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Booq Cobra pack: The ultimate lightweight laptop backpack

booq, booq bags, cobra pack, backpack, MacBook, accessories

Whether you're a college student lugging around a MacBook Air and some books or a creative professional with a MacBook Pro who travels constantly on the job, you probably like the hands-free convenience of a backpack for your laptop. Booq's Cobra pack (US$295) is a lightweight, roomy, and streamlined laptop backpack that will hold up to years of use and abuse. Take a look at our review, then take a chance at winning a Booq Cobra pack in our giveaway.

Specifications

  • Exterior Dimensions: 14 x 18 x 9 inches (356 x 457 x 229 mm)
  • Interior Dimensions: 10.6 x 15.5 x 1.5 inches (269 x 294 x 38 mm)
  • Weight 3.57 pounds (1.62 kilograms)
  • Compability: 13- to 17-inch MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
  • Lining: Copper (reddish-orange) nylon, exterior 1680D black nylon

Design Highlights

The Cobra pack looks more like a futuristic astronaut backpack than what you'd normally see in your local office supply or big box store. It has a very streamlined and square shape, designed to let you hold up to a 17-inch MacBook Pro comfortably inside.

Your laptop sits in a protectively padded compartment complete with a water-resistant zipper, and the entire backpack is covered with waterproofed ballistic nylon. There are two zippered side pockets that open and expand to hold a water bottle or umbrella, a front zipper pocket with an open-top phone pocket, two zippered back pockets for an iPad or other goodies, and two shoulder strap pockets for your iPhone or iPod touch.

The strap system on the shoulder straps has three adjustment points, meaning that you can configure the pack for ultimate comfort. The back padding of the Cobra is breathable so you won't end up with a sweaty back carrying this backpack in warm, humid weather.

Each Cobra pack comes with a Terralinq serial number and bar code so your bag can be returned to you if you're ever parted from it accidentally. Finally, the zippers used by Booq on the Cobra pack are all YKK originals, which means that they're going to work without issues for years.

Functionality Highlights

Besides looking good, the Cobra pack is designed to hold a lot of stuff! The copper (reddish-orange) interior lining is very useful for ensuring that you'll be able to find things in the bag. That's quite different from the usual black backpack interiors that make it virtually impossible to see inside the dark packs.

The strap system is very comfortable, and I like the padded top handle that makes it easy to "one hand" the backpack if you need to carry it to put it into a security scanner. The side water bottle pockets expand to fit even large water bottles, making the Cobra pack perfect for carrying your favorite hydration beverages with you everywhere.

I compared the weight of the Cobra pack to that of a few laptop backpacks I have around the office, and though it's much larger, the weight is actually less than those other packs.

While the Booq Cobra isn't exactly an inexpensive backpack, it's going to last for years. Why swap out cheap backpacks every year when you can buy one more expensive backpack that will stay with you through college and beyond? That being said, I do wish that Booq would consider bringing the Cobra pack more into the realm of reality with pricing. $300 for a laptop backpack is kinda crazy, folks. To quote two TUAW bloggers, "For $300 it better reply to email for me" (Dave Caolo) and "The only way I'm paying $300 for a backpack is if it's actually a jetpack" (Mike Wehner).

Conclusion

The Booq Cobra pack is a sleek, futuristic looking laptop backpack that can hold any Apple MacBook and all the rest of your gear and accessories as well. It's lightweight, built to last, water-resistant, and well-padded. But the price tag is so out of line with reality that I'm taking a full star away on my rating.

Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible

Three star rating out of four stars possible

Giveaway

OK, if you're like me, Dave, and Mike, you're not going to shell out three Benjamins for the Booq Cobra pack, but that doesn't mean that you can't be the proud owner of one of these premium laptop backpacks. Thanks to Booq Bags, we're giving one away. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before August 9, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Booq Bags Cobra pack valued at $295
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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