Alright, I’ll have to admit, I have a love for a good backpack. I’ve used messenger bags for my daily commute, but I have a fond love for a bag I can place on my shoulders and be on the go with. The issue with many of those bags is that they are entirely too bulky to bother with, or just simply do not get what I’m trying to do.
And then there’s the STM Trestle 13″. We received one for review, and it’s becoming my everyday go-to bag of choice.
Leading bag and case designer STM is known for their streamlined hyper-functional bags, but none truly measure up to the ultra-thin STM Trestle. And for a techy who carries around a million and one gadgets, you need a bag that’s not going to boggle you down when you’re out and about. Usually, when I’m out I carry WAY too many things, be it cables, chargers, headphones, or things I consider essentials. So when STM sent me the Trestle, there was only one thing that I had on my mind was “I NEEDED this at CES 2016“. The bag I had at CES 2016 was great, but after 6-8 hours on a showroom floor, my shoulders got worn down with the iPad, the MacBook, the iPhone, and the millions of things I would eventually pick up and have to carry that didn’t fit in the bags that were handed out to me. Saying that to say this … the STM Trestle is exactly what was needed.
No more huge backpack lumps for me since getting this STM Trestle, as it’s one of the best on the market that not only have a variety of pockets so you can fit everything up to a 14-inch laptop, but the Trestle is just as protective. Featuring a floating fleece lined pocket for tech, even if you set accidentally drop your bag, your tech won’t be harmed at all.
Another welcomed bonus to the STM Trestle is the fact that you can REGISTER the bag, so in the event that it gets lost, you can confirm your ownership, and if the person who finds it can actually look it up by ID number and send it back to you. Since I also love my TrackR, I attach that to the bag as well, but the included RewardTag by STM is something that ALL bags should come with.
The bag I received came wrapped in plastic, and made simple with just an STM tag that showcased all of the features I’ve already highlighted. But the biggest thing is its ability to be ULTRA portable. As a point of reference, here is everything that I carry with me daily:
I know you’re wondering “how is he going to fit everything into that tiny bag right?” Well since STM was built to house everything, all while maintaining its shape without compromising things that matter, like weight distribution it was simple. Now I don’t normally carry both my iPad Pro and my MacBook Air, but for this review, I attempted to fit the pair in first.
As you can see, I’m more than able to fit both into their own respective compartments without forced effort. I will say though, the zipper does partially cover over the back separator of the bag, so sliding in a 12.9″ iPad Pro I was a bit of a skeptic on it damaging the casing of my tablet, but it no harm was done.
Now with my tablet and laptop placed inside the bag, I have gadgets like a wireless mouse, portable charger, headphones AND wireless Jaybird X2’s, a few cables, a LaCie Porsche Design hard drive, a MacBook charger, and a few pens that I need to place into a bag. The trick to this is fitting everything into a compartment I can remember. With prior bags I would have to keep things in a Ziploc bag since I do not have a tech Dopp Kit, but not with this bag! (For those who want to organize even more, you could check out the Grid-It Cocoon that we reviewed a while ago.)
The front pocket is where I placed all of the pens, each in their own separate places. I went out and purchased two short micro-USB and lightning cables because I hate having an external battery charger and having to use my standard cable, so this works out well. (You can purchase these on Amazon).
Also, I set my other two cables into this pocket for quick access as well. In the front of that is where I put my Jaybirds in their case, and my Bragi Dash headphones.
After putting all of that tech into the bag, this is what the side of the bag looks like, notice there is no bulge, and everything is still evenly distributed. On each side, you’ll see a place for a water bottle. This is perfect that they’ve included two, because some days I’ll slip my umbrella in one pocket and my water bottle in the other. However, I still have the mouse, my Master & Dynamic MW60’s, a charger and my tripod I still need to place into the bag. I simply placed all of these items in the additional pocket which sits in front of the MacBook Air pocket.
The MW60’s are my pride and joy, and while I don’t carry glasses often, there was a special place I wanted to place them because there are times I’ll need to grab those quick for a flight, but I still want them to be protected. STM has included a beautiful top case that can house sunglasses or anything you want to have extra protection for. I folded the headphones down and slid them in with no problem at all. I also tried a pair of Beats as well and they fit without effort.
So now that we have everything ready to go for the bag, this what the bag finally looks like for a commute. Still lightweight, and it doesn’t feel like I’m carrying four textbooks on my back. But if you are that type, STM has also included a chest cross strap that will make sure it pick up the slack from your shoulders. Frequent travelers have something to be excited about as well, because now you don’t have to walk the airport with it on your back at ALL. There is very handy flap at the bottle of the STM Trestle that allows you to slip it over the handle of your carry-on which I plan on using on a trip in a few days for vacation.
Overall, this bag is excellent for the minimalist, or the person who wants to look like a minimalist with a lot of “necessities” raises hands. This is a perfect commuter backpack for trips to work and home, or even a bag for a trip out of town. While I wouldn’t use this for my commute to the gym, the STM Trestle is certainly one of those bags that has a reason for everyone to use it.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Slim overall design, straps not overbearing and the soft padded backing allows for hours of carrying without stress.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing