July 7, 2022
In 2020, Chrome Industries introduced the Doubletrack Handlebar Sling—a bag designed for day riders that require quick access to essentials, as well as the ability to remove and carry it off the bike. We have been running the bag for the past 4 months and have grown to trust and even love it. Follow along.
Handlebar bags aren't for everyone. If you are counting grams and shaving them off wherever you can, you're probably not going to be looking for a large bar bag. Certainly not one as big as the Chrome Industries Doubletrack Handlebar Sling.
For me, riding my bike is as much about the adventure as it is the cycling. Getting lost in the lanes, stopping to take photographs, making a coffee, and writing in my journal are all things I prefer to do by bike. If you are someone who doesn't track times and prefers a slower pace, then the Chrome Doubletrack may become your favorite bike accessory. For me, a decently sized bar bag has become somewhat of a necessity.
The Doubletrack is technically a 5L bag (9” x 9” x 4.5” / 22cm x 22cm x 11cm), but feels much larger. There is enough room for my Canon R5 mirrorless camera and a lens; in fact, depending on the lens I choose, sometimes there's even room for two. More often than not, I keep the camera stowed away safely in the Doubletrack, strapped to my bars where I can see it. It took me some time to trust the bag with my camera gear, but it's been entirely reliable and I don't even think twice about loading it up now.
The bag has three key fastenings which attach it to the bike: two robust velcro loops for the bars, and a webbing loop with a clip around the headtube. Where the Doubletrack really shines is when I get off the bike at randon coffee stops. Whip the velcro off, unclick the clip, and it's now a sling to throw over your shoulder. Stored in the rear of the bag are two longer straps which quickly turn the bag into something you can take with you wherever you go. Whether it is holding my camera or that new jacket I just bought, the Doubletrack allows me to keep my belongings close while out on a ride, and that brings me peace of mind.
Chrome does simplicity and functionality very well, so it was no surprise that they'd made use of a magnetic buckle for the fastening of the bag. The magnetic buckle gives you quick access to the enormous main pocket (which has two internal mesh pockets), even while riding. A simple double roll and it's closed again, the magnetic fastener clicking into place on its own. Your ride snacks, a gilet, gloves, or anything else you might want on hand can be stored in the bag so you don't have to stop and go rummaging. There is an additional mesh side pocket that has no fancy magnets or roll closings, but you can throw your keys, a couple of gel wrappers, or something like that in there.
As with anything from Chrome Industries, the Doubletrack Handlebar Sling is about as robust and durable as they come. Made from 1050D Nylon and 1000D TPE Tarp on the outer, and lined with 70D Poly, it's tough. I've taken this bag over rocky trails in the Peak District, and through woodlands in wet conditions, and still it continues to look new after a quick brush down at the end of each ride. Provided I've fastened the bag with a double fold, it keeps showers out, and the clever use of reinforcement on the bottom of the bag means there's no water ingress either.
Bags are often either hit or miss in terms of aesthetics. The folks at Chrome have done an excellent job of preventing the Doubletrack being clunky or obstructive. It sits nicely between the drops and doesn't get in the way of shifting at all. As with all their gear, the simple and minimal design favours functionality without unnecessary bells and whistles. It looks as good as it functions.
When I head out on the mountain bike, I always choose a backpack. But these days the Doubletrack Handlebar Sling is my go-to when heading out on the gravel bike. Of course, there are limitations to any bar bag, but this one takes care of the most common gripes I have.
At $65USD (£63GBP/$85CAD), it sits right in the 'reliable but not budget' category. Of course, there are far more expensive options out there, but Chrome seems to understand what value is. The bag does what it's supposed to. I couldn't think of a more suitable bar bag for the value than the Chrome Industries Doubletrack Handlebar Sling.
Get it here.
|Simple and secure fastenings to the bike|
|Magnetic clip to allow for one-handed opening|
|Minimal, subtle design|
|Spacious enough for plenty of gear|
|Webbing pocket is only on one side, not both.|
|Handlebar straps can't be replaced for longer straps|