Oakley Panel Backpack *Review*

Oakley Panel BackpackAfter a 7 1/2 year hiatus from the educational system I made the decision in December of last year to follow my dream of a doctoral degree in psychology. At the time of my undergraduate graduation I just couldn’t wait to make a beeline for the “real world”, as it turns out the “real world” isn’t quite what it cracked up to be and the absence of that doctoral degree left a gaping hole that I decided needed to be filled. Taking the first step I signed myself up for Summer classes at UNC to get back in to the swing of school and make sure that another five years of education wasn’t going to be a terrible mistake, as well as to make sure that I was truly okay with postponing family life for another five years.

Signing up for classes was nerve wracking and so many questions flew through my head, how would I keep up with the kids who hadn’t been away from school for so long? How would I fair sitting in a classroom for hours at a time? How would my brain cope with the bombardment of new information? All of which manifested themselves in nervous shopping trips for all of those school items that you buy every single year and yet know that no one is ever going to use. The one most vital and worthy of my expenses, however, was the Oakley Panel Backpack.

The Oakley Panel backpack was a considerable expense, a whopping $60 ( I found a coupon over at retailmenot and purchased it via eBags.com). The bag actually retails from Oakley’s website for $85 but is in limited supply due to the fact that it is being replaced by newer models of backpacks.

So why did I, the queen of coupons and thriftiness, drop $60 on a backpack? Necessity. Buzz had saved up a secret stash and bought me a new laptop for school use only and between that and my books for classes I needed something sturdy. I know full well that I could have invested $20 and grabbed a Jansport to last until it fell apart, which inevitably it would since they always did under the mere weight of high school books, but this time I was determined to get a quality backpack that was going to last me through all five years of grad school and my short stint in summer school this year. Let me tell you, I picked a winner.

The Oakley Panel backpack I picked was in sheet metal gray (dark enough not to stain but still a “pretty color”). I made sure that prior to purchasing I dropped by my local Oakley store to try on all of their backpacks for fit, the Panel was the best fit for me. At 5’5″ I am not tall and with a medium frame I found myself dwarfed by their larger “Kitchen Sink” type models, but the Panel fit me perfectly well so I ran home to order it using my coupon code courtesy of Retail Me Not.

When my Backpack arrived I felt like a kid in a candy store, growing up we were a large family of small means so expensive back to school supplies were never on the books and this was my first, really truly expensive high quality investment for back to school part…well, part 5 if we count elementary, middle school, high school and undergraduate.

The pack fits well for women who are of medium build, you won’t be dwarfed by the sheer size of it and while it has plenty of extra pockets and nifty storage space it doesn’t have a ridiculous amount of latches and zippers to make you feel like you’re some kind of infant’s toy. My favorite feature of the Oakley Panel backpack is the side zipper access to your laptop compartment, you can access your precious cargo via this zipper or by the usual, flip the top and pull it out kind of means. There is also space for your text books and you will find that it can hold two pretty hefty books comfortably and leave you with a few extra pockets designed specifically to hold your pens, keys and even your Ipod. The Ipod holder is especially nifty given that it allows outlet for your headphone wire so you can Ipod yourself all the way across campus if you so choose.

The Oakley brand may well be overpriced but when it comes to the grad students needs, and investing in a quality purchase that is going to last it’s worth the money. I’ll take one sturdy $60 backpack over four $20 backpacks any day…although that may just be my sentimentality talking.

…Incidentally classes went amazingly well and I managed to complete them both with high A’s, look out grad school here I come!

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One Response to “Oakley Panel Backpack *Review*”

  1. 1
    Queen Bee says:

    I wish I had an excuse to carry a backpack again! I miss them. I’d almost go hiking just as a reason to have one, lol.

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