Table of Contents
Introduction: Chef Sac Backpack Review
This year I got a contract as a middle school foods teacher, and I find myself frequently bringing equipment and tools from my home kitchen to my school. My best kitchen equipment, such as the Breville PolyScience Control Freak, come with handy carrying cases that make it easy to transport for demos. However, I have many smaller tools such as knives, spatulas, spoons, vegetable peelers, and thermometers that I typically just throw into a bag and carry with me. This bag of kitchen tools usually ends up in a disorganized mess, and I’ll often find myself scrambling to find the right tool when I arrive at school.
When I first learned about Chef Sac, I was intrigued by their line of knife backpacks. I wanted to try out one of their knife backpacks to see if it would work for me and my specific use case. As someone who has a lot of kitchen tools, I choose their largest backpack: the Tactical Chef Knife Backpack.
When the backpack arrived I was impressed by the size of it and the many compartments it contains; I quickly discovered that it contains much more space than I need, which isn’t a bad problem to have as it leaves room for an ever-growing set of kitchen tools.
Overall the backpack is built with excellent quality and durability for the price, and it contains more than enough space for my knives, spatulas, tongs, cutting boards, and other kitchen tools. I am happy with the backpack and would recommend it for anyone who needs easy transport of kitchen tools; whether you are a chef, a caterer, a culinary student, a foods teacher like me, or just want to bring along your favorite kitchen tools on your next vacation.
What follows is a review of my experience with the Chef Sac Tactical Chef Knife Backpack.
At the heart of a backpack are two panels: a panel with five mesh pockets for various kitchen tools and another panel for securely storing your valuable knives .
Since the product is advertised as a “knife backpack”, I’ll start by reviewing the knife panel.
Storage for all your knives
The knife panel has two tiers. The bottom tier is for five of your larger knives. I was able to comfortably fit my favorite Japanese chef knife in it, a 9.5” Birchwood Miyabi Gyutoh. Even more impressive, my 12 inch Victorinox Fibrox Slicing Knife also fit in the backpack without any problems. I even snuck a microplane into one of these bottom pockets.
The bottom tier of knife slots have a sewn in belt halfway up the backpack that you can slide your knives into, keeping the knives secure and preventing them from falling out.
The second tier on the knife panel has an additional 5 slots for smaller knives such as pairing and steak knives. Additionally you could store small tools in these slots. The knives on the upper tier are secured with a velcro belt, which I find significantly less secure than the sewn in belts, but they are adequate for smaller, less valuable kitchen tools.
Lastly, the knife panel contains a special slot for a clever. Unlike the other knife slots, this slot unfortunately does not contain a belt to keep the knife secure, so I do need to be extra careful when tossing the backpack around; hopefully future iterations of this backpack contain this small improvement.
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Mesh pockets for your kitchen tools
Adjacent to the knife panel is a panel of five mesh pockets for a variety of kitchen tools (four medium sized mesh pockets plus one large pocket).
I used this space to store my favorite instant read thermometer, the ThermoWorks Thermapen, along with a set of measuring spoons, a mini whisk, a vegetable peeler, a bench scraper, and various spatulas (including two Mini Supoons; a silicone spoon with a kink in the handle to allow it sit above a countertop when resting).
I could squeeze even more into the medium-sized pockets, as I did in the larger pocket, but I like the clean look of just storing one tool in each pocket; it makes it easier for me to find the things I need, plus it would be less likely I forget something if I know each pocket needs one tool as opposed to who knows how many tools.
When selecting tools to store in this panel, I tried to pick tools that were relatively flat so that they would not bang up against my valuable knives in the adjacent panel.
Flipping over to the next panel: more kitchen tool storage, including space for cutting boards
When you flip over the knife panel of the Chef Sac backpack, the next two sets of panels are revealed.
I used the left panel for various long kitchen tools, such as wooden spoons, spatulas, and tongs. Once again I choose relatively flat tools as I think they are better suited for this series of panels; kitchen tools like ladles and measuring cups that bulge out are better stored loosely in one of the other backpack’s other compartments.
Like the knife panel, this panel contains slots separated into two tiers for the tools to slide into and belts to keep them secure. The belts are all velcro; none of them are sewed in like the knife panel.
In total there are twelve slots for your tools on this panel (six on the bottom tier and another six on the upper tier). Because this panel contains two more slots than the knife panel, the slots are a lot more tight fitting and won’t fit all your kitchen tools with thicker handles.
A frustration I had with this panel was that the belts were a little too small when the panel was full, and I could not get them wrapped around all my kitchen tools when I filled up the backpack; however, because the slots themselves are pretty tight fitting, the belts don’t seem as necessary as they were on the knife panel.
As you can see in the picture above, I only partially filled this panel; I still have 7 more slots that I can use if needed. But I don’t see this as a problem as it’s better to have too much space than not enough.
On the right is a panel I use for my OXO cutting boards. I was able to fit two of them comfortably in this panel.
Even more backpack compartments!
There are several more compartments on this backpack that can suit a number of different uses.
I used the very back compartment to store my 16-inch MacBook Pro laptop. This compartment could also be very useful for storing a tablet; perfect for accessing recipes.
The other compartments could be used for storing notebooks, pencils/pens, and other kitchen tools that bulge out a little (e.g. ladles or measuring cups). The design of the backpack leaves it flexible for a variety of different uses.
Conclusion of the Chef Sac Backpack review
I hope you enjoyed this review of my experience with the Chef Sac Tactical Chef Knife Backpack. I only ever review and recommend products that I personally use on a regular basis. The backpack is the best knife backpack I could find for my use case. Since getting this Chef Sac backpack, I use it on a daily basis to bring kitchen tools back and forth from my school and could see it being equally useful for professional chefs, caterers, culinary students, and those who want to bring a part of their kitchen with them when on vacation.
If you have any questions about this product, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below; I’ll happily answer them as quickly as I can.