FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
Hands-on review: STM Dux Messenger laptop bag
Wed, 21st Sep 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

STM’s Dux Messenger is a 16-litre laptop bag that is bound to stand out on your commute to work, offering copious amounts of pockets and space to carry whatever it is you need to the office.

Available in four colours, the STM Dux Messenger 16L is available online for USD $249.95 (approx. NZD $407).

Smarter Than Most

Back in 1998, Ethan Nyholm was forced to carry his new laptop around in a padded envelope in his hiking backpack. Though it was an ingenious workaround to protect his computer, he knew it wasn’t a long-term solution, so he joined forces with co-worker Adina Jacobs and founded STM Goods to make a bag specifically designed to protect digital gear while offering a fashion-forward look.

The ‘STM’ acronym stands for ‘Smarter Than Most’, and after scrolling through the product pages on the company’s website, you’d have to agree – the majority of STM’s bags make use of every nook and cranny to create stand-out products with ingenious use of space.

Carry smarter

With a 16L capacity, the Dux Messenger is large enough to double as a travel bag, although the number of pockets could prove to be problematic should security pick you for a random bag search!

Dux Messenger presents an unrivalled carry experience, and the ‘Dux’ name derives from Australian slang for ‘best in the class’. With dimensions of 44.5cm x 33cm x 19cm, it sits quite large on your shoulder, although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The bag’s design, particularly in the colour we tested (Black Camo) almost looks like it has been designed to target gaming laptop users, although the other colours: Blue Sea, Grey Storm, and Black are a little more reserved.

Featuring FoamFortress, the bag offers 360-degree padding to ensure rugged cargo protection for its contents. The material is water-resistant, which helps to deflect rain and spills to keep your cargo dry and clean.

One handy feature, particularly for travelling, is the fact that there is a ‘luggage passthrough’ integrated into the back panel, which provides sturdy placement on rolling luggage for convenient transport. The bag can also carry like a messenger or as a vertical sling with a quick adjustment of the trap.

The laptop section – named SlingTech – helps give your device additional protection by cradling it away from any impact zone. The bag is designed for 15-inch laptops, although STM confirms that it’s compatible with MacBook Pro models (up to 16-inches in size).

There are multiple pockets throughout the bag, including a side water bottle pocket, a discrete security pocket, a key clip, a pocket to protect your sunglasses, plus a handy cable keeper to ensure things are kept nice and tidy.

Included is also the EasyStash removable accessory pouch for quick access, on-the-go items, which resembles a travel wash bag and could be handy if you need to carry a portable hard drive, or even a small camera for vlogging.


It’s hard to argue with STM’s ‘Best in Class’ label for the Dux Messenger – its storage solutions are innovative and hard to beat, whether you’re just commuting into the office or travelling overseas.

Its price tag might be seen as a little on the expensive side, although depending on the price of your laptop/tablet, it could be a worthy investment.