STM Trust Messenger Bag, MSRP $129.95, available through www.stmbags.com
Author: Toby Asplin
Photos: Toby Asplin
FTC Disclosure: The author was provided a STM Trust Messenger Bag for review.
The Good: Excellent design, organization & quality
The Bad: My wife stole my Trust
The Ugly: Slightly “off” interior color
STM’s Trust Medium Messenger Bag is designed to carry a 15″ laptop in ”secure and uber-protective style”. Nicely appointed with understated good looks (on the outside) and a multitude of pockets, the bag readily swallowed up and organized everyday essentials including a 15″ laptop. The water-resistant 320D brushed poly main fabric is a welcome alternative to the hard 1000D fabric of so many messenger bags on the market. It is more genteel while remaining durable enough for daily use. The lighter weight 320D fabric shaves a few ounces off the weight too, which can make quite a difference when hauling through airport security. The aluminum zipper pulls and front buckles are another nice touch that set the Trust apart from its competitors. The zippers are YKK self-healing and pull smoothly in both directions, while the buckles hold tight but release easily.
The feature list of the Trust is extensive and laid out nicely. We test a lot of messenger bags and this is definitely a favorite in terms of features and organization. Here’s a quick run-through of a few favorite things:
The quick cam buckle on the shoulder strap makes it easy to sling the bag over neck and shoulder, cinch it up tight to carry it securely and then loosen up the strap to un-sling the bag. Other messenger bags attempt to accomplish the same task by including a quick-release buckle on the shoulder strap. The problem with the quick-release buckle is that it leaves at least one end of the bag unsupported when the buckle is released. The quick cam buckle poses no such issue. With the bag slung, simply grab the short loop of paracord to release the tension on the buckle. The weight of the bag draws the shoulder strap out, lengthening it, to easily un-sling the bag without dumping its contents or scraping the face with the strap. Another nice feature is the bag’s flat bottom, which allows it to stand on its own when loaded up.
Continuing down the Nice Features list … the Trust has a wide, non-slip pad on the shoulder strap, dedicated compartments for a laptop, a tablet and external smart phone stash, a back strap to slip over a wheeled luggage handle (relatively common on laptop messengers, but still nice), a lined exterior front flap pocket for sunglasses or other items that might be susceptible to being scratched, an internal see-through zip pocket and side water bottle pockets with compression straps.
Most of my readers know that I don’t pull any punches when it comes to my reviews. If I seem to be gushing over the Trust … I guess I am.
I do have one little nit to pick, however. While I like the light-colored interior of the bag which makes it easier to find things compared to a dark-colored interior, the color is odd. Most of the interior of the bag is a very light aqua blue with a couple sections of brighter aqua. The aqua interior just doesn’t complement the bag’s olive exterior. It’s a small thing and not something one could really hold against the bag; it’s just … odd. Once you get to know the bag and fill it with the odds and ends of your busy life, the color combination isn’t really worth mentioning. However, if the number one priority is a color-coordinated bag you may want to avoid this odd color mix.