Booq Boa Squeeze review: More bag than meets the eye

booq boa hero
At a Glance
  • Booq Boa Squeeze

Much like the members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, Booq’s durable collections are named after snakes (Boa, Viper, Cobra, Python). The company, which specializes in robust outdoor gear, features seven satchels of various sizes and uses in the Boa Collection including an iPad sleeve, a laptop bag, and three backpacks—of which we tested one, the Boa Squeeze.

booq boa straight view

The Boa is an unusually shaped bag

An unusually shaped bag, the Boa Squeeze feels intensely compact: With two large zippered compartments on either side, and two smaller external pockets built into the flap of the main compartment, there’s not a lot of wasted space on this bag.

Made from the popular 1680 denier ballistic nylon, with a herringbone nylon interior, the Boa Squeeze measures 11.8” inches by 17” inches by 6.3” inches, weighs 2.2 pounds, and can carry laptops up to 15” inches. The lining is soft enough to prevent scratches to your devices and the rear of the bag provides ample, cushy back padding which made it very comfortable to wear (although the bottom of the bag is only lightly padded, so set it down gently).

booq boa rear

The Boa's straps were well padded, but a bit stiff.

The shoulder straps are aligned inwards; they essentially curve in like the opposite of parenthesis which made them cozy when worn, but a bit of a struggle to put on over larger coats. For what it’s worth, they’re also on the stiffer side.

The two side compartments are of a fairly substantial size and each includes a pocket (with the compartment on the right side also offering up a removable key fob). In addition to that, both the top and front of the bag feature smaller zippered compartments—the one at the top of the bag is fairly typical, but the zippered compartment that runs vertically along the front of the bag is an uncommon feature.

booq boa interior

Both side pockets are of a substantial size

It’s also not quite as useful as the others; because of its size it can only contend with your smaller items (SD cards, cables), and because it’s vertically oriented, I often felt as though my belongings were at risk of falling out of the pocket (although they did, in fact, stay put). Suffice it to say that this feature was perhaps a bit too “featurey” and not quite functional enough for me, but it still got used quite a bit.

The main compartment of the bag is what lends it it’s unusual structure: Instead of the zipper pulling in a smooth semi-circle dividing the bag into two, the Boa’s zipper has a more square path that peels off the front flap to reveal a large main compartment. Inside the main compartment holds a laptop sleeve, two pockets, a pen slot, and an additional zippered pocket/mesh pouch on the inside of the front flap.

booq boa pockets

Another pocket shot

The inside of the bag is therefore capable of carrying a lot more than you would initially think: Because the sides of the Boa are rounded off, it feels a little like wearing an exoskeleton—tight, constricted, and well… squeezed.

However, I was consistently impressed by how much I was able to pack into the Boa. Not only did it comfortably hold my 13” inch ultrabook, it had little to no difficultly contending with notebooks, magazines, wallets, makeup bags, or a variety of bulky lunch items or product boxes. Another bonus to the Boa? The Terralinq number embedded in the rear padding, which means any honest person who finds your bag can reunite you with it via the serial number.

booq boa my stuff

A peek at the copious interior

At $130, it’s on the upper end for a backpack, but does offer an interesting design, some unique features, and an impressive carrying capacity. Mostly however, I was impressed by how the Boa felt while I carried it: dense, solidly padded, and compact I was able to work my way across the city, through a work day, and after work errands without the Boa getting in the way or letting me down.

This story, "Booq Boa Squeeze review: More bag than meets the eye" was originally published by TechHive.

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At a Glance
  • Booq Boa Squeeze

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