Review: STM Loft Bag

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Reviews

STM Loft (USD $59.95) starstarstarstarstar
Website: (Buy now from RadTech)

STM Loft BagTaking a cue from the latest MacRoundtable Podcast episode I thought I would do a mini review of the STM bags, specifically the Loft bag, as we became a supplier at work a few weeks ago.

We have a range of STM bags in the showroom, but by far my favorite is the Loft. While Sports 2 is the official educational bag for Apple in the US (for good reason; they carry everything a student could need), the Loft is much smaller and suits people like me who like to carry everything we need, but limit ourselves to not carrying the things we don’t.

Loft comes in two sizes; medium (15″) and small (13″) and is produced in two color combinations; grey & grey or tan & orange (depending on whether you are a PC user or a Mac user). The bag seems incredibly small when you get it in your hands and yet holds a lot. I took a medium sized bag and tested it with all my work papers and pads, a 15″ MacBook Pro, power cord, Ethernet cord, iPod connector and a range of other power cords I typically carry and it was great. My iPod fit into the small pouch on the strap, the notebook felt very secure and protected with the padding and extra “lid” on the Loft. It genuinely felt lighter than carrying the exact same stuff in my usual setup; a regular backpack with a cheap notebook sleeve in it.

I think build quality is one of my biggest concern with notebook bags since my current backpack is starting to wither. The straps (on my current bag) are coming apart from the bag, the bottom is looking thin and overall I don’t want to carry any real weight in it anymore. With the Loft however the build quality is such that I would feel comfortable carrying anything in there, especially with the extra padded strap so your shoulder won’t hurt. It feels strong both in the materials and in the stitching. In addition, the strong metal clasps on the straps (something most manufacturers cheap out on with plastic) make it feel even more secure and make me believe it’s robust enough to last for a least a few years of good use.

Of course it looks great and not at all like a laptop bag, so I would feel more secure walking around town with it (the reason I have my current setup). In short; I am getting a small one as soon as possible in the hope that I will someday be able to afford a MacBook. I love it, and can sell this product just like I do my Macs; with absolute confidence in every aspect of it’s design and ability.

One final note to you Mac Mini owners; you may want to checkout one of STMs other offerings, the Mac Mini lunchbox. One thing is for sure, STM knows how to appeal to an Apple owners sense of cool design.

There are 8 comments on Review: STM Loft Bag:

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  1. Zul | Aug 01 2006 - 07:57

    Hi Adam,

    I actually have the green STM for the almost 2 months now. I bought it immediately for my macbook. I was looking for a sleeve-like case for my macbook in the hope of trying to keep it from scratches while keeping still having a slim item to walk around with. The local apple centre did not have any 13″ cases in stock. I almost gave up, the shop assistant gave up earlier. I kept trying every bag then suddenly the STM bag labelled as for a 12″ ibook fitted my macbook perfectly. On their website it is stated as a 13″ Loft bag.

    Overall I am happy with it, I can use it with or without the strap, has a nice handle at the top to carry it in my hand. I can fit my adapter in the front pocket, which is half the size of the bag. There is a pocket to brung any A4 sized paper. I actually bring my paper files and magazines.

    The bag protects my macbook well, lots of padding. You really need to remove two flaps before you can take out ur macbook, which suits me fine. My only problem is the velcro straps, as a rule I do not like the noisy opening of velcro and if i fit too many things in the puter pocket, the velcro pads do not stick properly.

    Wow, I have actually written a long review. Will try to take photos of it and post it in the forums.

  2. Zul | Aug 01 2006 - 07:26

    OOppsss, didnt realise it was Matt who wrote the review, Hiya Matt.

  3. KD | Aug 02 2006 - 09:06

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the review. I may just get this bag when I order my MacBook next week! One question though, you said it comes in two colors “grey & grey or tan & orange (depending on whether you are a PC user or a Mac user).” Which one is which? It didn’t seem obvious to me that one color scheme was designated for PC and the other Mac. The tan & orange is pictured here but the grey & grey is pictured on

  4. Matt Hoult | Aug 03 2006 - 12:25

    @KD: That was just my little joke with grey/beige box users. The grey/grey combo is only available at to my knowledge but Mac users generally want a little more personality than grey.

  5. C Sporn | Aug 03 2006 - 03:41

    This story is now on

  6. Vuong Pham | Aug 07 2006 - 02:54

    Backpacks seem better for longer hauls.. wheeled carriers are just to vertical.. if you don’t have a sidewalk forget it!

    I just got a North Face model Recon.

    aobut 1850 Square inches.
    with laptop section. albiet it is padded I opted to get a black canvas wrapper.
    for extra protection.

    I choose the North Face because it is durable bag (lifetime warranty) has lots of technical features.
    Breathable padded back, lots of compression straps.. important when You don’t want stuff flopping around. Really comfortable should straps, waist straps (that can be tucked away), sturnum strap. Reflective patch on back.. extra pockets for misc storage. Super comfortable!!

    I had tryied the Targus Matrix Back pack .. too many pockets and too bulky for me. If it wasn’t full things flopped around otherwise items were buried in some pocket!

    The Recon fits my new white Macbook just fine!!! Not too bulky. 1850 is good for my large frame.
    The large mesh pocket on the outside works great for misc stuff i.e. bike helment, papers, lunch shooes etc. PLUS there are cargo straps on the bottome for lashing additional stuff on for the haul!

    good luck in your quest.

    I got this back for 60 bux.. normally it is 79.00 retail!


  7. Vuong Pham | Aug 07 2006 - 02:54

    Otherwise..I use a brenthaven Mobility 1. It is now discontinued but still can be had on ebay for about 20.00.. (new old inventory tags and all)

    New it was over 100.00

    The Mobility 1 was designed for the 12 and 14″ ibook, and Apple customized this one from Brenthaven with an ugly blue… but I degress..

    This bad fits the 13″ macbook quite snug and lots of organized pockets for power supply etc. Love the bag.. just need a backpack once in a while.

  8. power | Jun 09 2008 - 12:10

    the bag looks nice.