From my school days up into my current corporate drone lifestyle, I have always carried a backpack with me to lug around the important items needed to get through the day. Even when I go on vacation, a backpack is usually accompanying me (along with the wife, of course).
Since I never developed a habit of carrying a briefcase, I’m always on the lookout for a good backpack to take to work, night classes, etc. My needs were that it needed to hold and protect a laptop/tablet and the other materials needed for work. Since I ride a bike to the office occasionally, room for a change of clothes would be ideal as well.
After nosing around the internet and hitting up some coworkers for advice, I settled on the Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack.
Initial inspection and features
I was able to grab the Oakley backpack through a friend’s shop. My mantra is “always buy local”, if possible. So after getting the pack, I took some time going over it. I do this just so I know how to get the best performance out of any piece of gear.
• Padded side access panel to fit most 17” laptops – The laptop my Scrooge of a manager got me fits perfectly in the compartment. I’ve banged the backpack into doorframes and dropped it on the floor and the laptop has been protected. I once tossed the backpack across an office hoping to have it land on a couch, but it then bounced and slammed into the wall. After having my boss nearly stroke out, I pulled out the laptop and showed him it still worked.
• 34L capacity – The capacity of the backpack has been great for my needs. I have never run into any problems with storage so far.
• Accessory organization panel – The pockets in this section are great to keep smaller items organized. I used to keep a Swiss Army knife in here until a busybody at work saw me pull it out to fix a loose screw in a desk lamp and ran to Human Resources claiming I had a weapon.
• Bottom shoe compartment – This is a great feature for tossing some work shoes into the Oakley back pack and having them on hand to change when I get to the office.
• Abrasion–resistant bottom panel for enhanced durability – The durability has been great so far. Like I said earlier, I’ve tossed and dropped the backpack and it still looks brand new. (click here for more backpacks like this)
The Kitchen Sink is a really cool looking backpack with plenty of style. There are bottle holder straps on the sides and do exactly what they are intended to do. The pack also has several clips on the face that can be used to hook stuff to. The shoulder straps are mesh lined and the back is nicely padded, which I always like. It is a comfortable backpack to wear. Overall, I find the Oakley to be a really sleek looking pack. I usually do not like choosing form over function, but with this pack I do not have to.
So, my primary goal with this backpack was to use as a commuting bag and protect my laptop. This Oakley laptop bag has been a great for my needs. It has held up very well and has served its primary mission of keeping my laptop in one piece (even when I’m hurling it across my boss’ office). I have kept the pack in decent shape. This is partly because I do not mistreat my gear, but also because this pack is pretty sturdy.
All the zippers and enclosures are still in great shape and nothing has torn or broken off. I have taken a couple of spills on my bike with this backpack on and the pack is still in one piece. I have also started taking this pack on business trips and the rigors of travel have not made a dent in this backpack.
I do not know how this backpack would hold up as a camping pack. My initial impression is that this is more of an “urban backpack.” Is that a real thing? Maybe I should trademark that. Off to Google… Well, never mind. Looks like I’m late to the party on this one. I will have to take this on a hiking trip just to try it out. Maybe it would make a good day pack.
I hope this Oakley kitchen sink backpack review has given you a good sense of what this backpack offers. Before this backpack, I had only known Oakley for their sunglasses. Now I know they have a pretty diversified product line to shop from.
One point I need to make is that this pack is not cheap. I would definitely shop around before pulling the trigger on the purchase for this pack. I realize that a large part of the cost is probably the Oakley name, but the quality is there. It is just that I go back and forth on whether the quality is equal to the price. If I had to make a quick decision, I would say it is worth the cost if you are looking for a good combination of cost and looks.
Bottom line: This is the nicest looking backpack I own and the quality of the material and construction will keep you happy. As a potential purchaser you have to make the ultimate decision as to the cost of the backpack and is it worth it to you. After using the backpack for a while I have to admit that any buyer’s remorse I had thanks to the price has faded over time. So if you want a stylish backpack that will hold your laptop and gear in a sturdy backpack, then the Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack is a great choice. And I’ve gone this whole review without criticizing the name. You are not going to fit the kitchen sink in this thing. If you do, let me know how you did it.