At first, I didn’t know the place the Yalta slot in.
With a 30L capability, the Yalta 2.0 (Chrome Industries, $96) just isn’t a small bag however it’s not huge both. It’s a bit bulkier on the underside than the highest, an inversion of most bike-friendly luggage that often crunch most of your carry weight excessive up in your shoulders. As a basic Chrome bag, I’ve at all times admired the Yalta from a distance for its distinctive profile, full facet zipper and its choice to go for a stress hook clasp as an alternative of Velcro or a Chrome buckle (cool however heavy). The Yalta’s adjustable closure hook feels good to make use of and implies that you don’t must cope with the noise Velcro makes, which for those who’re me is certainly not your main ASMR set off.
I examined the Yalta in two contexts: through the week for my regular routine and on a low-key weekend tenting journey. During the course of my regular day-to-day testing, the Yalta turned out to be a surprisingly adept fitness center plus laptop computer bag due to its strangest design quirk: a big opening that allows you to entry the house that the waterproof important rolltop compartment sits in. Once you unzip the full-length facet zipper you’re feeling a bit bizarre, such as you’re someplace you’re not alleged to be, however trip it out. That pocket, sort of an inside bladder across the true inside roll-top compartment, is useful if you determine what to make use of it for.
For one, you possibly can put your bizarre filthy stuff in there so it doesn’t ever contact your clear regular stuff, and that’s fairly cool. In my case that meant a full-sized Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi — an enormous robe-like training uniform — and the remainder of my exercise garments, plus assorted nerd stuff, like my inhalers and 10 micron pens starting from advantageous tip to extraordinarily very advantageous tip. You may also get to something within the cavernous side-zip space (once more, that is the whole inside of the bag minus no matter is within the rolltop part) tremendous simply, so it’s good to have two huge sections with assorted ranges of accessibility as an alternative of only one large important compartment and a facet pocket or no matter. The laptop computer sleeve sits on the very again of the bag, accessible inside this full facet zip. While side-zip laptop computer slots are superb, the Yalta’s did really feel on the massive facet and my 13″ MacBook was protected however not very snugly positioned.
For my second trial, I loaded the Yalta up for a day hike to a neighborhood mountain climbing spot with buddies (notice: this factor can’t carry a rope). It’s not what the Yalta is designed for, however it’s what I used to be as much as so I figured I’d give it a shot. The bag carried out effectively on the hike in, totally loaded with lunch, snacks, many layers, a raincoat, a small first assist equipment, a Sony RX100 II, a extremely heavy guidebook for the world and a two-liter water bladder, which I stuffed into the unusual side-zip space, snaking the hose out by the highest of the zipper. I managed to overlook my helmet, which I wanted I’d had later when a close-by climber dropped a steel carabiner from 60 ft off the bottom, however had I remembered it might have clipped on to the closure loops on entrance of the pack properly.
Surprisingly, the Yalta — way more of a motorcycle bag than a crag bag — did effectively all through the day, distributing my weight comfortably sufficient that I didn’t discover it in any respect. The entrance pocket made necessities straightforward to entry and the rolltop waterproof space gave me peace of thoughts that my stuff would keep dry if it began raining, which it often does. One gripe: the sternum strap was surprisingly onerous to hook and got here undone generally, however it wasn’t an enormous deal. It’s additionally price remembering that any rolltop with out full facet entry goes to be robust to prepare, and that was undoubtedly the case right here.
Compared to a few of Chrome’s more heavy-duty bags and different less-technical packs, the Yalta is a likable center floor. The pack isn’t as rain resistant as a bag made out of totally waterproof materials and the laptop computer sleeve may use some construction, however it carries a good quantity and it’s acquired a pleasant slender profile that appears and feels good. The Yalta doesn’t actually have any quirks or methods past the unusual side-zip compartment, and that makes it a great match for anybody who wants a handsome, climate resistant mid-sized rolltop backpack for work and what comes earlier than and after.
What it’s: An incredible multi-purpose rolltop backpack that isn’t too technical.
What it isn’t: The final gear pack. Full of pockets.
Read extra opinions from TechCrunch Bag Week 2018.