For someone who carries 4~6 gyutos (in sizes between 210 and 300), a deba, a yanagiba, a petty, ceramic rod and all the other personal kitchen belongings to work, the Koobi kit sounds like the perfect solution to all. So when I was given a chance to try one out thanks to Mark, I was very excited.
I do want to address something before I start my review of the Koobi kit. It’s that I’ve heard more bad things about these bags then good ones. Even two co-workers have had Koobi kits and they do not speak highly of them. Zippers breaking, bag ripping in places, etc. The warranty that comes with the bag even seems like a joke. It pretty much says, don’t abuse the bag, don’t abuse the zippers, and you get only couple weeks of warranty. With just these information, to me, it’s just a money making scheme, a product the company won’t back up 100%. If there are bad press out there that gets repeated (i.e. the zippers,) fix the problem once and for all. Don’t just rewrite a warranty paper. For 2 years, I’ve used a $40 Wusthof knife bag holding all the stuff mentioned above and it gave me no problems except for the handle breaking which was an easy fix on my part. I’ll digress and try to give a constructive review.
I chose a bright orange bag to switch up a bit from my previous black one and I must say, I love the bright color knife bag. It might look ridiculous and even seem pretentious, but it never gets mixed up with others’ black knife bags/rolls. If it was to be misplaced, it’s very easy to spot. It just screams “Hey! I’m right here!” Anything to prevent loss (things/time) is a good thing in my book.
2: Width & Length
Width of the bag is ideal, however, I wish the length of the bag is 2+ inches longer. Unless your knives have wooden saya/sheath or perfect length megnatic protectors, anything above 270 with even the slightest oversized protectors are going to be a ‘tight’ fit in these bags.
3: Construction of outside.
I really wish there was a pocket easily accessible from the outside of the bag for recipe pads, notes, peelers or whatever one would need quick access to. The shoulder strap more times than not gets in the way of any function of the bag and is very poorly designed. Could always take it off though. (which is what I’ve done) Also seems to me that on the very outer layers of the bag, could be some reinforcement for extra protection for one’s tools. However, it is perfectly fine for a daily use bag.
4: Construction of inside.
There are 3 major compartments to this bag and theoretically, you can hold a lot of tools in this bag. Which is a plus for someone like me who never leave personal tools left behind. The first two are for knives and other longer tools. Where there are places to put handles in on one side and on the other, a Velcro strap that would hold them in place. I wish that the handle holding part is ½ inch shorter and each holes could be tad bigger. The Velcro strap could be more effective as well but it does get the job done. I never bother to use it though. The 3rd compartment is where all the various size smaller pockets are. Which have their purposes but on bothsides seem to be an overkill. I say they should only have the vinyl pockets on one side, put more tool holding area on the other and put a quick access pocket on the outer layer.
There are lots of zippers in and out of this bag and they all have one thing in common. They’re not smooth. Could be that it’s a brand new bag. But my Wusthof bag had zippers with way smoother and quicker action than all of the Koobi ones combined, brand new.
All in all, the Koobi kit is definitely a useful bag. The review might come off negative and it should because I really expect more from the company that solely makes kitchen knife bags. A toolbox is still a tool and in most cases a toolbox needs to be more rugged than the tools in it. I would say this bag is worth no more than $50. Perhaps when most folks stop having the same problems and it comes with a better warranty, than I would say it’s price of $65 is right on.