Review: Booq Taipan Shadow is a business-class messenger bag
At a Glance
There are occasions, and professions, where carrying a backpack is seen as juvenile or unprofessional. Messenger bags, for all their utilities, often lack a solid internal structure for carrying files and paperwork. So, what’s a modern member of the workforce to do? Booq, seeing a gap in the market between old school and new tech, has brought us a solution in the Taipan Shadow: half-messenger bag, half-briefcase, all function.
The Taipan Shadow Messenger Bag is made from 1680D ballistic nylon with a water-repellant coating and has a super-soft plush red interior lining made from 420D ripstop polyester. It measures 16.9 inches by 14.2 inches by 3.5 inches with the main, padded laptop compartment fitting a 17 inch laptop, and weighs three pounds. In addition to the laptop compartment, there’s also a large front pocket and two smaller pockets, which are divided by a button that can be unsnapped to expand. The smaller front pockets hold slots for pens, business cards, and smaller items. The large front flap also has a vertical zippered pocket that runs the entire length of the flap.
The highlight here however, is the small silver and black plaque attached to the front of the bag which holds a unique Terralinq serial number. If a Booq bag is ever lost (and turned in), it can be easily reunited with its owner. The rear of the bag is also well-thought out: It holds not only soft-lined smartphone and tablet compartments, but also features a zippered compartment that can be unzipped so the bag can fit over the handle of a rolling suitcase.
Booq is known for clean, understated designs with straightforward functionality and tons of well thought out features. This bag was surprisingly light to carry despite its size, and I felt good about putting my ultrabook in the lined laptop compartment without any additional protection. However, it’s a bag that’s built to hold laptops, files, and thin, vertically tall items so it was less comfortable to carry rounder items like Tupperware, and wallets, which made the bag feel stuffed and bulky. Another minor drawback was the padded shoulder strap – which is very comfortable, but doesn’t slide over the buckle that adjusts the length of the strap, which means that folks who like to wear their bags shorter might not be able to position the shoulder padding in the most comfortable places.
All that being said, the Taipan Shadow was a dream to carry (as long as the items I was carrying were not square, boxy, or round), distributing the weight of what I was carrying very nicely, and was impressive in both functionality and design. For example, there’s a detachable key ring sewn into the bag to keep your keys secure. It’s also a really nicely built bag, from the seams on up. The Velcro squares that adhere the front flap while closed are sturdy and really do lock the flap down tightly. The pops of red on the corners and interior of the bag are nice accents; it’s a classy looking bag that’s capable of carrying what you need where ever you go, especially if you’re traveling on business.