Oakley might be well known for their high quality sunglasses, but their backpacks are equally popular. ‘Kitchen Sink’ might sound like an odd name for a bag, but once you’ve seen its multitude of features and the cool-looking design, you probably won’t mind even if the company decided to name it something more bizarre. “We have also written a complete guide about Adidas prime backpack“.
Build and Dimensions
Measuring 20 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches, the bag is quite large for a regular non-hiking backpack, and has a capacity of 34L or 2074 cubic inches. Rather than a uniform ‘square’ shape, the backpack is bottom heavy and narrower at the top, but opens up to reveal lots of space on the inside.
Besides zippers to the main compartment, the Kitchen Sink features a top ‘flap’, which is closed by tying it down using a pair of metal clasps for maximum security. While this feature makes it doubly hard for thieves to filch anything and ensures that the bag’s contents are protected from the elements, it can also be quite a hassle to open it. It’s great for carrying things to be unpacked at your destination, but not so much for day-to-day use where you have to constantly retrieve items from your backpack. “We have also written a complete guide about outdoormaster hiking backpack“.
Also on the flap is an ‘eyewear’ molding pocket, useful for keeping sunglasses and other small items. It is made from a semi-hard material that is stiff enough to take a few knocks before decompressing. The pocket opens with a zipper and there is soft fleece lining on the inside. There’s even a rubber closed port on the top that allows users to thread their headphone cables through it and listen to music on the go.
Opening up the bag reveals a roomy main compartment. This can easily accommodate a 15 inch laptop or tablet with plenty of space left over for books, stationery and other supplies. The dedicated laptop sleeve is convenient to organize your electronics, and comes with sufficient foam padding to protect them from falls and bumps.
What most users don’t know from looking at the product online is that there is a hidden pull-down zipper at the back of the bag which allows direct access to the laptop sleeve compartment, so you won’t have to fiddle with the flaps and zippers. At the very bottom of the backpack is a ‘wet’ zippered storage for keeping shoes, without having to worry about damp items mixing with your dry ones.
Hidden by the flap when closed, the front of the backpack features a medium-ized zippered pocket with smaller compartments for organisation. Users can use them to keep stationery, notepads and smartphones, although they aren’t padded.
Unlike most designs, the two side pockets on the Kitchen Sink are not mesh – but they should still be able to hold large water bottles. They even come equipped with heavy-duty zippers, for those who decide to turn them into mini external storage pouches for easy access, as well as compression straps to keep everything securely in place.
The Kitchen Sink doesn’t compromise on comfort, with mesh-lined straps that are breathable and fully adjustable to fit both larger and smaller people for maximum comfort. The design helps to distribute weight evenly across the shoulders, even with heavier loads. Also on the straps are smaller pockets for keeping smartphones or MP3 players.
The bag also comes with a waist strap for added stability, and comes with even more – you guessed it – pockets to keep keys, cards, loose change or candy. Our only complaint is that instead of a convenient plastic clip, the waist strap requires users to thread it through a buckle, and secure it with Velcro.
The Kitchen Sink is made from a blend of 65%nylon and 31% polyester, combining the best of both materials. Strong, durable and long lasting, the abrasion-resistant fabric holds up well against scraping and can handle quite a lot of abuse. Although not water proof, the material is water resistant and helps to protect the bag’s contents in light rain. The bag’s design is also aimed at reducing water ingress, as the lack of flat surfaces doesn’t leave room for water to sit and seep in.
The back panel is stuffed with high density foam with grooves for sufficient airflow and better breathability. Good ventilation ensures that users are comfortable carrying the bag even in hot and humid environments, and the material acts as a cushion to prevent items in the bag from digging into your back.
While the Kitchen Sink is machine washable, users should note that there are a lot of hooks, metal accessories and clamps which can damage the machine – so they should be removed before attempting to machine wash. Another thing to point out is that with so many extra pockets and accessories, it can weigh the bag down especially if you intend to use it for travelling.
The Kitchen Sink’s unique design will not look out of place in a movie like the Terminator. Rugged, with an industrialized look, it has loads of pockets, metal accents and accessories that are sure to attract envious stares on the commute. The front has three decorative metal ‘grab handles’. The bag comes in three colors – namely, black, stealth black and herb. The difference between black and stealth black is the color of the accents: whereas the former has shiny metallic clamps and handles, the latter is all in matte black. The Herb option provides a splash of color with a military inspired ‘camouflage’ color scheme.
Pros and Cons
- Secure storage with top flap and zippers
- Spacious main compartment with dedicated laptop sleeve
- External zipper allows direct access to laptop compartment without having to open flap or top zippers
- Bottom ‘wet’ compartment to store shoes or damp items
- Tough, durable material
- Water resistant
- Comfy shoulder straps and padded back panel
- Loads of pockets for easy organisation
- Waist strap
- Not as convenient as standard backpacks, many steps needed to access internal storage
- Metal accessories and accents weigh down the bag
While we appreciate the lengths Oakley has gone to to provide extra compartments on the bag, sometimes it feels like there are too many – pockets on the shoulder straps, pockets on the waist straps, pockets within pockets: to the point where it feels unnecessary. The backpack is definitely secure, but it also takes time to access its contents due to the many mechanisms involved. That aside, it is roomy, spacious and comfortable to bring around, in addition to being very tough and sturdy.