric is waterproof. Due to its water-resistant nature, it isn’t as malleable as the nylon that coats it, which can affect how much gear you can stuff inside.

The front of the backpack has a large cargo net. It’s adjustable from all four corners and can stow larger gear you don’t want to stuff in the main compartment. A bicycle helmet can fit here. It also works well for a travel jacket or other gear you want to access quickly.

It makes for a great addition to the bag, taking it from a day pack to offering a greater capacity without needing a much larger pack. And personally, I am a big fan of its aesthetics.

The moulded back panel on the Barrage is very structured. It’s comfortable, though you can feel it, especially during more vigorous activities such as cycling. It’s firm from top to bottom, even more so if you have a large laptop.

However, if you stuff the bag to the gills, it doesn’t mould to your back so well. For the most part, though, it’s very comfortable.

The Barrage is heavy. It’s 1.4kg before you load any gear into it, which is pretty hefty for its 18-litre size. It’s worth noting you’re getting excellent water resistance and durability, although it comes at a cost with weight.


The Barrage Cargo is labelled as an ‘all-conditions’ backpack and is aimed at commuters and urban riders looking to carry more than just their laptop on routes that aren’t always paved, and this suits my needs perfectly. I 100% would recommend it.

Other options

Altura Thunderstorm City Waterproof Cycling Backpack £90

Altura Thunderstorm City Waterproof Cycling Backpack in black

A waterproof, 30L, lightweight roll-top backpack that weighs just 600g. Padded laptop sleeve. Available in black or yellow.

ELOPS Cycling Backpack Speed 520 £69.99

Elops Cycling Backpack Speed 520 in sunflower orange

A waterproof, 25L roll-top bike backpack with seven compartments/pockets including a foam laptop compartment. Available in black or sunflower orange.

Our test promise

At Cycling UK, we are proudly independent. There’s no pressure to please advertisers as we’re funded by our members. Our product reviews aren’t press releases; they’re written by experienced cyclists after thorough testing.

Tech spec

Volume: 18L.
Height: 51-56cm.
Width: 30cm
Depth: 15cm.
Weight: 1.4kg.
Colours: All black, Castlerock twill, fog.
Price: £221.
Available from: Chrome Industries.

Pros & cons

+ Excellent water resistance and durability
+ Great aesthetics
+ Cargo net adds great flexibility to carry more/awkward gear
- On the heavy side
- Fully loaded the back is rigid and not the most comfortable 
- Premium pack, premium price