STM, three letters you’re probably not used to seeing together. But by the time you’re finished reading this post and reviewing the photos and video, you’ll be quite familiar with them. STM is a bag maker all the way across the western pond based out of Sydney, Australia. They have a variety of bag collections: Annex, Canvas, and Velocity. But they’re more than just a bag maker. They also offer attractive and functional cases for mobile phones and tablets and sleeves for laptops. Their complete lineup is presented on their website www.stmbags.com. Feel free to peruse and try out their sizing calculator.
A little over one month ago, STM introduced their Annex line of bags. For the purposes of this review we’ll focus on this line, in particular, the Link and Trust models. The Annex line is available in three colors (charcoal, olive, and red), two of which I have in hand. The Link is a quick cam-adjustable shoulder bag for use with 10” tablets that I would describe as cute, yet it’s not particularly aimed at women. It comes with two external sleeves, one of which is closed via magnet and three oversized aluminum zipper pulls with #10 YYK self-repairing plastic zippers, the latter a feature which you don’t usually see on bags of this size. This feature will help prevent a zipper from malfunctioning. How many times over your life have you had a zipper fail? You can’t recall can you, but I bet it was plenty. The bag can simultaneously hold a 10” tablet (high density foam padded on both sides) and a thick reading book, in this case, all 630 pages of Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs (see photo.) The bags exterior is Cottna 320D/640D (D for Denier) water resistant poly. Its interior is 200g polyester and brushed nylex. Each Link comes in at 0.8 lbs. with dimensions of 10.2” x 7.5” x 0.6”. This is for you specification nuts. And yes, there’s plenty of space for your cards, keys, pens, wallet, and mobile phone. The Link has a list of price just under $60.
The Trust is a true messenger bag available in two sizes: for 13” and 15” laptops. Like its smaller cousin, the Trust has a quick cam-adjustable shoulder strap but this model also has an added padded shoulder cushion for comfort. Oversized aluminum zipper pulls with #10 YYK self-repairing plastic zippers are a plenty, with four by my count. No magnets this time but there is one external sleeve in the rear with another within to hold a mobile phone. The latter is a nice feature, one in which may have to be enlarged as mobile phones keep increasing in size. The laptop compartment is padded with high density foam on both sides. There are also two water bottle pockets with compression straps, one on each end. Now here’s where this comes in handy. If you’re heading to the gym, one side could hold your pre-workout drink, the other, your post-workout protein. The bags exterior and interior materials are just like that of the Link. This is across the Annex line. The small Trust comes in at 2.2 lbs. with dimensions of 11.2” x 15” x 4.7”. The medium Trust comes in at 2.5 lbs. with dimensions of 12” x 15.7” x 5.5”. With the Trust, there’s even more space for your cards, keys, pens, wallet, but this time, enough space for a laptop battery and an airport sandwich to spare. The Link has a list of price just under $130. And in case you’ve wondered, the workmanship and stitching is impeccable. I checked thoroughly on both models.
STM also offers a couple perks of purchasing. Register your product at www.stmbags.com/rt and they’ll be able to provide assistance in the case of a warranty. They’ve also partnered with RewardTagTM to help recover a lost bag. Just look for the information collar inside each bag to get started. Plus, there’s a monthly bag giveaway contest open to new registrants.
You can find STM products at a variety of online retailers, i.e. Amazon, eBags, and REI to name some. And if you look right now, you can catch some deals at REI’s current sale. You can also find STM at your local retailer. In the Boston area, they’re available at Eastern Mountain Sports and Micro Center. This way you get to touch and feel them.
Update: For those of you who will be attending CES2015, feel free to visit their booth. STM Bags booth is located at LVCC North Hall 5735. Just look for Radtech.