LAS VEGAS — It’s a bit odd to be thanked for cussing; but that’s exactly what STM Bags owner Ethan Nyquist did when I walked over to the STM table during a press event at CES. Apparently he was considerably impressed with an enthusiastic exclamation I made about STM’s bags, in response to the announcement of one of their new backpacks*. Hey, what can I say — I’m a bag junkie, and I get passionate about stuff I like.
So here then, is a prediction: STM’s new Drifter will deepen the outfit’s rep as a maker of stellar bags.
The Drifter is a departure for the Aussie outfit; it’s larger — the largest they’ve ever made — and seems more like a stuff-all pack for adventurous roaming than one of their business-like mobile offices. And it felt lighter than it looked.
STM’s bags are generally constructed with markedly different fabrics than the majority of bags out there; the Drifter follows the pattern, with a soft-yet-tough-feeling texture to the fabric. Also cool: the female buckle on the sternum strap is metal.
Then there’re the pockets — tons and tons of them. Three small zippered stashes on the outside, two for water bottles, a mesh pocket inside the lid, a document sleeve and of course, a laptop sleeve. Padding galore. A final surprise: there’s a waterproof raincover hidden in the bottom of the pack, where it doubles as bottom padding when not in use. Smart.
No idea about pricing or availability yet.
*point of clarification: While I think STM makes great bags in general, the bag that was announced at that time — the Velocity — actually has issues. Well, one big issue. Review incoming.