STM Goods is an Australian company that has been designing backpacks for over 20 years. Their motto expands the company name to “Smarter Than Most”, which is reflected in the useful design features and materials used in their products.
Specifications and Features
The STM Kings backpack is available in 3 colours: China Blue, Desert Brown or Tornado Grey.
- Laptop capacity: up to 16″
- Main material(s): 100% polyester
- Outer dimensions: H 47.5 x W 30 x D 17 cm
- Capacity: 22L
- Weight: 0.95 kg
The Kings backpack has high quality #8 chain YKK zippers for long-term durability. Anyone who has used a lot of zippable products like jeans or bags knows that the best zips are made by YKK. Good zippers are important because if they fail the rest of the product becomes pretty useless.
It doesn’t matter how careful you are your backpack will get bumped around during your daily commute to work, in the overhead storage compartment of a plane or thrown in the back seat of the car.
Most laptop protection packs and briefs use a foam padding design that has a major flaw: corner gaps. STM’s proprietary SlingTech features extra padding and gapless corners that suspend your device away from the edge of the bag, isolating it from the bump zone.
The current heatwave and ring of bushfires surrounding Sydney might have made you forget what rain feels like but when it does rain in Sydney it tends to pour. When that happens you want your stuff inside a backpack to remain dry for as long as possible.
Crafted from environmentally-friendly, free of perfluorooctanoic acid DWR C6 plus two coatings of polyurethane (followed by the inner lining that’s treated with yet another coating of PU), STM’s water-repellant fabric protects your stuff while being environmentally friendly.
The adjustable harness and flexible sternum chest strap enables me to create the optimum fit regardless of whether the backpack is partly or completely full and the breathable Airmesh fabric on back panel allowed for a more comfortable carry even on humid Sydney days.
The included clip on detachable “Stash” accessory offers the perfect solution for organising smaller things that can get lost in your bag like a pen, ID card, work keys, USB stick etc. It doesn’t matter where the stash is in the backpack, I can just yank on it’s orange cord to pull it out quickly and access what’s inside.
Angled internal storage pockets make it easier to access and retrieve gear from your bag and the fleece lined internal sunglasses pocket at the top inside of the bag is perfect for holding up to 2 sunglasses.
If you like to carry a portable battery bank there are multiple easy way to route the charging cable between different sections of the backpack to charge a laptop/tablet or other gadget.
Should You Buy One?
I live near the Sydney CBD and don’t have a car so I walk or catch public transport while doing errands, attending media events for Ausdroid or commuting to work.
For all these I need a good backpack which I don’t need to worry about being able to fit all my stuff in, repel rain/spills and protect my gadgets inside from bumps.
I already have a great 30 litre Macpac travelpack that has one big internal space, great back support and comfortable waist and chest straps to distribute the weight away from my shoulders. However it’s far too big to fit in a gym/work locker and the straps can get away in city use by getting tangled in stuff.
I also have a much smaller 15 litre basic Macpac backpack I bought on sale for $30 hoping it would be a good use for commuting to work and general errands. However it didn’t have the capacity I need and had no waist or chest straps to distribute the weight away from my shoulders so it’s tiring to wear all day when full.
The STM Kings backpack is well designed and the 22 litre capacity is just right in the middle, the “Goldilocks solution” for urban use.
Big enough to fit all my things, small enough to fit in a locker, padded enough and with a sternum chest strap to distribute weight evenly and waterproof so my things don’t get soaked if I’m caught in a rain shower without an umbrella.
Don’t bother buying a cheap urban backpack like I did as it won’t do the job. The STM Kings is well worth the RRP $169.95 as it has a product lifetime warranty to be free from defect in materials and workmanship. You can buy it from STM or many other options including Harvey Norman, Amazon.com.au as well as Scorptec which currently has it on sale for $119 (bargain!).
STM have allowed us to keep the Kings backpack for long term commuter testing