REVIEWED: STM Drifter 18-litre backpack

Comfy, tech-friendly and with a storm cover for downpours, this pocket-stuffed daysack with a retro canvas look is great for commuting and short trips

Price at time of review: £94.95

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For all the conveniences of modern fabrics and 3D modelled designs, many travellers yearn for the years of old when a canvas bag slung over a shoulder was the only way to get around. The STM Drifter is that bag transported to the 2010s.

Canvas look

It’s not made from canvas, but the STM Drifter looks like it is. Water-resistant as it stands, there’s a zip pocket on its undercarriage that unfurls a turquoise cover that elasticates itself around the entire bag’s front. Now that’s rare on a non-hiking daysack. If you’re off to Asia during the Monsoon season, take note.

Padded back

Pads on the reverse of the STM Drifter create a reasonably large airflow gap to prevent a sweaty back, while the shoulder straps are both snug and secure; there’s even a chest strap to keep a full bag from swinging around. The STM Drifter weighs about a kilo when empty.

Pocket paradise

Love travel, love pockets. The STM Drifter is packed with ’em, from two squeezable pockets on either side – one zipped and one not, so good for a water bottle – to a stunning three on the front alone. The lower has slots for pens and a phone, plus a keyring clasp, while the middle is … just an empty pocket. Both have zips and waterproof inners, so can store wash-kit items easily.

Top design

On top is a third pocket, but it’s soft felt on the inside, and features two phone-sized pockets. Crucially, this pocket is easy to access since it also forms part of the STM Drifter’s innovative lid. Zipped-off  backwards – i.e. the zip goes from left to right around the back of the bag – largely for security, this design creates a useful space for a transparent plastic-mesh wash-kit section that seems sturdy. And the zips on the STM Drifter? The zips are large, solid, and glide easily – isn’t the zip always a tell-tale sign of quality?

Inside matters

In the interior is a large space for clothes, but there’s much more besides; the inside of the front adds a large shirt-sized pocket, while the backside has a soft pocket for a 15-inch laptop and, on its front, space for an iPad-sized tablet and a couple of large smartphones. There’s 18-litres of capacity to play with.

Great for travel

Business travel doesn’t have to mean boring black leather-look luggage; a STM Drifter slung on your shoulders means more flexibility – and no loss in functionality if you carry a lot of tech on your travels.

The STM Drifter makes a great option for carry-on luggage on work trips, for commuting, or for organised travellers attempting to travel light. It’s the kind of bag you can always squeeze one more thing into.

Buy the STM Drifter