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Review: STM Drifter laptop backpack
4.0Overall Score

Price (RRP): $170
Manufacturer: STM

So many laptop bags follow the same design, with a zipper along the front following the arch of a bag and opening up the main bag, but STM’s Drifter takes on a different approach, and if you’ve ever admired how backpackers can bring everything, you can too with an STM take on the category.

Features and performance

We’re all carrying different gadgets with us all the time — phone, tablet, laptop, camera — and many of us are reliant on more than just the technology that goes with us from place to place, with a need to carry clothes and bits and bobs.

All of this takes up space, and our luggage can only carry so much, so wouldn’t it be nice if there was a laptop bag that offered protection for the work computer and space for everything else?

STM thinks it might have the answer in a neat little bag called the “Drifter”, a concept that appears to take the design of a typical backpacker piece of luggage and shrinks it down to something a little more usable.

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Looking at the Drifter, it’s easy to see how we make the connection to a backpacker piece of luggage, the traditional hiking bag which is tall, lanky, and generally offers space for someone keen to pack deep into the cavity of a long bag.

The STM Drifter is like this, with three obvious horizontal zips on the front of the bag, suggesting space along the front, while a zip sits at the back and top to let you open the main cavity of the bag and get your goods inside.

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Open this up and you’ll find a space for a 15 inch laptop, a smaller tablet, some accessories, and then a cavity for larger items, such as clothes and shoes, or anything else you’d normally want to carry. We’ve been using it with a camera, a virtual reality headset, and a tablet or two recently, with space to spare in the test of this backpack.

The laptop and tablet section have been lined with a soft fleecy lining, too, meaning tablets and phones thrust into these areas shouldn’t be easily scratched, with the soft fibre protecting displays almost as if they were surrounded by a fleece cloth.

Fabrics used inside here are relatively strong polyester, with a capacity inside the backpack to hold roughly 18 litres of goods (luggage tends to be measured in litres, similar to fridges, though we wouldn’t necessarily fill this bag with water, as it’s not made for this).

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Some nice touches can be found in this bag, too, such as the inside zip compartments that offer space for cables and computer accessories, with one of these able to fold out and have the zipper become the top, making it easy to get those spare bits and pieces out without any issues.

Close it up and you can look to what is on the outside, with the top and bottom exterior zip compartments offering more fleece-linings for your precious bits, while the middle one keeps the polyester there, ideal for things you know won’t get scratched and won’t worry if they do.

But three flat compartments and one large inside one isn’t all this backpack has to offer, with three more thrown in for good measure.