I admit I was a bit fooled with initial impressions of the Velo 2, a messenger-style, laptop bag from the Australian technical merchandise company, STM.
Upon opening the packaging, the Velo 2 seemed smaller and perhaps not as functional as my previous laptop bag. But with closer inspection, I soon discovered many useful features that aren’t always available in other laptop bags on the market, including my own. Of particular interest were the number of zippered compartments and remarkable amount of usable space availed once the quick release buckles are detached. Still, what really threw me off was the inconspicuous side compartment, fully padded and lined, that's large enough to fit most 13” laptops. STM (Standard Technical Merchandise) also offers a larger version of the Velo 2 equipped to fit most 15” laptops.
When in the market for a new laptop bag or backpack, among the features I immediately look for in making an informed purchase, are comfort, number of zippered compartments, protection and safety. Without any reservation, the Velo 2 appears to have more space and zippered compartments than any other laptop bag I've seen or purchased over a long business career, which is instantly a big plus for this reviewer.
Lifting the front flap, the Velo 2 reveals a front zippered pocket suitable for smaller items like pens and pocket flashlights. Opening the outer zipper, there’s a phone pocket, clip for keys and another inner mesh, zippered compartment suitable to store small valuables or accessories. There are also two side compartments, large enough to store water bottles or a compact umbrella. The main compartment features two side pockets, more than enough room to store stacks of paper in the elastic document compartment and tablet computer in the fleece-lined outer pocket. Additionally there is another zippered compartment at the top of the laptop bag, with more than enough room to store a smart phone and "quick drop" items, and, as though STM thought of everything, another zippered feature that allows the bag to conveniently slip over a luggage handle.
The Velo 2 is topped off with quality craftsmanship, comfortable top handle and back panel, removable and adjustable side strap with a 360 degree-swivel, waist strap for additional stabilization, strap for a clip-on light for cyclists and a small reflective tag on the front flap.
Conclusion: The Velo 2 laptop shoulder bag is a certifiable winner and easily the most versatile messenger-style bag I’ve seen. It's the perfect laptop bag for business professionals, cyclists, students and travelers. After careful consideration and nearly two weeks of inspection, the Velo 2 unequivocally gets a five star rating for this review.