Citadel

Regular Price: $190.00

Special Price $105.99

11 reviews 0 5 4.7
The largest of our laptop backpacks. Made for weekend travel. Welded waterproof-main and padded laptop sleeve with large zip-around access. Guaranteed for life.

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Reviews

Real feedback from Chrome customers to help you choose the perfect gear.

Tropical Storm Proven

Review by dmac

I recently relocated to South Florida, and in doing so replaced my 2 yr old Soyuz bag with the Citadel. Firstly, the Citadel's main compartment is far more expandable (in the xy plane, e.g., depth) compared to the Soyuz (and other labtop bags). Every day I easily stuff a large tupperware of lunch, my gym shoes and a set of gym cloths into the main compartment with room to spare. The main compartment alone will take all of this and a towel for the day's I swim. Other day's it'll hold a 12 pack of brewskies plus ice... Etc, etc, etc. Of course a duffle bag can hold all this stuff, but with Chrome part of what we pay for is the fit. Compared to the Soyuz, the Citadel is an infinitely better fit for my 1.8 m, 80 kg mesomorphic build: the Soyuz shoulder strap width was simply too thin for my back (I played water polo in college... wide back), so keep this in mind if you're of a wider build. Furthermore, I do everything on two legs/wheels: ride my bicycles to school, walk/metro to work, and rip my moto on the weekends. Numerous times I've gotten stuck in S Florida's infamous tropical storms that'll fill a 6 lane highway ankle deep with water in 1 hr. This bag has held up every time. Of course the main compartment does its job, but the other compartments have impressed me in their ability to keep items dry (but keep in mind that they're not impenetrable, outer items can get wet). Plus the Citadel is ridiculously good looking! (My area is more concerned with sports cars than human movement, but every time I travel I'm bombarded with positive comments on this bag.) I recommend this bag to anyone who moves often and chooses to expose themselves to wet elements in an urban setting. Cheers, and safe travels.

Rating

Durable, spacious, reliable

Review by Matt

I got my bag during the tilt campaign, and instantly fell in love. I switched over from my Citizen which I have had for years and am not looking back. The first weekend after receiving my Citadel I went to a frisbee tournament. It was freezing out so I had to pack multiple changes of clothing for each day, and the fact that it was raining did not help. Not only did my bag hold everything without an issue, it was able to keep everything dry despite being soaked and muddy on the outside. The bag is tough and durable, but it has enough space to hold pretty much anything you might need during the day.
My only complaint is that there is a lack of storage for small items. While the inner plastic pouch is great for holding most stuff, I still miss having the organizational options that the citizen has. If chrome could add some smaller pockets to the inside of the laptop section, it would make a great bag even better.

Rating

It's good

Review by Ed

I avoided buying this bag mainly because of price. I started out looking at cheaper options but in the end you sometimes just have to bite the bullet to get something of quality. I use it for commuting to school and it's been fantastic. I recommend this bag in particular, as the compartment up front fits a laptop, a few books and notebooks, with pockets for pens, calculator, et cetera. You also don't have to open a roll top compartment every time you grab a computer, book or notebook. I use the roll-top to keep a spare jacket or sweatshirt.

Additionally the two outer cylinder pockets are perfect for water bottles or a thermos. I haven't ridden with it in much rain yet, but the design seems to indicate that that wouldn't be an issue. It's been comfortable for commuting and walking around campus. Doesn't have the waist strap, which just gets in the way if you're biking anyway (good for backpacking, unnecessary in this capacity). If you're on the fence about it I recommend this bag. I've been satisfied with my choice thus far.

Rating

Comfy & Purposeful

Review by Poobah

Just got this bag. I also have the barrage. I ride a motorcycle to school everyday and therefore I'm always hauling around a bunch of stuff. The barrage is a great bag, but for school I like this one more because it still has the bucket like the barrage, just a little smaller, and it has a section that organizes all of my junk - laptop, binders, pencils/calculator, lunch, sunglasses, rain gear... etc.

The part with the zipper is much larger than it looks in the picture. I can fit 3 binders and still have some wiggle room.

Plus it's comfy.

The only thing that sucks is that the chest strap doesn't come with a sweet seatbelt buckle, it just a regular plastic buckle... but oh well.

Rating

One of the Best...

Review by A.A-Ron

When I first put on this bag, I was in love. Commuting on the streets of Chicago, year round, I carry a lot of gear, including an extra set of clothes. The Citadel performed brilliantly! From large grocery store runs to weekend riding trips, Citadel was my "Go To". Not only does it have the organization, I crave, it also has the space I need to commute everyday. My lower rating, specifically, is regarding the velcro used on the main roll top compartment. I don't think there is enough velcro to sustain the bag's purpose. After 6 months of use, the velcro no longer holds tight. No matter if I stuff the bag or leave it empty. The velcro flap flies open as soon as I start to ride. I took the bag into the Chrome retail store, in Wicker Park, hoping to get the bag's velcro fixed, assuming it would be covered under the "Lifetime Warranty" the bag was sold to me under. Negative. After a 30min diagnostic, they determined the bag's Velcro is not covered under warranty and would cost $30 to replace. I mentioned I was disappointed and confused, "Why wouldn't the velcro be covered? "The shop employee apologized but still wouldn't waive the repair fee. Feeling as though I had been misled, I left. Now, 6 months later, 1 full year of use on the bag, the velcro doesn't even kind of hold tight and I have stopped using the bag entirely. Sad times, I know. The Citadel is brilliantly designed and feels amazing. I simply wish the velcro was better quality.

Rating

You need this bag for college! Buy it now.

Review by CitySlicker

I bought this for walking to classes at my university IN ALL WEATHER conditions. All other backpacks will let rain, melted snow (water) into the compartments either through the closed zipper or directly through the material. Of course water will ruin your stuff, like books, laptop, phone, charger, battery etc. Don't be fooled by "water resistant" claims on other lesser quality bags. This is a big bag but not to large. It perfectly fits guys with broad shoulders like mine but should work for smaller frames as well.

Rating

Sweet Everday/Short Trip Bag

Review by Emiliano R.

I got the Citadel as a size upgrade from my two year-old Citizen. I initially looked at getting a Berlin or Brigadier, but holyyyy moly those things are big. Too big for my needs, so I decided the smaller Citadel would be perfect for me.

First off, I really appreciate the different pockets and sections in this bag versus the one-huge-pocket design of the buckle messengers. For carrying many different types of items together in the same bag, especially a laptop, this system rocks. Everything has its place and in its place everything fits snug. The laptop compartment fits my 13 MBP securely, even with its neoprene sleeve on, although the compartment is padded enough so that I can leave the sleeve at home. The section right in front of the laptop compartment fits more than it appears. I can fit my beastly 2 TB LaCie HDD with the power supply and Firewire cable in that little pocket and I'll still have room for maybe a thin book and a few extra cables. The very front section is large enough to fit some textbooks and notebooks, as well as whatever else that fits on top. The supplemental pocket on the top portion of the flap is big enough to fit the little things in life yet manages to successfully keep these things out of the way when you're trying to stuff your entire day into this bag. This entire front portion including the laptop compartment is perfect for daily work/school/day trip situations. The back portion, the water-proof portable cooler pocket, is deep enough to stick my standard length arm all the way down and can hold about 4-6 days worth of clothes in it (unds, pants, t-shirts, button-ups, socks, + toiletries). A jacket might be pushing it at this sized load. Stuffing this section of the bag will take a little space away from the front portion, but not by much. The front of the bag features a couple deep pockets that are great for standard sized bottles or other knick knacks, and the pocket at the very bottom is nice for flat things. All together, this bag, fully-stuffed, is the right size for most short trips, say 5 or 6 days max.

Besides having a superior organization system for the stuff-my-life-in-a-bag kinda people like me, this system makes packing much more efficient. It's only got an 8 oz volume gain over my Citizen, but I can pack in way more stuff into my Citadel just because I can use all the of space wisely and precisely. The one-huge-pocket Citizen left a lot of space unused because things just couldn't fit where space was available, or the plausible packing plan might jeopardize the safety of the items or the comfort of your back. That said, people who want to carry large items like boxes and rolls may prefer the messengers because they can fit large items more appropriately, but for a mixed array of small items, the backpack design just works better. Size matters, but it's how you use it that really counts.

The Fortnight and the Pawn both look like great alternatives to compare the Citadel with. Both bags are a little bigger, but the Citadel wins my vote because of the dedicated laptop pocket and because I think the rectangular design is the most appealing of all three. Realistically, if you want to have a large backpack for everyday use that can travel too, this is a pretty reasonable size, IMO. Any bigger and you might look like you're going to climb the Alps (ie, Brigadier, Ivan). For trips longer than 5 days, I'd consider using standard luggage alongside the Citadel. However, if you're looking for something Alp-climbing/week+ long trip worthy and don't need to use the same bag for every day use, I'd say go for the big bags. But for an all around large and capable backpack, the Citadel is the perfect bag for the job.

Rating

Citadel Review

Review by Andre

I used the citadel backpack recently on a three week vacation between Madrid and Lisbon. My bags just weren't cutting it, so the night before i left, I borrowed my friend's chrome citadel. Too big for his daily commute, the citadel shined as a maximum-size carry on. Great straps, padding, and multiple compartments made for comfortable and convenient travel. With the aid of a small reusable shopping bag, I was able to pack 20 vinyl records, 2 drum machines, a few books and about a week's worth of clothes. True, my bag was bulging but i never had to check it! Having a useful, comfortable bag small enough to carry on the plane was exactly what i wanted, but unfortunately i had to give the bag back to my friend. For my next trip i would not hesitate to pick up a Citadel or similar chrome bag.

Rating

Compartmentalize where the Messengers cannot!

Review by Sam Cronin

It seems like I agree with the other two reviews for the most part and I haven't found any real flaws with the bag yet. I bought it earlier today, so to be honest I haven't had enough time to THINK about flaws and get out of this euphoric state.

When I first bought my Metropolis messenger bag, I loved the spacey photos on the site and I thought this bag was going to be the best! I've ridden all over the east coast with that bag over the course of almost 4 years. It has never outright failed me and has actually saved the skin on my back a couple times after falling. But what the bag lacked, I found after riding and loving it for 4 years, are the appropriate number and sized pockets to fit my everyday needs. There is the large main compartment that housed my Nalgene, cable lock, books, socks and some clothes, as well as the smaller front pockets that fit pens and my Ipod. But I always felt like things were protruding into my back if the bag was too over-stuffed or oblong and the fact that I didn't have a place for my water bottle and lock bothered me.

So I did my research and bought this guy and after leaving the store today, I sat on the curb and migrated all my old items to their appropriate pockets in the Citadel. I fit my Nalgene in the front and my cable lock + Ulock in the other front pocket and managed to stuff my Metropolis down into the gaping roll-top back part of the bag. And nothing was poking me. And everything was upright and compartmentalized. OCD nirvana acquired. BUY THIS BAG!

Rating

Great bag for travel in inclement weather! And motorcycle travel!

Review by Stephen

I own several Chrome bags and this is the best one yet. I bought it earlier this year as a substitute for my Soma and only use this one for short multi-day trips and overnights but had the occasion to use it for a motorcycle trip in August when it was subject to a deluge (truly the worst storm I have ever ridden through). You can't imagine my surprise when I got to the hotel and everything in the main rolltop compartment and the zipper compartment were bone dry. This bag is the most bombproof backpack that I have ever seen for weather.

Rating

Best of the best

Review by Guy who doesn't ride a bike

Does everything and does it better than any other bag. I went on a quest to replace my North Face Recon after it let rain almost destroy my laptop, I tried Oakley, Mission Workshops, and an Ivan before finding this epic backpack.

At first I passed the Citadel by as it looked small, though it packs easily and more efficiently than larger bags. I can fit half my desk and a light jacket in the laptop area, and still stop for groceries to fill the back compartment. I was skeptical of paying the price for a bag made in China like so many others, though the Citadel is extremely waterproof on the outside (Oakley's Kitchen sink blocks as much water as a piece of paper) and the back compartment can literally hold water (unike the Mission Vandal). I tried the Ivan first and was amazed at the quality, but it wasn't comfortable for all the walking I do. The Chicago store was great about letting me return the Ivan and get the Citadel, which I couldn't be happier with.

Suggestion for the next version, put the laptop part in the back so flat things rest against the back, and the roll top with oddly shaped stuff in the middle. Alternatively, just make it in Crimson and I'll buy another one.

Rating

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