Chrome Bag Review

July 22nd, 2014 in Product ReviewsNo Comments

The Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag is a bag built tough for city living, packing durability, functionality and design all into one. With a 15 year history in building foolproof messenger bags, Chrome have come to produce one of the most stand out models for any cyclist with their Citizen model. Featuring a quick-release buckle for an easy off load, this Chrome bag comes jam-packed with an array of different features.

Need more proof? Well, luckily for us, we had the pleasure of having Andy van Bergen from CyclingTips.com.au write an honest review of his experience with a Chrome bag that we sent him specifically to put through it’s paces.

Thanks for the review, Andy. It’s great to see the Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag in action! - The Rushfaster Team

Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag

Anyone who uses six-packs as a unit of measurement is on the path to success in our eyes. The Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag claims to hold two six-packs side by side, but we found it actually easily has capacity for more (weight does start to become an issue at this point though!).

Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag

The interior of the bag is lined with a ‘military-grade’ tarpaulin, which means none of your classified documents will get wet when the weather turns sour. The main flap of the bag is fastened with wide velcro, and then additional buckles keep things tightly in place. The buckles also mean that you can overfill the bag quite considerably and still keep everything in place. A zipper stash pocket means that your valuables won’t end up on the side of the road, and additional interior pockets provide plenty of storage solutions.

Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag
One of the most striking features of the bag is the seatbelt buckle on the shoulder strap, which is a tip of the hat to the brand’s origins. Wide padding on the strap ensures that even heavier hauls don’t cut into the shoulder, and a stabilising strap means that the bag doesn’t bounce around when on the bike.

Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag

You can find the Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag along with the rest of our great Chrome range at Rushfaster now.

Enjoy making videos and/or taking great photos? Want to review a bag on our blog? Contact us and we’ll send some info to help you on your way to writing the perfect review!

 

Fixed.org Review: Chrome Bravo Backpack

July 3rd, 2014 in Product ReviewsNo Comments

San Francisco based brand Chrome are widely known for their durable and dependable products that cater largely to professional messengers, fixed freestyle riders and urban commuters. With an eclectic range of messenger bags, backpacks and camera bags, Chrome bags are street tested and adapt to the changing and unpredictable nature of the city environment. Built with military grade materials and bike specific fit and features, Chrome are a brand that really know their stuff!

With this in mind, we sent the single speed cycling enthusiasts over at Fixed.org.au a Chrome Bravo Backpack to put through its paces, asking them to share their unbiased review of the popular Chrome bag for the benefit of anyone who may be considering to purchase one.

Thanks for the great review guys, glad to see you put the Bravo to the test! - The Rushfaster Team

Chrome Bravo Expandable 15" Laptop Backpack

The first time I picked this thing up, I knew I had a piece of pure engineering in my hands. It’s tough, tough, tough. Heavy duty material, solid stitching and metal buckles (not plastic!). Everything about this bag positively reeked of quality and durability.

Chrome Bravo Expandable 15" Laptop Backpack

The walk­through: The first thing I noticed is the rolltop. OK, interesting, we’ll see. Main compartment seems roomy, lots of sub­compartments and pockets which are handy as you can put your phone and wallet in one, your keys in another, and not have to go fishing about in a single compartment for everything. The strap adjusters are great and they’re chest clip in metal too – what a satisfying feel and sound as you clip it into place! The Bravo features a nice foam back with channels for potentially releasing heat. And wicking ­a hot, sweaty back is always the bane of every backpack user!

Chrome Bravo Expandable 15" Laptop Backpack

In use: Very comfortable to get on and off, the straps don’t seem to suffer as much from the usual problem of twisting as you put it on, and then you have to un­twist. The main compartment is tapered top to bottom, and even though it’s designed for a 15″ MacBook pro, because I already had my MacBook in a padded sleeve, it wouldn’t go all the way to the bottom of the bag. I wasn’t comfortable putting my precious MacBook in there without it’s security blanket. While this bag is really tough, it isn’t padded, and the edges of my MacBook wouldn’t take too kindly to being dropped. Some padding in the bottom of the main compartment would alleviate this concern.

Chrome Bravo Expandable 15" Laptop Backpack

After half an hour of riding, the bag was still feeling pretty comfortable. The wide straps and setup make it sit well on the back. One small issue was the webbing between the back straps rubbing against my neck, which I think is related to my body shape as I have fairly broad shoulders.

Chrome Bravo Expandable 15" Laptop Backpack

Everything else about the bag is great. There are so many small details, like the loops on the ends of the shoulder straps are loose enough to hook your chin strap through when you’re off the bike. The Cordura material is also very strong, I have had some other products with similar materials and they really take a beating. If you’re like me and tend to deal out the rough treatment, then you’ll be well pleased with this bag. I’ve been in tussles with cars and my backpack is the one that usually comes off worst, and I can’t see that happening with this bag. The fire­engine red back panel also improves your visibility.

laptop

Towards the end of my ride it started to rain, and this is usually a worry when it comes to riding with a laptop and phone in your backpack. I found the Bravo to be totally waterproof, everything remained snug and dry. In particular, the roll­top makes it impossible for water to get in from the top. On the way home, I also stopped at the supermarket to get some supplies for dinner. My helmet attached nicely to the loop at the end of the shoulder strap, no need to carry it. The rolltop also came in very handy. It rolls out and creates another entire bag worth of volume to fill up with stuff. So in went my groceries and I was on my way again.


Chrome Bravo wearing

TL;DR Great bag! Tough as nails, versatile, waterproof, comfortable. Compared to all other bags: 9.5/10. Compared to how good it could be: 8/10.

Chrome Bravo Expandable 15" Laptop Backpack

You can find the Bravo Expandable Backpack along with the rest of our great Chrome range at Rushfaster now.

Enjoy making videos and/or taking great photos? Want to review a bag on our blog? Contact us and we’ll send some info to help you on your way to writing the perfect review!

 

Ethnotek Has Arrived To Australia!

June 20th, 2014 in Product NewsNo Comments

Ethnotek, purveyor of socially responsible premium laptop and travel bags, has finally arrived down under and we couldn’t be happier! Formed by a small group of creatives based out of Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Saigon, Ethnotek strive to create high-quality backpacks, messenger bags and accessories that bring culture and functionality to our busy everyday lives.

Ethnotek

Ethnotek entered the mobile tech bag market in 2011 with a unique concept: the fusion between two seemingly disparate elements, Ethnology and Technology. From this fusion something special was born: a line of high quality laptop compatible backpacks, shoulder bags and accessories that merge handmade, culturally-rich textiles with technical features and functionality. Ethnotek’s mission is to keep culture alive through the celebration and promotion of world culture, using socially responsible laptop bags to tell the story of their partnering artisans in Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Ethnotek

 

The unique design element of Ethnotek’s Deluxe Collection of bags is the interchangeable front panel called a “Thread”. Each Thread is created from handmade, ethnic textiles, sourced direct trade from the village in which they were created. Ethnotek is continually scouring the globe to find textiles that embody the vibrancy and beauty of the people who create them and the cultures they represent. With new Thread designs constantly being added, toting a Vietnam hand-embroidered Thread one day and an Indonesian batik the next is possible with just one bag.

Ethnotek

 

The Ethnotek items that we will be launching with at Rushfaster are the Raja Pack, Wayu Pack, Acaat Messenger, and Dep Sleeve for iPad.

Ethnotek

The Raja Pack is purpose built for the daily commute, a weekend camping trip, and the occasional cross-continental journey of self-discovery. It’s forged from 840-denier water resistant ballistic nylon and has side zip pockets lined with hand woven fabric from their partnering artisans in the Cham village of Vietnam. The Raja Pack is laptop compatible and fits 15” + 17” MacBook Pro & most 15” PC Laptops. The giant roll top main compartment gives maximum access and is lined with water resistant rip-stop nylon for an extra layer of protection from the elements.

Name: Raja means ‘king’ in Hindi.

Ethnotek

The Wayu Pack (pronounced why-oo) is named after Ethnotek’s kind hearted, adventure seeking, futsal playing friend from Surakarta, Wayu. Like him, it’s always ready for another day’s adventure. Not too big, not too small and laptop compatible, this 840 denier water resistant ballistic nylon pack carries everything you need for a days exploration, making it ideal for students, and urban commuters.

Ethnotek

Whether you are looking for the perfect bag for urban exploration, or just in search of something easier to swing over your shoulder on the subway or on the bike, The Acaat Pack bag is for you. It’s forged from 840-denier water resistant ballistic nylon and lined with hand woven fabric from Ethnotek’s partners in the Cham village of Vietnam. The padded laptop compartment fits 13” MacBook pro and most 13” PC laptops and has removable bumpers to fit 15” MacBook Pro and most 15” PC laptops. The Acaat shoulder strap has a dual sided cross-chest stabilizer for left and right handed carry.

Name: Acaat is the Mayan god of tattoos, scarification & body art.

Ethnotek

The Dep Sleeve for iPad is an aesthetic wonder! They’re not just padded for impact resistance and lined with fuzzy tricot to prevent scratches, they are covered in culture. The entire exterior is made from Thread fabric handmade by Ethnotek’s partnering artisans in Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. It comes in two sizes and is designed to perfectly fit iPad mini or the iPad 4 + iPad Air.

Name: Dep means handsome or beautiful in Vietnamese.

Ethnotek

Since it’s inception, Ethnotek has empowered their artisan partners to expand their operations and go from working only two to three months out of the year on their textiles, to six to eight months and are not far away from sustaining year round employment for them. That wouldn’t be possible without the support of their loyal customer base, or ‘Tribe’. When purchasing an Ethnotek bag, you’re not just getting a functional product to carry you through your busy day, you’re joining a global movement! A movement to keep culture alive and keep artisans around the globe employed in creating art that spans generations and literally weaves in their very own cultural identity. Pretty cool huh?!

Swoop up a bag or two from Rushfaster and come join the Ethnotek Tribe!

Ethnotek

Shop the full range of Ethnotek products at Rushfaster.

Customer Review: Qwstion 17″ Laptop Weekender Bag

June 5th, 2014 in Product ReviewsNo Comments

Qwstion, a Zurich based brand that is quickly becoming a Rushfaster favourite, is a brand that offers simplicity, functionality, and an incredibly eye pleasing aesthetic throughout their impeccable range of products. Back in 2006, while searching for a bag that bridged the gap between functional sports bags and elegant fashion bags, five friends came together with an array of different designs and ideas, and not long after that, the Qwstion brand was born. ‘Til this day they have provided us with a selection of beautifully crafted backpacks, laptop sleeves, daypacks and much more.

Rushfaster customer and blogger, Sarah Mears recently sent in this great review for her Qwstion Weekender Bag that accompanied her on her most recent trip to Brisbane.

Thank you kindly for sharing your experience with us, Sarah! - The Rushfaster Team

Qwstion 17" Laptop Weekender Bag

As I hadn’t been on a flight anywhere in over a year, I decided I needed to find a new carry on bag for our recent trip to Brisbane…. well, to be honest, I don’t ever need much of an excuse to buy a new bag…

First stop was to visit Rushfaster. An online site specialising in bags that I have loved for years!

I have bought a couple of bags from Rushfaster, but have drooled over quite a few more… and been strangely restrained. Anyway, this time I was on a mission… I wanted a bag which both my husband and I could use… that was large enough to fit everything, but still be within the perimeters for a carry on bag. The Qwstion Weekender caught my eye, and soon one was on its way to my postbox! Express postage meant I didn’t have to wait long, and it arrived the very next day! It was with great anticipation that I opened the parcel, because even though there were lots of pictures of the bag on the website, it’s not ’til you get your hands on the real thing do you know if you have chosen right. I am glad to report that the Qwstion Weekender was exactly what I was looking for!

Qwstion 17" Weekender Bag - Washed Grey

Qwstion was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 2006 with the “aim to question the norm of travel bags in a modern environment”. The company is passionate about designing quality items through sustainable ways of production, by using environmentally friendly products wherever possible. The Qwstion Weekender is certainly well made with solid buckles, handles, zippers and tags. It feels like it will stand up to any wear and tear with no problems! Plus the washed grey fabric is water resistant! There is a double zipped flap over the top which opens the bag right up for easy packing. The flap can be locked down so it can’t be accidentally opened.

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

And under that is the perfect pocket for a water bottle.

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

I am not going to embarrass myself by laying out everything I packed into the Weekender, but hey, you have to be prepared for anything! I will give you a glimpse of how jammed full it was though…

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

I will give a warning about this bag however… it is like the Tardis… it kept swallowing up everything I put in it… But the downside of putting everything but the kitchen sink into the Weekender, is that it can make it very, very heavy!

It is a soft bag, however there is an integrated padded pocket that you can use for a laptop/tablet/iPad. It can also fit up to a 17 inch MacBook Pro. I put my Microsoft Surface in there, but added extra padding by putting it in another soft case… I was a bit worried about something breaking the screen when the bag was put in the overhead locker.

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

There are also three zippered pockets inside which are perfect for storing keys, memory cards, batteries, chargers etc.

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

The Qwstion Weekender has an ingenious set up where you can swap from using it as a backpack, to using an over the shoulder strap.

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

We have left the straps as a backpack as it makes it easier to carry when heavy.

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

One hint… make sure the top flap is zipped up and locked before using it as a backpack, otherwise everything will fall out!

Although marketed more to men,  I loved the look of the Weekender. The inside is orange, which goes nicely with the washed grey fabric and a welcome change from the boring black and boxy roll on luggage! I am not a ‘girly’ girl and the Weekender’s simple, modern design suits me just fine!

I am quite short, but I didn’t feel like the Weekender was too big in size. I was able to carry it on board the flights with no problems.
And because it is a soft bag, you can squeeze it into smaller spaces, such as under the seat depending on how much is inside it, of course!

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

It’s casual-yet-smart design means that this bag could be used for anything from a gym bag, to a work bag, to an overnight bag! And that is exactly what Qwstion’s aim is, bags that will work anywhere from the formalities of boardroom to the casual wear of the weekend! Now my husband and I are fighting over who gets to use it… and I think I might have lost.

Qwstion 17" Weekender Laptop Bag - Washed Grey

You can find the Weekender in New Washed Grey along with the rest of the great Qwstion range at Rushfaster now.

Enjoy making videos and/or taking great photos? Want to review a bag on our blog? Contact us and we’ll send some info to help you on your way to writing the perfect review!

Customer Review: Incase Toploading DSLR Case

May 22nd, 2014 in Product ReviewsNo Comments

San Francisco based tech-lifestyle bag designers Incase make bags that run the excruciatingly fine line of form/function like nobody else in their category does (in our opinion). We love the thoughtfulness that goes into their product features and functionality, which paired with a minimal design aesthetic, complements both the electronic devices we use on a day to day basis, as well as our own lifestyles perfectly.

Rushfaster customer and professional photographer Ben Allan has sent in this great review of his Incase Toploading DSLR Case, a favourite go-to camera case for photographers of all levels that like extra mobility.

Thanks for sharing your great review & photos Ben! – The Rushfaster Team

Imagine – you’re a photographer out on assignment in a new city. You have your gear neatly squeezed into your Incase DSLR Pro Pack, as well as your lighting roller bag and you’re ready to work. But when you’re finished with work, and its time to play, you don’t want to be carrying around 2 bodies, 5 lenses and lighting gear to explore the city and take a few shots along the way – enter the Incase Toploading DSLR Case (pictured).

The Incase Toploading DSLR Case is minimalist. It’s a simple, single body, single lens carry case that is comfortable to wear, functional and will protect your gear. Like all Incase products, the build quality of this bag is exceptional. The black ‘heathered’ exterior is both durable and classically stylish, and doesn’t show every scuff the bag is likely to get as it is worn on your adventures. The fleece lining on the interior will protect your camera, and it is adequately padded to ensure your gear stays protected.

Something that may seem trivial, but is always important to me, is the length of the shoulder strap, and the Incase DSLR Case has plenty of room to move. I’m no stick creature, and this case was comfortable to wear all day, providing enough length to allow the case to sit close to my hip where it was most comfortable. Functionally, this case is well designed and provides everything you need quickly and easily. The main compartment comes with a divider that can be arranged to accommodate a variety of needs, and will comfortably fit most kit zoom lenses, as well as a speed light or lens hood. Although if you have a professional grade zoom lens this may not be the case for you, as the length of the case won’t allow for a set up any longer than around 8 inches (20cm), so your 70-200mm f2.8 will have to stay at home, as will your battery grip; My D800 with 24 – 120mm f4 fits snuggly, although you wouldn’t want a lens that was any bigger.

The top pocket provides enough room for some essentials; spare batteries, filters, lens cloth and other small objects. A nice little addition is the small front pocket, which I found useful for small documents such as maps and guides while you’re out and about.

So is this your only DSLR case? I’d suggest not – unless you have only one lens and very few accessories. Instead, this case is the perfect companion to a bigger carrying solution. See it perhaps as the little brother to your Incase DSLR Pro Pack (pictured with for comparison), which you take out and about on short trips. It loves outings to the Zoo, a stroll around town, going to the park with your kids and your second cousins niece’s third birthday party.

This is the lightweight, well built and easy to use “just need the camera” case you have been searching for.

The Incase Toploading DSLR Case is available in Black Heather at Rushfaster now.

Enjoy making videos and/or taking great photos? Want to review a bag on our blog? Contact us and we’ll send some info to help you on your way to writing the perfect review!