booq Mamba Sling
When it comes to finding out whether a laptop bag is any good or not, extensive travelling is always a good benchmark. That’s why I took the Mamba Sling by booq with me on my travels last month.
My journey involved purely public transportation. This included bus, two trains, tube and 12 hours of economy class flying. Along with carrying the Mamba Sling complete with 15-inch MacBook Pro (approx 2.5kg) inside, I also had my luggage. Practicality was an important factor with my carry-on luggage. The true test for me was how accessible the bag was for my travel documents and how well it would fit under the seat in front of me on the aeroplane.
But before I talk about that. Let’s take a look a detailed look at the design and construction of the Mamba Sling. Lightweight materials are used in the construction with a water-resistant polyester. On the outside, the black diagonal finish is smooth to the touch and flexible – allowing it to stretch to its full size when required.
The strap is permanently attached and has a spongy feel that is comfortable on your shoulders and your chest area. You can wear the Mamba Sling on the one shoulder or you can use it as a sling back. With the latter, you’ll get a comfortable fit that is solid and form-hugging. Great for occasions when you do need to carry a bit extra.
There are two large pockets on the front and back of the Mamba Sling for quick access to thin items such as receipts and tickets. I didn’t feel comfortable keeping important documents like my passport in the front pocket incase there were people with sticky hands around but for using it to store receipts and tickets, this would be ideal. I kept important stuff in the back pocket, although if you wear the bag in sling back mode, it means you have to take it off each time you want to get access to it.
The magic happens when you unzip the two zippers that keep the main compartment closed. The first thing you’ll think is that this must be the updated bag that Mary Poppins now uses. How is there so much storage room. Booq’s clever design means that you can organised the contents of your belongings into the various pockets. The cleverness is how the front of the Mamba Sling pulls forward after you’ve unzipped it, to reveal a second compartment for extra storage room as well as a further zipped pocket.
Mamba Sling can take laptops 13-15-inch laptops. Simply insert or remove the Velcro side padding which help to give your laptop a snug fit. The materials used in this compartment are softer to prevent your laptop from getting scratched. Booq also includes a Velcro strap just to give your laptop that extra snug fit and prevent it from moving about whilst in transit.
A large deep compartment can be found in the middle for storing larger items such as books whilst the outer main compartment is meant for holding your power cables. Two zippered side pockets are large enough for storing your mobile phone, media player or compact digital camera plus accessories.
Booq also includes a unique serial number that you can use to register ownership of your bag on the booq Terralinq website. This allows them to get in touch with you should anyone find your bag and see the serial tag inside. It relies on the person finding your bag and reading the label inside and then being kind enough to report it. The cynics amongst us would probably see this as nothing but a gimmick, but it’s better than nothing.
The Mamba Sling worked well on my travels. For the journey to and from the airport, I was able to carry it sling back style for convenience and comfort. On boarding the aeroplane, I was able to stow stow it away in overhead luggage compartments and it can fit underneath the seat in front of you, but if you do that, it won’t leave you with much leg room.
Overall, the booq Mamba Sling offers good solid build quality and intelligent design. The Tardis-like insides allow you to organise and sort the things you take with you on your travels. Interested in buying one? Use the Amazon link below to see the Mamba Sling in Black, Red, Brown and Navy Blue flavours.