Price: $ 220
Peak Design makes bags explicitly for photographers, but in Everyday Messenger there is enough careful design for just about anyone who needs a quality bag it worth considering. It's a tough competition for Timbuk2 and Chrome.
Here's What Like
- Ingenious home lock system
- Comfortable reversible harness
- Flexible, removable main compartment divider
- Excellent materials and style
And what we do not do
- A smaller organizer bag is awkward and difficult to achieve
The Everyday Messenger is not cheap – $ 220 for the smaller 13-inch version, $ 250 for the larger 15-inch. However, this investment is worthwhile if you want a bag that is reliable, accessible and flexible for carrying sensitive items. In a word: fantastic.
Messenger Design, With A Twist
The Everyday Messenger could only be called ironic because the design is anything but. On the surface, it looks surprisingly simple, with a large main pocket that is not separated by sleeves or inner compartments. The laptop holder, more or less a requirement for any modern messenger, hides on the back under a sturdy weatherproof zipper. This exposes your laptop (and / or tablet because it has a divider) without opening the main compartment.
But it turns out it's easy to get into that big compartment – easier than any other messenger bag I've ever used. This is thanks to the unique "MagLatch" loop and ladder mounting system. The aluminum mechanism engages with a sliding lock on one of the ladder rungs so that it can be easily closed and opened. A large piece of metal keeps things securely closed in each of the four positions, while the magnets in the top flap keep them relatively stable without locking when you're in a hurry or need to access the tray several times in a row. It's an ingenious design that can be easily and firmly opened or closed with just one hand.
Speaking of which, there is another way in this big bag. If you need to quickly grab something from the top of the bag, the top of the flap has its own zipper, which allows access by hand for smaller devices and lenses. It's a nice benefit if you frequently replace parts of the equipment, but it would not be a practical way to get an iPad into the main compartment and out of the main compartment, for example.
We focus on this main bag: It looks empty. And by itself it's a big dump for all your loose gear. The bag is also equipped with two partitions: two rigid, trapezoidal small walls that you can attach anywhere thanks to the soft Velcro at the front and back of the compartment. If you are used to camera bags, you may be familiar with the setup.
These dividers feature unique origami-inspired pleats in the material, allowing them to be set up in different ways. You can get a large, slim pack, ideal for a water bottle or zoom lens, a split bag that works well with a power adapter and mouse, or a double fold that serves as a hiding place as well as a platform for irregularly shaped objects. like a DSLR with a lens attached. The partitions can be placed anywhere inside and provide space for smaller or larger contents.
This shot is not perfect. It's hard to put big things and small things in the main bag at the same time – for example, I can not carry a mechanical keyboard with me and at the same time organize smaller devices. But it's great for camera equipment and laptop gear, and I'm sure even more general users can do the work for them effectively.
Thoughtful outer touch
One of my favorite parts of the bag is the strap. It solves two problems that I did not know I had with my old Timbuk2 bag: First, it is reversible, so there is no need to order a particular bag with a sewn right-handed or south-paw strap. And second, it has a large, padded area with a grippy bottom, so no extra padding is required, which is secured with Velcro.
Length adjustment can be made with a sliding friction lock or an aluminum hook mechanism: the former for smaller, faster settings, the latter for a large foot-length transition from low to high. For cyclists, a cross belt is included, but I never needed it during the ride, thanks to the round hinge strap attachment (below in red) on both sides.
The new V2 version of the Everyday Messenger At the back there is a luggage loop, which makes attaching to your rolling luggage easier and secured with another magnet. On both sides are sleeves with even more magnets, which are suitable for smaller devices such as a battery charger. Both cases have an internal loop for keys (with a quick release ring included) and mini straps for use with the Capture Clip Peak Design quick release camera. If you use them already, you will love this feature, and if you do not, they will not stand in your way.
The material of the bag is made of weatherproof nylon with stylish offset seams and square pleats that reflect the Origami design touches. The only exception is the floor: it is covered with a rubberized material so you can put your bag on a dirty floor without polluting the fabric. This is an excellent mark, considering it should go anywhere.
Smaller organization is a pain
If the Everyday Messenger fails, it's the front Organizer tray. This is secured with a double zipper over the entire length, which means that it is difficult to access everything quickly, especially if you also want to go through the zipper of the main flap. The inside pockets are small, and even the largest are unsuitable for a long phone or a large battery, and the small ones are large enough only for memory cards or short cables. There is not even a pen pocket, something that I did not know I had missed.
This whole section is a difficult access, no matter how you carry the bag, and I have to store smaller loose items in the origami dividers in the main bag. If this had been a more conventional organizational area, easier to reach and more useful in terms of subdivision, the Everyday Messenger might have achieved a perfect score.
The large inside pocket has two smaller pockets that I did not mention above because they are not exceptionally useful. A long, thin zippered pocket under the flap is only for loose items that you do not need regular access to … and I can not think of anything in my regular setup that fits that description, except perhaps obscure adapter cables. A loop behind this bag and one included Silicone ring are used to attach a tripod to the outer flap.
There is a tiny mini pocket (red lining) on the inner wall of the chamber designed as a dedicated phone pocket. But it's so tight that it's a tedious task to open and remove your phone with the zippered zipper. Instead I simply held my phone in my pocket and it's so slim and flat that it's not suitable for anything else.
One last comment, and it's more of an observation than a point against Peak Design: the laptop bag in the 13-inch version of the bag is actually pretty tight. Designed for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, it does not last much longer or larger, like my 14-inch ThinkPad. (The smaller MacBook Pro is 11.97 inches, 30.41 inches wide, for the record.) If you have doubts about getting the smaller or larger version of the Everyday Messenger, opt for the large 15-inch Option.
The Everyday Messenger is a high quality all-purpose bag that fully justifies its price. The MagLatch locking system is ingenious and sets a new standard for quick and easy access. Other design aspects, in particular the flexible carrying straps and the origami dividers, will delight users looking for different wearing options.
The selection of the bag for the careful organization of smaller items is unfortunately missing. Therefore, this bag can not be replaced by a purse or a wallet if you have many loose jewelry items to tidy up. But the stylish presentation, the excellent materials and the sophisticated design elsewhere make up for this sore spot. Get out there and get one if you can justify the high price – and the bigger one, if you're wondering if you might need more space for your laptop or more gear.
Here is what we like
- Awesome home lock system
- Comfortable, reversible belt
- Flexible, removable main compartment divider
- Excellent materials and style
And what we do not
- Small organizer pocket cumbersome and difficult to achieve