Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack was my surprise hit of CES 2018

Peak Design announced its line of bags on Kickstarter in 2016. It’s my favorite thing at CES 2018. The project raised $6.5 million on Kickstarter and now the company has a full product line designed for photographers and bloggers and people who just like nice things. That’s me.

To be clear this is not a new bag. The bag has been out for a bit but I purchased Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack a day before CES started.

Buying a new bag before CES was a bold move. I’m not a bold guy. Tackling CES with a new bag is a potential disaster. In the past I’ve used a North Face everyday carry backpack for CES. I travel with the bag and it’s been to four continents and logged hundred of thousands of air miles over the last few years. That bag is my mobile office. I know exactly where everything is. But the bag also isn’t the best for carrying cameras and its large size means I overpack it. I needed something different and I’m pleased with the Peak Design Everyday Backpack.

I bought this bag without seeing it first. The sheer amount of positive reviews made the bag seem like a winner and they’re right. This bag gets everything right.

Confident design. That’s the best way to describe the Everyday Backpack. It’s smart and solid. The bag’s fabric is dense and feels incapable of being snagged or ripped yet it’s still soft enough to be pleasant to the touch. There’s one main pocket and several zippered sections around the bag including a laptop sleeve.

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The main section is secured with a novel latch. It’s amazing. Made out of metal, it grabs onto one of four bars to secure the top. There’s a long magnetic strip behind the bars that grabs the metal latch and holds it tight until the latch grabs the first available bar. In practice it’s smooth and satisfying. It just works.

The bag’s layout makes it perfect to carry cameras or drones or whatever. The inside of the bag is one large cavity that’s separated by sturdy dividers that can be configured in several different ways. There are large zippers on both sides of the bag that gives access to the interior compartment. This lets the wearer swing the bag off one shoulder, unzip a side and grab a camera.

Camera bags have had similar dividers for decades. But it’s the origami nature of these dividers that make them among the best available. The dividers have several bendable points that allows the user to configure the bag without the need of extra, smaller dividers. I love it. This design made easy work of a Canon 6D, a kit, telephoto and macro — something that I couldn’t do well in my North Face bag. I had one divider running parallel with the bottom to hold the camera. Then on top of the camera, I placed one divider vertically, creating two spots to hold the two lenses.

I’m not going to run through all the details of this bag. A few more are worth calling out: The sternum strap is fantastic. It uses clips without moving parts so it should last a lifetime. The shoulder straps are attached to the bag with a rivet that allows the straps to swivel as needed — it’s a smart advancement in the design of a backpack. And inside the laptop sleeve is a small pocket that is absolutely perfect to hold a Traveler’s Notebook and a pen.

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is a fantastic bag. Seriously. It’s capable of holding an array of cameras and lens without extra bulk. And it looks great doing it too.

The Everyday Bag is a bit costly with an average price just under $300. The cost is the only downside I see. Similar bags from Tenba, Incase and countless others can be had for half the price of the Everyday Bag. It’s hard to justify the price but I after using the bag for several days, I can confidently say it’s a fantastic product and I’m happy with my purchase. This bag is the best thing I saw at CES 2018 even though it’s not new. I’m in love.

Published at Thu, 11 Jan 2018 20:25:48 +0000