A Visit to Portland’s Chrome Hub
Recently, I was invited to attend an event at the Chrome Industries store in downtown Portland. I was excited to check it out, since Chrome is a brand I’ve been aware of for several years now—at least since I moved to Portland and began biking regularly.
Their waterproof bags, shoes and apparel seem to be everywhere here. The bags started as a favorite of bicycle messengers, but in a place where so many people bike commute year round, they seem to be pretty ubiquitous on everyone from fixie riders to office workers. In a city where fluorescent rain jackets and hiking shoes or Tevas are typical streetwear, Chrome’s subtler take on outdoor gear is appealing.
Perhaps the coolest thing about my visit was seeing that bags are actually made in-house, in a work area right at the back of the store. You can walk in, pick out your bag, fabric, colors, and get a handmade, custom bag a few days later!
I also learned that the Portland Chrome Hub has recently partnered with Oregon’s iconic Pendleton Woolen Mills. Custom Chrome bags in Pendleton designs are available only in Portland, and they look awesome!
As a bike commuter, clothes that are comfortable and waterproof are a priority, but I also want them to look good off the bike. While Chrome’s women’s products tend to be more casual than my day to day look, I could definitely see myself in some of their waterproof jackets this winter, and a lot of their men’s clothing and shoes would appeal to the Boyfriend, who has the same issues I do with finding everyday clothes that are functional for biking, but still look good.
I also received a bag of my own to try out. The Victor Utility belt is a small bag, designed to be worn across the chest, or as a
fanny pack belt. I got to choose one of their limited seasonal colors, and picked the moss green. In my commute to and from work, I use a larger panier on the back of my bike, but I could definitely see using the Victor bag on shorter trips when all I need is my phone and wallet.
Since I didn’t have any rides planned to test it out, I actually used it on a weekend hike to Dog Mountain in the Columbia Gorge. It was perfect for holding just sunscreen, my phone, ID and some cash, and a water bottle, and it was light and comfortable to wear on the 7 mile hike.
Thanks Chrome! If you’re in the market for a bag and local to Portland, I definitely recommend stopping by!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a commission if you make a purchase using them. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. All opinions are my own. I only recommend products I like and/or use myself, regardless of compensation.