Review of STM Bags Linear small

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Donka, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    When I bought my original Macbook Pro 13, I was on the lookout for a small form factor laptop bag and my search ended when I discovered the STM Bags Alley in small. Not only was it a compact bag, it also was in a vertical orientation which I felt improved the sense of portability. When I got the chance to try out the Linear from STM Bags, I was very keen to see how it compared.
    If you are new to the STM bags brand, I encourage you to take a look at their website. They offer an excellent range or laptop bags and similar accessories and I am generally very impressed with the quality of their products.
    I prefer vertical bags such as the Linear for my smaller laptops as in general I find them more practical and less ungainly than a traditional horizontal messenger bag. They offer a streamlined profile which fits in with the smaller cargo they carry. This one measures in at a compact 35.5cm tall by 25.5cm wide with a depth of 8cm actually making it smaller than the Alley model which is my current choice for the Macbook Pro 13. The bag on its own weighs a healthy 0.45kg which is relatively light given it's robust construction. The outside is fabricated from 300D polyester (dubbed velocity by STM) which is water resistant and hard wearing. Inner polyester is of a more pliant 200D while the lining of the main interior compartments is a much softer material for protecting your equipment. The main laptop compartment is well padded and backs on to a smaller padded compartment which is big enough for an iPad or similar. There is a further slim compartment and a smaller zipped compartment for more suitable items such as phones, keys, portable hard drive etc.
    On the rear of the bag is a loop that acts as a pass through for securing this to a trolley or similar wheeled bag with handle.
    The main cover for the Linear folds over from the top and is fastened on the lower front by two quick release clips. I really appreciated this method of securing over the Alley which employs a secure but noisy Velcro fastening which wouldn't go down too well in a library! The main cover also includes a built in zippered compartment but don't be expecting to fit much in here; the smallest of items give it an unsightly bump. I'm a huge fan of the anti-tangle shoulder strap connectors which rotate a lot easier than your average laptop bag. This strap is also easily adjusted by the included snap lock and is well padded for comfort. The top of the bag also has a carry handle which is comfortable to use and very sturdy.

    In use, the Linear bag is very practical for the light user. I say that because in the small variant, this bag is very compact and while it offers a good selection of compartments and pockets, none are particularly big save for the main compartment. That is a secure place to store a naked 13" Macbook Pro or Air but it is also roomy enough to take my laptop in its hard wearing, padded sleeve. I found the Macbook power supply to be a tight squeeze in the front pocket and you will struggle to get much more in there. If you like to travel light with just the bare essentials such as power supply or a couple of smaller sundry items, this bag works great but if you want to carry more gear then you need to be looking at the medium size as a minimum or a different model entirely. So size can be a pro or a con depending on the type of user you are but there is one other area where you need to give this bag serious consideration and that is weather protection. Similar to the Alley, there is no other way of sealing off the main laptop compartment other than the main flap. This has the potential to allow water ingress through the top corners of the bag. I wouldn't be too concerned in a light shower but if you are out for any length of time in driving rain, I would be more than a bit paranoid. I still use the Alley as my main bag so this possible negative doesn't stop me from recommending the Linear as a great laptop bag; I just wouldn't choose to use it in extraneous circumstances. Perhaps this is indicative of a bag from an Australian company being used in the damper climate of the UK? If you are on the lookout for a compact laptop bag and don't consider yourself a poor weather commuter, this bag should be on your shortlist!

    Video review:
    http://youtu.be/3-UOkrN18b8
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    A couple more images - one showing the only issue I have with this bag.
     

    Attached Files:

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