The ways in which people carry their stuff with them when they leave the house varies, especially depending on what you’re bringing with you. Whether you’re packing mobile essentials to ensure you can use your MacBook anywhere you go, packing clothes and toiletries for a camping trip, or packing camera gear to ensure you nail perfect shot on your travels, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is a wonderful place to start looking.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack
I use the Peak Design Everyday Backpack for two primary reasons, with the first being to take a small amount of camera gear with me on shoots, and the second being to take a few changes of clothes and other essentials with me when I stay in a hotel or leave home for more than just a day.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is an interesting piece of baggage engineering and a stark departure from ordinary backpack designs that you’re probably more than familiar with seeing every time you shop for one at a big box store or even online.
Instead of a single top-loading pocket for your books, laptop, clothes, and other large objects, and a smaller frontal pocket for things like your smartphone, writing utensils, cables, and anything else that might fit there, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is a side-loader that completely re-imagines the volume of the modern backpack by letting you organize the central compartment your way with novel origami-inspired dividers.
As you’ll see in the photo examples, I use these dividers to perfectly segment my lenses and equipment away from one another, ensuring padding in between them to avoid damage while traveling. My bag usually carries my camera body with an attached lens, one telephoto lens, a prime lens, and cleaning equipment, such as the Giottos rocket air blaster.
These dividers are held in by strong Velcro and can be removed and re-installed an infinite number of times to suit whatever you might be packing. For me, this means camera gear, so I’ve organized the Everyday Backpack around what I might carry on me on an ordinary day of photography. When I use the Everyday Backpack as more of a weekend backpack, I move the dividers around to make room for clothes and larger stuff.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is equipped with several smaller pockets elsewhere around the bag, such as in the side-loading flaps, in the top of the back, and in the rear-loading laptop compartment. As you’ll see below, I use the flap-centric pockets to stow away things like camera lens filters, SSDs, adapters, cables, and anything else that might fit.
The rear of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack contains an adjustable laptop sleeve that accommodates up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1/M2 chip and a full-sized 12.9-inch iPad Pro. There’s even a hidden pocket in here where you can store more smaller stuff, like cables.
Another unique feature of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is the top-loading magnetic clasp. This secure clasp can attach to one of several different rungs, with each one providing a different dynamic of volumetric expansion for the top compartment – perfect for last-minute additions, such as mementos you acquire on your weekend travels to bring home with you. Oh, and there’s another hidden pocket up there as well.
The side pockets of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack are elastic and can carry a water bottle, metal tumbler, or even Peak Design’s iconic Travel Tripod. If using the Travel Tripod, we recommend using one of the backpack’s many stow away straps to secure it to your pack so that it can’t be removed without you knowing.
On the back, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack features padded shoulder straps that rotate on a metal swivel, ensuring comfort for every body shape and size regardless of how you wear it. These straps magnetically attach to the back of the Everyday Backpack when not in use, preventing unwanted flopping, and they also feature spots for the included sternum strap, which gives you additional support when you load your bag to higher capacities.
Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack stands out from the general backpack market because it has been specially engineered around access, organization, expansion, and protection. Beyond that, the engineers were careful to use materials that would weather the elements, such as the 100% recycled 400D nylon that comprises of the external build material (and that’s water resistant, by the way), the weatherproof UltraZip zippers that feature leather security clips, and custom metal hardware for the buttons, zippers, and clips.
Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack is available in two different sizes, 20L and 30L, and they come in black, charcoal gray, midnight blue, and ash white. The one we’ve showed you is the 20L in black, and it provides the perfect silhouette for a smaller 150-pound guy with a normal build and average height. If you’re any bigger than that, then you may feel more comfortable opting for the 30L, which gives you a lot more space.
My thoughts: A winner in my book
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is a versatile backpack that can be configured for virtually any loadout you can imagine. I’ve always struggled to keep ordinary backpacks organized to my liking, especially when it comes to carrying bulky and clunky gear with a laptop and having the peace of mind that something wouldn’t break, but the Peak Design Everyday Backpack manages all of that for me with the convenient configurable dividers so that I don’t have to worry about it.
It’s easy to appreciate the weather-resistant materials, which make using the bag a breeze in rain or shine. The materials don’t allow water to pass through to your belonging, and instead, liquid beads off just like a rain-x-treated windshield. Obviously, you shouldn’t throw the bag into a pool or body of water, but rainwater won’t be a problem, especially if you’re walking around and actively seeking shelter.
I like how the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is loaded with magnets, almost everywhere, to keep things close and snappy. Peak Design clearly doesn’t like anything flopping around, which is why things like pockets, straps, and even the top-loading compartment are magnetically attracted to the backpack to prevent things from coming loose.
I also really like the amount of different anchor points and handles found across the bag’s exterior. There’s always somewhere convenient to anchor one of the various outside storage straps, or for me to quickly grab the bag that isn’t the topmost handle.
As for comfort, if you aren’t loading too much weight into the backpack, you will find that the padding works just fine for your shoulders and back. The included sternum strap really helps stabilize the load so that your shoulders can relax a bit, averting that shoulder-biting feeling that comes from an overloaded backpack. It also really helps that the straps work on swivels, so they can contour to your body better than ordinary straps can.
There isn’t a whole lot of bad I can say about the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, but I’ve compiled a pros and cons list below for those interested:
- Very versatile and organizable backpack with different possible uses
- Tons of hidden compartments and anti-theft zipper locks to keep thieves at bay
- Weather resistant materials make this bag ideal for traveling
- Magnetic features keep this backpack looking tight and easy to access
- Sideloading design lends easy access to internals without taking the bag off your back
- Several external straps to carry more stuff outside of the bag when it’s full
- Comfortable padding and swivel joints to fit any body type
- Different colors and sizes available
- It’s pricey for a backpack, but you get what you pay for
- Closing the magnetic clasp at the highest rung doesn’t look as good as closing at the lowest rung
- The backpack can’t stand upright on its own
How to get one
If you’d like to try a Peak Design Everyday Backpack out for yourself, then you’re on the right track. It’s an investment that will stay with you for many years and grow with you as you reconfigure the internal dividers to suit your needs.
Peak Design sells its Everyday Backpack on its website for $279 for the 20L model and $299 for the 30L model, and they’re also available on Amazon for the same price if you’re interested in faster Prime shipping for your order.
Peak Design nailed it with the Everyday Backpack. It’s more configurable than an ordinary backpack, and this makes it useful for more than just school supplies. You can configure this backpack to suit a photographer’s gear collection, a weekend trip to the hotel, or even snacks and essentials for your child’s soccer game.
The raving reviews for the Peak Design Everyday Backpack speak for themselves. This bag has it all, and you won’t be disappointed if you can get past the initial sticker shock.