Home ReviewsGear It’s Intentional. STM Bags – Impulse Laptop Backpack Review

It’s Intentional. STM Bags – Impulse Laptop Backpack Review

by Mary Chong
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It’s not on Impulse – it’s Intentional!

I’m on a quest to travel by air with only one carry-on piece of luggage. You can read about my reasons in the article Carry-On Luggage – My journey to en-LIGHT-enment.

Yes, it’s a challenge but do it once, and you’ll wonder why you never did it before.

One way to cheat the system is to use a laptop backpack as your personal item. I still bring a small purse for use when I reach my destination but en route; I just use the entire bag as a wallet and stick it in the laptop backpack.

Here’s the thing – you’ve got to have a backpack that isn’t too big that it’s larger than your real carry-on – it has to pass as your personal item but, it has to be big enough to hold a lot of stuff including your laptop.

Also, your laptop needs to be readily available for when you go through security at the airport – you don’t want to hold up the line as you struggle to get your laptop out and then back into the backpack.

The folks over at STM Bags sent me over one of their Impulse Laptop Backpacks to try out.

Features of the STM Bags Impulse Laptop Backpack that I Love

If you are a follower of the blog then you’ll already know that I’m a fan of their products. (I already own the laptop sleeve grip, and their dux iPAD Case so check out the links for those reviews.) One thing that I’m positive about is the quality and the workmanship based on those 3 items I already own.

  • Fabric is 200D water-resistant polyester
  • 20 litre capacity
  • weighs 2.2 lb/ 1 kg
  • Reflective for night-time safety
  • Easy access pocket at the bottom perfect to stash your 3-1-1 bag
  • 1 Front pocket holds easy access items like your cellphone, pen, key chain, business card slots
  • Water bottle pocket
  • Zippered side pocket for an umbrella
  • 2 main compartments
  • 1 of the main compartments has a Padded laptop section and a separate lined iPad/e-reader pocket (we often travel with both)
  • Adjustable elasticized stabilizing strap
  • Padded back and shoulder straps with mesh to keep you back and shoulders cool
  • Personal favourite is the strap at the back that goes over the handle of your rolling carry-on. It isn’t loose or floppy and it holds the backpack firmly on the top without sliding off.
STM Bags – Impulse Laptop Backpack Review
STM Bags – Impulse Laptop Backpack Review
STM Bags – Impulse Laptop Backpack Review
STM Bags – Impulse Laptop Backpack Review

What I don’t love

  • Back is really stiff – which is a good thing to protect the laptop inside but it’s a bit too board-like. I’m hoping that over time it will soften up or that I will get used to it.
  • I haven’t been caught in a downpour yet but water-resistant isn’t waterproof and the addition of a totally waterproof pull-over cover would make sense for a bag of this quality and price point.

Check out the STM Bags Impulse Laptop Backpack on their site as well as their other products. You won’t be disappointed.

For another recent review – check out Carpe Travel’s article A search for THE best laptop backpack for tech gear.

The STM Bags Impulse Laptop Backpack was provided to me for review purposes. This had no bearing on my review of this item. As always, all my opinions are my own.

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Kate March 15, 2015 - 12:10 pm

I purchased one. It’s very good bag. Not too spacious but good. Like your review above, I’ve managed to fit in a 15” laptop, 10” tablet, cables, mouse, headphones and a slim lunch box and it was pretty much at its full capacity.

Debra Johnson November 12, 2013 - 7:53 pm

After buying this bag, I wanted to use it for first time during my travel. I packed my laptop and stuffed it with a few clothes as soon as I zipped it, the zip broke and started opening from pressure points. I had to unzip it completely and take out some stuff in order to make it work. Before that I had OGIO bag of same size and I used to load it much heavier than this one. Very disappointing.

Mary Chong November 12, 2013 - 8:05 pm

So sorry to hear this….did you try returning it? Perhaps it was defective? I would love to hear what their return policy etc was in regards to your issue.

Madeline May 8, 2014 - 6:11 pm

Hi Debra, I’m sorry to hear about the zippers on your backpack breaking but I want to let you know that STM has a limited lifetime warranty. Visit the website and scroll to the bottom of the site and click warranty info and go from there. I hope this helps Debra!

Michael November 2, 2013 - 11:56 am

I have this bag as well and I love it. Everything I need fits in the bag.

elaine schoch @CarpeTravel.com November 1, 2013 - 11:05 am

I love all the features you mentioned, it really is a great backpack! Thanks for linking to my review as well.


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