Peak Design has done it again with the Everyday Backpack — designed a streamlined bag that fulfills all of my needs while handling a sizable load of gear with grace. After a few months of practical use in lots of different shooting situations, I can honestly say that the Everyday Backpack hits that rare sweet spot of carrying everything necessary without being cumbersome or complicated.
Coming off the successful introduction of the Everyday Messenger and Everyday Messenger 13, the Everyday Backpack is Peak Design’s first backpack model and comes in two sizes — 20L and 30L. With so many options available for camera backpacks on the market these days, you might brush off a new offering as white noise — something that has been tweaked and tinkered with so much that nothing could possibly come out that hadn’t been thought of before. Yet there it is, a really smart backpack that ditches a lot of common practice and embraces a lot of smart simplicity.
Overall, the Everyday Backpack is a cleanly designed shell with three access points into a large main compartment. There’s also a laptop compartment with a “hammock” style pouch to hold small items, along with two compartments on the side access panels for organizing accessories. As with all of Peak Design’s gear, the outer shell is an ultralight waxed Kodra synthetic canvas with DWR coating for weatherproof performance.
Access to the main compartment can happen through the top or either of the sides, and which one you’ll use really depends on how you’ve organized everything inside. The side access points are very easy to get to when swinging the backpack in front of you, while the top access point is more for when you’ve set the bag down. Being right handed, I typically organize my gear so that the essentials are inside the left side panel, since this is what sits upright to me when I swing the bag off my right shoulder. Secondary gear sits on the other side of the bag, and things that are least likely to be accessed are towards the top.
The main compartment can be divided into smaller sections using the velcro dividers, which have built in flaps that can be flipped up or down to introduce padding between items. The flexibility of dividing up your gear is really handy to put things exactly where you need them based on how you will interact with the bag.
Gear Capacity and Comfort
The 20L version of the Everyday Backpack, while the smaller of the two sizes, ended up being the perfect size for me and the assortment of gear that I carry while shooting weddings and intimate weddings. While I could definitely find more things to throw in my camera bag as “just in case” items, the smaller size of the 20L ensures that I only carry my essential gear out the door. The top portion of the backpack is expandable with the familiar MagLatch, which is great when you need to throw a few extra items or even a light jacket in with all of your other stuff. The 20L version can fit a laptop up to 15″ and the 30L can squeeze in 16″ laptops with ease.
The wide, comfortable straps of the Everyday Backpack are attached at the top via swivel points, so the straps are always lined up to an optimal angle regardless of your body type or how long you have the straps let out. The backpack also sits against your back with a slight channel for your spine to run down, which reduces some of the “flat back” syndrome you can get with some backpacks carrying a laptop. There’s also a full-width top handle and two comfortable side handles to grab the backpack by when shifting it around or taking it on or off.
The only downside I’ve been able to find with this backpack is when you get towards its fullest capacity, the MagLatch becomes a little hard to connect on. But because I try not to overstuff my bag to begin with, it’s a very very minor complaint in a sea of positives.