Of course, I have no way of knowing whether space aliens actually had a hand in designing the Booq Boa Squeeze. I ran into a couple of Booq bigwigs in an elevator at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas once, and they seemed pretty cheery, completely normal, and not at all alien-like — too not-alien-like, considering Booq is based in Southern California (I consider myself a Southern Californian; we’re all weirdos). And Booq’s Sierra Madre HQ is suspiciously close to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories…
Anyway, whether or not of alien origin, what’s clear is that Booq’s bags are unlike any others on this planet — and their new lightweight, zillion-pocketed Boa Squeeze laptop backpack is no different.
Pelican’s S140 Elite Tablet Backpack with its waterproof/crushproof/apocalypse-proof compartment
Pelican made a name for itself making tough cases for the military, firemen and other hazardous sorts who generally place their delicate gadgets in harm’s way. Now they’ve taken their extreme-environment case technology and built four new backpacks around it — two of which have crushproof/waterproof compartments.
The new Timbuk2 Command Messenger 2012 ($140) is nothing like the first Timbuk2 bag I ever owned, some 11 years and 20 pounds ago, back when I was heavily commited to the world of cycling. Timbuk2 called it the Bolo, and it was a real messenger bag — though messengers almost always opted for it’s larger sibling, the Tag Junkie — crafted from a single piece of vinyl and Cordura; just a massive main compartment with not much more than a small pocket sewn on the outer face for coins and maybe a patch kit.
Although it’s just about as tough, the Command Messenger is light years away from my Bolo (and is really as much a messenger bag as a Chevy pickup is an ox cart): It’s sophisticated, uses several advanced materials, has loads of pockets and a trick feature that makes air travel easier for laptop-toting jestsetters. My how you’ve grown, Timbuk2.
Bag-maker STM hails from dehn undah (if you think my Aussie impression sounds bad here, well, it’s even worse in person), where they’re apparently pretty huge. They’re less well-known here in the States — but that’ll likely change thanks to a big marketing push and bags like the fantastic STM Velo ($100), a designed laptop bag stuffed with unusually clever features.
I’m not exactly sure why this thing works so damn well. The idea is pretty simple: Use Aviiq’s Portable Quick Stand ($40) to prop your laptop up (in this case, Aviiq has settled on a 12-degree angle) and suddenly the screen is closer to eye level, and the keyboard is tilted. And man, does it make a huge difference.