- Comfortable shoulder straps and backpanel
- Good organization
- Internal waterproof liner
- Top of shoulder harness touches back of neck
- No reflective elements
The Chrome Rostov cycling backpack is a lightweight, durable, weatherproof backpack that is stable on the back in cycling positions. It has a comfortable backpanel and set of shoulder straps as well as good organizational features. However, the yoke at the top of the shoulder harness is deep and can dig into the back of the cyclist’s neck when in the riding position.
The Chrome Rostov is a lightweight pack that provides decent overall comfort even while carrying heavier loads, including a laptop and a change of clothes.
While the Chrome Rostov does not offer a hip belt, its ergonomic shoulder strap design offer a wide-enough range to accommodate a variety of shoulder widths. However, the top of the shoulder strap harness is two inches deep and dug into our cyclist’s neck when in the cycling position. Loosening the shoulder straps helped minimize the annoyance but then compromised stability. The metal clip of the sternum strap can also be used as a bottle opener.
The thick padding of the EVA foam back panel adds nicely to the comfort of this backpack and allows for a moderate degree of breathability. However because our tester lives in in Minneapolis and tested this pack in November, she was unable to experience true back sweat.
The Chrome Rostov is moderately stable. Compression straps on each side and an adjustable sternum strap to help distribute load. However the shoulder straps had to be loosened to mitigate the yoke digging into the back our tester’s neck, which reduced stability when riding.
The Chrome Rostov offers twenty-three liters of cargo capacity. Inside the pack is a waterproof liner and a padded laptop sleeve holds up to a fifteen-inch laptop. Additional internal organization includes a pocket large enough to hold an iPad mini, a pocket to hold a smartphone or sunglasses and two narrow pockets to hold pens.
Outside the pack, a zippered external pocket that zips down the right side allows the cyclist to access the outer pocket without fully removing the pack. An unsecured pocket on the right side of the pack holds a bike lock or water bottle.
Made of an abrasion-resistant military-grade 1,050 denier Nylon, the Chrome Rostov is a tough and well-constructed pack. The compression buckles are an industrial-grade plastic and the underarm compression buckles and the d-rings on the shoulder straps are industrial-grade metal. Mounting straps and webbing loops are all heavy-duty and strong. The bottom panel of the Chrome Rostov is made from 1680-denier ballistic Nylon.
The Chrome Rostov offers a few options for reflectivity, such as two webbing loops on the bottom to hold a rear blinkie light and reflective webbing loops down the shoulder straps.
A metal d-ring on each shoulder strap allows the cyclist additional options to attach extra gear that requires quick access. The main pack compartment contains a waterproof liner and is secured with a seam-welded waterproof zipper.
As with all Chrome bags, the Rostov comes with a lifetime warranty.
How We Tested It
The packs in this test were used for one week as a daily bike commuter backpack and for other general urban errand rides on distances that ranged from six miles to fifteen.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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