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High-end iPad bag: Booq Cobra Courier XS review

Booq's compact leather and nylon shoulder bag has excellent iPad protection and enough pockets to be practical, plus it just looks good.

Booq Cobra Courier XS: Solid iPad protection
Booq Cobra Courier XS: Solid iPad protection Sarah Tew/CNET

Carrying an iPad a year ago involved searching for the perfect bag, and the problem back in 2012 was that many bag makers hadn't figured out the iPad yet. Flash forward to mid-2011, and the iPad 2 and original iPad feel nearly ubiquitous--so, too, do iPad bags. Finding one that matches the iPad's sleek styling is a harder challenge, and one the Booq Cobra Courier XS meets while still offering ample storage in a small package. $145 is a lot to pay for a small bag, but it's hard to do better if you're looking for a sturdy, stylish, practical triple threat. In fact, over the course of our time using this model, we haven't found much better.

Related links
• Searching for the perfect iPad bag
• Booq Boa Squeeze review

The Booq Cobra Courier XS feels in some ways like a microminiaturized version of the Booq Boa Squeeze, a backpack we loved back in 2009. The Squeeze managed to be thin and small and yet pack lots of pockets with plenty of padding. Similarly, the over-the-shoulder Courier XS is a tightly built little black bag made out of ballistic nylon and topped with Nappa leather, with a thick rubber bottom underneath.

The leather, nylon, chrome slots where the seatbelt-strap nylon wraps around and underneath the bag, and rugged gridded rubber bottom combine to make a bag with lots of shades and patterns of black. It's the perfect quasi-executive bag to take out to an interview or business dinner or meet up at a bar with, but it's also functional enough to be a good commuting bag. It's smaller than a standard messenger bag, but it doesn't cross over into any absurd territory. It's a few inches longer and wider than the iPad itself.

Read the rest of our review of the Booq Cobra Courier XS.