In my never-ending search for the ultimate minimalistic bag … I’ve come across one that really hits most of the marks, the Staad Backpack from SFbags.com.

It’s balance of stylish looks, leather accents and most importantly, it passes the “goldielocks” test.  Big enough to carry everything I need, yet small enough to gain the benefit of the size and weight reductions of today’s mobile electronics.

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I mean, come on … why should I have to resort to a huge, heavy bag if I want to carry my iPad air AND MacBook Air, let alone have room for my sunglasses.  It seems that one can only find the extremes; small, tiny and light bags that will one or two things … or the behemoth bag which is heavier than it’s contents.

Not that Waterfield always hits a home run.  Although I really like their stuff for the most part, they have been known to hit a foul ball from time to time.  In fact, in the beginning, I was not impressed by this bag from how it looked on the website.  And I had ordered one of their other bags staad-08_smalland was in the process of shipping it back to them after finding it looked better on-screen than off, when I received an email from a friend asking my advice about the Staad and one other bag.  After taking another look at it, I decided to take a chance and order one … and very glad I did!  Not only do I love it and use it as my primary bag, I recommended it to my friend who also purchased one.

Pros:

  • Looks very nice.  Casual … but can also stand it’s ground in the board roomstaad-05_small
  • Two sizes, Slim and Stout … so you can tailor to fit your gear
  • Choice of black ballistic nylon or waxed canvas body
  • Choice of several colors of leather accents
  • GREAT handle (This is missing with a lot of backpacks)
  • Will accommodate 8.5″x11″ paper documents without needing to fold them
  • Very well organized …
    • Separate but equal pockets for your tablet and laptopstaad-12_small
    • Two inside pockets for pens, cables, power supplies etc.
    • Two outside zippered pockets, easily accessible for cell phone, earbuds, business cards
    • Center zipper for accessing the space beneath the tablet pouch which allows storage of bigger stuff in the middle section without bulging out the front of the bag

Cons:

  • A bit on the expensive side
  • New outer latch style … I like it but I don’t know how well it will last and it may be too easy for someone to quietly open and access my bag while in close quarters like a subway car

So … as you can tell by the few “Cons” … I really like the bag.

My Bag:

  • Waterfield Staad Slim
  • Waxed canvas body, Chocolate Leather accents
  • When full, my bag holds
    • MacBook Air 11
    • iPad Air 2 with smart cover
    • 512 GB ssd drive and 2 thumb drives in one inside pocket
    • Small promotional items in the second inside pocket
    • Tom Bihn zipper bag with lighting cable, usb extension cable, glasses cleaning cloths, two pens, and my pencil by 53
    • iPad and MacBook Air power supplies
    • Sunglasses case
    • Moleskine notebook (sometimes … there is still nothing like paper)
    • First outside zipper pocket is iPhone 6 (when not in my pocket) and earbuds
    • Second outside zipper pocket has my business cards.
  • Even with all of that stuff, it is small, compact, light and stylish