STM Velo 2 Messenger Bag
Here's a generalization: Aussies do their best to balance their work and personal lives, tending to favor the private over the professional. But even antipodeans need to put dinner on the table. That's why we're liking the Australian bagmaker STM's Velo 2 laptop shoulder bag, precisely because it is designed to make the trip from the place you earn the bread and the place you eat it.
A consummate commuter bag, the Velo 2 is perfect for anyone who cycles to work. The over-the-shoulder messenger bag comfortably fits all your tech into its 1,220-cubic-inch enclosure. The large main compartment is closed by a waterproof flap with two adjustable quick-release buckles as well as a zipper. Inside, there is a compartment for 15-inch laptops with a unique side-entry opening. Both sides of the bag, integrated into the shoulder strap, feature large pockets for two water bottles or an umbrella. A front pouch just underneath the main flap has enough room for a joey – or a lightweight jacket.
For longer trips, there is a zippered slit in the back of the bag so it can slide over a rolling bag's handle. A small, padded pocket near the carrying handle at the top of the bag makes for an easy, and safe, spot to stow sunglasses.
We found that STM bags had a few design details that eased our trip immensely. The shoulder strap adjusts quickly and the bag features a novel quick-release clasp that cinches to bring the bag closer when you're saddling up. That, coupled with the optional waist strap, add a considerable amount of stability to the bag, not to mention your bike. And the skin cooling Aero-Mesh padding on the back of the bag helped to prevent back sweat so we didn't look as though we'd commuted from the outback. [$100; amazon.com]