The Cobra Courier is a minimalist’s iPad bag built with premium nylon and leather. Besides some minor gripes, this is a great choice if you don’t need much more than your iPad for the day and if you don’t mind carrying a “man bag.”
Let’s get this out of the way up front: the Booq Cobra Courier XS is definitely in “man bag” territory. But Booq’s choice of ballistic nylon paired with nappa leather create a compact, premium iPad bag for carrying the bare essentials.
There isn’t much to this bag, but that’s the point. The Cobra Courier XS is just tall enough for an iPad, and the main storage compartment features a pocket designed right to the iPad’s dimensions, with extra room for a thin book or Moleskine, and a couple of small pockets for an iPhone and pens. There’s also a tight zippered pocket on the front, but you can’t fit anything much wider than the iPad’s 10-watt AC charger inside. A document pocket on the back of the bag is great for plane tickets. All storage compartments feature bright gold or orange lining to increase visibility when trying to root around for a particular trinket. (I like this trend in bag design, but it’s certainly something to get used to if you’re accustomed to standard black lining.)
That’s it for storage—this truly is a minimalist’s iPad bag, as even Apple’s compact wireless keyboard is a bit too tall for the bag’s main compartment. A thick, leather flap, which secures using Velcro, protects that storage area as well as the front of the bag. On my review model, though, this Velcro didn’t “stick” very securely, and minimal movement frequently caused it to become partly, if not completely, unfastened. And when I tried to stuff the main compartment even slightly, the Velcro barely wanted to stay fastened at all.
The bottom of the Cobra Courier XS has a reinforced, water-resistant-rubber coating, with nylon straps that run from the front to the back for a little style. The bag’s permanently attached strap is also adjustable “seatbelt nylon.” While I usually prefer padded shoulder straps, i found this strap to be quite comfortable and non-abrasive, even after a full day of commuting around town.
Besides my gripe with the weak Velcro, the bag’s overall construction is solid and top-notch (for the price, it had better be). The nylon is smooth, the leather is soft but sturdy, and the pockets are definitely made to spec—the iPad pocket, for example, won’t even fit an iPad in Apple’s thin iPad Case; only a naked iPad will do.
If you’re looking to carry an iPad and hardly anything more—and you don’t mind the “man bag” look—the Booq Cobra Courier XS is a great choice. The excellent construction, perfectly sized pockets, and comfortable fit make this a great choice for the iPad minimalist.