DetailsWe've been making bags for professional messengers for over 12 years. The Berlin was designed in collaboration with our friends from Godspeed and Cyclehawk, and the result of years of street-testing and prototyping to get it right. It can fit two cases of beer side-by-side, and the external compression straps can extend to secure oversized packages. It features a unique X-strap design to distribute heavy loads.
fit• Ergonomic shoulder-strap design with EVA foam back panel for improved fit and breathability
• Secondary shoulder strap converts to X-Strap design for comfort when hauling large loads
fit• Iconic quick-release seatbelt buckle with integrated bottle opener
• External compression straps for securing oversized packages
• Daisy-chain mounting loop for attaching carabineer or bike light
• Industrial-strength Velcro, accessory-mounting shoulder strap
• Reflective straps for night visibility
fit• Weatherproof, 1050-denier CORDURA® Brand outer shell
• Weatherproof, independently suspended, military-grade, 18-oz. truck-tarpaulin liner
• Nylon 69 thread and YKK zippers
• Made in USA
- Size Chart
Customer Reviews 44 item(s)
- This is the Most Useful Bag I've Ever Purchased, Hands Down
A little background might be necessary so that I can contextualize the reasons why the Berlin bag has been an excellent purchase for me.
I live in Washington, DC, and primarily get across the city with my bike. The bag takes care of all of my standard bag needs (carrying books, my workout clothes, work clothes, lunch, etc.) and occasionally gives me options above and beyond, outlined below.
Now, before diving into the extraordinary things this bag can do, I should mention this: I was skeptical about buying a tremendously sized bag. Sure, it would be a help when I had a massive amount of things to carry, but how often would that really be? To that, it bears mentioning, that the bag collapses and, other than how wide it is (perhaps an aesthetic consideration), seamlessly functions as a day-to-day bag. Heavy objects might shift or need some strategic placing, but, for the most part, the bag is accommodating. The space between the main compartment and the front two pockets does a great job of holding heavy books flat, and, even if nothing is in the main part of the bag, the bag keeps a convenient shape.
Now to my extra-ordinary/novel circumstances:
1) Airport Luggage: I have used the bag as a carry on several times, with several airlines, without any trouble. For insurance, I pack a tiny bag inside of my Berlin, in case I need to squeeze/split my carry on Berlin with a "personal item", but I haven't had to do that yet. A super neat advantage here: for a trip, I flew in, cabbed to a bike shop, rented a bike, and I was on my way: no need to stop to drop off my luggage immediately (4-5 day trip).
2) Crazy Space-Adding Straps: I had a heater mailed to my work, and, strangely, the box just barely fit into the top part of my bag. I stuffed the bag with all of my stuff (mostly clothes, a laptop, a camera, books, etc) and topped it with my new heater. The straps at the bottom of the bag extend so that they can secure a big item (like this box), even if the flap doesn't cover it/meet the Velcro. Now, this wasn't particularly heavy, but I figured, I was in for a wobbly, nerve-crushing ride. Instead, I rode home like I did every other night: super easy. My neighbors were blown away I carried that much in terms of volume with my bag.
3) Groceries/Dry Cleaning: 1-2 a week, I have to pick up one-to-both of these things and move them. Cashiers comment nearly every time: yes, all of those groceries will fit in my bag. Yes, I plan on biking home with a gallon of milk, eighteen eggs, a ton of vegetables and fruits, that industrial sized jar of peanut butter and whatever else I bought. Now, walking with a bag that heavy stinks; I get the posture of a t-rex and I'm afraid I'm putting undue stress on my back. However, once I'm on the bike, I don't feel too much of the weight. Then again, I'm only biking for a half hour, so I might not have an all-encompassing perspective here.
4) The Bag Within the Bag: DC, and some of my traveling, means that I'm backpacking across familiar places. I put a smaller bag within my Berlin bag pretty often. I'll keep the scenarios here short and sweet because there are a few:
a) I keep my gym bag in my Berlin bag. After work, I go to the gym, don't want to take my whole bag and plan on coming back to the office. I take my gym bag out of my Berlin bag (which, added benefit, isolates my smelly gym clothes from the other things in my larger Berlin bag) and head out.
b) On a short trip, my laptop/work bag goes into my Berlin. If I drop off my stuff and have a minute to get some work done, all I have to do is pull out my work bag, and leave the rest.
c) My bike tool bag is in my Berlin bag. Yes, I could use one of the pouches (I barely use them), but I think it's easier with the tiny bag.
A quick note on the cross strap: within no time, I feel like I got the hang of balancing the weight evenly on both shoulders.
- Near perfect, recommendations and modification suggestions from a messenger.
I think most people covered the pros of this bag:
-Dual straps to save the back with that weight
-The third stabilizing strap really works well here.
-Just as durable as all other chrome products.
-Compacts well with the side compression straps.
-One thing that wasn't mentioned is that unlike the Warsaw, Citizen and other messengers, the Berlin's main cargo pocket is sewn down to the bottom, it's not just a bag floating inside a bucket. So when you open that secondary compartment to throw stuff in, it doesn't slide underneath or to the other side of the main compartment, out of sight and hard to find. I think this is a much better design and makes that space a more functional secondary pocket.
It's a great bag, but there a few things I'd like to see added to it to make it perfect.
-The secondary shoulder strap could use a bit more padding. With 40lb+ loads, it feels somewhat imbalanced with the padded main strap and unpadded secondary strap.
-The secondary shoulder strap could be a bit longer (maybe 1-2"). Again, when heavily loaded, the secondary strap sometimes isn't long enough and I've got more of the buckle and buckle strap on my shoulder than I do the strap itself. Sometimes with heavy loads I feel like the bag is pulling up to high, closer to my neck instead of my sternum. Not ideal with a lot of weight pulling down on that shoulder.
-I'd like to see a third strap going around the right side of the bag (the side that hangs lower while wearing). The Warsaw is great because of the 4-point coverage when putting a parcel underneath the flap and using the side straps. to keep it in place. Because the Berlin is a messenger and worn at an angle, packages tend to slide down a bit when only strapped around two sides. If you're carrying a box with smooth sides that weighs a bit, sometimes the compression from just the two main buckles isn't enough and the package starts to slip down a bit, forcing me to readjust. I think this could be solved easily with a third, maybe "hidden", plastic buckle underneath the flap of the bag that could strap around the right side (or lower hanging side) of the bag. to keep packages in place.
-A couple more pen slots would be nice (there's pretty much just one).
-Maybe two separate flaps for the two outer pockets would make organizing and access easier, but this doesn't really bother me.
Anyways, just my thoughts after 'field testing' this bag. Still my go to bag for over-sized transport!
- Blew my mind.
When I first saw this bag with the dual straps and messenger style it blew my mind. I had a Kremlin and this has a smaller back profile but more storage, it's like a miracle happened. The cordura lasts forever, even after a few falls. The waterproof liner is awesome, and the buckle makes it easy to remove the bag when it is packed to the brim.
Like with all Chrome bags the padded shoulder is a huge benefit over the competition, nothing is as comfortable with heavy load.
All in all, 5 stars out of 5 for this bag. Brilliant design, classic Chrome.
- Love it !
ok it costs a bit more but i love this bag !
Because it expands it is super versatile
i don't think the pictures do it justice
(ok pic 10 does)
- This bag is the truth
I've carried bundles of firewood, cases of beer, small children, even other bikes with this bag. The shoulder strap is surprisingly comfortable and very secure. The only problem I've had is having a hard time finding smaller items inside it when it's fully loaded.
- Fit for touring
Touring europe with only this bag. It's incredibly large, and definitely comfortable, even when stuffed and heavy as hell. I'm taking this bag through the whole trip and I have plenty of room to pack things in to bring back. It also fit perfectly into my airport luggage carryon limits. Was worried I'd have to check it, but was able to bring it on the plane no problems.
- would be the best... if it last
I truly believed what they emphasise the 15yrs of experience, hard-wearing, no-nonsense, life-time guarantee....blah blah on the website. I went straight to the pro series, spending such cash on this bag and expect perfection.
Initially this bag was great! The capacity is really enormous. But within 3 weeks of load bearing (which it obviously designed for), the thread of bottom strap has started to go. The stitching has failed on me in 3 weeks. It is no good having a nice bag but I cannot carry it anymore.
Perfect design, great material, poooooor sewing. Not something I would expect on an expensive profession bag.
- Bad Stitching rating...
To the gentleman with the 1 star rating due to poor stitching...maybe your bag is just one that my have a defect. There is a lifetime guarantee on the bags. Send it back, or take it back to the place of purchase and I'm sure they'll be glad to replace it for you 'free of charge'. But of course you must have your receipt. Just a thought. I've been using Chrome bags for years and I've never had an issue with the stitching.
- review update -- re: poor stitching
Right... perhaps I was being harsh on previous review. I sent the bag back for inspection and Crome has agreed to replace the faulty item. So, thank you for your good service.
I still say the design of the bag is fantastic. However, just let down by last faulty bag. Maybe it was an one-off unlucky experience last time, but I really did not expect the 'perfect bag' broke down in 2 weeks.
To be honest, the joint on the bottom strap does not look as beefy as many other bags on the market (MW for example). hope Crome would reinforce on the joints for their berlin2
okay... so I am back on my bike and straping the berlin on my back. hopefully, it will not let me down again.
- Solid Urban Bag
I love this bag and I do the firewood, cases of beer, hauling bike parts scene; no small children. The straps are comfortable, the main storage is capacious, the front Velcro inner pocket is good for getting whole bottles through stadium security, and the shoulder strap Velcro stowage is good for that too. Sometimes the eggs shift, so load the groceries carefully.
I'm the show mule: get to the venue, everyone other bags, purses, coats, accessories, shoes in my bag.
In city bon-fires call for gas-station wood: two packages stacked on top of each other fit comfortably "inside" using the straps; the shoulder straps bind the load to my back comfortably and securely through hill climbs, the back padding keeps them from digging into your back, the two shoulder straps spread the load.
The strap stitching, at the body, has torn on the bottom strap and the main shoulder strap; it could use some reinforcement here. I'm not upset about this, knowing what I've carried in and done to this bag. I haven't sent in my Berlin as I can't stand being without it: I fixed the straps and rolled on. The plastic buckles are starting to go all around and I've already replaced the one off the stabilizing strap; I'll probably give aluminum buckles a try.
As I drunkenly replied to friend when he late-night texted me for a quick review: "Totally worth it... I've been very satisfied with my Berlin experience." Way easier to haul than two panniers.
- Versatile, comfortable
It's great how versatile the bag is. It's so compact I don't mind having it with me daily everywhere I go, even when I only need to carry the spare tube, wallet and phone, but still it has never been too small to fit whatever I decided to put in it. I don't have a car so this bag is how I haul things and this is the first bag I've had that actually has enough space. And still it manages to be comfortable.
I have had the bag for six months now and so far it has been holding up very well. It's almost like new even after some crashes.
Whether I go to the closest cafe or another city, this bag is always with me and it really makes my life easier.
- Great bag lacks secret pocket
I love this bag. I haven't had it long enough for my opinion to hold much authority, but its comfortable (for a left-shoulder bag) and it holds A TON while maintaining comfort.
It is well-built, as any Chrome is. Check your seems when you get yours though, some flaws slip by the most keen eyes and if you catch it early you avoid roadside bag failure.
If this Berlin lasts as long as my Citizen has, it'll be well worth every penny.
Some small issues I've encountered:
No lefty option. Weak, Chrome.
The bottom compression/mega-box straps seem like an ideal place for some reflective threads like on all the non-pro bags.
When you cinch the main strap to comfort the X-strap makes a non-ninety degree angle with it, causing the padding behind the main buckle to pull up. Clipping up the stabilizer strap only makes it worse. Even though it doesn't affect the comfort or usability it causes the fabric to deform and may ultimately lead to fatigue of the material.
I'm still assessing the usefulness of the adjustment strap on the main strap. I miss the little bit of belt that overlaps the velcro part of the strap on the Metropolis (great for the keys)
Here is my main gripe: no secret pocket. Since the bag is advertised as having "secret hidden pockets" I was expecting at least one so well-hidden as that of the Metrop. I am told by Chrome they consider the opening where the X-strap stows away as such, but as it is visible readily and leads to the whole space between the bag-in-bag I would hardly consider it secret or a pocket.
Now go back and look at the nice things I said about the bag because these are just gripes and I'm a picky guy.
- Big Enough, But Can Be Compacted
It's friggin huge yes, but it's better to go big than having stuff fall out. I've had it for a month, and it's really a step up from my metro and citizen. I could fit 40 pounds of gear plus a folded up bike box for shipping my bike with ease, not so with my citizen.
-The four-point system is awesome for stability
-The right shoulder strap can be stashed in the back "hidden" pocket
-The closure straps are really long to accommodate large items
-Side straps are great for compacting the bag
-Just black, at least put a patterned black scheme
-The straps don't have the reflective pattern of the non-pro series
-An inner drawstring liner in the main compartment would have been a good idea for keeping little stuff from falling out
Have owned it for almost 2 months, flew to LA with it as my carry-on, it's hauled groceries, clothes, 45 cans, bike boxes, and it has lived up to the Chrome name.
It's a good investment.
- the best
I love my Berlin bag!! It has to be the hardest work in courier work. The Berlin has held up in the all the weather condition over the past several months. Although it is still young, my other Chrome bags have years on them, and have paid for themselves many, many times over. Although I could have the size a little bit bigger, it still is nothing less than perfect!!! Thanks Berlin bag, and thanks to you guys, and gals at Chrome for everything you make!
- Chrome could have done much better.
To start off with the good things... I mean great things about the bag. I purchased the bag so that I wouldn't afraid to carry anything that came across my path, and it does its job perfectly. The first day I rode with the bag I carried TWO CASSES of soda in the bag and that wasn't even expanded, the wieght wasn't an issue because of the four point strap system (so no sore shoulders!). The organization of the bag isn't perfect but great when it is paired with the Chrome cell phone holder. Not TO many pockets to where I loose things in the bag, but enough pockets to where my small things won't be crushed by my cargo in the bucket... Now to the bad side. I did call Chrome and I asked about a "right shoulder" option and they said "Sorry, but we don't make the Berlin in a right shoulder option." Sence I was presured to buy the bag I did... and I LIKE it, but sence it isn't a right shoulder bag I WILL NEVER LOVE THIS BAG, because I had to pay $220 to settle for a bag that isn't what I REALLY wanted. I believe that for that kind of money I should have the kind of bag I want... well AT THE LEAST the correct shoulder option.
I have not owned a car for 6 years, so this is my trunk. I can't stress the size of this bag. There were many times in the past when I was forced to make trips, leave something behind, or uncomfortably pack out a smaller bag.
- holds a lot of $hi+
- four point strap system is super comfortable
- four point strap system keeps bag in place/balance when you are moving fast
- simple pocket layout. less pockets mean less time searching
- padded back is key!!
- Feels really big when not full even when all straps are tightened and bag is compressed all of the way. (to be expected from such a huge bag)
- no stash pocket like in the smaller messenger bags
- A student's thoughts on the Berlin
First of all, this bike was recommended to me by friends who are active (and former) NYC messengers. I found the site, liked the bags, did some online research, they said the bags were awesome, asked some friends, everyone recommended Chrome.
Most people recommended the now-discontinued Kremlin, but more on that later.
My background is that I was commuting approx 20 miles daily on various types of bikes, before buying a purpose-built hybrid for the hilly and pothole-filled suburbs of Staten Island. This went on for about two years, then I had a car and then the car broke down. I learned from my earlier commuting experience and realized I had a few prerequisites for commuting properly via bike:
-Bag must be waterproof. Completely waterproof. (hundreds of dollars in voice recorder, TI-84, expensive textbooks, notes and homework)
-Bag must be comfortable and not hurt my back/shoulder like my old messenger-'style' *but not real messenger* bag.
-Bag must have a compartment for my cell phone where it is easily accessible.
-Bag must fit easily two to three textbooks, plus almost another full set of clothes, along with any biking-related equipment, and be comfortable.
The Kremlin was out of stock, so when I went to the Chrome store in SoHo, the guy was pretty friendly. The bag is huge, but really not so huge as it seems online. It was certainly bigger than the Metropolis, but the Metropolis immediately seemed like it would be too small. The first test run was to stick my old messenger bag, fully loaded, along with my girlfriend's bag, and go clothes shoppning.
Along to a major point- this bag will fit EVERYTHING you put in it. The limitation really becomes how much weight you can carry. I've fit 19" rackmount equipment, entire bike wheels complete with tire (while taking stuff to the shop on another bike), school supplies+a week's worth of groceries, etc in here. Ultimately I toned down how much I put in just because the bag weighed me down unacceptably and slowed me down. However, it remained comfortable.
I would highly recommend keeping a hoodie in there between your things and back, as that makes the bag very comfortable in this way. At first I hated the lack of cushioning, but it makes sense now- instead of cushioning, you can just have a hoodie in there. Same weight, and if you get cold you have the option to be warm if slightly uncomfortable.
Everything stays completely dry.
One of the main reasons I went for the Berlin over the Metropolis (quite a hefty price jump here too) was the extra shoulder strap. It makes a HUGE difference, and was the main reason I went for the Berlin. I don't think I would have liked the Metropolis- even under light loads the extra strap is amazing at distributing the weight, and disengaging it for moving the bag to the side can be achieved at the same time as disengaging the regular third strap at the side of the Metropolis (one hand for each clasp). Once I got the hang of this down, it was great.
With the compression straps, it turns into a regular (if not slightly large) messenger bag when I don't have much in it. I usually use it this way, and I still love the bag for it's waterproofed nature and X-strap design. It's also very useful to bike to the Veitnamese place which doesn't deliver and pick up food for friends (who pay me in food hehe).
Now the cons:
The bag is SUPER loud for coming into a class. I tend to just open it before I come in. Now it sounds silly, but the velcro is LOUD. Maybe a personal issue but I know there are other students looking into these.
I wish it would have a bit more styling options, eg the liner on the outer lip, or reflective straps for visibility like the Metropolis.
There could have been a way to stow away straps which are not in use. Granted it's somewhat a cosmetic issue, but there's no option there at all.
The strap which the accessories strap too seems to be a bit large, and there isn't any real option to stow it anywhere.
No real 'hidden' pocket... I wouldn't put anything I really wanted hidden into the auxillary strap pocket.
None of these above issues are major problems and I still love the bag.
This bag along with a cellphone holster for the strap came out to ~260 dollars. That's a lot of coin. Not to mention a ~200+ tax dollar bag should just come with a cellphone holster.
Is it worth it?
eerm.... the bag is awesome, but not really 260 dollars worth of awesome.
I love it to death, and have never had any problems with it, and will post a further review if I ever have any stitching coming apart and need it repaired, etc, but we will see.
If the customer service turns out to be great, I will come back and re-rate with five stars. As it stands, I was about to rate the bag at five stars, and while it's a great bag and I can't imagine using anything else, I'm not sure I can rate it at five stars with the price. Maybe 4.5, but there was no option. We will see how this lifetime warranty plans out should I need it.
The velcro on the cellphone holster is going, as was expected.
I think when it dies I will call up the NYC store and ask them if they'd sew a buckle to it (I would pay for the buckle and sewing). Otherwise I'll just replace the velcro. But velcro is velcro, and this has been after three months or so of total usage.
The additional shoulder strap is a MUST. If you are debating about this, then buy this bag over the Metropolis. They should have a bag in between the Metropolis and Berlin in size but with the extra strap (eg a Kremlin with an extra strap).
The bag- kicks ass.
A bit overpriced though.
I noted that their warranty doesn't cover 'regular use', but from what I've heard the staff is very reasonable. Then again, I've heard of people coming back to Chrome to buy new bags. If it has a lifetime guarantee, why would you need a new one?
Overall, 4.5 out of 5 thumbs up, simply due to the fact that no bag should cost 260 dollars.
- Perfect in every way
This bag is big and strong. I can fit my entire life in this bag and still have room. I commute daily to collage and work and often i have the bag filled with books, laptop, change of clothes and anything you can think of. What i like most about this bag is how comfortable it is, it never feels heavy. The straps are well padded and the bag fits snugly on my back so its easy to ride with even in the drops. The bag is so comfortable I often forget its on.
- A bag that is made for the apocalypse.
Usage: Commuting from work, back and forth, as well as carrying items for afternoon shenanigans. Shenanigans include heading over to a house party with a 6pk, going out with about 5 different card games to meet in a public forum for play, carrying a huge bottle of tea, a fresh set of clothes in case of rain or sweat, a mouse pad and mouse for gaming at a friend's place, etc.
Comfort: When I'm a healthy individual, and I carry all the stuff I normally carry, it's as light as I could possibly ask for. The design is made in such a way that it fits into the "small" of my back, keeping my posture upright. I'm a pretty small guy, so it covers my whole back, but that's not a problem with this cold NYC winter. When I'm feeling under the weather, I fatigue more easily, and therefore it's reasonable that it feels heavy. Either way, it's my own fault really that I carry too much, and the design in no way is to blame. That four-point strap system is amazing. Just having the third strap on stabilizes nicely, and that fourth strap makes the weight distribution heavenly.
Utility: There was a picture of a guy putting a milk crate into this thing. That's a good way to measure the size of this bag. I have a different metric of measurement, but I can't say that since this will be used in public. So I'll describe what I carry on a normal day. I carry 1. one set of clothing in a vacuum bag, 2. a 12.1" laptop, 3. a xtra-large Grid-It, 4. a tazo tea infuser/glass thermos, 5. a lot of card games, 6. assorted knick knacks, including toothbrush, toothpaste, a pill-case with multiple sets of tea, pills, asprin, a set of zip-ties, 2 decks of Kem cards, some lip balm, and of course, pens, and pencils. Translation: I carry a lot of stuff.
Image: It looks intimidating. The bag itself is imposing-- large enough to stand up by itself on it's side. It's a great conversation piece, covers a lot of space, if a little plain. The trick to not make it plain, is to decorate it yourself. The size of it makes people always wonder "What do you have in there?"
tl;dr : If you need a bag that can carry your life, this can be your bag. It might be pricy, but think of it as an investment in the future.
- Looks good
Picked up my citizens messenger bag last summer, yes it has many years to go still.. but this bag looks even better. Im not a delivery boy but i do like messenger bags for there comfort and perfect for riding. but this looks great with the two straps then just one side one.. and the bigness of it and the U-lock holster for it.. idk wat to do
- my backbone and my metropolis had sex
it took along time to wait for the two to mature and prepare for peaceful breeding, a difficulty seeing as although they belong to the same family they are very different species. but eventually in the beautiful light of the spring moon and with a little help from barry white, the two became one and a gorgeous berlin was born. looking back buying one may have been easier.
since you've already scrolled down and read countless rave reviews for this bag and it's massive capacity and uber comfy straps, instead of wasting your time repeating what's been said i'll simply list possible uses for this bag.
1: smuggling immigrants
2: helping a friend move
3: picking up a date
4: transporting chickens
5: using as a small two man raft
6: transporting a dead body(the truck tarp really holds in the blood)
7: stealing a sea lion
8: making a tent
9: throwing small parties inside said tent
10: taking your thanksgiving dinner for a bike ride
- Awesome Messenger Bag!!!
Hailing from asia and half way across the world, I didn't think I could get my hands on the Berlin Pro Series bag this fast. After a quick on line order and prompt verification from Chrome Industries I received my order in 6 days!
I love the built on the bag, fits snugly and I have been loading items in the bag and to my surprise there's still room for more without looking awkward thanks to the compression straps.
To my surprise the hidden compartment for the strap really rocks and it doubles up as another place to hide my stuff. I put a spare change of clothes in between 2 hard plastic sheets to keep em' nicely crisp and folded and yup.. dry!
Can't wait to break in the bag for that classic rustic feel...
Chrome Pro Series Berlin rawks!!!!!!
- Absolutely worth it
I don't even know what to do with all of the space, I picked this bag to avoid running across something I couldn't carry. For starters I'm going to pick up some clips so I can make a longboard sling to attach to the clips on the inside, so I can commute to work on my bike and then board around town. Beyond that I'm kind of overwhelmed, the bag is sturdy and comfortable. To top that all off it took all of two days to ship up to my place in the mountains. Can't ask for more.
Ordered a Mini Metro first, loved it, but found that if I needed space for anything "extra" during my day (books, groceries, clothes, food, whateva), I'd be at a loss. Plus, all my martial arts gear is really bulky, and carrying two bags on my bike was out of the question.
This bag is UNREAL. I love the space, the various options for closure, all that stuff. I always feel prepared for anything now. Even if I get caught far from home and have to stay over at a friend's place, the extra clothes I can now carry with me make it no big deal. I even have a pair of nice pants for the impromptu meeting with a client. I can basically run my whole life out of this bag. If it's not in the bag, I don't need it.
The extra straps make this bag feel almost invisible. Seriously, I don't realize how much stuff I'm carrying until I pass a mirror or window and see that I essentially have my whole life on my back (side note: my bag's name is "House" for that reason). I'm not a pro messenger, and I don't commute to work, but I ride through Chi-town a lot, sometimes for days at a time without going home. This bag makes my life possible.
Bottom line: If you're considering getting a bag that can hold everything with room left over for the unexpected, you need this. Anything less and you'll be back on the site and ordering the Berlin within a month.
I bought this bag to carry all my percussion work equipment..fits and carries nicely, but i realize I still need more space. A backpack is out because I need to sling another drum. Will Chrome consider making a 70L version?
This bag is colossal! I was surprised at how big it was out of the box. I bought it to use as a photo/carryon/everyday bag, and it might be too much for the everyday part and perhaps not enough pockets and organizers for that, however...for those needing a workhorse to carry EVERYTHING, this is your bag. Like it's labeled, this is a PRO bag, not for amateurs, it has none of the BS you don't need for hauling all day long, and all of the features that make the aforementioned tasks a breeze. I was going to return it for the smaller, more smaller compartmented, Metropolis Messenger Bag, but I think make this one work with my own organizers or something. This baby does not play...I tried to put my 50lb Catahoula Leopard Dog, Oscar, in it, but I couldn't get him to sit down, he kept wanting to chase the tennis ball....inside the bag. It's HUUUGE!
- Great but not perfect.
Some things i would like to see improved are more real estate on the strap for phones and 2 way radios. Also the flap for the two inner pockets would be better if they each had their own flap instead of the big long one. The third gripe is the external straps shouldn't impede me from getting in the two inner pockets when buckled to the clips inside the main flap (none of the pictures show this only them buckled to the main flap). I use this bag for messenger work in Seattle, and those are the only problems I have with it. I LOVE the size of it. I love the side compression straps for when it's not full and the 4 point buckle (which hides perfectly when not in use).
- great, but not perfect
To start, i'm coming from the citizen, which i loved, but was getting too small for what i needed. I picked up my Berlin at the Mellow Johnny's shop in Austin TX, when i was there on vacation from Florida.
The bag fits everything i need it to and then some, laptop, kindle, change of clothes, lunch, chargers, and that's just getting started.
My problems start happening when it rains though, the side of the bag over my left shoulder gets water hitting the underside of the messenger flap and it just slides down the bag, when i go to open it, all that water that was accumulating slides into the bag. At least this is how i picture it, I really hope it's not happening during the ride. I'm not sure if this is happening because of my size though, i'm 5'10" and only about 150lbs, i'm not a big guy, and i feel like i can't get the bag to be snug enough, it moves around a lot on my even with all the straps as tight as i can get them. If i could get another velcro strap on the the left side to keep the flap down during the rain, it would be amazing though. Then i could play around with the straps to see if i could get it to stay still without having to worry about rain getting in.
- Great bag for large items and airport security
If you plan on carrying heavy loads or larger loads on a daily I highly recommend this bag. I have used this bag in 4 different countries and works great with airport security. I usually carry two laptops and I stash my watch, phone and wallet in the secret compartment. I usually pack this bag to capacity and I am very pleased with how it handles my everyday riding and traveling.
I've used the Berlin as a Pro messenger and It is totally awesome! If you're getting water in your bag, it's because you don't have the straps pulled right. The gripe about phone holder space..... I carry a cell and my 2-way on a clip holster, due to the design neither phone sits high on my shoulder like it did with the metro. I work in SF and I used this bag for the whole rainy season with no problems and no water in my bag. As a Pro, my only gripe is if you have the outside pockets, full, then a banker box doesn't fit in too easily. I ride for WMS and over the past year Chrome has stood up to not only my work, but the punishment I've given it at Punk Rock shows and drunken bingers, where I've woken up on the cement at a bus stop with my bag still on. Keep doin' what you're doin' chrome!
- tuff city
I first owned a citizen, for about 2 years, and then I moved to the city. Now that I bike everywhere I needed a big bag, a really big bag....
the berlin is it
The absurd amount of things I have carried in it so for is the following:
-a chainsaw, 120 ft of 1/2 climbing rope, spikes, a saddle, a petzl helmet, and a pair of boots (tied to the outside)
-my five year old niece (for just a few mins)
- an empty keg some jag-off left at my house
Now all of these loads were EXTREME TO THE MAX and not easy to carry but I could not even imagine attempting to carry any of that stuff with any other bag.
The X -strap is key. so key. key to my heart even. I really like how it can be hid when not in use.
The compression straps are a bad-A feature. Makes life easier.
I mainly use this bag for commuting to work. My citizen was being maxed out everyday! The citizen is a great bag and I still use it a ton but
it is not designed to carry big ass loads.
All being backed by the best warranty I've owed had. And you don't even pay extra for it. Straight comes with all bags. Also, if anyone attempts at saying "OMGZ you paid that much for your bag!?" I quickly respond to them, utility, lifetime warranty, and still less than a Gucci bag.
chome bags <3
- best bag ever
bulletproof up to .45 caliber.
5 2-gal miik jugs.
loads of ice,
a LOT of water (fills 52L without spilling),
more textbooks than you'll need in college,
Doubles as a tent,
parachute (with flap open),
and the X straps help with carrying firewood too.
Ive had it for almost 10 months now and its been through hell and back. It's big, and really waterproof, and one of the only things I've ever seen that has taken this much abuse and not been damaged one bit. Its significantly larger and more comfortable than the metro, and definitely worth the price it is. The best bag chrome makes, hands down.
- Efficiency at it's finest
I've been using this bag for work for the past few months now.
Already it has surpassed my expectations.
The "boxy" design allows it to fit an ungodly amount of parcel and stuff in it. the compression straps allow you to keep said stuff secure. It took a couple of times how to figure out how to quickly compress and decompress the straps to allow for different package sizes, but once you get the hang of it, they become essential and useful.
The "X-strap" on my bag stays in it's pocket most of the time when I'm dealing with smaller stuff, but when I get a weighty item, or awkward item, it truly does help. I wasn't sure how sturdy it would be, but it's awesome
Every single piece of fabric and buckle and velcro on this bag is brawny as all get out. It will probably outlast me
it costs less than my girlfriends "Coach" purse, which can hold about the capacity of a shoe box.
the only things I don't like about this bag are;
-having previously owned a Metropolis, this bag looks like an ugly stepchild compared to the stylish Metro
-Even when compressed, I still feel like I have an elephant on my back when I'm in a crowded bar (but it is a good conversation piece)
-the main flap is a huge pocket... I wish it was sewn together like the other buckle bags, because it makes it awkward to close sometimes.
-it's more beastly than I am, essentially emasculating me
- Eh, Not worth the hype.
First I would like to say that I am a loyal chrome consumer. I have previously bought the citizen and the backbone backpack. I also own a pair of their cycling shoes(cant remember which ones, low top, look like chucks) and I have been pleased with all of my purchases up until this point.
I loved my citizen mes bag however I felt it was a bit small to carry all my school stuff (plus my friend threw it in the ocean in a drunken stupor) so I decided to upgrade to the largest messenger bag they offered. I went with the Berlin because it appeared to be what I was looking for, however when it arrived I was bummed to say the least. I feel the overall quality of the construction of the bag to be less than the citizen, metropolis and their previous xlarge version. The inside layer is not fused to the rest of the bag which feels cheap and causes it to sit very oddly. If anything with a minor amount of weight is placed in the bag this will cause the interior of the flap with the Velcro to fasten securely to the bag however the external layer will pull away exposing just the tarp material on the inside. I realize this is only a cosmetic defect however for $220 I feel this issue should have been addressed before release. I was a huge fan of the interior side pockets on both their backpacks as well as their older messenger bags and for some reason they felt this "pro series" no longer needed them. Again, I was bummed. I feel it has some good ideas which were executed poorly. If I had to do it over again I would just go with the Metropolis and save the extra money or had a Seagull bag custom made for me(same price).
- carries everything but the kitchen sink... well maybe that too
I've had the Berlin for almost two years now. I have three other Chrome bags and use those most of the time but when I really need to carry a lot... the Berlin gets the call. It's perfect for when I'm dj'ing because has no problems holding a full size mixer along with a large laptop and everything else I need for a gig. The secondary shoulder strap is great for distributing the load when you're carrying a lot. The more stuff you put in it the better it performs.
- 1 year later.
Last year I wrote a review for this bag after just acquiring it and since then it has been put through Hell and back. Rafting, camping, traveling and of course miles and miles of cycling. Of course in this amount of time my opinions have differed from when I had put a mere few miles on it and now I feel its time to reassess.
At first the third strap was a fun option for heavier loads or awkward items that need more stabilizing. As time passed I found the shear weight of the bag empty, roughly 5 pounds, forced me to use the third strap all the time. Not really a bad thing as the third strap is a detail that should be on every bag that passes citizen size. Chromes main strap as always is decently comfortable but there are better, wider straps on the market no doubt. The velcro across the main strap leaves plenty of room for holsters of sorts and their buckle system is my favorite out there and probably half the reason you considered a Chrome bag in the first place.
This bag is huge. If you have a local shop that carries Chrome please go try one on before buying because you may second guess on size alone. I'm six foot and about 160 pounds so its not a huge deal but remember most bags made for professional messengers are going to be an ungodly size. As I said earlier its also heavy. Truck tarp and military canvas are a bomb proof mix but not kind in weight. The shape is where Chrome corrected something that has plagued its mess bags for years. Rather than coming to a point at the bottom(like an envelope) it's square(like a box) so items in it can be organized better and won't be shoved against you. It also expands and compresses nicely to not stick out to far. You can carry most anything in it. The long straps on the outside give you plenty to work with for strapping things to your back and at 8 inches deep big boxes and the such are a breeze.
This is its poorest catagory. Chrome and most companies have never padded the bags of their mess bags and I don't know why. It sits like a backpack yet gives you nothing for padding. Not to mention this bag is a very large one that is likely to cover your entire back so prepare for some back sweat not matter what the temperature. The straps do a good enough job avoiding shoulder pains on long rides but the more in it the worse it gets. Chrome, pad your Damn mess bags.
My commute is 14 miles each way. After a year of using this bag I'm considering a backpack for summer. Great bag overall and durable as Hell, but perhaps a bit much for most cyclists.
- Berlin Review
The Berlin: King of All Chrome Bags. Carry whatever, whenever from point A to point B in a comfortable, precise, & balanced manner. Whether carrying a few groceries or an entire drum set, the Berlin conquers. All hail the Chrome Berlin.
- Great Big Bag
I have had this bag for just over a year now and well...it's everything I could wish for in a bag. I was mainly concerned about space, because I mainly use this bag for commuting and random errands. I have never really needed more space than what is provided in this bag. The only tiny complaint I have is that it isn't weather SEALED. I ride year round and was only slightly concerned about the dryness of the items stored in my bag. When I arrived at my destination I was very pleased to see that NOTHING was wet. So if you are worried about the bag being sealed from the elements fear not. While not sealed the bag is covered in a such a way that virtually no water is getting in the bag. As many other reviews state it is a work horse. It is very strong and holds up extremely well even after being abused and heavily loaded almost every day for a year. The extra strap that is included to distribute weight under heavy loads is handy, but to be honest I rarely use it because it makes taking the bag off quite difficult. I have used it when taking my camera along with a change of clothes/shoes etc. with me across town, but again not something I use even once a week. I would definitely recommend it if you plan on using your bag to carry clothes and other things often or plan on making grocery runs sans cargo basket. Chrome is outstanding. Also this is redundant, but this bag is extremely durable and stands up to great amounts of stress including falls and overloading.
I bought this for riding on my motorcycle to and from work and it is AWESOME! All pockets dry while caught in a thunder/hailstorm? Yes. Stays closed when you forget to buckle it on the highway on the way home? Yes. This thing carries everything I need and is just awesome. Highly recommended.
I am a messenger in seattle. I bought the berlin when it first came out 2.5 years ago because I needed more capacity. After all this time, and literally thousands of deliveries in shit weather, it has held up great. The only issues were that the female buckle for the cross strap came loose after 2 years, but 10 seconds of running it through the sewing machine fixed that, and I had the liner stitched to the outer cordura on the flap to keep things tight, and the velcro is fianlly giving up. besides these issues, the bag has been amazing. Love the back pad and optional second shoulder strap. thanks chrome!
- "Messenger" bags, for commuters only.
I'm sorry, but f you can't fit multiple copy or banker boxes into even your largest bag, than I dont see how it could possibly be useful as a messenger bag. Boxes are a fact of life with messenger work nowadays, and if you don't have the equipment to facilitate carrying them (outside of bar riding them, not applicable in wet weather) than your not gonna fair very well as a messenger.
- This bag has so many different uses, it's incredible!!
Initially, there were a few reasons that I looked at this bag.
Its size and its strap system made this bag appealing to me.
This bag is big enough that I have yet to worry about not fitting things in it.
I am a soccer referee and I have used this as my gear bag for a year now. We carry a lot of stuff. Jerseys, socks, shorts, whistles, cards, flags, coins, markers, pens, paperwork, sunscreen and more. This bag has made it easy to haul it all around.
That being said, I'm probably lugging around 30-40 lbs of equipment when it's fully packed. The main strap on this bag makes it easy to throw this thing over your shoulder and get on the move. The fact that it has extra padding compared to the other models only makes it even more comfortable. The secondary strap (that makes for the X-strap design) makes it even easier to carry heavy loads.
So after getting this bag, there were a few other things that have definitely made it a good purchase.
The waterproof liner is awesome. When it starts raining out on the field, the other referees run to put a plastic bag around their gear bags, and I don't have to. My stuff stays dry. The only problem is that the padding on the strap soaks up water (when it rains really hard) and then has the potential to get you wet when you throw it over your shoulder. But if you're already wearing a rain-jacker, it really doesn't matter.
And this bag travels really well. I've taken it on a few different flights, and it worked well as my carry-on. It fits well into the over-head bins in the plane, as long as you don't over-pack it.
The only problem I had was when we were on a smaller plane, so over-head bin space was limited, so they made us check most of our carry-ons. I had stuffed my bag pretty full and had a smaller gear organizer on the very top of my stuff. Well in the handling of the baggage, or during the flight, that gear organizer slipped out the open part of the flap, and it got lost. So I fault myself more for that than the bag. Just don't put small things on top when you've packed the bag very full.
So to wrap up, the bag is pretty incredible. Don't be scared by the price tag, because this bag will likely 2X out-last many other bags that you'll pay less than $100 for. It's a good investment.
- Ok bag, needs improvement
Im a bike messenger and have been using this bag since august of 2010
Pros: can fit a banker box with room to spare. has the extra strap for heavy loads. Is pretty small for a bag its size when all the compression straps are fastened
Cons: the bag feels really uncomfortable when all the compression straps are loose and the bag is empty, it feels shapeless and if the pockets have items they droop forward. The storm flap rolls up if the straps aren't fastened. The extra strap is hard to adjust under heavy loads because its velcroed to the storm flap which comes undone and requires constant adjustments. Needs the female buckles on the lower part of the bag, like the kremlin had, they were useful for rolls and to hold wet rain gear
Hope this was helpful to someone
- Great bag!
Ive had my Berlin for about four months now. I live in the bay area and its awsome. I dont ride with out it. Love the space and X strap it makes it so much more comfortable when your smashing. By far the best xmas present I had in years!!