Review: STM Linear bag for iPad (and other 10 inch tablets)

STM Linear baf for iPad. And sunflowers

Australian bag maker STM offered me an over the shoulder bag for my tablet recently. A STM Linear bag for iPad to be precise. The product description says iPad but it takes all manner of similar sized devices.

I’m a sucker for a man bag. There, I’ve said it. And I’m not ashamed. Much. I have certain things I like to take about with me when I go out and about sans les enfants. These include but aren’t limited to, my tablet, a whopping 13000mAh Anker battery, at least one set of headphones and probably my PSVita or a camcorder, depending on where I’m going.

Over the years I have been through an enormous number of different bags. Some of them work well but are now so horrendously unfashionable I can’t use them in decent company, some have serious failings that I just can’t seem to get over, like a magnetic clasp being the only thing between my stuff and a tumble on to the pavement.

There are 5 things I like, want and probably need in a man bag:

  • a proper clasp to keep it shut;
  • a degree of padding to protect my stuff;
  • an adjustable strap to deal with my excessive size;
  • some pockets to stick my extra stuff in;
  • a small enough profile to go under a raincoat if it pisses it down.
It shouldn’t be difficult for a bag to meet all those criteria but I’ve yet to find one that does all of them well. The best so far has been the horrendously unfashionable Timberland bag that saw Katy Hill keep about 10 metres away from me at Britmums when she was trying to talk to Ben Tipping (who was standing right next to me) at Britmums. To add insult to injury, she even complemented him on his fashion bag in front of me. I call it a fashion bag because frankly it looked too impractical to be a man bag.

Plenty of room for lots of gadgets.

I opted for the Linear in black, which is definitely the most sober of colours but also more practical for work purposes. I walk to work so a good man bag is part of the set up. After a week of use I have to say the Linear ticks pretty much all the boxes. It has a fixable clasp which is as cunning as anything I’ve seen outside of a pushchair- it’s not going to come undone on it’s own and scatter your stuff over a wide area. As well as the padded main section, which takes a tablet or a netbook, there is a slip pocket on the back and zip compartments on the inside and on the flap. There is also a grab handle on the top, which is handy for the train.
I like the STM Linear a lot. It ticks all of my boxes pretty much perfectly. The padded part of the shoulder strap could do with being a couple of inches longer and if I was going to be really picky, a detachable keyfob wouldn’t have gone amiss from one of the secondary pockets. Maybe an extra inch in depth would have made it perfect but then again this would have made it more cumbersome to fit under a jacket so I really can’t complain. The main compartment is very well padded, more so than anything I’ve slipped a tablet into but this doesn’t add unnecessary bulk to the device. 
All in all, I’m very pleased with the STM Linear bag for iPad. If I ever get an iPad,it will be the first bag I put it into but in the meantime my Asus Transformer is very happy in there. 
The STM Linear bag for iPad is available from all good bag retailers, including Amazon, for an RRP of £39.99. It’s not the cheapest bag you can by but it’s far from being the most expensive. What it is is a very practical bag that offers a lot of features for the money and in the end I think it’s well worth the money.