The Booq Cobra Squeeze is a unique commuter laptop backpack focused on balancing a minimalistic approach with optimal functionality. The all-natural organic canvas pattern, coupled with its clean lines and unique shape, give it a vintage yet futuristic look. It's perfectly suited for wearing in the city! The super protective built-in suspension system and ample cushioning keep laptops up to 15 inches safe from unexpected drops and falls, while the full-length zipper provides optimal access to all pockets and the laptop, even when loaded up. While we love how easy it is to use, the basic design and less comfortable materials on the back and straps make for some discomfort when loaded down. Of all the backpacks tested in this review, it proves to be the smallest and most compact… this makes it a favorite and a Top Pick. We chose to wear this to work most days just because of its super cute style and small design.
Booq Cobra Squeeze Review
Cons: No sternum or hip strap, thin straps, uncomfortable materials
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Booq Cobra Squeeze
|Price||$195 List||$159.95 at REI|
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|$149.94 at Amazon||$129.95 at Backcountry|
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|$59.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Well-crafted and cute, compact, in city style, great functionality||Durable, waterproof, cool features, stowable rain fly and helmet net, lots of storage, ultra protective||Great organizational capacity, effective use of space, comfortable, adjustable, separate laptop side-access||Versatile, great storage, water-resistant exterior, fantastic laptop protection, comfortable padding.||Functional, plentiful storage, water-resistant fabric, inexpensive, versatile|
|Cons||No sternum or hip strap, thin straps, uncomfortable materials||Expensive, not very stylish||Expensive, lacks cushioning on the bottom of the pack||Problematic fit, long torso, roll-down top is not stylish.||Not super stylish|
|Bottom Line||A stylish and compact option for the daily commute.||This award winner has us loving it for its protective and functional features that are geared for any commuter, student, or traveler.||This Editors' Choice is a versatile option with great storage for electronics.||A perfect option for the bike commute to work or tromping around town.||This highly spacious laptop backpack offers functionality and value that is unmatched.|
|Rating Categories||Booq Cobra Squeeze||Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter||Incase Icon||Thule Paramount 24L||The North Face Borealis|
|Laptop Protection (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Booq Cobra Squeeze||Thule Pack 'n...||Incase Icon||Thule Paramount 24L||The North Face...|
|Volume (L)||20 L||24 L||17 L||24L||28 L|
|Weight||2.4 lbs||2.4 lbs||2.1 lbs||2.2 lbs||2.7 lbs|
|Number of Compartments||1||2||4||2||2|
|Dimensions||16.9 x 11.8 x 6.3 in||15 x 6.7 x 19 in||19 x 13 x 9 in.||11.6 x 10. 20.5 in||19.75 x 13.5 x 8.5 in.|
|Number of Large Pockets||4||1||3||2||2|
|Number of Small Pockets||4||2||14||2||9|
|External Side Pocket(s)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|External Water Bottle Holder?||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cobra Squeeze deserves a Top Pick for its compact design that provides a surprising amount of storage. Load up this stylish contender with the essentials to get you to the office and back.
The Cobra Squeeze offers many fine features that provide superb laptop protection. The built-in suspension system sits about an inch above the bottom of the backpack, with about a half inch of cushioning wrapping around it. The back of the bag also has over an inch of protection that sits between the back and the laptop. This cushioning provides great shock absorption when putting down the bag or accidentally dropping it.
There is also a simple elastic strap that keeps the laptop in place if the pack is inverted. All of these features keep the laptop protected when placed inside the appropriate compartment. While we love its protective functions, it could be made better by offering a little more cushioning at the very bottom and along the sides where the zip-pockets currently exist. This addition would protect the laptop from accidental drops on its side. Compared to the competition, this model offers above-average computer protection.
This bag is small and offers minimal comfort. The foam is fairly breathable, but the straps are super tiny and don't fit larger chested people very well. It features a basic design without a sternum or hip strap. As a result, when loading it down, the load isn't evenly distributed across the torso, making for uncomfortable long-term wear. While the fit is okay for our short to medium-sized testers, our taller testers (6'5") say the straps dig into their ribs.
The cushioning on the back and along the straps are a porous and breathable material. Unfortunately, it feels abrasive and scratchy on bare skin. As a result of these caveats in comfort, it didn't impress us much in this metric. For light loads over short distances, it's sufficient. Therefore, it's a great option for those that appreciate minimalism and don't need to carry a heavy load.
Take only the essentials! It claims to have 20L of storage but holds less than other packs with lower volume ratings. That said, the storage available is well thought-out and functional. It hosts the main compartment that holds a 15-inch laptop and a larger pocket that can fit a tablet, notebook, or folder.
The open space in the compartment is big enough to fit lunch, a water bottle, and a book, but nothing more than that. We appreciate all the extra zippered compartments providing storage for a charger, pens or pencils, and more. The easy access fleece-lined zipper at the top of the pack provides quick access ideal for a phone or small wallet.
Overall, this pack ranks as below-average in storage compared to the competition. Unlike most packs reviewed, there isn't a specific bottle pocket, leaving the main compartment as the only option for your hydration vessel.
When loaded down, the outside pockets become only useful for very thin objects like a plane ticket or passport. When it isn't loaded, they fit smaller, bulkier objects. Also, it holds less than other packs overall, inherent to its design and purpose as a compact and functional commuter laptop backpack.
Ease of Use
The top-loading design of this pack is simple and easy to use. The top zips down the length of the entire pack, allowing you to access all items in all pockets easily, even when fully loaded.
The laptop is easily accessible while the additional pockets provide a place for an iPad, folder, or notebook. The main compartment is large and quite versatile with the ability to fit a couple of textbooks or a set of gym clothes. It earns an average score in this metric because of its basic design that is easy to use.
Booq claims this pack to be waterproof, which is far from true. The fabric is absorbent, and it leaks through the zippers. It is water-resistant at best. When placing it underwater or in a heavy downpour, it will eventually seep through the exterior fabric. Overall, it earns a middle-of-the-road mark for its permeability to water and lack of water resistance. If you need a backpack that offers the best water resistance out there, check out the Patagonia Black Hole 25L.
Manufactured as a commuting bag for the city, it has a sleek and simple design. The clean lines and natural canvas-patterned exterior mixed with the bubble-shape is unique, offering a future meets vintage look that got many compliments on the street. To top it off, this stylish little number features all-natural, organic materials. If you are looking for a laptop backpack with a clean look, this is a wonderful option!
This backpack earns a Top Pick for its smaller design. It's best for those seeking a compact and functional laptop backpack with loads that aren't too heavy. It fits laptops up to 15-inches in size and is best for going to the office and back in style. While it can stand up to a small shower or storm, it's not suitable for use in heavy precipitation.
The price is high at $195. While this top pick offers functionality not found in another pack, it doesn't have the best value given its overall score. If you are willing to shell out the extra cash for its minimalist style, then this may be worth the money to you, but there are better backpacks out there for less.
Booq offers a stylish yet compact laptop backpack that is best for urban commuting. It offers great organization and functionality, and this Top Pick is a favorite of ours for taking to and from the office. While we appreciate its minimalist design, we think it could be a little more comfortable and maybe a bit less expensive for its performance.
— Amber King