After months of playing email tag, my wait is finally over! As the resident computer geek/nerd/genius, I couldn't be happier! Why? I'm holding Booq's new Taipan Pack (Steel) in my geeky/nerdy/genius hands!!!
I've been seeing Booq's ads in all the computer magazines for years, and they always looked like really high quality bags. After several visits to their site I was convinced- Booq makes the ultimate in computer carrying technology hands down.
These days, it seems like everyone and their brother, sister, and all of their cousins down the line are carrying around a laptop- It just makes sense to protect your investment. Booq is aiming this one at the macbook/mbpro users (the site says for 13"-15" macbooks, but the bag came with three little rubber fobs- each one sporting a macbook size- up to 17"), but pc users fear not! The tag also says it will hold pc's 15.5x10.4x1.25". Both my 15" macbook pro and my 15" Toshiba Satellite (a few years older, slower, heavier, thicker...!) fit perfectly.
So let's take a look at this bad boy, starting at the front and working our way around!
First off, the exterior material is durable 840D polyester fabric with a water-repellant coating, and the "Steel" fabric is also reflective- a definite plus for cyclists! On the very front is an open mesh pocket with a padded patch on top of that to protect what's inside- the patch also has a thin rubber bumper to go the extra mile. At the top of the patch is an adjustable velcro strap to keep everything secure. Finishing it off is a nice little Booq tag. This mesh pocket sits on top of a really nice padded pocket with an upside down "L" shaped zipper.
Unzipping this high performance YKK zipper (which are featured throughout) opens a wide array of pockets! The interiors are lined with a sweet red, ripstop fabric. The cover side has one really deep pocket, and two mesh pockets stacked on top of that- each one deeper than the next. Bag side, the first thing you'll notice is Booq's Terralinq metal badge with a unique ID number. Once registered, if ( -insert messiah of choice- forbid!) you lose your bag, and a kind soul finds it (kind soul the imperative words), it can be returned to you with ease! Underneath the badge is an almost identical pocket to the one on the flap, but this one zips shut! On top of that is a wider bag featuring sides, letting it to hold just a little bit more- great for smaller books! On top of that is a short, yet wide mesh pocket with a wide poly band across the top. I find the mesh pockets great for cables and external hard drives, while the deeper pockets are great for tools, small pumps, spare tubes, etc.
Going back to the outside really quick, on the right side of the outer front pocket is a vertical zipper- open it up, and there's a big, deep, padded pocket that's great for anything you want to keep safe.
D-shaped pockets with padded backs adorn each side and both also feature mesh pockets with elastic tops keeping your easy to reach goods secure. On the inside though, each one is different for the most part. They both have another mesh pocket on the inside flap, but the inside is where things get different. The left side has four pockets- one that's nice for cables, the one on top of that is about pocket camera sized, and on top of that are two little pockets side by side- looks like they're the perfect size for memory cards/sticks, and smaller items in general. None of these pockets close- they're all open, but seem secure enough. Bonus pop-out key chain inside here too! The right pocket is an organized little office. I love to write, and this pocket is perfect for a small notebook or journal, and on top of that three pen/pencil pockets and one larger marker/multiple pen pocket.
Now for the main pocket- on the front side is a velcro strap that when opened, reveals a hidden slot for a headphone/earbud cord to slip through to the outside, which is closed of by a little rubber siding plus a little flap on the outside sewn in just the right spot to let the cord out and keep the elements out at the same time. The rest of it is one big pocket for books, clothes, groceries- whatever you want...it's pretty deep! In my photo I have my shaving bag packed full, my slippers that i never leave home overnight without, and some clothes to sleep in, and some fresh socks & drawers. The back side is where the laptop compartment is, with a smooth, plush lining and hard foam back. On top of this is an excellent file folder/magazine sized pocket- deep enough to hold several of each.
*Side note- The laptop compartment is an open pocket, which is fine with me; however, the website says it has a zippered closure- but in it's own photos it does not. I do recommend checking out the pics on their site- i tried to take enough to show this bag's features the best i could, but they do a little bit better job!
There's a beefy handle on top for carrying by hand when you need to, but the real carrying end of this bag is in back. The foam back padding is stitched onto the back and not part of it, letting your body breath- not to mention it's some of the beefiest I've seen...so comfy! The straps themselves are padded all the way around- top included, and have little reflective strips on each side for safety. To lighten up the load, there's chest and waist compression straps...very nice! The chest strap is adjustable vertically as well as horizontally, and can be removed with ease if desired. It's small enough though that it's not in the way when not in use. The waist straps are attached to a good sized pad to keep your sides comfy when in use. If you prefer not to use them and don't want them dangling around, they tuck nicely behind the open back padding and do not add any discomfort when the bag is worn like this. Plus, the straps are very long to accommodate most anyone.
I can honestly say that Booq has made one great pack here that passes all of my personal tests and more than fulfills my multi-pocketed desires. All of the stitching is super tight and heavy duty with metal hardware throughout. Oh- and I didn't mention the super tough, rubbery grip bottom! You say sit- this bag stays! Lightweight at 3.2 pounds (1.45 kg) and just the right size to get the job done (exterior: 16.5x13x7.25" -so maybe it doesn't fit that 17" macbook pro after all.). With a five year warranty (which i don't see needing, but only time will tell...) I don't see how you can go wrong!