I have been using an STM Drifter for the last 18 months and love the thing. When I need to look a little more professional I also own an STM Trust messenger bag. That one is coming up to being a year old soon.
Neither of the bags I have in regular use (the Drifter is used at least 5 days a week) look any worse for the wear.
What I like about STM bags are the many pockets, and the little details.
How does the Kings laptop backpack stack up?
STM Kings design
This laptop backpack has been designed to accommodate 15-inch laptops plus cables, a tablet and other stuff that you might need.
Being gadgety, we need to take lots of stuff. So, we need many pockets. The Kings does not disappoint.
On the front, there are two pockets – one smaller pocket at the top and another pocket with the zipper facing off to the right.
This larger pocket can perhaps take a couple of shorthand pads or paperback books. There are also pen slots in there. You could even slip in a slender tracking device in to the smaller internal pocket.
After using the Kings for a few days I discovered a further two side pockets. These are angled towards the wearer. Handy for sunglasses and the like.
There are two pockets that will take tablets or notebooks.
The main pocket will be the home for your laptop.
This features the new SlingTech protection.
But wait, there’s more!
Following this cabling path down to the bottom of the bag and you’ll find a smaller pocket nestled against the left side.
My recently acquired charger is a beast though so I made use of the “Stash” bag. If you have a more compact power bank, the Stash bag would happily look after cables and the like instead.
Oh, there are also little metal grommets that allow you to pass cables from your charger to the pocket where your devices will live. Yup, charging on the go without having to just bundle everything in the main section.
In all, there are 12 pockets!
The outer water-resistant polyester shell has a canvas-y feel to it. It feels purposeful, without being too utilitarian.
The Kings features “breathable Airmesh fabric” which helps to ensure that your back and shoulders won’t get sweaty.
The main tech compartment benefits from extra padding on the corners, as well as having that clever SlingTech.
The curvy straps, including an adjustable sternum strap makes for comfy lugging.
STM Kings performance
The front main pocket is typically cavernous. Great for picking up some last minute groceries or for stowing your gym kit, if you are that way inclined.
The cable routing is a genius idea. I had my USB-C cable threaded to the front top outer pocket so I can charge one of my phones. The other output from my power bank was used for a microUSB-ended cable. This was threaded to the rear to supply juice to my Shield tablet. Neat.
STM really do put a lot of thought in to their designs. Although, one thing my Drifter can do that the Kings can’t, even though the Kings is technically bigger, is fit a 12-inch record (vinyl to you crazy kids) in its mailer box. Yeah, I tend to get records delivered to work instead of home since the time I came home to see one ‘posted’. By that I mean one corner of it was shoved in to the letter box leaving the other 90% of it hanging out in the elements.
The Drifter can take a record easily, but this is mainly due to it having just one large main compartment. The Kings has two.
Is the Kings perfect? Well, not quite. I am now used to having a little external pouch for a bottle and another for a brolly. Are these deal breakers? Hell no! The Kings more than makes up for those little niggles.
I have had the Kings loaded with laptop, tablet, DSLR camera, action cam and gimbal, pens, cables, charger, notepad, jacket and brolly and happily walked for a couple of hours across town.
The straps are comfy and well adjustable. The Kings is also slightly curved which also helps with the comfort rating.
The side pockets will take a water bottle. I am guessing that the designers just didn’t want an unsightly plastic bottle outside their lovely bag.
STM Kings review conclusion
When/if my Drifter finally decides to retire I would gladly have a Kings.
It looks great, feels great and takes a great deal of stuff. Stuff That Matters (STM).
If only it could take an LP that’s in its card mailer, then it would be perfect.
STM Kings price and availability
The Kings pack comes in botanical green, china blue, tornado grey, and desert brown.
You can grab one now from Amazon for £99.
More details can be found on the STM website.