From: Mark Anders
August 26, 2010
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Nearly everywhere I've ever traveled, I'm always immediately pegged as "the American." I like to think it mostly has to do with my appearance rather than my actions (I pride myself on never being the 'ugly American' who's insensitive to local customs and such). Still, I'm 6'1" dishwater blond hair, blue eyes--basically a corn-fed-looking American bloke, which makes it difficult to fit in most anywhere globally except for perhaps Amsterdam or, say, Sweden.
Maybe it's because I look so damn American physically, but when traveling I always stay away from dressing in bright, swishy outdoor gear that just screams "U.S.A.!" Instead of looking like a traveler fresh off a REI shopping spree, I strive to find things that blend in to the environment. With all that in mind, I was stoked to come across this new travel backpack.
At first glance, the STM Convoy Laptop Backpack looks like a mild-mannered canvas backpack. Not too big, not too small. It's got a sort of old school military surplus look to it. But zip the thing open and you'll find all sorts of handy accessory pockets including a suspended laptop sleeve that keeps your computer protected from getting jostled around unnecessarily. There are all kinds of organizer pockets but what I like best is that this backpack flies under the radar. It never announces: "I'm carrying a $1,500 laptop inside here!" The canvas is water resistant, durable, and wears well with the grime of regular international travel.
While nearly every piece of gear has room for improvement, the Convoy comes dang close to being the perfect travel backpack. Check it out. ($100; www.stmbags.com)