We're testing the STM Velo 2 & Cable Wrap to see if they solve our travel packing problems.
A Packing Challenge
My passion with ultra-lite, organized packing is well known – I spend days (if not weeks!) obsessing over the placement of everything in my pack, debating each items’ merits and weighing it according (sometime literally weighing it!). But no matter how much I organize the main pack; there are always last minute odds and ends being stashed in my day bag. While I’d like to keep my day bag for just my camera, or maybe my iPad, the reality is that water bottles, magazines, snack packs, umbrellas, guidebooks and more tend to infiltrate it! The result is a heavy, awkward, bulging mess.
STM to the Rescue!
I fell in love when I first discovered STM bags. STM has everything I could need, from water bottle holders that are big enough for a full size bottle, to straps that are easy to adjust, plus plenty of security features and soft flannel lining the pouches for smart phones and tablets.
The Velo 2 (Medium) is a particularly good choice. It has two water bottle holders – one of which could also work for an umbrella. A waist belt keeps it steady while darting through the airport. The back panel offers a zippered opening at the bottom and converts from a pocket to a slot for your suitcase’s telescoping handle. The small front pocket has a dozen tiny slots for pens, business cards, keys, and cords. In the main pocket, there is enough space for a DSLR camera, a 15 inch laptop, and lots of odds and ends. There are tiny loops to keep cords organized and a side access panel for when you just have to get laptop without disturbing anything else.
Making the Cut
I love how there is literally a spot for everything in the Velo 2 and how it keeps everything organized. It will be coming with us on all of our road trips! It will be perfect for keeping our critical gear – the iPads, the cameras, the water bottles, the snacks, and pen, paper, pencils – by our side on lengthy trips, allowing us to combine travel and work with ease. I love that there’s enough room to toss in a book, some magazines, even a spare T-shirt without the bag overflowing. Important: there’s a small pocket at the top that would be perfect for the passports or boarding cards if you are using it as your primary piece of carry-on luggage.
There are two tricky things about this bag - for us. These may not be issues for you at all. First, it’s designed to accommodate a 15 inch laptop and we often sub out our laptop in favor of smaller iPads. We’d welcome the extra space when we’re on the train, but if we’re just heading out for a day trip, there’d be much more space than we’d need.
Secondly, the dimensions are too large to be used as a personal item when traveling by air with carry-on luggage only. Would it squish? Sure. But I'd rather not take the chance it would be measured at the airport. This bag would be perfect for us just a few cms smaller at the measurements for the personal item size limits used by airlines (16x33x43 cm for Air Canada).
A Review of the STM Cable Wrap
There are plenty of times when my ‘normal’ life consists of a frantic search for car keys, or phone charger, or dog leash, so when I travel I want things to go as smoothly as possible – at least when it comes to luggage!
The STM Cable Wrap has become an indispensable tool of the trade for me as a frequent traveler. It opens up flat to reveal a myriad of different size pouches that are perfect for storing all my digital and electronic odds and ends - then rolls up tightly, secures itself with a clip, and can easily be tossed in my bag.
On my recent trip to Montreal, I stored chargers for my iPhone, iPad, camera battery charger, ear buds, spare memory cards, and a stack of business cards. Everything stayed organized and it rolled up easily, even with the bulky battery charger in the middle. It was great to have a system that was more structured than just a jumble of tangled cords in a Ziploc bag.
While I have used the Cable Wrap as originally intended, I think it has potential for some new incarnations for creative travelers. I can envision campers using it to keep spice vials organized and business travelers using it to organize office supplies.
I’d love to see the Cable Wrap come in some more creative colors (currently only grey and black) but, overall, I couldn’t find any faults with the design.
We Want To Give You An STM Cable Wrap!
UPDATE: Contest Closed.
A big congratulations to our winner: Valerie!!!
Thanks to everyone who participated!
Disclosure: STM furnished TST with the Velo 2 Medium and Cable Wraps for review. This did not affect our appraisal. This post may contain links from our sponsors.
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