For a while now, I’ve been on the lookout for a backpack that will provide me both comfort and ample room for my gear, while looking professional.
I do have a few different backpacks that check off some of these boxes. I had yet to find one that met all my requirements.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack (30L) is the closest (so far) in terms of finding a perfect backpack for my situation.
I was lucky enough to receive an Everyday Backpack. I was impressed by the super clean and minimalist design. If you’re familiar with Peak Design’s other bags or equipment, you’ll feel right at home with their backpack.
I went with the Ash color backpack, which matches my existing Peak Design Slide strap. It’s a medium grey backpack with some black and tan accents throughout. The backpack is also available in Charcoal in both sizes, and in Black and Heritage Tan colors in only the 20L size.
Inside, you’re met with three dividers in the main compartment. These are unique as they can fold in two different places, meaning you can easily stack lenses on top of each other by folding down a separator. Additionally, you can fold these down to hold a longer lens that’s laying on its side. I found these to be really nice and easy to use, but I’d like to see one or two more included even though you can buy additional dividers as well.
Also inside are two zippered slots, with several interior pockets within. These are nice, but I’d like to see one or two of the interior pockets offer a zipper as well for safe keeping. These are perfect for things like batteries, memory cards, tripod plates, etc.
Finally, the backpack features a weatherproof nylon canvas core — meaning no more hassling with weather covers.
The two backpack straps are what you’d expect, and they both have a unique sternum strap that connects to both sides. These were a little tough to move about at first, but once I moved them a few times, I could easily lock it with one hand.
The straps are a pretty good width, measuring just over 2.5”. Using my new Capture Camera Clip was initially a bit tight to set up, but once I found a good place to put it (just below the widest part of the strap), it worked rather well. Those that have the older Capture clip will have no problem; those who have bought the newer version will want to use the higher bolts for a more secure fit.
After using the bag for several days, I did notice one flaw with the straps. I found that, with a full backpack, the straps would loosen by themselves the more I walked around. I would regularly have to tighten them. With a significantly lighter load, I didn’t find this to be happening quite as much. It would still loosen after some time. It’s easy enough to pull on them and tighten them back up, but when your backpack is sagging as you’re walking around, it can become somewhat uncomfortable.
The main exterior zippers have a theft locking system. This is a simple design, but one that’s not easy for thieves to unlock. You essentially loop around a cord, much like you would when locking up a bike.
The top compartment is only protected by a buckle — one that is pretty tough to quickly unlock. You have to pull down and out to open the top compartment (which is open to the main compartment). There’s no way that you wouldn’t feel this being opened while wearing it.
The Everyday Backpack is heavier empty than other backpacks I’ve used. It does a great job of evenly distributing the weight throughout the bag. It feels more steady and firm, while other bags I’ve tested feel uneven.
The comfort from the Everyday Backpack can’t meet the comfort of my usual backpack — the LowePro FlipSide — which has a ton of padding in the straps, making it easy to keep on my back all day.
Despite this, the bag still holds a comfort level with what I’ve experienced with most other backpacks.
Which Size Should I Go With?
I really debated between the 20L and 30L sizes, but ultimately went with the 30L, as I knew it would hold more of my gear.
The 30L can easily hold my Olympus E-M1 Mark II, wide angle lens, telephoto lens, and two smaller lenses without a problem. It can also hold my Nissin i60A flash and MagMod MagBounce diffuser, hat and gloves, and multiple other miscellaneous items as necessary.
But if you don’t have multiple lenses, or the need to take a bunch of travel equipment, the 20L might be a better bet.
The Everyday Backpack is one of the best-designed backpacks I’ve tested. It is something I’d feel very comfortable taking to client shoots, in addition to using with my personal work. It looks great and holds all my gear. But having the straps loosen up is something I’m disappointed with. I still very much like the bag, but it’s not something I’d use during hiking or travel photography because of the self loosening straps.
Learn more about Bryan at bryanesler.com.