I-stay is a company specialising in bag straps that don’t slip from your shoulder and distribute weight evenly. The company has recently branched out and created its own luggage range, with a selection of laptop cases, messenger bags and backpacks.
I gave the messenger bag a test run on a short trip to Manchester, carrying my Macbook Pro, chargers and some documents, as well as a small suitcase.
The bag is far more stylish than I expected for something so functional. It is made from a black, waterproof nylon material, with a large flap at the front which attaches to two Velcro patches and three zip compartments.
The back compartment is padded and good for storing a laptop. The middle two sections are then covered by the main flap.
The middle section is the largest and is separated in to two document compartments, with one securable using a small Velcro strap. The frontal zip-up section has pockets for storing small items, and the main flap has a small zip-up compartment within it.
There is a trolley attachment strap on the back of the bag that is securable with Velcro – a very handy feature when travelling with the bag and a carry on case.
The i-stay branding is limited to a small corner patch – a striking white and red palette with just a target logo and no brand name. The zips also feature the red and white target and the strap has i-stay branding, but everything is kept simple and low key.
The strap is the key feature of the bag. It is made from nylon with a large rubber web in the centre that rests over the shoulder. The rubber section is i-stay’s unique selling point and consists of a mesh of rubber, with a sticky, shiny surface on the underside and a matt finish on the top. It is widest in the middle and then tapers back towards the strap width at the edges.
This allows it to distribute weight over the shoulder more evenly. There is i-stay branding at either end of the plastic section of the strap and it attaches to two metal rings on the back of the bag using two gunmetal dog clips.
What the strap, and bag, does best is spread the load of the weight as well as keeping the bag from slipping from your shoulder when on the move. The Macbook is a pretty heavy bit of kit, but with the i-stay strap it didn’t feel nearly as bad as with my previous bag, and I could lean down and pick up my cabin bag without the strap slipping from my shoulder and hitting the ground.
VERDICT This is a great bag – functional but also pretty stylish, especially when using it for business trips, with the non-slip strap a welcome solution to a problem I didn’t know I had.
I-stay also do bags for iPads, laptops and rucksacks as well as just the i-stay strap in a selection of colours for £12.99.
SIZE 33 x 40 x 8 cm; Laptop section: 28 x 38 x 3 cm