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Friday, March 31, 2017

STM Goods Radial Laptop Bag Review

STM Goods Radial Laptop Bag Review
Recently, I changed day jobs. With the old job, I used to carry my computer around in a backpack. Since it wasn't a far trip from the parking garage to the office, I didn't care much that the backpack wasn't padded to carry around a computer. With the new job, I have to take my computer on the train into Boston and then walk from train station to the office. While it was nice to have the extra space offered by the backpack, it really wasn't an appropriate place to lug the computer around long term. Around the same time, I received an email about a new line of computer bags from an Australian company called STM Goods. The timing seemed perfect and I offered to review their bag for them. It's been about a month now since I got the bag and here are my opinions on using it as a computer bag, lugging around a system back and forth to work daily.

The bag I received is their Radial model. It holds a 15" laptop snuggly. Beyond the space for the computer, I lug around the power cord for it. Occasionally, I add more items to the bag but I wouldn't recommend much more than perhaps some personally files or a magazine or two. Yes, there is space for more, and lots of compartments for more, but the more items you add to the bag, the snugger the hold on the computer is and the harder it is to place the computer back into the bag. The best way to hold the most in the bag is to add the computer first, then overstuff the bag. The space in the outer fold of the bag doesn't affect the snugness of the laptop.
There are compartments galore in the bag. Not only are there lots of little spaces to store things but there are openings throughout the bag to weave wires between the compartments. This works great if you have a battery charger in one compartment perhaps, and your MP3 player, tablet, or phone charging in another. I tend to leave extra wires in the bag so I don't have to constantly refeed them through the extra holes. It isn't difficult. I'm just typically in a rush to catch the train when I'm packing things up and don't want to bother with feeding wires through small holes.

The different compartments in the bag include the following:

  • The laptop sits in a suspended padded sling. It is a snug fit for a 15" laptop. The suspension and sling helps to protect the bag from banging around during transit.
  • In the cover flap of the bag is one big zippered pocket with two smaller pockets inside.
  • In the front of the bag, under the cover flap but outside the holding area for the laptop is a large zippered pocket. Inside the outer zippered pocket is another zippered pocket with a key clip. I keep most of my stuff in this pocket. Outside the full-width zippered pocket are five other pockets for keeping smaller items
  • Within the inner compartment of the bag besides the laptop sling is another pocket sized for a tablet and two other pockets, one of which includes another pocket inside with a hook and loop enclosed flap.
  • On the back of the bag is a place to easily pull a magazine in and out. I'd say newspaper, but nobody carries them any more. Additionally, there is a pass through loop for securing the bag to the handle of your luggage.
  • On the sides of the bag are two more pockets, one fits a water bottle the other zippered about the size of a phone or external battery pack.
Suffice to say there are plenty of individual pockets in the bag.

The Radial laptop messenger bag sells for $99.95. If you need a little more space in your bag, consider their Haven 15" laptop backpack at the same price. It, too, includes the suspended padded sling for the laptop. Both are made of a water resistant fabric.

Overall, I'm very happy with the bag. It is a safer alternative to carrying a laptop than an unprotected backpack. I have had to get used to carrying it in my hand versus over my back but I think that is for the better of my back. It also includes a shoulder strap that offers an alternative over one shoulder. My only complaint about the bag is the straps that tighten the front flap to the rest of the bag. These tend to loosen whenever I open the bag and need to be retightened each time I close the bag. Apart from that, the bag has been serving me well. The fact that it is way smaller than my older backpack also is a good thing as I felt I kept things in the backpack just in case I needed them even though I typically didn't. With the smaller computer bag, I'm only carrying around what I truely need, lugging less weight around in the process. If you're in the market for a new computer bag, do take a look at the offerings from STM Goods. You won't be disappointed.

When you sign up for the STM Goods mailing list, you'll get 15% off your first purchase. (Subscribe link on bottom right of page.) You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They even offer some videos of their products on YouTube.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions stated are my own and may differ from yours. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. This sounds so nice. I could use this as I take my computer with me whenever I go out of town. Thank you so much for sharing