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4W Messenger Bag Review: STM Quantum

Packed with gear


[section label=”What is it?” anchor=”What is it?”]What is it?

The STM Quantum is a small laptop shoulder bag that can carry a substantial amount of gear without appearing bulky. While I have a variety of bags for various occasions, I have put the STM Quantum though the ringer and it holds up remarkably well.

[section label=”What does it do?” anchor=”What does it do?”]What does it do?

This small 2lb. bag is loaded with enough storage to carry all the tools you'll need for a day on the road. The Quantum can carry most laptops ranging from 12″-14″ but the pocket is designed for a 13′ screen. I tested it with my with Asus T100TA tablet/laptop hybrid and was impressed that it barely moved (even while being smaller than the recommended size). Your laptop is safe in the high-density foam cradle that makes up the laptop pocket. There is also a dedicated tablet pocket as well that fits most 10″ tablets easily (tested with an iPad 3 and a 2012 Nexus 7) and has a nice nylex lining that allows you to toss a tablet in there sans case. The most impressive part is that even with my everyday carry items in this bag, there still was ample room to toss in two fairly large books and even some documents.

Everyday Carry

The outer cellphone pocket allows for easy access to a phone and even my Note 3 fit (albeit not without a little coaxing on my part) but it did fit and had some wiggle room. The bag is not just chock full of storage though, as it has plenty of features for those that travel often including 2 rear pockets (1 shallow/1 deep) for quick access to items like boarding passes, snacks and mobile devices. The back pass-through is also included to secure the Quantum to a wheeled travel bag which is always welcome. The pass-through is durable and takes some good pull without exhibiting weakness. Those are just a few of the features. Here is the full list:

  • Padded laptop cell designed for a 13″ screen (will hold most laptops from 12″-14″) – an easy grab for airport security
  • Slip rear pocket for some reading material with quick drop phone pocket
  • Back pass-through secures the bag to the handle of your wheeled travel piece
  • Padded, non-slip shoulder pad for a comfortable carry
  • Quick cam-adjust shoulder strap for both cross body and shoulder carries
  • Dedicated tablet slip pocket with soft nylex lining
  • Organization slip pocketing for paperwork and an extra battery
  • Front zip org panel for business cards, pens, keys, etc.
  • Internal see-through zippered pocket to hold all the doo-dads that tend to otherwise get lost
  • Side pockets for a water bottle or umbrella
  • Quick-grab haul loops that easily tuck away for a cleaner look

[section label=”What's wrong with it?” anchor=”What's wrong with it?”]What's wrong with it?

I'll be honest when I say that this messenger bag has practically no flaws. The only small gripe I found would have been the lack of an insert for a headphone cable so you could leave your device in your stow pocket while carrying. I only cite this because zippers tend to fray headphone cables and while my headphones remained intact, I am sure over time a cheaper pair of headphones would acquire the dreaded zipper bites. Obviously, if you use Bluetooth, the lack of a headphone pocket will mean nothing. The other issue is the $99 MSRP, which may turn off some of you but if you're walking around with thousands of dollars in equipment you'll want it protected. I have purchased bags that have cost more yet had shoddy quality and broke down within a year.

[section label=”Why do you/don't you need it?” anchor=”Why do you/don't you need it?”]Why do you/don't you need it?

I feel the Quantum is a great transitional bag for college students looking for the storage of a backpack without the backpack bulge and the feeling of carrying a small child on your back. Those of us with jobs that have to lug around laptops during our commute will definitely appreciate the Quantum's professional appearance and seemingly endless storage, plus the lightweight material and super comfortable padded strap eliminated the dreaded shoulder bag rub that leads to the uneven gait and the wear of the shoulder on dress shirts and polos. I do stress that this bag is best for 13″ laptops, but STM has a vast array of other messenger bags for your larger laptops so their options are plentiful.

[section label=”My Take:” anchor=”My Take:”]My Take:

I did not get acquainted with STM's offerings until CE Week when I got to check out their booth, but had I been familiar with them I would not have spent money on my previous subpar bags that lacked the storage I needed for my day to day travel. As I said before, the $99 price tag for a small bag like this may be tough to accept but great gear needs great protection and the Quantum definitely excels in that department  – plus the amount of storage for a bag this small is unreal.

Product Photos


[easyazon_cta add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B00IYJD4QQ” cloaking=”default” height=”28″ key=”wide-orange” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”mytara0c-20″ width=”176″] [signoff icon=”alert”]STM Quantum bag provided by STM[/signoff]