I love bags. A bit to much to be honest. The Husband has at times called me the ‘The Bag Lady’ and frequently encourages me to sell my collection. It’s not that I’m obsessed with bags, but rather I’m always in search of the perfect one. A bag that’s light. Durable. Functional. Comfortable. Fashionable. And will hold all my stuff but not call attention to that fact I’m carrying a few thousand dollars of equipment around. Oh, and it has to have room for snacks, the kids snacks of course. I found the best laptop backpack that does just that, and a bit more. The STM Impulse laptop backpack.
Best Laptop Backpack for Tech Gear: STM Impulse Backpack
The Impulse was designed with comfort and organization in mind, two of my favorite things. From a comfort standpoint, the backpack is thin; think thin enough to slip under the seat in front of you and STILL have legroom. This is one of the things I like the most. We consolidated a massive Swiss Army backpack that killed my back into the Impulse and did so without having to remove things we were already carrying.
The Impulse has padded straps and back panels for support as well as an air channel down the back so you’re not taking it off and sporting a big sweat mark. I found this very helpful after riding a few miles on my bike to a lunch meeting. It also has a suspension system with a sternum strap to stabilize the load. In other words, your back won’t hurt after toting it around town or throughout the airport.
The organizational aspects of the Impulse are equally as good. As I mentioned, we were able to consolidate a massive backpack into the Impulse, and keep everything in it. This is due to the organizational design of the bag. No more digging to the bottom of your laptop backpack to find that cord you need or remove the extra battery at airport security, which always seems to disrupt the contents causing me to spend extra time repacking the bag…not a good mix when traveling alone with two little kids.
The Impulse fits a 15-inch laptop in the padded compartment located in the back of the bag, helping keep it a bit more secure. This area also has a fleece-lined slot for a tablet. There is another deeper front pocket dedicated for papers, books, etc. In my case – paperwork, toiletries, and a thin jacket. And yet one more front pocket for keys, wallets, pens or kids snacks.
There are two side utility pockets; one has a zipper for added protection. Both are large enough for water bottles and/or an umbrella. One of the more unique pockets is the bottom pouch, which is a larger area designed to store laptop batteries, cords and other bulky things (my laptop cord, phone plug, the kids crayons, Epi-Pen and Princess One’s stuffed tiger). This pouch isn’t padded though so don’t plan to pack anything breakable here.
The one con with this backpack is that won’t standup on its own; if you set it down, you need to lean it one something. However, if it tips over the padding and the fact that the equipment is located in the back ensure nothing will break. But with the back strap that attaches to your luggage there aren’t too many times you’ll need to set it down, at least when you’re at the airport.
VERDICT: I’ve had a lot of bags over the years and this is by far the most functional, comfortable and stylish laptop backpack I’ve had to carry my tech gear and kid’s stuff in.
Additional Features Worth Noting
- Water-resistant polyester lining
- Quick-grab top handle provides easy grab-and-go mobility
- Luggage pass-through strap slips over upright bags for consolidated travel.
What are some of your best laptop backpack recommendations? Have you used the Impulse?
The STM Impulse was provided to me from STM Bags. This had no bearing on my review of this item. As always, all my opinions are my own.