The Book of Eli, the 2010 Denzel Washington vehicle that introduced us to what must be the most badass blind man in movie history, was also a movie, unlikely as it seems, that was heavily influenced by product placement.
Eli’s backpack and sunglasses were both selected and provided by Oakley, the Canadian extreme sportswear company. Oakley made a wise choice in offering their products for the movie, solidifying their products’ reputation as tough, hard wearing and more likely to survive the end of the world than a cockroach in a flak jacket. There are few companies more suited to post-apocalyptic sportswear than Oakley, and in my opinion this was a great (if less than obvious) marketing ploy.
The Book of Eli backpack, naturally, comes from Oakley, and while the costume designers beat it to within an inch of its life for that authentic ‘I visited the end of the world and all I got was this crappy backpack’ look it’s obvious that this was originally an Oakley Panel Pack.
The Panel Pack was discontinued long ago, but if you have $3,500 and nothing better to do with it you can buy the actual screen used backpack, switchblade and beat up old iPod from the movie.
Failing that (i.e. if you are neither rich nor stupid) you can get your own Book of Eli backpack by grabbing one of the packs Oakley brought in to replace their Panel Pack range.
The direct replacement for the Book of Eli backpack is by faaaar Oakley’s coolest pack. It’s called the Oakley Kitchen Sink Pack, and when you see the picture you’ll see why. This bad boy uses every single innovation from the Oakley line, from a padded laptop compartment large enough for a 15″ laptop to a cell phone pocket to a compression molded eyewear pocket strong enough to withstand a long drop without damage to your sunglasses or spectacles.
The pack also has side access, a strong, padded back and sturdy straps perfectly designed for a long hike (all the way across the US, perhaps).
The Kitchen Sink is a tough sum’bitch, and while the price is a little higher than you might expect to pay for a backpack it’s more than worth it, as you can see from the 18 out 19 reviews that awarded it 4 or 5 stars.
Of course, since the Kitchen Sink is near enough indestructible the end of the world may have been and gone before you beat it up enough to resemble the Book of Eli backpack even a little bit, but you can rest easy knowing that, should the end of the world arrive tomorrow, there’s a good chance that this bag will outlast the human race.
Of course it may be the case that you don’t have $185 to drop on a Book of Eli backpack, so it may make more sense to go for something slightly cheaper and without the bells and whistles of the Kitchen Sink pack.
Oakley’s other replacement for the Panel Pack used in The Book of Eli is called the Icon Pack. The Icon is a simple, utilitarian backpack that delivers exactly what you need and nothing you don’t. The padded inner computer compartment can hold a 15″ laptop, and like the Kitchen Sink pack it offers side entry for quick access. There’s also a mesh eyewear pocket and 2 side pockets, as well as a media pocket with earphone access on the lid for your iPod.
While the Icon lacks a few of the fancy extras of the Kitchen Sink, the price is reduced to just $134.99, offering a $50 savings over the Kitchen Sink.