Review: Booq Tiapan Shadow

I have lived my life obsessed with finding the right bag. Before I purchased Booq’s Tiapan Shadow I had four different messenger style bags that I used off and on, depending on my mood. I decided that if I was to buy a new bag, then I must sell all of the old bags, leaving me with just one bag. This meant careful research into what I want and need in a bag, one bag.

The search inevitably lead me back to my favorite bag manufacturer (Booq) where I purchased the Tiapan Shadow M. Before I get to the actual review of the bag, I want to share what my criteria were for a new bag.

  1. Small: My biggest complaints with all the bags I had at the time was their size, they were large bags. They were thick and did not fit my new found love for less, less of everything.
  2. Padding: I had three Booq bags and one Tumi, all of them had average protection for my Macbook pro, but all required an extra sleeve on it from RadTech to protect against scratches. I wanted a bag that was padded, that I could drop. I also wanted a bag that meant I could just keep my Macbook Pro in it, without the RadTech sleeve.
  3. iPad: With the iPad in my life I no longer needed a bag that could accommodate a Macbook Pro charger, but I did need a bag that could carry the iPad in its own compartment, while keeping it protected.
  4. Style: I wanted a bag that did not look like crap, that looked like thought had been applied to the design of the bag, yet I didn’t want anything that was non-traditional.

I used these four criterion to judge each bag that I looked at, and I looked at a lot.

Day 1: The Tiapan Arrives

When the Tiapan arrived at my place I had already sold two of my bags, and the last two were waiting to be shipped out. I dove right in and looked through all the areas figuring out where stuff would fit. In the end I found a spot for everything that I really need and got rid of all the excess. From this stand point the bag is a success.

I head to work and quickly realize that my water bottle does not fit in this bag, I had never considered this. Luckily I drive, and it is not that hard to carry the water bottle in my hands. By the time I get home I am amazed by just how much smaller this bag is than the ones I was using.

End of Week #1

Since getting the iPad I have found that my laptop rarely leaves my office during the day (whereas before if I knew I would be gone for more than an hour it came with). Because I was leaving my laptop I found that I rarely took the old bags with me, they simply seemed like over kill. Now with the small size of the Tiapan, I find that I prefer tossing the iPad into it instead of hand carrying it.

I love the design of this bag, the smoothness of not having a handle on top, combined with the fact that there is a hidden hand hold sewn in really makes me smile. The oversized shoulder pad is excellent as is the seatbelt nylon strap. But the real gem of this bag is the blush interior of the laptop compartment, complimented by some of the best padding I have seen in a bag to date. The iPad fits in the bag perfectly, as does everything else I need.


Overall this bag is excellent, especially considering the price tag of $129 (at this writing). I have always been a huge fan of of the bags that Booq makes and the Tiapan is no exception. The Macbook Pro compartment fits my Macbook Pro better than any bag I have seen, it is very snug, yet very easy to take the computer in an out. The bag is small, so if you feel the need to carry a lot with you, then this bag is not for you.

I look forward to traveling with this bag, it won’t take up a lot of room under the seat in front of me. Which is of crucial importance when you are 6’3”.

Originally posted for members on: May 17, 2010
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