Hands-On Review: Peak Design’s Everyday Bags

Hands-On Review: Peak Design’s Everyday Bags

Grounded in New York City, my “every day” can involve anything from several hours in the office, a film festival, a photo shoot, a boxing class, or even a welding workshop. Like anyone else who carries things, I continue to be in perpetual pursuit of the perfect bag. Fortunately, Peak Design has an array Everyday options to please the pickiest of bag ladies—ahem—me. Read on to find out which option proved most suitable for my every day and glean some information for your own everyday needs.

The Everyday Sling v2 6L

Initial thoughts: Hello you trendy little guy. I’m going to look like a Uniqlo model wearing this around. The sleek and minimalist design definitely adds to the cool factor, but the interior is not as big as it looks from the outside. I know it’s designed as an everyday carry bag, but I’m skeptical of the Everyday Sling v2 fitting a basic kit alongside my other necessities like my wallet, phone, water bottle, etc. The material feels durable, but stiff, so I don’t think I will be afforded any extra give. However, it hugs my body and doesn’t stick out, so I won’t risk bumping my precious gear into others. That’s an important quality to consider when navigating the subway.

Peak Design Everyday Sling v2
Peak Design Everyday Sling v2

The bag in action: The Everyday Sling v2 surprised me. Its 6L was able to fit a mirrorless camera, two prime lenses, and a zoom lens, with space left for my other stuff. Although roomy, the fabric is stiff, so I wouldn’t expect to fit anything extra once the bag has reached capacity. There are multiple pockets inside for organizing smaller accessories, which is handy, but the bigger pocket for storing a tablet was too small for my own. The clamshell opening is handy to see what I’m grabbing for, and the malleable dividers are a neat inclusion, although I didn’t really use them.

The takeaway: The Everyday Sling v2 ended up being a great little bag for EDC and other lightweight applications. Though I had room to spare in my bag, I didn’t want to overburden one shoulder with too much weight, so I would bear that in mind when deciding on sizing. Overall, this sling is functional, practical, and unobtrusive, and I can see it working very well if you have a small setup or want to designate a grab bag for essential accessories. To me, it makes the most sense for day trips, light hiking, and event photography.

The Everyday Backpack Zip 15L

Initial thoughts: This bag looks like an alien spaceship. The Everyday Backpack Zip 15L feels very lightweight and has a lot going on, inside and out. Like the Everyday Sling v2, this backpack comes with foldable dividers to create distinct compartments and hold items in place. The funky zippers might take some getting used to—they completely open the bag from the sides or top to access the internal compartment. I will try to organize my bag in a way that makes full use of that function. I like the hard shell exterior too; it holds the shape of the bag well.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip
Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip

The bag in action: This bag drew a lot of questions and compliments from coworkers, friends, and strangers. The unique design is attention-grabbing, so keep that in mind if that’s not your jam. I was able to fit quite a lot into 15L: my mirrorless camera, a gimbal, three prime lenses, a small mic, and my laptop, with room to spare for small essentials like my wallet, keys, phone, etc.

I noticed myself using the dividers way more with the Everyday Backpack Zip because I had enough internal space to create distinct compartments. The zipper design made accessing these compartments much easier than your typical backpack. I kept my essentials at the top, which was accessible while wearing the backpack. To access the other compartments, I shifted the bag to one shoulder and cradled it while unzipping from the side. Despite a heavier load, the Everyday Backpack Zip was comfortable to wear, and I didn’t feel particularly overburdened.

The takeaway: The Everyday Backpack Zip is awesome, and I think its benefits extend far beyond just creatives. It is sensible, well-designed, and comfortable to wear. The 15L option feels perfect for the daily commuter but the 20L option is also available if you want even more space. Either option will stow under an airplane seat, so I would also consider it for travel. Overall, this is truly an everyday bag.

The Everyday Backpack v2 30L

Initial thoughts: This bag is huuuuuge! And unlike the Everyday Backpack Zip, the Everyday Backpack v2 30L feels pretty heavy while empty. I tend to avoid heavy bags, but maybe this one will compensate with some nifty perks. It seems less like an everyday bag and more like a weekender bag, and I can’t imagine this size and weight being practical for daily use. Maybe the 20L option is better than my 30L, but I’d sooner opt for the Everyday Backpack Zip in 20L if it’s lighter. Notably, this bag comes with three dividers, compared to the previous bag’s two.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack
Peak Design Everyday Backpack

The bag in action: This bag is, indeed, a little big for my choice of gear. The 30L Everyday Backpack v2 swallowed my two camera bodies with prime lenses up—even with the three dividers. Fortunately, I was able to configure the backpack easily into different sections for different aspects of my day. Within the main compartment, I dedicated one section to my primary mirrorless camera with an attached lens, two notebooks, and another compact camera. I dedicated the second section to three lenses and some snacks, and the bottom compartment for my workout gear. A couple of books and my MacBook Pro (even in a padded case) had plenty of room in the rear laptop compartment. I never had to fish around in the bag for my keys or phone because they were always in the secret top magnetic slip pocket, and I felt spoiled with all kinds of pockets and hiding places for my various doodads.  

Additional small accessories were organized and completely out of sight in the slip pockets within the zippered side storage panels. The external security tabs protecting the side access panels were game-changing. I typically kept one side locked for the sake of security but this also allowed me to easily identify what was located internally by quick glance at the backpack without unzipping anything.

The takeaway: The Everyday Backpack v2 has a lot going on, and I feel like you could spend a year finding new ways to organize your belongings in it. There are many size-adjusting functions that provide way more give than the previous options, which might appeal to the over-packer. While I was skeptical about the size, I found it worked well for my busier days. I could fit what I needed for three separate activities, and I probably could’ve gotten a lot more in if I moved things around or expanded the bag itself. 

However, the Everyday Backpack v2 is quite large, and I would only consider using it for long days that require that kind of carrying capacity. I felt like a turtle with a shell, and my shoulders were aching at the end of the day. That’s to be expected when you’re carrying around a lot, though, and doesn’t detract from the fact that this bag did a good job.

As far as everyday use is concerned, the Everyday Backpack Zip is the clear winner in my book. Neither the Everyday Sling v2 nor the Everyday Backpack v2 felt like they would be my go-to bag, and I don’t think I would change my mind if I tried different sizes in either option. The Zip just nailed my storage needs and provided the right range of functions for my commute, desk job, and photography. For daily use, I also thought it was the most comfortable.

Truthfully, it feels almost unfair to compare these bags because they’re all so different. I would love to have all three in my rotation because they are well-designed and practical for their respective niches. Overall, Peak Design’s Everyday lineup impressed me, and I recommend checking them out if you’re in the market for a good bag.

Are you a Peak Design fan? If you own an Everyday bag, tell us all about it in the Comments section, below.


Hi! Wish you'd added the Peak Design Sling bag to this comparison. How come it wasn't included, especially since you mention that you don't like to carry a lot of gear..?

I love bags and I have to say that my absolutely favourite is still an old JanSport backpack. It has an ideal size (perfect for planes) and it fits a lot. I'm still an amateur so I don't carry too much camara gear so when needed it all fits in a a medium size pouch from my lowepro bag. Also as it looks old no one would ever think I have something valuable in there however it is still sturdy. I have other Lowepro and Manfrotto bags but that old thing is the one I'm the most comfortable, I guess it all comes down to use what suits you and your needs the best.

Hi Ad!

I too, am a huge fan of the original ("old") Jansport backpacks! But now, I find myself lusting after the Everyday backpacks - in my perfect world (that involves more closet space) I'd love to have a smaller 20L for *my* everyday and a 30L for travel! Glad you found the perfect bags for you! 

Thanks for reading, and weighing in!