booq Boa.XM Backpack Review

My birthday is coming up in a few days, so I decided to spoil myself with a gift. I had always wanted a new backpack for my Dell 700m laptop and gear, one with a lot of compartments and made of a high quality material that wouldn’t rip so easily. My current Wenger backpack was starting to shred to pieces: the shoulder strap is on the brink of detaching itself from the bag, large ripped holes have appeared overnight and the whole thing is lacking space for my accessories (everything is pretty much just dumped in there). And oh, there’s no separate compartment for my papers, so they end up getting all jammed up with the power cords and whatnot.

For the longest time, I always wanted a Boa.XM backpack by booq, as they offered plenty of storage compartments, padding for my laptop and came in what seemed to be in a high quality material that wouldn’t rip up for a few years. The overall style of it looked nice too; very professional and sleek, something that is a bit important for me as I deal with customers in person everyday (I take my laptop with me when I go around the city seeing clients). I didn’t want to show up with a ripped up backpack anymore, so I went ahead and ordered the Boa.XM from Sozo Distributing, a Canadian Booq distributor located in British Columbia. The total came up to 217.30$ CDN.

My Boa.XM backpack came in the mail within a week, delivered by Fedex. It arrived in a large box, packed inside with crunched up paper in plastic bags. I eagerly took the packaging out and right away realized I had made a good buy. The overall feel of the backpack is sturdy and the design is superb. You know the material that airplane seat belts are made of? It’s on the bag. The shoulder straps are lined with this stuff, and I’m pretty confident to say that they won’t be ripping off for a long, long time.

After removing all the packaging material, I inspected the bag to figure out where all the cool compartments are. Man, this bag is loaded with them! A zipper here, a zipper there, the Boa.XM has plenty of room for everything you can imagine: power cords, PDA, audio/video cables, CD case, pens, paper, notebook, hand sanitizer, headphones… the list goes on. I managed to stuff all this in there, believe it or not, in respective compartments. As of writing this review, I just found another zipper that I completely overlooked (a better place for my headphones!). This brings me to say that everything is nicely “hidden” away or placed with aesthetics in mind, so the bag looks business and professional. The laptop compartment is well padded and definitely a secure place for a computer. The sides and bottom of this section are hardened to prevent any damage to your device if you ever drop the bag to the ground by accident. I wish my previous laptop bag had this… it could’ve prevented the small crack that is now present on one corner of the laptop when the bag slipped out of my hand. Since then, I have been extra careful with my backpack grip.

The next test was wearing the backpack. I noticed that everything was balanced, as in, I didn’t feel like I was carrying much. This could be because of the strong shoulder straps and comfort padding that outlines the bag. Call me crazy, but it really does feel like the bag manages to balance the weight you carry on your shoulders by evening the load. Or maybe I’m just a big strong guy and it’s simply relative for me. 🙂 Either way, the straps were adjustable so a big guy like me wore it without any problems.

I recommend this backpack for anyone looking for quality and comfort with a professional style. This baby has plenty of room for all your gadgets and accessories. With a price tag of 217.30$, it might be expensive to some, but this was a gift and a “business expensive” for me at the same time. Instead of dumping 50.00$ every year on a cheap backpack, this one should last for a while and help me organize my accessories. The Boa.XM also comes in a larger model (the Boa.XL) for those with a laptop greater than 14″. All in all, I’m happy with my new toy.