Bag Week Review: The Chrome Anton

What is it?
Is it a messenger bag? Is it a briefcase? How about both? Chrome’s Anton laptop bag is equal parts business and play. It comes in both green and black and has a real military feel to it, at least in army green. It may not have the most pockets, or be the lightest bag I’ve toted around, but I can’t help but love it. You can tell the user was in mind during the design process, as proven by swiveling shoulder strap hooks and the cross pattern of the Velcro. It is, after all, the little things that count.

Made of nylon and military spec wax-coated canvas, the Anton is heavy duty enough for a tornado chaser. I got stuck in a downpour yesterday and was really worried about my laptop, but it was safe and dry thanks to the Anton. When the bag is full, it takes on a very boxy shape much like a brief case. When packed with a couple knick knacks, it sports a much more casual look.

The Chrome Anton

Type: Laptop Bag
Dimensions: 18” wide, 14” high, 4.7” deep / 23 L
Pockets: Large main compartment, laptop sleeve, iPad/journal sleeve, two front pockets, two small back pockets, large zippered pocket on front flap
Features: Nylon construction, military spec wax coating for durability, swiveling metal shoulder strap hooks, removable shoulder strap, wheelie handle pass-through pocket on back, padded briefcase handle
MSRP: $130
Product Page

The Anton Laptop bag won me over with simple design choices. They mean seem minute, but they make a big difference over time. For one thing, shoulder straps always seem to get twisted around on my bags, making them annoyingly uncomfortable. The Anton’s shoulder strap sports rotating hooks, so no matter how twisted you may find yourself it’s super easy to get settled again, without ever taking off the bag.

Then there’s the cross pattern Velcro that holds the front flap down and closes off the main compartment. This seems reasonless, but I assure you there’s thought behind the madness. The flap itself sports vertical Velcro, while the inside of the bag where the flap connects has horizontal Velcro. That way, when you’re trying to pull the bag open, you don’t have to yank as hard as you would if the Velcro met on both sides all the way across. Just a small patch of Velcro is stuck together. Similarly, there’s a lot of real estate there for the Velcro to attach, so you don’t have to be as precise when closing the bag.

Some other little accents were also apparent, like the inclusion of a slot for a wheelie bag handle. If this is, in fact, to be used as a briefcase then you can bet a wheelie bag will be involved at some point. Just don’t think that it’s a full-fledged pocket like I did at first and try to slide your phone in there.

The bag offers a lot of space — enough to pack everything I need in a day and then some. The laptop sleeve can fit up to a 17-inch MacBook Pro, though if you’re packing a full 17-incher and a lot of other stuff the bag becomes a little heavy in briefcase mode. Overall, however, I found the Anton to be very comfortable and useful.

Who is it for?
This bag would be perfect for the guy who’s a businessman during the week and a fan of the great outdoors on the weekend. It’s heavy-duty enough to pack tools in and take through the woods or on a hike, but has enough sophistication to easily pass at the office. It’d also be a great day bag for anyone who travels heavy, as I really didn’t have trouble carrying around a ton of stuff with this bag.

Do I want it?
You bet I do. The Anton is a bit of a throw-back in terms of style which I appreciated, and I really liked how rugged it was. It’s comfortable, durable, and sports two entirely different looks depending on what you’re carrying/if the strap is connected. The little things won me over, and the bag in general had no trouble maintaining that impression. I give it an A+.

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Check out the rest of Bag Week 2011 here.