Umbra Saddle Sink Caddy

Concept: 3 out of 5
Execution: 1 out of 5
Yeah, but: No matter where you put it, there it is.

The Long Version: It seems like a really good idea. The Umbra saddle sink caddy is designed to go across the centre of a twin sink, with a compartment on both sides to hold sponges, scouring pads, and similar. It comes in different colours, but I picked a dark one – "smoke" – that would look the least grungy the longest. (White is also available for those who want the opposite effect.) Realistically there's not much chance that a silicone spongebra will add to the decor, no matter how cute it is in the store, so I wish I'd picked the red one just because it looks like it has more fun.

The problems with my sink caddy started very quickly. The saddle doesn't straddle my sink very elegantly, leading to a bulky fit that takes up more room than it should. Next I discovered just how much I use the dividing wall between the sinks, for everything from bracing cooking sheets to balancing the big 4L water-filter jug. And when I actually use the sink for dishes and cooking, the sponge caddy blocks a surprising amount of it. All this I could live with, even though I often end up having to move the caddy to one side or just drop it into the half of the sink that I'm not using. The biggest problem is that the Umbra caddy keeps sponges wet for a remarkably long time.

Each side of the sink caddy has four dainty little drainage holes, which serve to let most of the water out when it gets flooded by the faucet, but aren't enough to let it drain completely or allow proper air flow. So instead of keeping my kitchen organized, the Umbra sink saddle leaves me with chronically damp sponges sitting in a holder that's inevitably in the way. I have to admit that I was hoping for more than that from this simple little thing. Umbra usually does a very good job with product design, but this one just doesn't do it for me.

last updated 24 may 2011


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