As the large laptop accommodation and padded bottom DSLR pocket suggest, the Boa Flow XL was designed with the creative professional in mind. It is also well suited for carrying a day’s worth of stuff while touring a new city, or a one day business trip when you want to travel light and skip the baggage claim carousel.
At first look, the Booq Boa Flow XL seems like a massive bag for just a laptop – the Boa Flow XL is the larger version of the two Boa Flow backpacks, sized to fit notebooks up to 17 inches. The very compartmentalized bag offers a spot for just about everything, but we missed an organization pouch for pens, pencils and business cards that most business travelers expect to find in their bags. A small zippered pouch would also be a nice addition for pocket change, or any small valuable items that you don’t want to misplace.
The external zip sleeve makes removing your laptop for an airport security check very simple: One quick zip and your laptop is out, with the rest of your cargo still neatly tucked away for the X-ray machine. The pocket is also a great place to stash a couple of in-flight magazines and keep them from getting crumpled and torn in the main compartment. The collapsible camera pouch is equally as nice for quickly whipping out the camera to snap a shot without having to rifle through your entire bag.
Despite its size, the Boa Flow fit snugly under the seat of a Boeing 757 for us, and while you do sacrifice a little bit of leg room, it’s a fair trade to maintain easy access to your laptop, camera, and all other gadgets.
Ample padding between the external laptop sleeve and your back makes the Flow comfortable when fully loaded, and has been formed to promote airflow, keeping your back nice and cool. The pack also comes with a removable waist strap, in case you find yourself overloading the pack and need a little extra support.
Like all all Booq bags, the Boa Flow uses the Terralinq system, which consists of a hard tag attached to the bag etched with a unique serial number that you can register your address and other contact details with online. If a good Samaritan happens to come across your lost bag, they can follow the instructions on the tag to get it back to you.
All in all, this bag is well designed, comfortable, stylish, and durable. The bag is a bit large for a daily around-town bag, and the price tag is fairly large as well, at $199.95. You can find the Boa Flow and all other Booq products on their website and in select retail locations.