Chrome Industries Summoner Backpack Review | 32L Suitcase Style Travel Bag

– The Chrome Summoner is a 32-liter suitcase-style backpack that opens up fully clamshell and has a bunch of interestingaccess points going on.

Overall, this is a part ofChrome's larger Modal Collection.

It is the travel pack in the line, so I'm excited to dive intoall of the details with you.

I'm Tom, the founder of Pack Hacker, where we use our expertiseand real-world experience to provide practicalresources and honest opinions guiding you towards smarter travels.

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Let's jump right into the Chrome Summoner, a backpack we have been testingfor the last three weeks.

Let's check it out.

(smooth hip-hop music) Kicking it off with thematerials of this bag, the main fabric is a 600D polyester that is in a twill pattern.

The heathered, dimensionallook detracts dirt and dust.

Plus, the twill pattern gives it an interesting and textured feel.

At the time of this review, the Chrome Summoner comesin one color, black, which actually looks alittle bit more like a gray because of that twill pattern and the blended fabricthat's going on here.

Overall, we think the aestheticof this bag looks slick, and it's nice to see Chrome going in more of a professional directionwith the Modal Collection.

The Summoner is no exception.

A lot of the times, when you think Chrome, you think durable, great bags for messengers and their bikes.

It still has a lot ofthat same durability, but has a little bit more of a professional and polished look.

There are some clean lines going on across the design of this pack, and at the corners, the compression strap add avery interesting aesthetic as well as a pretty goodfunctionality as well.

We'll get into that in a second.

Of course, beauty is alwaysin the eyes of the beholder.

That's why we like to geta lot of people's opinions on the aesthetic of bags, so we did a poll over on our Instagram.

Be sure to go follow us@packhacker on Instagram if you wanna be involved in future polls.

We'd love to have you there.

From a branding perspective, Chrome has this black-on-black logo on the front bottom right going on here.

Then they have it onthe back panel as well, and then they also havethe Chrome word mark on the right backpack strap.

And then, wrapping up the restof the materials on this bag, we have durable YKK zippers With really fat heat-shrunk zipper pulls.

We have these stealth Duraflex buckles on the compression straps that almost have a bit ofa rubbery feel to them.

Then we have 70D nylonliner on the interior in a gray color with a bit of a funky patterngoing on for added visibility.

Kicking it off with theexternal components, let's start with the harness system, specifically, the straps.

The shoulder straps areconnected on the top to provide a comfortable ride, and then the straps themselves are a little bit on the thin side.

However, that foam is high-density, so it does provide a comfortable ride.

On the front straps, you have two attachmentpoints for either carabiners or Chrome's specific accessories.

They sell a phone pocketand an accessory pocket that can attach directly to these straps.

Below that, you have a pretty standardattached sternum strap.

The buckles here are alsothat rubberized material, and we like that there'ssome additional elastic going on here, too.

Just provides a more comfortable carry, provides a little bit of flexibility when you have the sternumstrap fully tightened up.

And then the strap adjusters going on at the bottom of these strapsare an aluminum material that provide a very easy tightening and loosening experience.

They just glide as you'retightening and loosening, which is really great.

We like the feel.

The back panel offers some dense foam and a bit of a patternhere to promote airflow and additional flexibility.

Behind the padded back panel, there is a semi-stiffframe sheet going on here to give the bag a little bit of structure.

Chrome offers handles onall three sides of the bag to make things easy to grab.

You have two on the sides here and then one on the top as well.

Just wanted to bring upa couple of key details on the straps here as well.

On the top, the way thatthe strap is anchored, it's a little bit more towards the back, and that one is just gonna be straight on.

However, the two handles on the side are attached in a bit of an angular way.

That keeps the bag alittle bit more structured and it keeps the load more central as you're hanging onto these things.

Some of the times whenyou hold onto a handle that is anchored on the front or the back, you get some weird centerof gravity going on.

But since there's thatlittle bit of an angle here, it holds and carrys flat, which is a nice touch.

The last feature on this bagare the compression straps on all four corners of the bag.

These use that really nicerubbery Duraflex buckle.

It feels satisfying in your hand.

First of all, the Duraflexbuckles here are large, which give it a bit of a chunkier feel.

Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but with that, they are alittle bit cumbersome and bulky.

Plus, the strap management on these things doesn't really make sense.

As you tighten up thesecompression straps more, you're just left with abunch of extra fabric.

There's a clip on theend that you can fasten, but it can come undone easily as well.

Sure, it's a dangle-free experience, but the straps are still everywhere.

And lastly, there is nooption to attach a hip belt, which, at a bag of this size, we don't necessarilythink that it needs one, and then there are no waterbottle pockets on the sides.

That is kinda foregone by the handles, although there are bagsthat do a great job at putting handles and waterbottle pockets at the side with some very clever designs.

We think that decisionwas mainly likely made just to keep the profile ofthe bag a little bit lower and to keep the exteriora little bit more clean.

Kicking it off with the quickaccess pockets on this pack, there are a total of three.

Starting with the quick grabpocket on the wearer's back.

This is great for things like passports or anything that you just wanna keep a little bit more secure.

Now, a Plus size iPhone is gonna have a bit oftrouble fitting in here, but that is about the size of the pocket.

It's very secure, considering it's againstthe wearer's back, harder for somebody tojust quickly open this and grab things out of it.

The next is a top drop pocket that features some very soft liner.

Now, this is really great for things that are a little bit moredelicate, like sunglasses.

Lastly, there is a smallpocket on the front of the bag that has a zipper garage for additional weather resistance as well.

And now for access tothe main compartment, it opens up clamshell-style.

You can get away with just unbuckling two of the compression straps.

When opening clamshell-style, the bag is split into two distinct sides.

Each zippered side is compartmentalized, and although it makes sense intuitively just to open up this main clamshell zip and stuff things inside, it doesn't really work out that way.

There's just not a ton of space left when both of the sidesare completely closed.

If you do wanna open those up to create a giant bucket-style carry, there's no place to store the extra flap, so it ends up just beinga little bit cumbersome.

Access to this mainclamshell-style opening is best done by setting the bag down, opening it up, and then you can access each side.

If you want an example of apack that does this really well, check out the Peak Design Travel Backpack.

You can roll up the excess fabric and tuck it into a small pocket.

On the right zippered panel, we have one minor pocket that goes down the entirety of the panel, and then we have one meshpocket in front of that about half of the size.

These pockets are nice tohave for socks and underwear, but since it's this divider flap, it's best not to put anything too thick or heavy inside.

Opening up that divider, you are basically greetedwith a giant bucket, and when you open that up, there is a zipper on the backside.

That is the zipper that is accessible via the front of the pack.

Based on the positioning of the zipper and the way that theexcess fabric comes up, overall, we've found that you can fit a little bit less than you'dexpect inside of this pocket, but it is nice that youare able to access it from the front of the bag.

This is great for a jacket, a lighter compressible jacket, or some packing cubesfilled up with clothing.

Back to the left side of this backpack, the mesh compartment opens right up.

The back features an organizational panel.

A laptop can go in the back, a tablet or Kindle in front of that.

Then you have three additionalorganization pockets for pens, pencils, styluses, or a wallet or small notebook.

Now, one thing with thelaptop compartment here is that fitting a 15-inch MacBook Pro is even a bit of a stretch.

The Velcro strap is hard to fasten down, and forget putting an extracase on the laptop itself.

A case isn't really a necessity here considering that the laptop compartment is pretty much floating in the back, so the end of the pocket ends a little bit higherthan the end of the bag, which protects it from unexpected drops no matter which side you drop this bag on.

Also, access to thisorganization panel area is a little bit cumbersome.

And sure, there is a zippered pocket that is at the top andtowards the wearer's back you can open up and getaccess to this panel to, but if this compartment is filled up with a lot of other stuff, it's hard to fish outyour pens, your pencils, any of that stuff that'sin the organization pocket, including the laptop.

Plus, the compression strapsobstruct access a little bit.

This all seems like a littlebit of a design oversight.

It seems like this panelwould've been better in its own dedicated space, and maybe having that laptop compartment completely separately would've kept this main compartment more open and more usable.

And wrapping up withthis main compartment, we've got a floatingstash pocket on the side which is pretty muchthe most secure pocket inside of the bag, so if you have any extracash, any valuables, that is gonna be good to place here.

In testing, the ChromeSummoner provides a comfy look and a slick wearing experience.

The access is a great concept, but in practice, it kind of falls flat.

Even though there'sseparate zippered access at the front of the pack and towards the wearer's back for the admin and laptop panel, oftentimes, we found ourselvescompletely opening the bag just to get clear access asto what's going on inside, especially if that back compartment is filled with a bunch of stuff.

Intuitively, we wanted to usethe main zippered compartment as a giant bucket-style carry, but it's not reallyversatile in this sense because having those two separate panels completely zipped closedends up being better.

There's just a bunch ofextra fabric flapping around.

So, as a travel backpack, it's really great to hold everything, and the divider pockets are a big benefit, but if you wanna get to your destination, drop your packing cubes off, and use this as a daily driver, it is not quite as good in practice because of those compression straps dangle and you have that extra fabric going on, and then the access is justa little bit cumbersome.

From a durability perspective, there are a couple of minor and small frayed fabrics going on, but other than that, everything is holding up well and we have confidencein Chrome's quality.

We assume that this willjust continue to hold up well as we test it for longer.

We don't have very manydurability concerns here.

So, to wrap this thing upwith some pros and cons, the floating laptop compartment is great for extra protection.

The harness system providesa comfortable ride.

There is some interesting and unique design thinking going on, all inspired by origami.

On to some of the cons.

Some of the access falls flat, especially the back organization panel and the main compartment.

The compression straps are unorganized, especially when tightened up.

And lastly, the main clamshell zipper isn't really a compartment.

It's more of just a zipperto divide the two sides and open things up suitcase-style.

The Chrome Summonerbackpack is comfortable, well-made, and it looks slick.

We like the unique thinkingthat went into the design, although the access falls a little flat when considering the laptopand organization area.

If you're looking for a travel bag to get you from point A to point B, this is a solid pick.

If you want to use thisas a smaller day pack with the compression strapswhen you reach your destination, this doesn't work nearly as well.

There you have it, our review of the Chrome Summoner.

Be sure to let us know down inthe comments what you think, as we love to hear from you.

Thanks for keeping it here at Pack Hacker, your guide to smarter travel.

We'll see you in the next video.