Review: Booq Boa Nerve Graphite Messenger Bag

Sometimes you get a product that just feels right. The right style, the right fit, the right quality, the right functionality. The Booq Boa Nerve messenger bag seems to be one of those...

Booq are an American brand that are best known for their high-end laptop bags. They're a small family run company, and specialise in bags for the professional; namely, those who like style and function in equal measure.

The Booq Boa Nerve messenger bag is the company's foray into a product that could specifically be used by the cycling market (although I regularly use a messenger bag off the bike, too). It will safely house a 15" Laptop or 17" Macbook, as well as all that you're likely to need on the day-to-day office run.

From the moment you unpack the Boa Nerve Graphite, it oozes quality and style. The nylon outer looks and feels hardwearing and water-repellent. The rubberised base of the bag provides extra protection from spray and ground water, and gives a water resistant layer to protect the contents. Inside, a luxurious herringbone fabric gives a soft touch and feel, whilst the heavily padded laptop compartment, with its fleecy lining, will keep things safe and scratch-free.

I'll admit it; I'm a pocket geek. Actually, I'm probably more of an organisation fanatic. The Booq Nerve luckily fulfils all my pocketing needs, and then some. On the outside, you have two easy-acess side pockets, which are perfect for a water bottle and lock. On the lid of the bag, there is a long and zippered sleeve pocket, which is great for housing items like a pump and snacks. On the back of the bag, there is an A4 size zippered sleeve pocket, which because it is rigid due to the internal laptop sleeve, is the perfect place to house your favourite bike mag; the pocket also contains a neat little holder for your smartphone! That's before you even get to the internal pockets...

Just underneath the lid, there's a wide, zippered compartment that is perfect for valuables; it contains neoprene sleeves for pens and wallets, and an integrated clip for your keys. Then, inside the main compartment of the bag, there are smaller sleeve pockets for items like chargers and notepads, and of course the main padded laptop sleeve.

This is an obsessive organiser's delight, and there's no wasted time faffing around looking for items, when they're all safely housed in a specific place. 

As with any messenger bag, it's only as good as its strapping system. The Booq Boa Nerve uses an innovative magnetic buckle, which allows you to switch between a tight over-the-shoulder messenger style, and a loose satchel style. I have to admit, I had a few issues with getting the buckles adjusted right at first; I think probably because I have quite a small torso, so it needed to be at its tightest limit. That said, I think I've got it sorted now, and when you've got the bag in the 'messenger mode', it is very comfortable because of the shoulder and hip pads on the strap. Booq also supply an optional stabiliser strap, which you can clip on and remove with ease, and it helps to provide a bit of extra security when the bag is fully laden. The main strap and stabiliser are also reversible, so you can wear the bag over your left or right shoulder, depending on your preference.

Other neat features worth noting, include things like the subtle reflective trim throughout, and the fact that a bottom zipper on the A4 external sleeve pocket allows you to open it up and use it as a trolley handle attachment. I also like the Terralinq ID idea, which allows you to register your Booq bag on their site, and then individuals can quickly contact you if you happen to misplace it.

Overall, this is a great bag. It's not as big as some of the other messenger bags that I have reviewed on the blog, but it's certainly one of the best made and quite definitely one of the most stylish. It's the ideal size for day-to-day commuting, and allows you to safely house your valuables and essentials in easy-to-reach places. A great companion for Life In The Saddle.

View the Booq range at Booq.co.uk (Link)
The long sleeve pocket on the lid is ideal for a pump and easy to grab items

The back sleeve pocket can house your favourite cycling magazine

The fleecy lined laptop compartment is luxurious and provides great protection

The cream herringbone fabric interior is soft, and also makes searching for items easier than with a dark interior

This front compartment is ideal for valuables

The magnetic strap allows the bag to be used as a satchel or a messenger bag

This is the buckle in the messenger bag "tight strap" mode

An easily removed stabiliser strap is also provided

The strap is reversible, so you can wear the bag on either shoulder

The Booq Boa Nerve oozes quality

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