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Booq Cobra Squeeze Review

A stylish and compact option for the daily commute.
Booq Cobra Squeeze
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Price:  $195 List
Pros:  Well-crafted and cute, compact, in city style, great functionality
Cons:  No sternum or hip strap, thin straps, uncomfortable materials
Manufacturer:   Booq
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 21, 2018
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Laptop Protection - 25% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 5
  • Storage - 15% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Water resistance - 15% 5
  • Style - 10% 10

The Skinny

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 gives it a vintage yet new-age 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…a notable mention for those in search of a stylish and compact laptop backpack.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cobra Squeeze receives a notable mention 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.

Performance Comparison


The Booq Squeeze is cute and compact  offering an urban style for both men and women.
The Booq Squeeze is cute and compact, offering an urban style for both men and women.

Laptop Protection


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 absorbance when putting down the bag or accidentally dropping it.

The cushioning is ample and features a suspension system and elastic tab to keep the laptop in place.
The cushioning is ample and features a suspension system and elastic tab to keep the laptop in place.

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 features, 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 would protect the laptop from accidental drops on its side. Compared to the competition, this model offers above-average computer protection.

Booq offers a lost bag recovery service. Simply register your backpack with its unique identity code on their website to provide a contact if your bag is ever lost and ready to be found.

Comfort


While this bag is small, it is not the most comfortable. It features a basic design without a sternum or hip strap. As a result, when loading down the backpack, 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 foot, 5 inches) say the straps dig into their ribs.

The straps are cushioned and comfortable but it doesn't come with a sternum strap. While this makes it more stylish  it doesn't distribute the load as well.
The straps are cushioned and comfortable but it doesn't come with a sternum strap. While this makes it more stylish, it doesn't distribute the load as well.

The cushioning on the back and along the straps is made of 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, though, it's sufficient.

Storage


Take only the essentials! It claims to have 20-L of storage, but actually 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 single compartment provides a surprising amount of storage and organization for its size.
The single compartment provides a surprising amount of storage and organization for its size.

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.

The top pocket is fleece-lined  providing additional protection for phones.
The top pocket is fleece-lined, providing additional protection for phones.

Take a look at the storage in this pack here.

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.

Ick likes how easy this bag is to pick up and access all the contents inside.
Ick likes how easy this bag is to pick up and access all the contents inside.

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.

The large zipper taps provide easy access to all the contents inside.
The large zipper taps provide easy access to all the contents inside.

This pack sadly no place for a water bottle or an on-the-go travel container.

Water Resistance


While Booq claims this pack to be waterproof, it's 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 see a backpack that offers the best water resistance out there, check out the Patagonia Black Hole 25L.

The cloth on the left was put inside of the pack during our shower tests. Here we can see that it  and the rest of the pack is completely saturated. This is not a water-resistant pack.
The cloth on the left was put inside of the pack during our shower tests. Here we can see that it, and the rest of the pack is completely saturated. This is not a water-resistant pack.

Style


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 is manufactured with all-natural organic materials. If you are looking for a stylish laptop backpack with a clean and vintage look, this is a wonderful option!

This pack is perfect for wearing around town or in the city.
This pack is perfect for wearing around town or in the city.

Best Applications


This backpack earns a notable mention for its smaller design best fit for those seeking a compact and functional laptop backpack. It fits laptops up to 15-inches in size and is best for going to the office and back in style.

Commute to work or head to the neighborhood cafe. This is a great compact option that features fantastic organization for those on the go with less.
Commute to work or head to the neighborhood cafe. This is a great compact option that features fantastic organization for those on the go with less.

Value


The price is high at $195. While this notable mention 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 for less out there.

Conclusion


Booq offers a stylish yet compact laptop backpack that is best for urban commuting to and from the office.


Amber King