STM Bags Velo 2 hands-on: Papa's got a brand new bag
It's not often that we're moved to write about a bag, but having spied the STM Velo 2 back in May, we quickly got one to play with. We've been carting around the mobile office in it since and it's quite the bag.
The STM Velo 2 is a shoulder bag. It's available in a couple of versions, designed to accommodate different sizes of laptop. Small will cater for up to 13-inches, while medium will take 15-inches. We've been using it to carry a 13-inch MacBook Pro or 13-inch MacBook Air models and both are housed very nicely.
The first thing that impresses about the Velo 2 is how well made it is. The zips are all sturdy, with big, secure, toggles to make it easy to grab and open when you need to. The fabric is heavyweight and feels like it will withstand the rough and tumble of daily use, as well as offering a degree of protection against the rain.
The Velo 2 is a shoulder bag and there are a range of clever features to make it as accommodating as possible. The strap has plenty of length to it, but is highly adjustable. The adjuster slider is quick to change, but locks securely, so you can tighten it up in a flash when you jump on your bike, or loosen it off when you're back on the pavement.
There are additional attachment points, as well as a supplied waist strap, so if you want to stabilise your bag, perhaps when riding your bike, that's there for you.
There's a good-sized pad on the strap, so lugging your office around with you isn't uncomfortable. There's also a well-padded section in the back designed specifically for your laptop. It features good padding at the base, so when you put your bag down you're not slamming your laptop into the floor.
The top flap covers access to the main section, which is also zipped, so it feels secure. There are plenty of additional pockets on the front for small items, and at the base of the strap/edges of the bag, which are about the right sort of size to take a water bottle, and are conveniently placed for access when walking.
Inside the main compartment you have enough space for larger items. We've been carrying a full-sized DSLR and lens, along with a flash and there's plenty more space for other bits. An elasticated section at the rear will keep papers tidy, and there's a final fleece-lined compartment designed for your tablet or iPad.
The result is that the STM Velo 2 is an easy bag to port a respectable amount of work or play kit around with you. There are enough pockets to allow you to organise things and access to them is good: access to the main compartment is much more convenient than a similar-sized rucksack.
Overall, it's a great bag, if a little costly. You can get yourself the STM Velo 2 for around £69, but we have to say, having used it for a couple of months, we really think it's worth it.