Like clockwork, STM Bags keeps pumping out impressive new designs. A few weeks ago we showcased Compass, the company’s purse-like offering. Now we’ve had a chance to check out the rest of the Spirt collection: Nomad ($120-$130) and Ranger ($120-$130). The former comes is sizes for 11”, 13”, or 15” Macs, while the latter has a version for 17” MacBook Pros too. Click through for more pictures and hands-on impressions.
Both bags are made out of the same nylon material that we’re really fond of, come with a removable laptop sleeve, and although they have different setups, are clearly part of the same family. Nomad is a messenger bag loaded with pockets and organizers galore on the front and inside, and a zipper on the back for quick access to your laptop. We really like the wide shoulder strap and the metal hooks used to keep it shut. Then there’s Ranger, which is for those who prefer backpacks. Inside there’s a lot more room for all the miscellany that ends up in your bag, and, believe it or not, this one has plenty of pockets too. While exploring the various compartments, we found what’s likely the coolest part of the bag in a zipper underneath: a hidden rain cover that appears when you need it and can be stuffed away when you don’t. Nomad and Ranger both come in Graphite, Bondi Blue, and Mustard.
Updated August 6, 2012: We wanted to add a few more details on Nomad after more extended hands-on testing. While we’re big fans of the bag’s look and build quality—both are great—the placement and tension of the metal hooks could use some serious reconsideration. Angled as they are off to the bag’s sides, the hooks don’t do a great job of holding the bag closed, particularly when it’s sagging for whatever reason. Consequently, although the bag is technically secure when it’s fully zipped up and hooked together, it too often has a tendency to pop open and expose the passively closed small and large pockets inside. A sturdy plastic clasp down the center of the front flap with some supporting Velcro would do a better job of holding this bag closed.