STM BAGS’ Revolution Backpack
There are tradeoffs in the design of any laptop bag as it must be kept as light as possible without compromising robustness and the protection that it needs to provide for the computer. At the same time it must conveniently accommodate all the various items that the road warrior needs. Hence, the design can be considered in two parts: the rucksack itself and then the facilities provided for the protection and storage of the contents.
There are two versions of the Revolution: for 13 and 15inch notebooks respectively. The larger one weighs approximately 1.7kg which is reasonable considering its overall size, the padding and its design. It has padded shoulder straps and both chest and waist straps. For comfort, the former can be adjusted in height while the latter can be pushed into concealed pockets when not required. There are "water bottle" pockets on either side and a cellphone pocket on one of the shoulder straps. An unusual feature is a lightweight waterproof cover which, again, is concealed in a pocket until needed. Then, it is just pulled over the front and body of the rucksack and held in place by its elasticated edge.
There are also two external straps which, when tightened, pull everything together and help stop the contents flopping around. The top carrying handle, although well padded, has a hard edge and could well become uncomfortable if carried for any distance. That is probably not that serious as one would generally carry it on one’s back.
The main compartment accommodates the computer between protective padded stiff high-density foam pads as well as providing ample space for papers etc. The larger front compartment has a number of pockets to accommodate pens, business cards etc together with a capacious pocket for power "brick", cables and other necessary items. On the front is a separate pocket with a side zip to take, for example, an iPad.
While I felt that it was a well designed rucksack I was less satisfied with the one large pocket in the front compartment for all the accessories, alongside pens, business cards etc., that one must carry while on the road. One really needs a number of individual pockets so that each item will have its place in order to minimise that, all too common, experience of items being forgotten when leaving a hotel room. Furthermore, there is also the risk that the sharp corner of a power brick could damage an iPad in that front pocket.
Overall it is a very comfortable rucksack and will be ideal for those who need to carry their laptop much of the time. However, not everyone has this need and so would probably find that a case costing less than the STM Revolution’s list price of £89.95 (even though available on Amazon at £75.64) would meet their needs.
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