Gear and Gizmos
Lets face it, when most of us hit the road these days we tend to carry quite a bit of gear with us. For instance, it is not uncommon for travelers to take a laptop, tablet, various cables and documents, a smartphone and a variety of other items with them. All of that gear makes a good carry-on bag essential. That bag needs to keep its contents safe from all manner of threats, while also allowing us to carry those items comfortably throughout our travels. The new Boa Squeeze backpack from booq meets that description quite nicely while also managing to bring a few unexpected elements to the table as well.
The first time I laid eyes on the Boa Squeeze I was sure that it was too small to carry all of my gear. It is clear that booq went with a more minimalist approach with their designs, and while the bag looks great, it feels like it is on the small side. The old adage that says you shouldn’t judge a booq by its cover couldn’t be more true however, as the Squeeze is actually quite spacious inside. Once I started loading it up with my standard travel gear, which includes a 13″ laptop, iPad, a small digital camera and a variety of other equipment, I became a convert. The bag swallowed up everything I put into it and still had room for more. I’m not sure how they managed it, but booq has actually made a backpack that defies the laws of physics, appearing small and compact on the outside while spacious and roomy inside.
In addition to the Boa’s cavernous main pocket, the pack has several smaller pockets as well, each with their own high quality zippers to keep them sealed. There are two side pockets are great for keeping travel documents close at hand, and both are capable of carrying a water bottle. One of those pockets even has a handy detachable key fob for keeping your car keys secure while traveling. A small exterior pocket on the backpack’s lid is lined with soft microfiber fabric to protect smartphone screens or other delicate items, while an interior zipped pocket provides yet another secure place to keep important items. The interior of the bag is also lined with numerous organizational sleeves for carrying pens, business cards and various other small items that are nice to have close at hand.
Beyond being able to safely carry our gear, a good carry-on should be comfortable to wear too. The Boa Squeeze scores high marks in this area as well. Its small, compact design conforms nicely to the body, and the well padded shoulder straps carry a heavy load with ease. Even when filled with a laptop and various other travel gear, this bag slips onto the back and comfortably stays there while navigating an airport or your daily commute.
Frequent flyers will appreciate that the Boa Squeeze’s unique design make it easy to slide under an airplane seat. This puts it comfortably out of the way but still keeps it close at hand whenever you need access to anything stored inside. The thick internal padding is also a welcome addition as it conveys a sense of security that our expensive electronic gadgets are well protected while inside. These small, but very nice, touches makes this a fantastic laptop bag, particularly for those who like to travel light without having to make compromises.
In case it wasn’t already clear, I’m very impressed with this pack. Its design is eye-catching without being outrageous and while it is small and compact, it doesn’t cut corners on comfort or protection. Its multitude of pockets and zippers makes it easy to access anything that you carry inside, and the thick padding ensures that those items safely arrive at your destination. The Boa Squeeze may be a bit too small for some travelers who need to carry larger laptops or reams of documents, but for most of us, it is quite possibly the perfect carry-on.
I’ve mentioned this pack’s compact design a number of times in this review, but there is something else that is minimal for a bag like this one – the price. The Boa Squeeze costs just $129.95, which is quite a bargain for a laptop bag that brings this many features and this much quality to the table. It is a fantastic pack that travelers will love and it would make an excellent gift this holiday season.