The Saga backpack from STM is promoted as being a ‘with-everything’ design in a manageable size that boasts a heavy emphasis on storing the digital devices necessary for our on-the-move lifestyles. But it’s all very well and good being able to store them; can it do so safely?
Comfort & Design
There's a neat aesthetic design inside and out for this backpack. The polyester fabric is highly water repellant and will keep your gear inside dry if caught out for minutes, not hours, in heavy downpours. Speaking of which, the fabric comes in four colour schemes and we have the granite grey with red accent option.
Zips are easy to catch hold of, and whisk open in a hurry. Suspended tech cells, as STM refers to the internal pockets, store notebooks and tablets inside the backpack well away from the base of the bag so not to cause damage in a sudden drop. There’s a handle on top that doesn’t exhibit the cutting profile, so often found with other such handles, when quickly whisked up or held for prolonged time. Additionally, whilst the shoulder straps could do with a little softer padding, the back of the bag is perfectly comfortable for hours on end when walking with the backpack on your shoulders.
That 20L capacity doesn’t really look plausible from the outside, but when unzipping the main compartment, revealed is a flexible amount of storage utility. Importantly there’s a proper zone for notebooks up to 15” (we’ve made use of a 13” MacBook Pro in ours). This section is against the rear of the backpack and is well protected between padding and other pockets. Furthermore, there’s storage for a tablet, stationery, and another internal zipped pocket which we keep our keys and wallet in. And, of course, we’re left with a huge open area between the internal walls where we manage to store a jumper, a pair of headphones, a book or two, chargers, and there’s even room left over for a bit of shopping.
Interestingly there’s an open exterior front drop pocket as well as the two elasticated exterior side pockets for bottles. We can see the appeal for putting textbooks, food and maybe headphones in here but we wouldn’t be happy putting anything of high value in a pocket that doesn’t have a button let alone a zip. But that’s where the zipped compartment above is useful, identical in length but lesser in depth - it can be a neat area for quick access to pens, coins and the like.
STM have designed what we feel is best described as a commuter backpack with the Saga. It has a simply organised storage layout, it's pleasant to have on your shoulders even when active, and we love the attention to detail in making sure our notebook/tablet has padded protection and is also suspended away from the base of the bag out of harms way from the ground below.