Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: STM Radial 15" Laptop Messenger Bag

When it comes to laptop accessories nothing is more important than a great laptop bag. Not only does a great laptop bag make it easier to carrier your machine, but it offers better protection and organization. Something that geeks like me, that are accident prone and tend to forget everything, need the most!

When selecting any device, gadget or accessory I tend to go for function over form. I could carry around just about anything, no matter how it looks, as long as it does what I need when I need it. When it comes to laptop bags this means I need good protections for scratches, bumps and the occasional spill. It also means I need tons of space to carry along my add-ons. Things like my charger, mouse, tablet and phone (and chargers) additional battery packs and a few other odds and ends! The STM Radial shines in all these areas!

STM Radial Specifications

  • Main material(s): 300d dobby with water resistant coating, lining: 200d poly
  • Device space: 9.3 x 13.2 x 1.2 in, designed for 15" laptop with extras
  • Capacity: 10L - more than 15 compartments
  • weight: 1.98 lbs / 0.9 kg
  • Cableready organization: proprietary cable routing system utilizes purpose built pockets, ports between sections, and integrated cable management to store, access, and charge your various devices while keeping your bag organized
  • Sling Tech System - a padded sling suspends your devices from the bag's floor, and the bottom corners are wrapped in additional padding for the ultimate in digital gear protection


Keeping Things Organized

The STM Radial laptop bag is designed to comfortably fit up to a 15″ laptop with plenty of space for additional mobile devices. On the outside you'll notice there are good sized zipped pocket on the front, two side pockets (one zipped), and a handy drop in rear pouch for reading material. The main interior compartment is secured with two quick release buckles that can be cinched down to secure the contents inside. Here you'll find an additional assortment of small to medium pockets (I counted 12 in total, with one hidden) and the main laptop compartment that has a soft padded surface on all four sides to aide in protecting your laptop.

This wide array of compartments with several different sizes was one of the biggest benefits for me. I found a place for just about everything I could think of that I need to carry with me on my typical work day. I also managed to add a few none typical extras in there just in case! The easy access to the external pockets was perfect for traveling and travel documents while keeping everything else out of site.

Keeping Your Devices Charged

One of STM's more innovative features is their Cableready design. The side and front pockets of the STM Radial contain cable routing ports. These are designed to pass a USB or Apple lightning cable through into different sections of the bag. The side pocket is large enough to hold a mid-size portable charger or if you have a high capacity power bank, this can be stored in the front section. A third option I used was passing my headphone cables through so that I could listen to podcasts and music on my tablet while leaving it out of sight and out of harms way in my bag.

One thing I would warn you about is heat! If like me you have a couple of those pesky devices that generally run a little on the warm side when charging, you might want to avoid doing so in your bag!

Portability And Protection

The STM Radial messenger bag can be carried in a variety of ways to make your life easier. You can use the top handle to carry it like a normal bag, or more comfortably on the shoulders or across the body. The main strap features a removable shoulder pad with a non-slip inner surface and Quick cam retainers for easy adjustment. There is a good amount of length, unfortunately there is no option to add a long strap if need be. The back of the bag also has a luggage pass-through for securing the bag to the handle of your wheeled luggage, making it easy for travelers to carry-on.

The weather resistant outer material feels extremely durable and did a great job at beading and repelling small spills and rain when I tested it. The inside shell was nice and soft and seemed to offer enough protection from scratches, but I would have liked a little more padding for accidental drops. When jostling things around everything stayed in place quit well with nothing really slipping or falling out of its compartment.

Being a telecommuting geek that does a lot of work on the go I know first hand the importance of keeping things safe, secure and organized. For me the STM Radial Messenger Bag does just about everything you can ask from it and then some! It really gave me an all-in-one solution for storing everything I need for my day to day and travel needs. The price might be a bit on the higher end for some, but in my opinion is would be well worth it. I'm going to give the folks at STM two thumbs up on this one!

The STM Radial sales from $79.95-99.95 at several of your favorite retailers (including Amazon) and comes in three colors: Black, Steel and Moroccan Blue. If you want more details or more info on STM products check them out at and on Twitter @STMGoods.

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