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Excellent materials and durability
Great padding and protection for your tech
-Smart storage and pockets keep gear organized
Sleeve is very small
Overall capacity of the bag could be bigger
Thule’s Strävan Deluxe Laptop Bag is durable and keeps your gear nice and safe, but suffers from limited capacity and doesn’t fit many thicker laptops.
If you’re shopping around for a lightweight messenger bag that’ll keep your laptop safe and sound, Thule’s Stravan Deluxe Laptop Bag might be for you. There are a ton of options out there on the internet for similar bags, but there’s a good reason this one is consistently well-reviewed. It’s sturdy and well made, sleek and simple. While not a large as other bags we’ve tested, it’s still a decent option if you’ve got a thin laptop or MacBook and don’t need a huge bag to carry around a lot of extra stuff. See why we liked the Stravan so much in our review below.
Thule’s design for their bags is fairly consistent throughout their lineup, and the Stravan fits into that well. Comprised of robust nylon, the bag is dark grey with black trim—creating a professional look that fits in with any setting. The only real pop of color comes from the iconic neon-blue zipper tabs that most Thule bags use. Though the Stravan is quite skinny and lacks much capacity, there are tons of great organizers and storage.
While the bag claims to be mainly aimed at 15-inch MacBook owners, we had no issues fitting some smaller MacBooks and Chromebooks in here without too much jostling around.
At the front of the bag, there’s one small fleece-lined pocket that’s perfect for stowing away your phone or smaller items you don’t want to get scratched up. Behind this, there are two larger pouches with some organizers inside for accessories. Next, there is a large zippered compartment for storing books, magazines, folders, papers and other larger items you want to separate from the main compartment.
The bag’s laptop sleeve is also located in the main compartment and does a solid job of offering protection to your laptop via fleece lining, padding, and cushions around the edges. There’s also a neoprene flap to cover it from the top. While the bag claims to be mainly aimed at 15-inch MacBook owners, we had no issues fitting some smaller MacBooks and Chromebooks in here without too much jostling around. The one thing you definitely won’t be getting in this messenger is a thicker gaming laptop or PC.
completely waterproof, this bag is water-resistant and should keep your expensive tech safe in the event of light rain or accidental spills.
Another handy feature is that you can access the main compartment with a zipper on the rear of the bag. From here, you can easily retrieve tablets or similar items on the fly. At the top of the Stravan, you’ll find two neoprene hand straps for carrying the messenger and the shoulder strap, which also comes with a comfy pad for added comfort.
While not completely waterproof, this bag is water-resistant and should keep your expensive tech safe in the event of light rain or accidental spills. We always enjoy a bag that doesn’t require an extra rain fly you have to dig out and equip when the sky decides to open up on your commute.
Given that the Stravan is quite slim, it’s also comfortable, since it’s difficult to fit much stuff into the bag before it becomes too cumbersome. We tested out the bag with a typical load (MacBook, iPad, a few small items and some magazines), and did not have any real points of discomfort. The shoulder strap itself is a bit skinnier than some messenger bags, but it’s not an issue due to the Stravan’s small build. The padding on this strap is comfortable, but it can be a bit scratchy if it’s resting on bare skin. As for the top handles, the neoprene is a nice touch—helping give you a superb grip that won’t slip out of your grasp.
We’ve tested lots of other Thule bags, and they’re all durable as hell. The Stravan is built of tough nylon and has excellent stitching that will undoubtedly last you for many years. The zippers feel smooth and operate error-free.
The Stravan is built of tough nylon and has excellent stitching that will undoubtedly last you for many years.
We experienced no weak points during our testing, but some have reported issues with the rubber zipper pulls on Thule bags, so keep that in mind. If you ever do run into an issue with your Stravan’s durability, Thule’s limited lifetime warranty will have you covered but we doubt you will—this bag is a tank.
The average price you’ll see for this bag is around $80. Despite being constructed well and offering a solid warranty, this price is higher than many similar messengers that are roughly the same size. If you’re willing to spend the $80 on this bag, there are many others around that price that will offer bigger capacities and even full waterproofing (rather than just resistance). You’ll have to decide whether the name/brand is worth the increase in price.
Given the higher price of Thule’s Stravan, there’s definitely some alternatives that may be worth the savings. If you love everything about the Stravan except its price, Tomtoc offers perhaps the best competitor with their laptop shoulder bag.
These two bags are both quite similar, with nylon materials, fleece lining, and overall sizing. They also look nearly identical, so that preference will come down to your particular taste. The Tomtoc also has more protective outside pockets that keep their shape and prevent items from being crushed.
Price is where these two vastly differ. For about $30, you can snag the Tomtoc messenger and save yourself about $50—and you still get a comparable warranty, so if the cheaper bag does fail, you should have no issues getting assistance replacing it. We’re willing to bet the Thule will last you a bit longer, but whether that’s worth the extra $50 is up to you.
You can find our list of the best laptop messenger bags out there right now to see even more great options that may fit your needs better.
A high-quality bag from a well-known brand.
Thule makes excellent bags, and the Stravan has a durable, high-quality build, but it’s a bit more expensive than many competitors. If you love Thule’s design and trust their bags from previous experience, this is a good fit—just keep in mind that it has competition.
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