Recently Peak announced the release of version 2 of both the packs I will be reviewing today. The messenger was purchased when a friend was done reviewing it and wanted to sell it, a few months before the announcement of V2 bags. I purchased the Everyday Backpack a few days after the announcement of the V2 bags though. Today I'm going to talk about why I purchased the V1 pack even with the V2 on the market, and I'll tell you what I like, and don't like about each bag.
I've already talked about some experiences with the Peak Everyday Messenger in my iPad Pro EDC video so for some initial thoughts you can refer there. In this video I'm going to talk more about why I'm not as fond of the bag and don't use it anymore.
First off, the Peak Everyday Messenger simply felt too small for my needs. I'd want to put my Canon 90D in it along with both lenses, then two notebooks and usually a book I'm reading. That often left the camera simply tossed in on top of the books instead of nestled some place nicely.
I'm sure some of you are thinking that I should just use my capture clip and hang the camera on the outside of the bag. Yes this is a viable option, but the truth is that the capture clip makes the camera inaccessible on the messenger bag. I have to twist the whole bag around to make it work and then it's a fight to get two hands on the camera to hold it and release the clip at the same time. In short, the capture clip location on this bag felt terrible to me.
The other thing that bothered me about this bag was that it doesn't feel like a "proper" messenger bag to me. I've used a bunch of messenger bags to cycle around town over the last 15 years and I'm used to something from Chrome or Mission Workshop. Both of these bags sit entirely different on your shoulder and while the Peak Everyday Messenger attempts to get close to this, it's still not that comfortable.
I know that many users will think it sits perfectly, and for a shoulder bag to carry around and look nice at work, it's fine. But I'm out on my bike a few times a week and this doesn't sit well at all for me.
Finally the tripod carry is only acceptable. Yes sliding your tripod through the top flap works, but it's not great.
Now I may keep this bag, but for my wife. She likes it when she's coaching figure skaters at competitions. It's big enough for her to carry what she needs and it looks nice. It's got enough small pockets to divide her stuff up and make it easy to reach.
I don't see how a working photographer could use this bag though.
Now on to the Peak Everyday Backpack.
I purchased this bag a few days after the V2 bags were out. One point in favour of the "older" bag was that it was on sale, but that's not the main reason I got it. I got it because after looking at the V2 bags there were some features I wanted that were only in the V1 Everyday Backpack.
Specifically, I still wanted all the little divider pockets in the flaps on the sides of the bag which have been dramatically slimmed down on the V2 pack.
My standard load in this bag is as follows.
The first thing I thought when put this pack on was that it's tight. Not in a bad way either, it just feels solid and no frills on your back, which is excellent.
I also thought that the shoulder straps were going to slide off my shoulders, but once I attached the sternum strap that went away. Ultimately I think this comes down to the material on the shoulder straps being a bit slippery and my preference for the shoulder straps a bit narrower than the bag wants them to sit. Once the sternum strap is done up, there are no issues with the shoulder straps.
I've used this in a variety of carry options, from just a day walking around in the rain with an umbrella and a coffee cup shoved in the sides to days when I'm riding around and need a light attached to the bag plus spare shoes and a lock to carrying my video gear over to my kid's school so I can help the library with a grant video. It's handled all of them with excellence.
One of the reasons this bag handles so many different types of carry well is all the hidden straps. You've got a set in the pockets, and under the front panel. Then there are multiple attachment points around the bag so that you can use the straps to hold things on. I leave one in the pocket attached to the side so that I can put my lock on the bag easily any time I need to head out on my bike.
Ultimately, using this bag has meant that I take my camera with me in many more scenarios so that I always have it to shoot with.