Last week I reviewed the Chrome Vega Utility Bag. I’ve become a fan of it due to its versatility and functionality. I can not tell you the number of times I’ve purchased an expensive gear bag because I thought it “looked” cool only to find it didn’t hold all of my gear, or made retrieving said gear impossible etc.
Chrome takes on a philosophy of function first. If an item isn’t needed on one of their bags they simply do not include it. This makes all of their bags extremely comfortable to wear and makes getting to your gear when you need to a breeze.
One of Chrome’s most interesting bags is their. The Soyuz breaks the mold of the traditional black, horizontal laptop case. Okay, actually it totally obliterates it.
The Soyuz is a weatherproof denier Cordura backpack that features a large waterproof, roll top main compartment. This pocket is deep. You can fill it with all sorts of items from clothes, beverages, important documents and more. Since it’s waterproof everything inside stays dry no matter what time of situation you find yourself in.
The flap can be rolled away to keep the contents store inside the waterproof compartment safe. It’s certainly an unusual design but not one that I don’t appreciate. I really like not only the ease of access that the roll top design provides but also the amount of protection it provides for the gear stored inside. With nothing inside it the large pocket collapses to a very narrow width but it expands larger and larger based on the amount of stuff you put into it. The pocket is fairly deep and I could see how smaller items would get easily lost towards the bottom.
The bag features a 11″ x 15″ side access, padded laptop bag that also houses a completely separate file chamber. The laptop compartment is large enough to accommodate up to a 15.4″ laptop. It’s a “different” shaped bag that wears much more up and down than a regular laptop bag or even a traditional backpack does. The flat dimensions of the bag measure out at 19.5″ length, 13″ width and 5″ depth.
The shoulder straps feature industrial looking metal cam locks and the straps themselves have an air mesh construction. The straps also feature a very cool accessory attachment belt for keeping items very close at hand. These straps are incredibly comfortable to wear thanks the air mesh. The feature a cross belt which secures the bag even further for longer excursions. The whole back inside of the bag is also padded which helps contribute to the comfortable feel you get while wearing it.
The front of the bag provides 4 other pockets, all of them weather proof. One deep in the rear, two smaller side by side pockets in the front and then a zippered pouch near the bottom. The deeper pocket is large enough to hold books, the iPad or other bulkier items. The two side by side pockets can hold water bottles, a rolled up jacket, hats and other smaller items. Finally, the zippered pocket is perfect for storing items you want to keep a little more secure but also want to retain easy access to at all times.
The Soyuz is available in four color combinations: black/black, black/red or black/gray (as seen in this review.) I really like when bag companies offer variety. I realize that plain black bags have their place but I prefer a little color in my gear. It’s nice that you have the choice when picking a bag from Chrome.
For me the The Soyuz is the perfect overnight or weekend gear bag. I filled it with a ton of stuff. The side laptop compartment is big enough that I could easily fit my 13″ Mac Book Pro and my iPad safely inside. That left the larger, waterproof pocket for clothes, the iPad dock keyboard and other larger essentials and I had still had the four front pockets to place my other, smaller accessories in like chargers, pens, a pocket tool and more.
At your destination you can unload the Soyuz and use the waterproof compartment to tote your cold beverages or keep your wet swimsuit separate from your other dry items.
The Soyuz might be too big to be your everyday gear bag (unless you’re the type of person that needs to carry around a ton of stuff) but for those times when you need a little more than just the bare essentials the Soyuz fits the bill.
You can learn more about the Chrome Soyuz by visiting the Chrome Bags website.
M.S.R.P. : $180
What I like: Unique design, plenty of room, weatherproof and waterproof.
What Needs Improvement: Wears slightly long.