What we think
A sleek and elegant bag that will hold all your tech in an organised and professional manner, the Booq Cobra Brief comes with a hefty price tag that goes hand in hand with its high quality. However, with plenty of pockets, a sturdy build, and a good look, it can be well worth it.
- Lots of pockets
- High quality
- Water resistant
Appearance and design
First and foremost, the Booq Cobra Brief is a tech bag. It comes with pockets, sleeves and slots to hold all the tech you could possibly need on a day to day basis, leaving you fully kitted out for each and every work day.
In appearance, the bag takes influence from both a briefcase and more standard laptop bags. Grip handles protrude from the top of the square bag, and a five foot adjustable shoulder strap makes carrying your tech comfortable and easy.
The bag has a simple and efficient appearance; there are no protrusions or bright colours to distract the eye, and as such keeps the bag modest and unlikely to attract the attention of thieves.
Having said that, the bag isn’t ugly. The zips stand out in bright silver against the dark colour of the ballistic nylon material.
When the main compartment is opened (via a zip which runs fully along three sides of the case, giving maximum access), the dark, calm exterior is contrasted with a vibrant orange lining. The pockets trimmed with the same leather trimming the outside.
Weighing just over 1.5kg, the bag roughly measures 17 x 13 x 5 inches (440 x 330 x 125 mm) and will easily fit a laptop up to 15 inches in the laptop compartment (with plenty of wiggle room for a bit more).
The main compartment packs pockets sized for all the paraphernalia you’ll need with you in a day. Two medium sized pockets fit for mp3 players/mobile phones/small tablets border three standard pen holders, with a large divide creating space for chargers and other wires. A large zip pocket sits opposite, just beneath a metal serial number tag which connects to the Booq Terralinq lost and found online service.
Another, almost invisible, un-zipped section from which one of the grip handles extends contains another two pockets for a small tablet and a phone, and is luxuriously lined in soft fur, meaning you can keep a larger tablet in there and not worry about it scratching (or just keep putting your hands in to feel the fur lining! It is so soft…)
This easy access section is great to keep a phone close at hand in, but the design, weave and seams of the bag cleverly hide it from potential pickpockets. It took me quite a while to realise there was even a pocket there after unboxing my review sample.
Another zipped pocket sits on the front of the bag, breaking up the blank face with a silver zip, and a similar unzipped one is on the back, sporting a strap to attach the Cobra safely to suitcase handles. And, of course, there is a zipped laptop pocket, large enough for a 15.6inch screen laptop (which is big enough for a MacBook Pro), lined with padding to prevent knocks and scrapes.
Basically, the Booq Cobra Brief comes with enough pockets and sections to hold all the tech you could own, and somehow packs it all into a relatively small volume.
Booq bags come with a serial tag through which you can connect to Terralinq, a service which puts you in contact with the person who discovers your bag, should it become lost, assuming they are kind enough to log into Terralinq themselves and give up their contact details.
Although it relies on the kindness of strangers, and their willingness to give up their phone number or email address to an admittedly dodgy-looking website interface, it does give a glimmer of hope of getting your bag returned (considering how much expensive tech will likely be in it) should you accidentally leave it on a train or at the bus stop.
Booq proudly proclaim that their Cobra Brief is made of a water-repellent 1680 denier ballistic nylon fabric. While that is a bit of a mouthful, and I’m not sure I really know what is so ballistic about it, I do know that it is a very tough, secure and aesthetically pleasing material. It is water repellent to the point that splattered water will bead up on the surface, and a stream of water is happy to flow over and off the bag, rather than soak through the material. The YKK zips are also layered with material and are water resistant to some degree.
I wouldn’t like to leave the Cobra standing in a puddle, however, as the base of the bag has no extra protection than the rest of the bag. This is a bit of a disappointing overlook, I feel, but one of the very few bad points about the bag. A few metal studs or a thicker base would have settled any qualms about setting the brief down.
The bag is expensive. It is available for £210 from Amazon and other retailers. But is this price tag worth it? There is no denying it is a well built, good looking bag, which should last and let you get the most use out of it, possibly over a matter of decades rather than years. To that end, if you will get the maximum use out of it, then go for it, you won’t do much better, or, alternatively, it will make a fantastic present on a milestone birthday for someone who frequents an office or carts their laptop with them wherever they go.