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Review: Peak Design The Everyday Messenger 15 Bag

Review Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag

Overview : A premium day-to-day essential carry workhorse, The Everyday Messenger is for photographers, travelers, commuters and everyone in-between. It’s more than just an innovative camera bag, it’s a giant leap for bag-kind. Patent-pending MagLatch™ closure. Origami-inspired FlexFold™ dividers. Weather resistant shell expands and contracts to hold a lot or a little. Dedicated Capture clip attachment points and front access panel designed for photography workflow. Hyper-adjusting internally padded seatbelt strap allows use as messenger or shoulder bag.

The Everyday Messenger was launched on Kickstarter in the Summer of 2015 and it quickly became Kickstarter's most successful bag ever (raising over $4.8 MILLION).

Features :
  • Brand new patent-pending MagLatchTM operates blindly, securely and with 1 hand.
  • Origami-inspired FlexFoldTM dividers are made of high-density foam, and fold/flex around camera gear, eliminating dead space found in traditional camera bags.
  • Shell expands and contracts (13.5L to 20.5L) without losing shape.
  • 2 dedicated Capture clip attachment points for fast exterior camera access.
  • Front access panel allows fast external access to smaller accessories.
  • Top zip allows latch-less access to main compartment.
  • Converts from messenger bag to low-slung shoulder bag.
  • Quick adjusting 2-inch padded tubular seatbelt-style strap.
  • Removable waist strap for load distribution and stability.
  • Optimized for all photography kits, up to a full-frame DSLR with 3 lenses and accessories.
  • Equally optimized for everyday carry and use by non-photographers.
  • Dedicated 13-15” laptop pocket with tablet/document sleeve.
  • Color-coded internal pocket layout designed around photography workflow.
  • 2 side pockets for quick access to water bottles and smartphones.
  • Weather resistant waxed shell with high-density padding.
  • Premium water resistant exterior zippers.
  • Hypalon-reinforced and bar-tacked stress points.
  • Lifetime warranty from Peak Design.

Quality/Usability : When Peak Design released their popular Capture Clip, people asked them to make a hand strap. They listened and released the Clutch. But there was one thing missing in their arsenal which was a camera bag and of course, people were asking when Peak Design will release one.

I'm happy to say that Peak Design has FINALLY entered the bag market with their Everyday Messenger bag which launched on Kickstarter (with the help of Trey Ratcliff). Not only is it one of the most popular bags on Kickstarter but it's also the most funded at over $4.8 million.

The Everyday Messenger is not just a camera bag, it's an everyday bag. And since no two days are quite the same, the shell was designed so that it expands greatly to accommodate the perpetual “one last thing,” and also lets the bag maintain its shapely figure when your load is light.

Lastly, it adapts to your activity too. No more switching bags when you travel or hop on your bike—one bag, with straps that let you wear it in a multitude of ways.

But we all know what you're here for so lets get to it!

The Peak Design Everyday Messenger bag comes in a unique packaging. It doesn't come packaged in a clear plastic bag or in a box. It comes in it's own heavy duty paper bag. When I picked up the package from FedEx, even the clerk was impressed with the packaging.

There's stitching on both ends to keep the bag closed. At the top, there is a pull tab that opens the bag. You can see our video below. We did have a little issue pulling open the tab but only because we weren't sure how to but when you get yours, you won't be making the same mistake.

[youtube src="7Np30u-X1jQ" width="640" height="360" /]

Once you've gotten past admiring the unique packaging (at least for me), it's now time to oogle over the actual bag.

The Everyday Messenger bag (EDM) comes in two colors: Charcoal which is what I went with and will be reviewing and the other is the Heritage Tan.

The outside of the bag is made of ultra waxed Kodra synthetic canvas with DWR coating for weatherproofness, poly-spun mixed twill interior, waterproof galaxy foam bottom liner, compression-molded high-density EVA foam dividers and protective panels, die-cast and stamped aluminum hardware with sandblasted finish and protective clear coat. This means that the bag won't absorb any water and will bead off.

To clean the bag, you'll just want to spot clean the area that is dirty. Since there is padding and foam, you don't want to put it in the wash.

The Peak Design logo is on a piece of Hypalon material which is then stitched onto the bag. It doesn't scream or call for attention. As you'll also see, the stitching is flawless and clean throughout the bag.

The bottom of the bag helps maintains its shape and form while the bottom is protected with a rubber like material. This will get scuffed up though but blends in well with the bag. Placing the bag down on the floor will stand up for the most part even if its top heavy.

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. It's attached to an elastic band which allows you to pull on it. So not only does it clip it securely locks it in place.

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.

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. 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's really nothing much on the back. It has a few unique stitching patterns. Don't know if this was a design feature or if there is any benefits to it.

However, there is a water resistant zipper at the top to allow you to insert a 13"-15" laptop. It fit my 15" Macbook Pro Retina easily. There is also a small pocket to hold your tablet. If you're not hauling your laptop, you can carry documents. There is also a pen sleeve off to the side.

The top handle is thick where it offers support and is wrapped in nylon webbing.

On the sides are two pockets. It's big enough to hold your cellphone (Motorola Moto X Pure Edition 2015 with Supcase case as shown). Don't expect to hold anything too much because not only is it slightly small, it's a tight fit as well. There's also two diagonal straps on the side walls, designed for attaching the Capture Camera Clip to it.

The attention to detail is top-notch down to the anodized aluminum hardware.

On the right side of the bag, there is also a strap tethered to the inside of the pocket. This strap has an anchor link and comes with a anchor disk. This allows you to attach your keys/ID.

Also on each side of the bag is a small compartment that hides a strap conveniently. This strap goes around your waist and keeps the bag close to you. No more bouncing around. I walked from Penn Station to the Jacob Javits Convention Center for Photo Plus Expo 2015 and it stayed close to my body. By wrapping it around your waist, it also takes some of the weight off your shoulders.

Tucking the straps back in can take some effort due to its tight space and opening. But once you get the hang of it and use it more, it tends to get easier.

The shoulder strap is a beefed up version of their popular Slide Strap. The strap is slightly wider and the padding is thicker to accommodate the extra weight that will be put into the bag. It also includes the cinch handle so that you can pull the bag closer to you.

The default configuration is for right handed users (shoulder pad on left shoulder and bag on right side). If you're a lefty or want the bag resting on your right shoulder and the bag to your left, you can easily switch it around but rerouting the strap.

So not only can you wear it as a messenger bag, you can also carry it on one shoulder. However, if you take the waist strap with the buckle and attach it to the shoulder strap, you now have a cross-body/underarm support.

If you need quick access or don't have the room to lift up the flap, you can easily unzip the water resistant zipper and it gives you access to the main compartment. When I first tried out the bag, I had a small piece of plastic sticking out of the bag. This caused my arm to get scratched. I ended up cutting it off and it was fine. I was told that it was probably from the end of the zipper material that was a little long.

On the inside of the flap is a small zipped pocket that lets you hold small items such as tools, memory cards, batteries, wallet, money, etc.

But behind the pocket, it allows you to slide a tripod leg between the pocket and flap. Also included with the bag is a rubber band (which you can store in the pocket). This allows you to wrap around the tripod legs and prevents the tripod from falling out. The tripod I used above is the Fotopro C5i.

With the flap lifted open, there is a zippered front access panel with 8 additional pockets. You can hold batteries, memory cards, cellphone, etc. Each pocket is made of stretchable mesh so it expands. With the pocket full open, it doesn't hang where it would cause your items to fall, so there is no need to hold the flap.

In the main compartment, there is a small pocket. This is big enough to hold your cellphone, wallet or money. You won't be able to put a tablet in this pocket.

Another unique feature of the Everyday Messenger bag is the dividers. No more flimsy dividers. The Everyday Messenger bag includes three origami like divider. However, I only use two. I personally think using three at the same time is a bit too much and overcrowded.

As you can see from the images above, you can set up the dividers in multiple ways. You can even use the divider as a "shelf" so you can stack other lenses on top.

The super soft poly-spun twill interior is soft on your photo gear, but will hold up to years of stuffing and re-stuffing your bag with you-name-it.

Here, you can see how the bag looks like with gear loaded into the bag. Left is my Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite flash with MagMod MagGrip. Right side is my Canon 50mm f1.4 lens. And in the center, I have my Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II with and without a grip. The accessories attached the camera is a SpiderHolster Hand Grip and Peak Design Slide Strap.

On the camera, I have a Slide Strap and SpiderHolster Hand Strap.

Here is a side profile of the Everyday Messenger bag with a non-gripped camera inserted into the bag (left) and how the bag looks like with a gripped camera in the bag (right).

If you're looking for an accessories pouch or a small carry bag for your camera that can be carried via the Peak Design Slide Strap or on your belt, take a look at our Peak Design Field Pouch review.

Conclusion : Overall, the Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag is one of the best camera bag...everday messenger bag I have used. There are so many unique features to this bag. The quality is top-notch, strap is comfortable and the dividers and MagLatch are awesome! I've even used this as a camera bag and diaper bag at the same time. I had my Canon 5D Mark III with my 24-70mm lens along with a few diapers and wipes. I didn't have to carry a diaper bag and a camera bag separately. Everything fit into the EDM without an issue.

One of the things I'm sure people will dislike about the bag is the lack of a pocket to hold a bottle which would of came in handy when I used it as a diaper bag. I could of had a place to put my daughters milk. Don't think that Peak Design completely forgot about it or omitted it. They did think about it but opted not to which was discussed in one of their YouTube Hangout videos. A solution would be to get the SpiderHolster Water Bottle Holder (review) which can be purchased from Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama ($20) and clip it to the side of the EDM bag.

Oh by the way, it's also backed by a lifetime warranty!

[update headline="NEW SIZE:"]Peak Design has listened to customers and they have released a smaller Everyday Messenger 13. Check out our review.[/update]

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