Living car-free has the demands of a good way to carry your stuff. A few weeks ago, I went on a search for the perfect bag. I've been using a messenger bag for the past few years but I just wasn't satisfied with the way it felt when loaded down. I've always had great respect for bags that are manufactured by Chrome Bags. I've already got a pair of their shoes and a hip pack. Both products have been great. Not to mention, their bags are manufactured in the good ole' U S of A!
After reviewing several companies (Mission Workshop, Seagull Bags, ReLoad, Timbuk2 and Wig), I finalized my decision with the Chrome Ivan Rolltop Backpack. Several of the reasons I made this decision were based on pricepoint, function and size. Chrome was a little more expensive than the Timbuk2 but cheaper than some of the others. One of the main components of the bag was that it had to be weatherproof. The Ivan is lined on the inside with a heavy duty truck tarp fabric. With the bag's main compartment being sealed off by a rolltop, anything inside the main compartment was water tight. I got a chance to put it to the test in a downpour ride home one afternoon. Everything stayed dry in all compartments. My laptop even stayed dry in the laptop sleeve thanks to the rubberized zipper and over flap.
Overall, I give the bag one and a half thumbs up. It would get two thumbs up if the back panel rested flush against my back. Again, this isn't too big of a deal. For the price, $180, you really can't beat it.