1 of 25Image
Three of STM Bags new Velocity collection
I commute via train over two hours a day and also take frequent business trips so a good bag to carry all my gear is important. The folks at STM Bags just announced their new Velocity series and I have been testing out three of their models for the past few weeks.
The new bags from STM Bags, an Australian bag and case manufacturer, come in a variety of colors, configurations, and designs that are durable and lightweight. They come with a lifetime warranty and are attractive options.
STM Bags sent along a blue Velo 2 medium laptop shoulder bag, a grey Impulse medium laptop backpack, and a berry Linear small laptop shoulder bag. These bags are shown in the image gallery with more detailed thoughts and experiences below.
The first bag I was most interested in was the Linear because it looked to be perfect for the daily commute with minimal weight and size. It's a vertical messenger style bag constructed of water resistant polyester. I was sent a small size, designed for laptops with displays up to 13 inches. You will also find iPad and medium size options available if you need less or more capacity.
The Linear has a large pocket for laptops up to 8.9 x 12.7 x 0.9 inches. The bag weighs in at 0.9 pounds with 610.2 cubic inches of volume.
The front flap of the bag has a zippered pocket that works well for pens, a thin wallet, a small pad, and other items. The flap is secured with two plastic clips.
Under the flap you will find a large padded pocket for your laptop or tablet. There are then two more large pockets in front of the main compartment for cables, phones, and other gear.
The top pocket, directly under the flap, is zippered and includes slots for pens and business cards. This small compartment is divided so you can organize your items. A clip is also provided to secure your keys.
On the bag you will find a compartment that is great for magazines and papers. Note that a handle and a luggage pass-through strap are present around this compartment. A long adjustable shoulder strap with swivel connections is provided to comfortably carry the bag across your shoulders.
I enjoyed carrying this Linear bag and found it to be a near perfect mix of reduced size and carrying capacity. It is available now in four colors, berry, blue, black, and grey, for $65.
I carry a backpack style bag at times, generally just placing one strap over my shoulder unless I have a heavy load. The Impulse bag arrived in grey color, also available in black, as a size medium bag. The medium size is designed for laptops with displays up to 15 inches.
The Impulse bag feels quite light at 2.2 pounds, but also has some serious protection and comfort features. It has a volume of 1220.5 cubic inches and laptop space measuring 9.8 x 14.3 x 0.9 inches.
I am a fan of the color orange so it was great to see the grey bag has orange highlights on the durable zippers and some stitching.
On the back, side that rests against your back, you will find four thick padded areas to protect your gear and make the bag comfortable. There is a luggage pass-through strap and two shoulder straps with a sternum strap and clip to help you carry a heavier load. The should straps are adjustable and have padding as well.
I like the cool lower pocket on the front that lets you carry charging bricks and cables with a drop down zippered flap for access. Above that you will find a large front zippered compartment with slots for pens, a clip for keys, and a zippered back compartment inside. It is quite deep and great for things you need access to quickly.
A large zippered pocket is next with a divider inside. This compartment is handy for magazines, books, and other miscellaneous gear.
The main technology compartment holds your laptop and tablet inside an orange highlighted soft fabric pocket with thick padding. You can also place another device in the main compartment area with a small divider on the back too.
There is a zippered pocket on one side and an open one with elastic on the other. I secured my keys in the zippered side pocket.
The Impulse back is attractive, very functional, and very durable. The stitching and zipper work is top notch and I can see using such a bag for years. It is available now for $100.
Sometimes I am reviewing lots of gear or take trips where I have to carry a ton of gear. I don't like to carry too much on my daily commute, but at times there is a need for something to carry it all. The Velo 2 has a ton of pockets and space available for even the most loaded commuter.
The Velo 2 is made of that same 300D polyester material and comes in blue, grey, and black. I was sent the blue one that has yellow highlights. The blue is fairly bold and stands out, which is good if you don't want to lose your bag in the crowd of black ones.
This messenger style bag has an always attached adjustable shoulder strap with a nice large pad for comfort. A comfortable long handle is on the top of the bag so you can carry it like a briefcase if you don't want to use the shoulder strap too. There is an adjustable strap along the back that can be positioned near the bottom or top of the back to help stabilize your load. A pocket is also along the back, perfect for magazines or papers.
A small, quick access zippered pocket is on the top near the carrying handle and that is great for your wallet or keys. There are also two long zippered pockets at the base of each end of the shoulder strap for more gear, including water bottles or a small umbrella.
The front is secured by two plastic clips and after pressing them in I was surprised when the entire front did not lift up. You see, the top flap goes up about half way and then is kept closed with a unique side-entry zipper that then lets you fully open the main compartment. I personally am not much of a fan of this entry method and found I kept having to move the flap out of the way to access the zipper.
Inside the main compartment you will find a huge open area with a couple dividers on the back and a split pockets near the front. One of the back pockets is perfect for a small tablet and has soft material lining it in yellow. I actually found the other two bags to be better designed for carrying a laptop securely as this large compartment was really too big for the laptops and tablets I carry to keep them from moving around inside.
In front of the main compartment you will find two other zippered compartments. The middle one has slots for pens, business cards, and other gear with a clip for keys. The front compartment is small and good for gum and other items.
The Velo 2 bag carries a lot, but I personally found it too big for my needs. If you have a lot to carry and don't mind the unique main pocket securing method then you might want to consider the Velo 2. It is available now for $100.