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Chrome Tensile Ruckpack



A very good light but durable bag with plenty of storage and compartments for everyday use
Loads of storage options
White colour will dirty over time
Less structure than others

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Chrome Tensile Ruckpack is light, durable and practical, with plenty of storage options. It's not as structured as some, but I found it comfortable for carrying a variety of loads.

The Tensile collection is, Chrome claims, its attempt to explore the lightest and toughest bags it could. Alongside the Ruckpack it has also released a hip pack. I can't speak for the hip pack, but it certainly seems to have achieved that with this bag, which is both light and tough.

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It weighs 873g which is fairly light given how much space there is and how robust the materials are. By comparison, the Camelbak H.A.W.G Commute 30 that Liam tested recently was 1,000g, and the 20/26-litre Vulpine City Backpack that Tass tested was 1,070g. The 100% Transit Backpack I tested back in March was lighter, 820g, but the Chrome feels much more durable.

There are other bags that weigh less – messenger bags with one or two compartments, for instance – but not many that combine light weight and this number of storage solutions.

How many? Well, on the exterior there is a large through-pocket at the front that can be accessed from either side, plus a drinks bottle holder on either side. Inside the flap at the top is a small zipped pocket, which I found most useful for keys and phone. Inside there is a padded laptop sleeve, another smaller zipped pocket, a zipped mesh area, and the main compartment which is 25L.

2021 Chrome Tensile Ruckpack - top flap pocket.jpg
2021 Chrome Tensile Ruckpack - open top.jpg

Expandable areas on the sides, both for the bottle holders and the main bag, help to keep everything in place nicely. I found it was consistently big enough for my daily needs; all my kit for commuting fitted in and there was enough room for a supermarket run too.

2021 Chrome Tensile Ruckpack - sid epocket detail.jpg

The top flap is secured with a seatbelt-type buckle that Chrome has become synonymous with, together with a drawstring that keeps everything inside safe and secure.

2021 Chrome Tensile Ruckpack - clip.jpg
2021 Chrome Tensile Ruckpack - drawstring top.jpg

It's comfortable to carry thanks to some well-ventilated and sensibly padded straps – with reasonable loads, anyway. It's not as padded as some, and can sometimes do a little morphing to your back, but I didn't find it caused any particular heat build-up as a result.

2021 Chrome Tensile Ruckpack - side.jpg

This may be because of the material used, a "recycled, lightweight, laminated ripstop nylon along with our trademarked Truss 5 Bar Construction' says Chrome. I'd describe it as the kind of material you'd find used for a sail or parachute. The "Truss 5 Bar Construction" is essentially five strips of seatbelt material that secure the contents of the bag so it keeps its shape as you would expect.

2021 Chrome Tensile Ruckpack - back.jpg

There are no claims about how waterproof the material is, but I used it in heavy rain several times without anything getting through. It feels rugged and unlikely to rip or be damaged easily. The only issue is that it's white, so over time it's likely to show wear and marks more than a darker colour.


Although it's not cheap, the Chrome's RRP of £168 is about what I would expect for a bag of this quality. The Camelbak H.A.W.G I mentioned earlier is about the same size with broadly the same qualities, and is cheaper at £150, but it's heavier and less waterproof.

The Evoc Commuter 18L is cheaper still at £130, but about a third smaller and heavier.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best cycling rucksacks

Overall, I think this is a really good bag that is practical enough for commuting, shopping, or just everyday use. It's reasonably light, seems durable, and it's practical, which is pretty much all you need from an everyday bag. The only minor complaints are that it might get dirty quicker than a darker colour, although I haven't see that so far, and some people might like a bit more structure. Aside from these, there is little not to like.


A very good light but durable bag with plenty of storage and compartments for everyday use test report

Make and model: Chrome Tensile Ruckpack

Size tested: 18.5 litres

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Chrome says, 'The Tensile Collection is our exploration into making the lightest and toughest bags possible. Taking inspiration from the heavy duty construction of our cities, our Tensile Ruckpack is all about structure and strength. Built from a recycled, lightweight, laminated ripstop nylon and finished with our Truss 5 Bar Construction for continuous reinforcement, the Ruckpack is built to withstand the wear and tear of the daily mission. Guaranteed for life.'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Chrome lists this spec:


18.5" H | 11" W | 6" D




1.98 lbs | .9 kg


3-layer recycled laminated nylon & polyester, lined with 210D nylon ripstop


up to 15"



Rate the product for quality of construction:

It is minimalist with little padding, but still robust.

Rate the product for performance:

Loads of practical features combined with storage options, plus it's comfortable on your back.

Rate the product for durability:

Strong construction combined with durable materials. It's also guaranteed for life.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

It's light but feels durable – impressive.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's practical, easy to use for commutes and everyday life, and seems likely to last.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The amount of storage options.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing in particular.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

The Camelbak H.A.W.G is about the same size with broadly the same qualities, but heavier and less waterproof at £150. The Evoc Commuter 18L is about a third smaller and weighs more, but comes in at £130.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's very good: light but built to last, the material choice is excellent and it has loads of options for storage, to keep everything separate and secure.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 33  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

George is the host of the podcast and has been writing for since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between. 

Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.

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Xenophon2 | 2 years ago
1 like

Caveat:  I didn't try this product.  But considering the material that it's made of, it's extremely unlikely that the contents would remain dry in heavy rain, at least at the contact points with the body.  These will wet through relatively quickly, certainly after a couple of rides when de DWR-coating has degraded.

Looks extremely expensive for what it is.

RoubaixCube | 2 years ago

For me. Its more a 5 or 6 out of 10 because as a commuter pack there is no reflective material and no loop to attach a small rear blinker for that hefty price tag.

The 100% transit bag didnt have refective material or a light loop for that matter but its £70 so while not cheap, can still be excused (just about)

I would pick the 100% Transit Backpack then pick up a High Viz Rucksack Cover off amazon for £7-17 if i had a choice between the two.

But then again there are a lot of non cycling specific rucksacks available and Berghaus rucksacks always go on sale on amazon every so often and has more capacity for a much lower price than both the chrome and 100% transit option.

Ive seen plenty of commuters with rucksacks made for hiking on their backs. Berghaus Arrow 30 for £40 - Throw in a hi-vis bag cover and you are good come rain or shine. it wont be as light as the Chrome Tensile though but thats a substantial amount of money that you saved that can go towards paying a bill or weekly shop or two depending on how frugal you are.

fenix replied to RoubaixCube | 2 years ago

Check out the Alpkit dry bag style rucsac or the Lomo hi Viz and reflective version.

I'd also be wary of the seatbelt style release button. There's simpler and lighter buckles out there.

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