Product: Chrome Minimalist Bag
The slim and sleek Chrome Minimalist bag was made with your iPad in mind. This bare bones version of Chrome's Vega bag is meant to hold only the absolute necessities, leaving no room for bulk. Is this minimal iPad carrier the right fit for your lifestyle? Check out our hands-on review, after the jump.
The Chrome Minimalist bag is a flatter stripped down version of Chrome's Vega bag. The style of the Vega bag is identical to the Minimalist, however the Vega is larger with a truck tarp liner to store additional smaller items. The Minimalist is currently available in 5 color combinations: Black, Black/Red, Black/White, Grey/Black and Blue/Orange. The outer shell is made of durable weatherproof cordura and the construction of the bag is well made. The front flap of the bag is secured with a single buckle. The adjustable nylon strap is thin and somewhat flimsy next to a typical large messenger bag (more like a seatbelt strap) but feels nice and light. The easy slide tri-glide strap buckle doubles as a handy bottle opener, which is a nice touch.
As far as size goes, the Minimalist (or Mini-Vega) bag is sweet and simple with room for your iPad, iPhone and a few very small accessories. It features 5 total compartments: 2 iPhone-sized pockets in the front (separated by a skinny pocket for a pen), a zippered pocket in the middle and a final main compartment in the back to slip your iPad into.
The Minimalist leaves no room for excess—anything thicker than an iPod or pocket-sized notebook will have a hard time fitting, as the width of the bag is very slim. I was able to fit my iPad, iPhone, pen, chapstick and a thin pocket-sized notebook in the bag, however I wasn't able to fit much else. My bulky keys wouldn't fit and neither would my wallet. A slim standard-sized wallet can fit in one of the front pockets but anything larger than that will have trouble fitting. The middle zippered compartment seems good for flat items (money, loose change, tickets, etc.). Only a thin lining separates the zippered pocket from the main iPad sleeve, so bulky items in the zippered pocket can create pressure against the front of the iPad.
One may also find it a bit difficult to fit an iPad into the main sleeve with an iPad case on. The design of the Minimalist bag appears to be meant for housing your iPad without a case, which can be a problem for some. However the inside of the compartment is lined with soft brushed tricot to keep your iPad safe and scratch-free. I managed to squeeze my iPad into the main compartment with the Apple iPad case on, but the fit was extremely tight. However snug, most cases should fit but there may be some thicker iPad cases out there that may not fit in the sleeve at all.
Although storage size can be an issue, one can't help but appreciate how flat and minimal this little iPad bag is. It's extremely lightweight and feels comfortable across your back with your iPad inside. The bag is also very discreet and clings so close to the body that it's barely noticeable when you're wearing it. Although there are plenty of other urban-tech bags out there that could easily store your iPad and a number of other accessories, the Minimalist appears to beat them all as far as slimness goes. Given the thinness of the bag and the limited storage space it offers, it'd be interesting to see how often one might choose to use this bag over an alternative messenger bag. However the Minimalist seems perfect for things like tech events, midnight movie releases or waiting in line just because of how light and unobtrusive it is.
Overall, the bare bones style of Minimalist is both a pro and a con. There are situations in which this refreshingly simple iPad bag would be perfect for, but the overall usage of the bag could also be limited due to its lack of storage space. It may not be able to house all the additional smaller items you might want to keep on hand (and for that, Chrome's Vega bag is a better alternative), however for what it is, the Minimalist is great for taking your iPad on-the-go when you want to keep bulk to a minimum.
- Minimal design
- Durable, high quality
- Quick access
- Lacks storage space for other small items
- Tight fit with Apple iPad Case
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.