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Overview : A pack that adapts to your ever-changing gear, lifestyle and environment, the Everyday Backpack was created by a team of designers, engineers, and photographers to meet the needs of creative, adventurous people. Unrivaled accessibility, expandability, and organization. The patented MagLatch provides lighting fast top access, with dual side-loading via two weatherproof side zips. Huge external carry capacity made possible by a versatile tuck-away strap system and 2 expandable external side pockets. Integrated luggage carry makes this bag equally suited for daily commutes and extended travel. Endlessly configurable FlexFold dividers keep photo or everyday gear organized, protected, and not bunched at the bottom of your bag. Internally padded accessory pockets keep small items in check. Dedicated sleeve for up to 15” laptop, tablet, and documents. Ultra clean aesthetic, all-custom hardware, minimal dangling straps.
- On-body access
- Everyday carry
- Dedicated laptop sleeve
- Dual-side compartment access
- Built-in expansion
- Flexfold Dividers: configurable, adaptable, removable
- Rolling luggage pass-through
- Tripod carry
- Ventilated back panels
- Hidden waist strap
- Briefcase-style carry
- Theft-deterrent: Zipper pulls attach rigidly to bag
Quality/Usability : The most anticipated Peak Design product has arrived...the Everyday Backpack! It launched or shall I say, Kickstarted alongside with the Everyday Tote and Everyday Sling, raising over $6.5 MILLION!
Having released the Everyday Messenger 13 and Everyday Messenger 15, people have asked for a backpack and boy did Peak Design deliver!
Just like the Everyday Tote and Everyday Sling, the Everyday Backpack comes in charcoal and ash. Ash is the newer color with leather and blue accents. The Charcoal is the same as previous bags with black hypalon material and red accent. Those familiar with the Messenger and Field Pouch, none of the new items come in Heritage Tan.
All Peak Design bags feature weatherproof waxed 500D Kodra shell with DWR coating to repel water. For this review, the 20L is in ash and the 30L is in charcoal.
On the front, there are no pockets other than the top flap. The MagLatch is a patent pending magnetic latch system that Peak Design came up with. This is one of the most unique latches I've seen. No velcro. No clips. So not only does it clip it securely locks it in place.
As you can see from the animation, it's very simple. Simply lift up to disengage the magnet and pull down to release the latch. It's attached to an elastic band which allows you to pull on it. Even though there is no audible sound like velcro to inform you that the bag is being opened like from unsuspecting people, they would need to tug on the bag in order to open it. With that tug, you'll know when someone is trying to gain access.
There are four different catch points depending on your load. This is where the MagLatch catches onto. With the MagLatch, it allows for one-handed operation to open and close. Since it is magnetic, it will automatically lock.
Depending on your load, the 20L has a capacity of 12L (minimum at the lowest rung) to 20L (maximum at the very top rung) and the 30L has a capacity of 18L to 30L.
On the bottom of the bag is a reflective strip. This is great if you're walking or riding a bike in the dark. There is a front compartment that hides two compression straps for external carry and uses magnets to help keep it closed. You can use these to securely strap items that may not be able to fit inside the backpack such as a drone (it will fit inside the bag but if you have camera gear, the drone won't fit), yoga mat, tripod, etc.
Also on the bottom but on the back side are two bottom zippers. I have these secured to the anchor points to prevent it from opening. I will discuss this in more detail below.
On my ash 20L, if you look at the middle image, the zipper pull was reversed during the manufacturing process. So on the right side, the leather is facing out, which is correct. But on the left side, the leather is facing in and the black is facing out. It's not a big issues but just a little inconvenience. Luckily its at the bottom and not as noticeable. I could probably send it back for a replacement but its only a cosmetic issue. If something else broke or came loose, I'll send it back under their lifetime warranty.
There are a few different ways you can use the compression straps to secure your item. It can be criss-crossed or parallel each other whether it be horizontal or vertical.
On both sides of the backpack are luggage carry handles and expandable external side pockets. One of the complaints with the Everyday Messenger bag was the ability to hold water bottles externally.
Well with the Everyday Backpack, you can hold two water bottles if needed! But you can also hold a tripod and other items. When the pockets are not in use, magnets help keep it closed.
To help secure larger items like a tripod, there is a compression strap in each pocket that is neatly tucked away inside. Also included is an anchor link to attach to your keys or other items you want to keep close and not get lost.
Like the Everyday Messenger and Everyday Sling, the backpack features an axial strap attachment. This allows the strap to swivel instead of being fixed. The shoulder straps themselves are fairly padded and comfortable.
A sternum strap is also included. Unlike other backpacks, it can either be clipped onto the same strap so that it is out of the way and not dangling, be removed completely or be clipped onto one side so that it is out of the way. It can also be tightened, loosened and removed all with one hand.
The back padding serves as dual purpose. Not only does it provide comfort and support but its also a luggage pass-through. This allows you to slide the handle of your carry-on through the backpack for easy carry.
There's also room at the bottom to act as a pocket to hide your passport, wallet, etc. However, do be cautious as things may fall out. I wouldn't put anything too bulky as it would make wearing the backpack uncomfortable.
One feature that I liked from the Everyday Messenger bag was the waist strap and I'm glad it's incorporated into the backpack. Like all the Peak Design bags, straps are neatly tucked and hidden away. The waist strap is not as big as other hiking backpacks but it definitely helps relieve some of the weight resting on your shoulders.
Trying to get access to it can be a little annoying as its tightly tucked away.
One of the main concerns from backers was theft. A quick glance at the zipper pull looks like a normal loop to help open the zipper. But a simple unlatching reveals the zipper pull theft-deterrent system. Simply loop it through the loop webbing on the bag and lock the pull back in place. This will prevent the would-be thief from gaining access to either pockets and is available for top and bottom side zippers. I personally will be using the top zippers mainly so I secured the bottoms to prevent the zipper from accidentally opening.
The unlatching and latching of the zipper pull can all be done one handed but you'll notice a tug for those who are unaware of the setup.
At the top of the bag, there is a weatherproof zipper that gives you access to a laptop compartment and a small pocket. The small pocket allows you to store your wallet, keys, batteries, etc.
Both backpacks can carry a 15" laptop (up to 16" for 30L) as well as a tablet. Size is based on your laptop not having a case on it. My only complaint is with the 20L. You can fit the 15" MBP without a problem so as long there is no gear. But if you have gear like my Canon 5D Mark IV in the bag first and than you slide the MBP in, it gets stuck. Even if you put the laptop in and than the gear, the bag becomes hard to close. The only way to get your Macbook Pro in with a camera inside is all about configuration.
Further down below, you'll see a picture of gear inside the 30L. For the 20L, I had to rotate the camera clockwise 90°. So when the bag is laying on its side, the camera would be parallel with the bag. A better view would be in my 20L gear load video on YouTube below.
When you open up the top flap, not only do you gain access to the top portion of the bag but there is also a small pocket for ID or money with a magnetic clasp.
You are also able to access your gear from the weatherproof side zips. So no matter if you're a right or lefty, you'll be able to sling the bag around and access your gear. There are two zippers on each side zip, one at the top of the bag and one at the bottom of the bag. You don't have to use both but whichever one is easier for you to gain access to your gear.
The interior pockets on both sides offer a lot of storage. You can hold batteries, memory cards, pens, external harddrives, card reader, chargers, small notepads, sunglasses, etc. And if there's something that doesn't fit inside the individual pockets, you can just put it right inside the zippered pocket and zipper it.
When you open up the side flaps, you'll find FlexFold dividers. Three dividers are included in both the 20L and 30L. Like all FlexFold dividers, not only are they sturdy but they are like origami so you can actually fold them up to make shelves or an additional divider.
Even though the dividers are held in place with velcro, they are very sturdy. They hold a good amount of weight and they won't fall off. You can adjust the dividers to however you want and if you don't need the dividers because you're carrying textbooks or something big, you can just remove the dividers and it will become one big cavity.
Above is the 30L with a Canon 5D Mark IV with 24-70L II attached on the left. In the middle is a 70-200L f4, 600EX-RT flash with MagMod and Pixel flash battery pack. On the right is the MagMod MagSphere, MagBounce and not shown is a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens.
Below are some videos of how I packed the 20L and 30L. The 20L is best for smaller DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. With bigger DSLRs it can get a little cramped. With the 30L, it's best suited for bigger DSLRs and multiple bodies.
If you own a Capture Clip, you can clip it onto the shoulder strap. The above image is the ideal location based on just how it looks when not worn.
However, when you wear the backpack, it is close to the top of your shoulders. When clipping the camera to the Capture, you would have to move your head out of the way; it's just awkward. And when you have the camera clipped on to the Capture, the camera is near your face.
The ideal location would be where the sternum strap would be located (also looked at Peak Design's first Hangout video and this is where they placed it as well). However, on this part of the strap, its a little thicker due to multiple layers of materials but this allowed me to easily reach for the camera. So if you're placing the Capture Clip on this part of the backpack strap, you'll need to find a happy medium on where you want to place the sternum strap and where the Capture would go.
You also have to factor in how you set up your sternum strap. If it disconnects on your left shoulder and you have the Capture also on your left, the camera may be in your way if you need to take off the sternum strap.
Conclusion : Overall, the Peak Design The Everyday Backpack 20L 30L is my new favorite backpack for a long time to come. If you're looking for that "perfect" backpack, this may come close to it, at least for me. Not only can I use it for carrying my camera gear but for everyday carry as well. There are so many features to this bag and they are all useful.
If you're a mirrorless user or have a smaller DSLR camera, go with the 20L. If you're carrying a lot of gear, bigger or full frame DSLR, I suggest the 30L. Just note that if you plan to carry your 15" Macbook Pro, the 20L may be a tight fit when you start adding your camera gear.
A lot of people will be put off by the price but if you're familiar with Peak Design and their products, you know that it is top notch. Granted, I did have an issue with one of the zipper pulls on the 20L ash but Peak Design has a lifetime warranty on their products. Any issues, contact them and they'll replace the item. Hopefully with my discount code, this will help ease your wallet a bit.
In regards to the Kickstarter campaign, estimated shipping was in December 2016. They started shipping out the backers one month ahead of schedule. There aren't many crowdfunded campaigns that meet their actual delivery date let alone ahead of schedule. This goes to show how streamlined and a well oiled machine they are.