Review: STM Drifter laptop backpack

I’ve got a new rucksack! I tried out the rather nice-looking STM Drifter laptop backpack, £94.95, for size on camping trips and cycle rides.

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Product description: “The Drifter is easy to wear, pockets in all the right places and comfortable to boot. A hint of retro design yet space for all the daily tech needs. Room for work docs, gym gear, lunch, umbrella, waterbottle, etc. It’s a thoughtful pack – lightweight despite its size and capacity. The drifter is the perfect carry for a 15” laptop, tablet, phone and all necessities of everyday life or world travel.”

Camping trips: The Drifter is, Goldilocks-like, just the right size for outdoors adventures. It’s a neat freak’s dream, with zippered front pockets, two separate main compartments and sundry other cleverly designed spaces for your bits and bobs (including a see-through compartment which will help you avoid those do-I-have-my-passport? moments). I took mine camping and canoeing and managed to fit clean clothes, spare shoes and some camping kit in it without it feeling too bulky to wear. The Drifter looks rather lovely too – I love the bright cherry-red colour and retro brushed aluminium buckles. The outer fabric feels like soft cotton but it’s actually pretty tough, water resistant in medium downpours and easy to wipe clean if it gets muddy.

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City life: If you tend to haul about all your techie gadgets on a daily basis then the Drifter is an ideal way to stick them all on your back safely, especially if you cycle. The main compartment features a padded laptop space that will snugly hold most 13-16″ laptops and the myriad other pockets are perfect for cables and notebooks. The Drifter is soft and comfortable to wear, moulding quickly to your back and making it easy to walk or cycle, even with heavy loads. The back padding is very soft though, so it takes careful packing if you’re carrying sharp or bulky items to avoid them digging in. It’s a great choice for inclement weather conditions – there’s a reflective loop that makes you more visible on night cycles and in downpours the rain cover is easy to slide over everything to keep your stuff bone-dry.

Verdict: Versatile, water repellent and comfortable to wear with pleasingly retro looks – this could easily become your new go-to rucksack, especially if you’re a bit of a tech head.

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