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Booq Mamba Courier: A little more style than substance

Amber Bouman | Jan. 27, 2014
Most Booq bags have a few things in common--most notably a serpent-inspired moniker, and more often than not, an unusual shape and design. This makes the Mamba Courier a bit of an anomaly for Booq, as it features a fairly standard, straightforward messenger design and eschews the 1680 denier ballistic nylon for a natural fiber material, jute.

Another minor frustration was the main compartment itself — while it was both large enough to hold all my day-to-day items and gadgets, and well-padded enough for me to feel comfortable putting my laptop inside, I found the zipper placement at the top of the compartment cramped and cumbersome.

See, the Mamba Courier has a rather square shape overall, something that lends itself to a more professional, serious design and feel — and something that causes issue with the main compartment, where the zipper is placed farther back (towards the back flap) instead of in the center. This means, after you unlock the front flap and unzip the main panel, you'll have to peel back the material along the top of the compartment (or yank it open) in order to actually see and access the items inside.

Now, if the zipper had run all the way along the left and right sides of the bag, so you could unzip and fold it open, or alternatively, if there had been two zippers so that I could have pulled back the entire top panel of fabric, I could see the purpose in keeping the shape. But even the press photos of the bag show this top portion being uncomfortably rolled back (see above), which is not something I can get down with.

Another drawback? While the interior of the main compartment does offer up three pen slots and three pouches, none of them are zippered or sealed in any way at all meaning the items inside can easily slip out and into the main compartment. What's a girl gotta do to get some Velcro around here?

Bottom line
Those (relatively minor) inconveniences aside, I can say that the Mamba Courier easily carried my laptop alongside all my general detritus (wallet, make up bag, notebooks, smart phones, chargers), and that the contents remained well distributed throughout the pockets.

Aside from the kerfuffle with the front flap, and main compartment zipper, everything was easy to access. I can make no complaints either about quality of materials or construction as both were done according to Booq's reputation and standards, but I was over the awkward zipper/roll down top design pretty quickly.

 

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