A few weeks ago, Chrome graciously provided a Chrome Warsaw bag for me to test out on the streets of New York City — to get a good feel of how tough this bag is, how much it could carry, and how much of a beating it can take on the back of a city cyclist like me. Let me just start off by saying that this bag can carry A LOT.

And that’s not exaggerating. This bag can hold so much stuff that even when I’ve packed everything that I needed into it, the bag still managed to look half full. In fact, if I ever need to know what bag can hold 12 pairs of shoes (that’s 24 individual shoes if you’re counting) then I’ve found my candidate. Or if I need to hold an entire week’s worth of groceries in one bag on my back, the Warsaw does the job exceptionally well without giving me back pain. Or if I needed to pack 3-4 individual lunch coolers into one bag (not that I ever would), I know what bag will do the job. If you aren’t getting it by now, just know that this bag holds more than I ever need in one single trip.

But that’s what makes the Chrome Warsaw so appealing to me. That it can hold more than I would ever need. And for a person like me who always wants to be prepared to carry any item of any size without worrying about it falling out of the bag when I’m biking, this is the pack I want to own and have on my back. Read on inside to see the full review.

STORAGE/COMPARTMENTS
If you’re the type of person that needs their bags full of separators and compartments, you won’t be disappointed by the Warsaw. There are about 14 pockets in all that hold a variety of objects, 4 of which are protected by a weather-proof zipper. But don’t worry, as long as the top flap is closed on this Warsaw, the chances of anything inside getting wet are pretty slim (this adds an extra layer of protection on the zippered pockets — for things that absolutely cannot be wet, like electronics and important documents). Again, it’s really up to you on how you would like to fill each pocket/compartment.

COMFORT
I’ve been a Chrome messenger bag owner for a while now and while I love their messenger bags to death, I do occasionally carry a load that’s so heavy that it actually ends up hurting my shoulders over an extended cycling period even despite the Chrome messenger bags having extremely padded shoulder straps. The Chrome Warsaw solves this problem two-ways by first being a backpack and second having a great shoulder strap and back support system that makes carrying even heavy loads quite a breeze. The back of the Warsaw is made from an ergonomic EVA compression molded back panel that remains sturdy yet soft on your back. The plus side to this back molding is that if you have something with sharp corners in your main compartment, you won’t necessarily be feeling it as you ride because the sharp corners get absorbed into the back mold.

In addition to the back mold, the straps themselves are made with an airmesh material to allow some flow of air between you and the bag. It doesn’t mean you won’t sweat though, so don’t expect the airmesh material to solve your perspiration problems — if it’s hot, and you’re carrying a lot, you’re going to sweat. Of course, Chrome included a chest cross-strap so that you can be sure the Warsaw isn’t shifting too much during heavy loads. And if you’ve got any velcro strap accessories from another bag, you can incorporate them easily into the Warsaw’s double strap velcro system.

LOOKS/AESTHETICS
I was sent a black version of the bag with red accents for review which I thought looked just fine for the backpack. In place of fancy graphics and big logos, Chrome kept the top flap of the Warsaw very plain which leaves plenty of room for personal customization and stitching should I ever feel the need to get artistic on the bag.

If you’re a relatively small person like I am, you’ll want to be wary of how big the bag looks on you. I personally thought the bag was just a tad too big for my own tastes, but I guess you can judge the size for yourself in the photos below. If you’re unsure of how the bag will look on you, I suggest you go to a Chrome retailer and try it on just to make sure it doesn’t look like you’ve got a jet pack on. Overall however, I really have no gripes about the design of the bag. It’s simple and purely functional which is what I need when I’m on my bike for several hours at a time and carrying stuff from place to place.

EXTRA INFO
The Chrome Warsaw comes in black (shown here), grey, and brown — all colors which blend nicely into the flow of traffic in a big city like NYC. If you like what you see here, I highly recommend you get one for your daily travels or weekend excursions. The bag is easy to pack and very comfortable even when worn for long periods of time. You can pick one up at the Chrome online store for $280. And if you’re a slightly smaller individual, you can buy Chrome’s similar pro-series messenger backpack, the Kirov, for $190. Either way, you’re going to have one of the best and toughest backpacks on the market.