Thursday, April 18, 2024
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REVIEWED: STM Kings backpack

Able to fit a 15-inch laptop and complete with cable management, this bag’s cavernous main compartment makes it a compelling candidate for overnight trips 

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A lightweight 22-litre faux-canvas backpack that can take a 15-inch laptop and everything else you might need for a day at work – including in A4 ring binder – the Kings, from STM’s Streets Collection, is al about productivity. Would it suit a work trip? Absolutely – and there’s even enough room for an overnight stay or two.

Power crazy

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the Kings backpack is its cable-tidy infrastructure. The Kings not only has holes in its lining that guide cables between various different pockets, but it also has clips to keep cables in place. Simply place the power brick for a laptop in one of its outside zip pockets, and you can thread the power cable through to your laptop. Do the same on an inner pouch with a portable battery, and you can charge up a smartphone and a tablet while on the go. 

Making sacrifices

While the Kings is a perfectly good backpack, that kind of clever thinking doesn’t last. That the laptop power brick pocket is a side opener is perfectly understandable, but on the other side there’s an almost identical pocket. Great, but where is a man supposed to stow a water bottle, or an umbrella? 

Site obsession

There’s a similar problem with the front pocket, which also opens on its side, making its smartphone pockets difficult to access unless you orient the bag sideways. After all, this is essentially a top-opening bag. The main compartment has a soft pouch for sunglasses, and a very large, deep area with an envelope-style pocket for A4 papers. Attached to the wall of this pocket by long tag is a small wash bag (or is it a phone case?). We really don’t know why this is here; don’t we all store our toiletries in transparent bags these days? 

Back pocket

At the back of the bag is another zipped area good for a 15-inch laptop, and two further areas good for a tablet and a pair of headphones/accessories. It leaves us wondering where to put our pens, passports, tickets, and other cables and devices, but this bag definitely has some appeal. Its deep main area does make it appear best suited to an overnight (or two) business trip when all you need is a laptop and a change of clothes. Well-made if rather strangely designed at times, that cable tidy infrastructure does work really, really well, and gives the STM Kings a unique reason to buy.  

Price as reviewed: UK£99.99/US$149.95

Buy the STM Kings backpack