A messenger bag that looks smart, is comfortable to wear, and has plenty of storage space. So basically pretty much everything you'd want for cycle commuting.
I'm not normally a fan of messenger bags, as I find they hurt my shoulders and often swing around while I'm cycling, which isn't ideal in London traffic. The Boa Nerve bag surprised me; it stayed in place, was comfortable, and importantly I could fit in the vast amount of gear I tend to lug around with me with ease.
The bag is designed to take up to a 15inch laptop, and keeps it secure in a separate pouch that's lined in a soft, almost furry pocket. A strap to prevent it tipping out if the bag is tipped upside down is a good addition.
As mentioned before, I found I could fit a surprisingly large amount of stuff in this bag; laptop, papers, shoes and a change of clothes, plus a few other bits and pieces. Adjustable straps with reflective trip mean that the bag can accommodate being pretty well stuffed and still stay closed. The flap closure also has a velcro fastening, which happily due to its sensible positioning didn't catch and pull at my cycling lycra.
Obviously one of the main questions about messenger bags is how secure and comfortable they are to ride with. I'd score this bag highly on both counts. The long main strap can be quickly shortened, one handed, with a quick pull and locks into place with a secure magnetic buckle. An additional strap across the waist keeps the bag well and truly in place while riding, and you can switch which side this sits on to suit which way you wear the bag.
There are pockets and features aplenty with the bag. An easy access front pocket has room for pens, purses and a detachable key ring. The main pocket, in addition to the laptop pocket, includes several pouches and a zipped section.
A flat pocket on the front flap is handy for things like thin documents and travel cards. The side pockets are advertised as good for D-locks but I couldn't quite fit my chunky Kryptonite lock in.
The bag comes in a city-resistant black colour, and definitely looks the smartest of the messenger bags I've come across. The tough nylon fabric is water resistant, and a 'rubberized bottom' (sorry, this makes me giggle!) means you don't have to worry about developing scratches and holes in the base of the bag.
It's clearly also designed with the traveler in mind; at the back of the bag there's an extra zipped panel to allow you to keep the bag securely on a trolley bag.
One final feature I liked was the Terralinq Lost-and-Found barcode badge. This is a service offered by Booq. Each bag comes with its own unique barcode, which means that if you loose it Booq will help you find it again. That is, so long as you've registered it on the website.
A bag with plenty of room for your day-to-day work commute, and that's smart enough for office use. It's comfortable to ride with and stays in place, and has a selection of features that make it handy to use.
- Plenty of storage space, including cushioned laptop pocket.
- Waist strap keeps the bag in please, and magnetic clip make it easier to tighten the main strap.
- Reflective trim and detailing.
- D-lock didn't fit in side pocket.
More info: Booq
What Booq say about the Boa Nerve messenger bag:
"Boa nerve is an all-out messenger bag that works hard for you whether you’re a businessman or bike messenger. Designed to be equally tough, sleek and insanely innovative, it comes packed with an abundance of cool functionality."