Review: Introducing the Rugged booq Boa Nerve Messenger Bag

It doesn't seem like too long ago that if you wanted a truly rugged and heavy-duty carryall, your options consisted primarily of military or camping gear. But with the rise in popularity of fashion-forward outdoor suppliers like REI, North Face, and Mountain Hardware, consumers have become rather accustomed to durable and rugged gear-bags that are also stylish and don't necessarily make people look like they’re going camping or off to war. Entering the fray of high-quality, rugged bags is booq, with their water-resistant, tear-resistant, and ultra-durable booq Boa Nerve messenger bag ($155.00).

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This simple, well-designed messenger is suitable for a wide range of users; from the business traveler looking for a comfortable bag with easy entry to all compartments and TSA-friendly accessibility, to the modern adventurer looking for a hybrid bag that can handle off-road biking as well as day trips zipping around the city. The Boa Nerve is a classy and stylish accessory that doesn't sacrifice its streamlined and professional appearance for its well made and heavily reinforced construction.

Though it's built extremely tough, it's also ergonomic and maintains a look of executive elegance. This is a messenger bag I could recommend to a trail guide carrying around maps, a jacket, snacks, and navigation gear as easily as I could recommend it to a healthcare worker carrying around clipboards, notebooks, and health monitoring equipment. It's that versatile!


The Boa Nerve is extremely practical in its design. It's got a lot of pockets but not so many that you have trouble accessing them or remembering where things are stashed away. There is of course, plenty of storage for your larger laptops (holds up to a 15" MacBook) as well as all of your smaller iDevices. The laptop sleeve is lined with a silky soft faux fur, and all of the internal pockets close up securely. The zippers utilized in the construction of this bag are heavy duty and water resistant, as is the 1680 denier ballistic nylon used in its fabrication.

The Boa's exterior is simple and stylish, the bag is accented with reflective strips for increased night visibility, which is useful when biking at night, and the shoulder strap has a fancy magnetic metal buckle closure as well as a shoulder-stabilizing strap to keep the bag securely in place when actively using the bag.

This messenger bag, like others in the booq catalog has booq's trademarked Terralinq serial number tracking system to help you locate your lost and found bag.


  • booq’s Terralinq bag locating ID tag.
  • Plenty of pockets and organizational compartments.
  • Heavy-duty construction. This bag should last you many years, even if treated harshly.
  • Computer and iDevice-friendly sleeves.
  • TSA-friendly accessibility.
  • Chest stabilizing strap for times when you are active
  • Looks great! Would be totally appropriate in any number of work-related scenarios.


  • Personally, I didn't care for the magnetic buckle on the shoulder strap. It seemed unnecessary and if they could’ve lowered the price by not having it that would've been a good thing.
  • Velcro, yuck! I'm not a big fan of it due to how poorly it ages. If the Boa Nerve had a closure system utilizing a method other than Velcro that would've been a-okay with me.


Overall this messenger bag gets really high marks from me, in fact, I'd give them a rare 5-Star rating, which I don't give out often. It has very few shortcomings and for the relatively reasonable price, you'd be hard pressed to find a better general-purpose messenger bag. In my testing of this bag I could find little to take issue with and I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a sturdy and rugged, yet aesthetically pleasing bag that will work well in a wide range of situations.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech