The booq Boa squeeze is extreme organization in a small package.
By design, the pack is not meant to hold your entire life. But it is suited to carry a lot of miscellaneous items that can be organized into a bevy of pockets. The bag’s biggest plus is its degree of compartmentalization. I counted an impressive 22 pockets of varying sizes and shapes lining the backpack, perfect for various mobile devices, chargers and other peripherals. But realize this: It takes an organized person to keep track of where belongings are stashed. (I proved to not be such a person on at least one occasion. For days, I thought I lost my keys after a weekend trip, but eventually I found them deep in one of the obscure side pockets I had forgotten about.)
Don’t mistake the sheer number of compartments as any indication of capacity. The volume of the Boa squeeze is about 200 cubic inches, which with its pockets can carry a multitude of knick knacks, but only has room for several large items. A laptop, iPad and over-ear headphones fit comfortably, but it’d be difficult cramming much more bulk. For the constant commuter, this is the right size for the day-to-day. But for the student who has to lug around a library, this bag won’t cut it.
Despite its slim profile, the Boa squeeze has a sturdy structure reinforced with plushy shoulder straps and back cushion that make the pack comfortable to carry. Its look and feel reminds me of luggage, with a waterproof ballistic nylon exterior and sturdy, durable handle. Each bag is assigned a unique serial number, which I suppose can attest to booq’s excellent craftsmanship, but there’s also a practical reason for it: If someone turns in a lost pack, finding the owner should be a cinch.
To compensate for its compactness, the squeeze has a wide opening that gives you plenty of space to maneuver within. But this design creates a cereal box-like flap top, one that can be tricky to quickly unzip around. This is a very small complaint — and probably the only one I can muster. With more use, I suspect the issue will disappear once the bag and zippers are broken in more.
The booq Boa squeeze is a great compromise between size and organization. Certainly, $129.95 is a steep price tag, but I think it’s worth the extra money to invest in an attractive, well-sized quality bag that’ll last many years.
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