The best computer bag I’ve owned: STM Journey

My STM Computer Bag

It has rolled over the sands of Israel. Kept my computer dry in the middle of a New York downpour. Been dragged through more than three miles of the snows and mud of Davos, Switzerland. Held my laptop and a loaf of bread in Paris, France. Kept my computers safe in the Red-Light District of Amsterdam, has visited many other cities and countries around the world. Been to dozens of airports and overhead bins. Its wheels have seen so many miles that they have been noticeably worn down.

It’s been dropped out of the back of a van, been kicked many times loading into planes and other places, squished by all our other camera gear at times, and suffered a lot more in cities around the world.

But there’s not a stitch missing. It is simply the best computer bag I’ve ever owned.

What is it? A STM Journey bag. Why don’t I carry a backpack or a single-strap shoulder bag?

Because I have a bad back and want to keep extra weight off of my back, especially in long walks like the one I took with Mark Zuckerberg back in January through the town of Davos.

Yes, I always look like a tourist. People ask me all the time if I’m going somewhere. I explain why I use a bag that looks like carry-on luggage. It saves my back.

Wheels are one of man’s greatest inventions and because I rarely lift my bag off of the ground I am just fine with packing it full of digital camera gear, extra batteries, and sometimes two laptops, along with tons of cell phone gear.

I love my bag and won’t easily give it up. I wish all my gear took so much abuse in stride.

What is your favorite computer bag?

85 thoughts on “The best computer bag I’ve owned: STM Journey

  1. Pingback: Chomer Speaks
  2. Robert,

    My back has been having a hard time when I’ve been lugging around my laptop in a backpack. Thanks for the info, as a result of this post I have bought the same bag. The store had to special order it for me so I don’t have it yet (I should be picking it up on Tuesday).

    Thanks again!

  3. Robert,

    My back has been having a hard time when I’ve been lugging around my laptop in a backpack. Thanks for the info, as a result of this post I have bought the same bag. The store had to special order it for me so I don’t have it yet (I should be picking it up on Tuesday).

    Thanks again!

  4. I recently purchased a STM small Rogue backpack for my MacBook and love it so far. I like how the laptop pocket is hidden and keeps my 13.3 inch MacBook snug inside. And all of the outside pocket zippers are easily opened and closed with one hand.

  5. I recently purchased a STM small Rogue backpack for my MacBook and love it so far. I like how the laptop pocket is hidden and keeps my 13.3 inch MacBook snug inside. And all of the outside pocket zippers are easily opened and closed with one hand.

  6. My favorite bag is the Samsonite Paragon II off. case.
    Ofcourse with wheels and a telescope handle. I bought it for my first trip to America for an IT conference and it has followed me since, literally!
    But… Now I own an Asus EeePC I don’t know if I still will need the case. Anyway, going to a conference abroad means taking a lot of adapters and stuff so I think it will be the Samsonite after all.

  7. My favorite bag is the Samsonite Paragon II off. case.
    Ofcourse with wheels and a telescope handle. I bought it for my first trip to America for an IT conference and it has followed me since, literally!
    But… Now I own an Asus EeePC I don’t know if I still will need the case. Anyway, going to a conference abroad means taking a lot of adapters and stuff so I think it will be the Samsonite after all.

  8. STM is a great bag company indeed. I have been using their backpack for my MacBook Pro for the last 2.5 years. Not a stitch is missing, there is only minimal wear on the strings connected to the zippers.

    I USE THIS BAG EVERYDAY

    STM is just an awesome company and they know how to make a great bag for a fantastic price. I remember spending less than $70 for that backpack whereas similar bags were at least $100 and some at $150.

    I will probably never buy a bag from a different company, they get people who use computers on a daily basis whether or not it is for work.

    Wow, I just realized how much I sound like an STM advertisement. Just a guy who likes their bags.

  9. STM is a great bag company indeed. I have been using their backpack for my MacBook Pro for the last 2.5 years. Not a stitch is missing, there is only minimal wear on the strings connected to the zippers.

    I USE THIS BAG EVERYDAY

    STM is just an awesome company and they know how to make a great bag for a fantastic price. I remember spending less than $70 for that backpack whereas similar bags were at least $100 and some at $150.

    I will probably never buy a bag from a different company, they get people who use computers on a daily basis whether or not it is for work.

    Wow, I just realized how much I sound like an STM advertisement. Just a guy who likes their bags.

  10. We travelled with video equipment for many years – back when video equipment was very heavy and bulky. We bought an ordinary gym bag and had it modified. A Solid wood base on the inside and four very high quality casters for it to run. It was easily manoevoured and fit under a plane seat. Because of the solid base I could stack all our batteries and it would still roll without trouble. It was obviously carry on luggage and no-one realized just how heavy it was. Had it for years. Wish we’d bronzed it when we gave up travelling for video shoots.

  11. We travelled with video equipment for many years – back when video equipment was very heavy and bulky. We bought an ordinary gym bag and had it modified. A Solid wood base on the inside and four very high quality casters for it to run. It was easily manoevoured and fit under a plane seat. Because of the solid base I could stack all our batteries and it would still roll without trouble. It was obviously carry on luggage and no-one realized just how heavy it was. Had it for years. Wish we’d bronzed it when we gave up travelling for video shoots.

  12. I am totally with Jon above. The Tom Bihn Empire Builder is brilliant.

    When I made the switch to Mac five years ago and wanted a bag that would protect my new prized possession. It has served its purpose with flying colors. The design has been very well thought out with pockets to serve a variety of purposes.

    Get The Empire Builder with the Brain Cell and Absolute Shoulder Strap.

    http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/300/TB0730

    PS Their new Freudian Slip looks pretty cool too…

  13. I am totally with Jon above. The Tom Bihn Empire Builder is brilliant.

    When I made the switch to Mac five years ago and wanted a bag that would protect my new prized possession. It has served its purpose with flying colors. The design has been very well thought out with pockets to serve a variety of purposes.

    Get The Empire Builder with the Brain Cell and Absolute Shoulder Strap.

    http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/300/TB0730

    PS Their new Freudian Slip looks pretty cool too…

  14. I use the Trager (Seattle) Cross Country Laptop Brief.

    The padded laptop pocket holds the laptop vertically which makes the bag taller and narrower than your usual bag. It converts from shoulder strap to hand strap to backpack; unzips to slide on your rollerbag handle; and has tons of pockets for everything, even a small top front pocket for your airline tickets. It’s also made of ballistic nylon… I’ve only had it a few years, but expect it will last another 15, at least. At which point I’ll just get another one.

    http://www.ebags.com/trager_usa/cross_country_laptop_brief/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=5991

  15. I use the Trager (Seattle) Cross Country Laptop Brief.

    The padded laptop pocket holds the laptop vertically which makes the bag taller and narrower than your usual bag. It converts from shoulder strap to hand strap to backpack; unzips to slide on your rollerbag handle; and has tons of pockets for everything, even a small top front pocket for your airline tickets. It’s also made of ballistic nylon… I’ve only had it a few years, but expect it will last another 15, at least. At which point I’ll just get another one.

    http://www.ebags.com/trager_usa/cross_country_laptop_brief/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=5991

  16. Ahhh, a topic I like!

    I’ve had and still have many bags, but the fave in terms of quality, comfort, protection for laptop and other features has to the Tom Bihn Empire Builder bag. Just superb!

    Tried Booq bags – (looked great on the website and loved the orange detailing) – but didn’t have the quality.

    Tumi – great quality but serious ££££ / $$$$. A little “steady” though.

    Timbuk 2 are great but I have a normal non laptop bag, same with Crumpler.

    Bag fetish? Me?! ;-)

  17. Ahhh, a topic I like!

    I’ve had and still have many bags, but the fave in terms of quality, comfort, protection for laptop and other features has to the Tom Bihn Empire Builder bag. Just superb!

    Tried Booq bags – (looked great on the website and loved the orange detailing) – but didn’t have the quality.

    Tumi – great quality but serious ££££ / $$$$. A little “steady” though.

    Timbuk 2 are great but I have a normal non laptop bag, same with Crumpler.

    Bag fetish? Me?! ;-)

  18. Great post! I’m a bag geek, and for me it has to be Domke. I’ve been using the Domke F-802 reporter’s satchel daily for 4 years and like you it’s still as good as the day I got it. Check out good camera stores if you want to get your hands on one.

  19. Great post! I’m a bag geek, and for me it has to be Domke. I’ve been using the Domke F-802 reporter’s satchel daily for 4 years and like you it’s still as good as the day I got it. Check out good camera stores if you want to get your hands on one.

  20. eBags “Macroloader!” No wheels, but it balances nicely on my wheeled carry-on, and it holds a lot of stuff. It looks like they are discontinuing since it’s on sale and the only color left is pink carnation, but if you don’t mind the color I’m sure it’s the best deal around for $60. Shows no wear after three years of heavy use.

  21. eBags “Macroloader!” No wheels, but it balances nicely on my wheeled carry-on, and it holds a lot of stuff. It looks like they are discontinuing since it’s on sale and the only color left is pink carnation, but if you don’t mind the color I’m sure it’s the best deal around for $60. Shows no wear after three years of heavy use.

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