More than just a messenger bag: the Chrome Industries Citizen is the best sling bag for urban cyclists

Spacious, sturdy and stunning: the Chrome Citizen has it all and more

Chrome Industries Citizen messenger bag
(Image credit: Chrome Industries)

The first thing you are going to notice once you had your new Chrome Industries Citizen messenger bag delivered is just how sturdy and spacious it is. The best cycling bags come in many shapes and sizes but messenger bags have always been one of the most favourite types of all because they look cool and all the bike messengers use them, too (hence the name).

• Buy the Citizen messenger bag directly from Chrome Industries

And the main reason why messenger bags are so popular among bike delivery people is because they can access the contents of the bag easily by swinging the bag around their shoulders. This is true for the Chrome Citizen too, but it goes a step further: using the seatbuckle-style buckle on the shoulder strap, you can take the bag of your back in a blink of an eye. Oh, did I say the buckle also works as a bottle opener?

Chrome Industries Citizen messenger bag

The iconic quick-release buckle that also functions as a bottle opener

(Image credit: Chrome Industries)

Why should you buy the Chrome Industries Citizen messenger bag

The Citizen messenger bag was the bag that made Chrome Industries. It was – and still is – so popular among urban cyclists that all the first few runs literally flew off the shelves. Now, 25 years later, the Citizen is as still as good as it always was, but naturally, it has received some upgrades since it was originally conceived.

What remained were the high-quality materials used to create the bag – like the weatherproof tarp liner and the durable nylon shell. In fact, the Citizen is so waterproof and thick that it doubles up as a freezer-bag: drop a bag of ice and some beverages in the bag and it will keep them cool for a good amount of time (not forever, of course).

• Buy the Citizen messenger bag directly from Chrome Industries

Naturally, you can transport other things than just cold drinks in the Chrome Citizen. For example, the bag is big enough to house a 15" Macbook Pro and although it doesn't have a separate laptop compartment, it does have a velcro-fastened divider in the main compartment so you can keep wet and dry stuff separately if you wish. All in all, there is 24 litres of storage for all your gear, bottles, brollies, shoes, laptops and whatnot.

Chrome Industries Citizen messenger bag

The new super-smart navy colourway was released for the 25th anniversary of the Chrome Citizen

(Image credit: Chrome Industries)

At the front, under the velcro-secured flap, you'll find a bunch of small pockets and a zip compartment for storing small valuables. I find the pen pockets pretty useless – whoever stores pens like this? – but I guess they are easier to locate and safer in their own pocket than in the main hold. On the sling strap, there are daisy chain mountain loops to hook small items onto, like a bike front light.

And since the Citizen messenger bag is supposed to be worn while riding the best bikes and because safety should be your main concerns when you're on the saddle, the bag also has some reflective straps so motorists, other cyclists and pedestrians can see you better in any lighting conditions. You should still get a cycling helmet and a bike rear light, though.