Product: Chrome Buran
Rating: Strong Recommend*
The stylish Chrome Buran laptop bag is a fantastic piece of kit to carry your tech. This large-capacity messenger bag fits everything - up to a 17" laptop with plenty of room to spare. The shiny seatbelt buckle proudly shouts out your geekdom while its weatherproof exterior keeps your stuff dry in a rainstorm or impromptu water balloon fight. Read on through for our up close and personal hands-on review!
At 3.8 lbs, the Buran isn't a light bag. But then again, it's not necessarily designed to be. At 18" wide, 12.5" high, and 6" deep with 26 L of volume, this monster can swallow up a 17" laptop and all its peripheral gear with plenty of room to spare. Your laptop slots into its own padded sleeve inside the main compartment, with a zipper to keep it secure. Even with a large laptop inside there's plenty of space for books and other stuff. In front there are two storage spaces held tight by Velcro. The front space has two large vertical slots. In between the main slot and the front slot is even more general storage, with an additional zippered pouch, tabs for pens and gadgets. On the back of the bag there's a thin zipper slot as well.
The Buran is quite stiff, so your laptop would be quite safe from tumbles and daily tussling about. It's also touted as being water resistant, and although we have yet to personally test how much so, owners who have been stuck in torrential downpours have emerged with their laptops and contents completely dry. This is a huge feature that most bags don't offer. While we wouldn't hose it down or go swimming with it, we'll all be thankful if we're caught in the rain.
The Buran's most unique feature is both its Achille's heel as well as one of its best features. Fantastically fun and good looking, the metal seat belt buckle on the main strap is actually quite useful. You can unclasp the strap without having to pull the bag over your head and shoulders, avoiding strap burn, mussing up your finely spiked hair, or ruffling your clothes - collared shirts in particular. The problem with the big metal buckle is that it's a big metal buckle. Be careful setting this bag down on glass tables or when walking by cars or you'll be doing a lot of damage!
There is also a briefcase-style handlebar as well as a chest strap so that the bag doesn't swing around while you're riding a bike. As with the Chrome Minimalist iPad Bag we just reviewed, a bottle opener is integrated into the bag buckle - Chrome has definitely got their priorities in order!
All of Chrome's bags come with a lifetime guarantee, meaning for as long as you own the bag Chrome will cover it. They have shops in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago - but owners in other locales can also ship it to California where they are made for a free repair.
Overall, a very well done bag that has design and substance. It looks good, carries a lot of stuff, and is durable and weather resistant.
Pros: waterproof, tons of compartments, holds a lot of stuff, fits up to 17" laptop, stiff and protective of contents, quick-release buckle, trendy look, lifetime warranty, built-in bottle opener
Cons: heavy, buckle can cause some damage to surroundings if not careful
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images by Jason Yang and Ken Yang)