While I did not love the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, the Everyday Messenger lived up to the high expectations I have from Peak Design given my love for their other products like the Capture Pro Clip, Range Pouch, Slide and Field Pouch. The Everyday Messenger has a ton of innovative features and a few things I did not love, but overall, it is definitely a bag I am comfortable recommending.
Things I love
The Flexifold dividers
The Flexifold Dividers in this bag are awesome! The dividers have edges that fold over so you can better organize your gear. The best part of these dividers is they allow you to stack gear, such as lenses, on top of each other. In the messenger bag, I loved these dividers. They allow you to take full advantage of the depth of the messenger bag by creating different levels of gear. I can fit two of my lenses in the bag in one divider by folding the divider down to creat separate spaces. I also love it for separating flashes and controllers or even for computer cords and other items that are easy to tuck under the foldable dividers. I find these especially useful for the size and configuration of a messenger bag, whereas with normal messenger, I feel like there is a lot of wasted space or gear is not organized well given most camera equipment is not tall and skinny.
The Maglatch is one of my favorite parts of the Everyday Messenger. Once again, this is such a cool feature that sets apart this bag from other messenger bags. The Maglatch is a magnetic latch that opens and shuts the main pocket of bag. The bag has four different connection points that allow you to close your bag tighter. This allows you to essentially change the size of the bag depending on how much gear you have in your bag. The ability to contract or expand the bag is amazingly convenient. More importantly, the attachment mechanism is very quick and easy to use. I have kept the Everyday Messenger on the passenger side of my car and have been able to get my camera out quickly enough to capture quick-happening scenes I could not have had my camera been in another camera bag. One example of this was driving past a protest, I was able to get my camera out and shoot the protester all without stopping my car.
One of the coolest things about this bag is the fabric out of which it is made. Peak Design claims the bag is “weatherproof.” I did not dig into what level of weatherproofing that means, but I had no concerns carrying the Everyday Messenger in light rain for extended periods or heavy rain for short periods. The fabric is a really cool material where the water runs right off rather than penetrating. The fabric also has a great look that is way more attractive than your normal bag so I am a big fan. I do not even bother carrying a rain pouch with me when I use the Everyday Messenger and have never had an issue when I found myself in the rain, which admittedly is not very often given I live in Las Vegas.
While I like the practical use and look of a messenger bag, I have never been a huge fan because I have never found them to be very comfortable. I think Peak Design did about as good as you can with this one. They used their famous seat belt strap style and it was comfortable wearing sling or over-the-shoulder style, but as you would expect, the comfort fades the more weight you put in or the longer the duration for which you carry it. Unlike other messenger bags I have used, this bag has a hidden-away belt/chest strap that can really help with the comfort when needed. By far, the coolest part of this strap is the adjustment mechanism. There are few things I hate as much as fiddling with straps that are difficult to adjust. This strap was the easiest to adjust that I have ever used.
The front pocket
I really liked the nice front pocket of the messenger bag. It that can fit quite a bit more than you would expect. I like to carry my Platypod Pro Max together with all the little things like batteries, remotes and chargers. The front pocket has many smaller pouches inside that are great for organization. In fact, the inside pocket has three dedicated battery pockets that are great for easy access and keeping things organized. I also love that this pocket is protected by a zipper so you do not have to worry about losing anything.
Ability to carry a tripod
A big bonus to this bag is that it is designed to carry a tripod. You don’t find that in a lot of messenger bags, but it is a great feature that can significantly add to the practical uses of this bag. Although it is not the most convenient method of carrying a tripod, Peak Design engineered it as good as possible to make it possible to carry a travel tripod with a messenger bag.
things i do not love
the laptop pocket
I love that this bag has a dedicated laptop pocket on the outside of the main compartment, I just wish it was a little bigger. I have the bag that says it fits a 15 inch laptop. In my experience with many other bags, that has always meant a 15.6 inch laptop would fit without a problem. Unfortunatly, Peak Design meant 15 inches when they said 15 inches. I can just barely squeeze my laptop in the pocket, but I cannot zip it up. This has not been a big deal except those rare occurrences where I am caught in the rain. Of course, you do not want want a computer exposed to the rain. As such, this pocket is great in theory, but a big failure in practice.
Although not a big deal, one of my complaints with this bag was the side pockets were tighter than necessary. I often wanted to carry a standard (16.9 oz) bottle of water with me and could just manage to squeeze one into the side pocket, but it was not convenient to get in and out. I would have loved to see a side pocket that could expand out to fit a larger bottle or a ball head.
As you can see, the positives of the Everyday Messenger greatly outweigh the minimal complaints. While the small laptop pocket is a big deal to me, it has not stopped me from using this bag all the time. I love it for work as it is so much nicer than a briefcase and is easy to carry a camera on those rare occasions where I can use it at work.
The bag can be picked up at Peak Design in black, gray or brown. It can also be chosen in the 13 or 15 inch sizes. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.