Booq Boa Flow review: Booq Boa Flow

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
Pricing Unavailable

The Good Eye-catching design; plenty of compartments; rock-solid feel and build.

The Bad Very large and bulky size makes this bag unsuitable for normal city commuting; it's best as a weekend or carry-on bag for plane trips.

The Bottom Line Though it's far too large to be used as an everyday laptop backpack, the sturdy design and numerous pockets on the multipurpose Booq Boa Flow make it a great buy as a weekend or carry-on bag that can handle most laptops.

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Last year, one of our favorite laptop backpacks (and really, it still is) was the Booq Boa Squeeze. More of a padded gear tube with arm straps and plenty of pockets, it managed to be stylish, compact, sturdy, and roomy all at once.

For something a little bigger--no, make that a lot bigger--Booq's sizable Boa Flow might be what you're looking for. OK, honestly, the bag's gigantic. A large reinforced black-and-orange curved shell-shape lined with some useful pockets and plenty of interior room, the Flow will resemble nothing so much as a giant Koopa shell or neon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume. It's not light, either: at 4.5 pounds for the medium-size Flow and 4.9 pounds for the XL-size, this bag's heavy even when empty. It also isn't cheap: $199 might be too steep for many bag-buyers. It's twice the price of the Boa Squeeze.

To its credit, however, it keeps its shape and stays strong. A large interior, nearly enough space to be called a weekend suitcase, can hold clothes, small packages, and whatever else you can think of. Laptops actually slide into a separate rear-zippered compartment, which has very thick and rigid padding. Even semithick 17-inch desktop replacements can fit here, no problem, providing you've bought the XL (which, incidentally, happens to be same price as the M).

The ergonomic back padding is generous to say the least: three big orange slabs of foam provide ventilation, and the curved arm straps are comfortable, though lack smartphone pockets like the Squeeze had. There is a padded sleeve below the thick, padded top handle to the Flow where an iPhone, MP3 player, or other smartphone can be tucked in, but its placement while wearing the Flow could leave your treasured gadget vulnerable to being stolen.

The Flow can also be used as a camera bag: a zippered pocket oddly located on the front-bottom of the bag has expandable space that can fit a large dSLR. We're not sure we trust having a camera on the bottom of the bag, but the padding at the bottom is as thick as it is everywhere else. When it's not in use, the pocket collapses via adjustable Velcro straps inside to make more room in the interior. It's a neat idea.

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Where to Buy

Booq Boa Flow

Part Number: BFM-BLK

MSRP: $199.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color black
  • Weight 4.6 lbs