This is a guest review of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30 after 6 months of testing by Daniel & Lindsay Stark.
I have a bag problem… it’s true. At one time I owned 42 bags. 90 percent of those were camera bags. I am always on the hunt for the perfect bag. That’s what makes this Peak Design Everyday Backpack review so tough because bags are personal. There’s no one size fits all.
I am a professional wedding and portrait photographer. So with that said, I am reviewing the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30 as such.
I think, however, if you are a street photographer, landscape photographer or videographer – you might want to stick around. Because this bag might be best suited for you.
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30 Review
Fashion, Fit, Feel & Function
I’ll break down the Peak Design Everyday Backpack in 4 simple categories: Fashion, Fit, Feel and Function.
I use the 4 F’s every time I choose a bag – and always in that order.
At the end the of the review I’ll also add what could make this bag even better! Thanks and enjoy the review.
1 | Fashion
Let’s be honest….this is all we care about, right? How it looks and how good we look wearing it.
I’m kidding, but when shopping, the look is the first thing I notice about a bag and I’m willing to bet it’s the same for a lot of you. You haven’t worn the bag yet, you haven’t used it. So first impressions are everything.
At first glance – it’s a beautiful looking backpack. The modern and simplistic color tones bode well. You can tell it is well crafted and not your average looking backpack. Everywhere I wore the bag, someone complimented it.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack comes in 4 colors: ash, charcoal, tan and black. It comes in two sizes: 2oL and 30L – still trying to figure out what the L means (okay, it means liter- duh!) but for all intents and purposes, let’s call it Small and Large.
The Peak Design backpack almost looks like a backpack astronauts would wear buuuuuut cooler.
Every little detail on the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is well thought out. From the front latching buckle, to the straps, zippers and stitching. The design is purposeful as well as well-placed and well-coordinated.
Ever find a bag you love but it has a weirdly placed flap? Or some flashy special zipper attachment? Or those ever annoying FAKE BUTTONS? Seriously, who puts fake buttons on a bag? Well Peak Design doesn’t, that’s for sure! I digress… (and I know you feel me on those!)
By looking at this backpack, you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s designed for cameras. Or is it?
The Peak Design Everyday backpack is as much of a lifestyle bag as it is a camera bag, which makes it perfect for travelers, city goers or adventures.
It would look great wearing it to a wedding. As the photographer not as the bride. Camera bags have long had the same traits. Black. Boxy. Sleek, yes. But pretty similar in style. This is a stlish camera backpack that wedding photographers can feel different and cool in…. but not ridiculous.
This bag would look great on a shoot, racing through an airport, walking down the street to your office or coffee shop workspace. And yeah, it would also look great while hiking the Swiss Alps. (I wouldn’t know but I envision a stunning vista with a cool ass hiker wearing a cool ass Peak Design Backpack. If this fits your description, then hell yes! Get this bag!)
The material is nylon canvas and it feels like it could weather a hurricane. And now that I mention that, it’s worth stopping right now to tell you that the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is completely weatherproof.
I live in Portland, Oregon so that’s basically music to my ears for 10 months out of the year.
So from a fashion stand point, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack will catch people’s eye. It looks professional, well made and pretty sleek. You’ll look good wearing it. Definitely the nicest looking camera bag I’ve seen.
2 | Fit & Feel
For looking so sleek and nice, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack has a rough, rugged feel to the touch. It’s thick and sturdy. Not delicate and “too nice” to take out in the dirt.
With the wide and thick shoulder straps, this backpack is super comfortable on your shoulders. The straps also attach on a swivel button, so they never tangle.
What’s it feel like packed with gear, you ask? Well thanks to these straps and the way the bag’s design hugs across your back, it has great weight distribution. It doesn’t feel like it’s hanging onto your shoulders but rather than your body is supporting the bag properly.
Additionally, the back of the bag is padded and form fitting. I am using the larger size and I’m a small guy but it still feels snug and secure.
Being that it’s designed to carry cameras – it comes with some extra padding. Which is good for your camera but I did notice that the bag itself can feel a little bit bulky. Even though it is perfectly comfortable, it has a lot of big pieces and you will notice that feeling when holding and wearing the bag.
Sometimes at home, I was like, “Where I do I store this thing?” – this from the guy that used to store a few dozen bags in his basement.
A Few Specs for my Friends Who Love Specs:
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L weighs about 4lbs and the naked weight of the 30L is closer to 5lbs. The size of the 30L is 20” height, x13” width and 7.75” depth – it’ll expand depending on the load.
3 | Function
OK, I get it, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack looks and feels great but how well does it function? I mean, this isn’t just an accessory. This is a bag for professionals with important jobs to do!
Arguably, the most important thing about a bag is how well does it function – especially for photographers, because we love our gear and even more, we love a good bag to carry it in.
We love a bag that is easy to grab a lens, store a couple camera bodies, and one that you can easily find your SD card pouch and those darn lens cloths that magically disappear every day.
We need a bag that we don’t just like. We need a bag we love.
So… is this bag marriage material? Let’s find out.
i) Outer Material
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is built for the elements.
It has outer shell made from waterproof nylon canvas and double padding.
The zippers are also waterproof and seamlessly fit into the bag.
It’s durable and there isn’t a square inch on this bag where it doesn’t have reinforced stitching. All the buckles and hardware are customized anodized aluminum.
The inside is soft, durable mixed-cotton twill interior for protection.
ii) Zips, Straps and Flaps
Let’s discuss the elephant in the room. This is a backpack. And the fact that this bag is a backpack could be good or bad depending on your line of photography.
As a wedding photographer, a backpack style is not my first choice. I’m more into messenger style/sling camera bags.
[Related: Peak Design Everyday Sling Review]
I am in and out of a camera bag all day long, so having to take a backpack on and off would be a huge pain. When I first learned about the Peak Design bag, these were my initial thoughts.
But then! I received the bag. I put on the bag. And I can tell you that someone had Peak headquarters came up with a multi functional style for a backpack and that person deserves a raise. Why?
Because this is a backpack that can also be accessed like a sling bag. And I don’t mean the lazy way we all did it in high school where we quickly slung our bag down in a really awkward fashion to grab something because we didn’t want to actually take our bag off and go through the exhaustion of putting the bag back on.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is BOTH a backpack and a sling bag. I know. I know. Mind. Blown.
Let me explain below by introducing the dual side access.
- Introducing Dual Side Access
Simply put, the sides of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack are huge access points. The bag completely unzips on either side.
Which means you can easily slip off one of the backpack straps, swing around the bag and access what you need inside from said huge side access point.
So essentially, you just converted your backpack into a sling style messenger bag. It’s pretty badass.
- Dual Access Inside Flap Pockets
When you unzip the side flaps it looks a bit like this:
Kinda big. But that’s ok. Because those dumbo looking side flaps are also loaded with pockets on the inside.
There is a pocket for every little item you might have. From SD cards to your Passport.
The only negative thing (well there’s two), is that if you’re traveling and get stopped at security, going through each pockets is a headache.
Can there be such a thing as too many pockets? That’s up for debate.
[Related: The Peak Design Travel Bag Review]
The second thing is, both flaps have very similar pocket openings. It’s can be super easy to forget which side you may have placed an item. And knowing me, I’ll go through every pocket before I finally get to the one I put it in.
In a hurry I want to be able to identify which side is that I put XYZ.
An idea would be to color code the each side of the flaps. So you would at least when which side you placed your business cards in or whatever. Or if perhaps the designs of the flaps were slightly different so you could differentiate between the two.
At the same time, the fact that the flaps are exactly the same takes us back to Part 1 of this review…it looks nice.
- Top Access Point and Mag Latch
The top of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack a flap style opening that is fasten closed using their proprietary “mag latch.”
It’s a cool-looking bucket that fastens the opening closed using a magnet. There are different places you can latch it depending how stuffed your bag.
I found the mag latch not to work as intended half of the time. I think the look outweighs the function.
- The Grab Strap(s)
People often overlook the top grab strap. It’s an important part to the bag.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack has a nice leather grab strap. It’s not too thin but not overly wide. It’s definitely stitched on there well enough to handle any load you have in your bag.
What’s cool, is they also added two more straps on each side of the bag, making it easy to carry like a briefcase. Score!
iii) Main Compartment, Outer Side & Top Pockets
The main compartment….is massive.
There is more than enough space for multiple camera bodies, lenses, a 6 pack of beer – it’s a bottomless pit.
The inside is a durable mixed-cotton twill interior – it has a soft luxurious feel.
It has 3 FlexFold Dividers allow for endless internal configuration. Popular with most camera bags, you can move them around or take them out and all attached by velcro.
The side-pockets are big and can expand pretty far out. If the side pockets are empty they lay nice and flat and nicely blend into the bag not being too noticeable.
They go about halfway up the length of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack making it easy to reach back and store items.
You could comfortably fit a small tripod in there. I emphasize the word small. Any substantial tripod that professional landscape photographers might carry around wouldn’t work well.
I used the pockets for mainly grab and go stuff: water bottle, lightweight jacket, phone.
- Top Pocket and (dual?) Laptop Sleeve
The top zip opens to a nicely organized laptop area. It’s really a 3 part section in the back.
You have the top pouch for storing phone, keys, anything you want to easily access but keep secured.
Then you have the laptop sleeve. What’s cool is they divided it into 2 sections. You could easily fit your laptop and an iPad or two laps or maybe just a bunch of magazines.
There we have our 4 F’s. But wait. There’s more!
4 | Bonus F – Finance
How much is the Everyday Backpack? Depending on what size you get, you may have to sell your first born.
My advice to Peak Design – just a few things I could see for improvement/my wishful thinking!
- Shoulder Strap Add-ons
In future Peak Design backpacks I would love to see more out of a shoulder strap.
Shoulder straps are a missed opportunity in most backpacks. It would be amazing to have a little pouch right there on the front of the strap. I’m always looking for a place to put an extra SD card or lens cloth.
A Shotkit-approved-shameless-plug. f/POP is a bottle opener that fits on any strap. The coolest looking bottle opener to go on the coolest looking bag. Handcrafted in Portland, Oregon by a really cool guy and his wife.
This is a bottle opener for both photographers and everyday use on an everyday bag. You can get yours at fPOPshop.com – Use code PEAKDESIGNREVIEW for 10% off!
Would be a pretty sweet feature to have some small solar panels so that way you could charge your gear or your phone?! The future is calling!
- Color-Coded Interior Side Pockets
I mentioned this earlier in the review but color code the each side of the flaps would make life a little easier. I always tend to go through each side flap and every little inner pocket only to find my item in the very last place.
- Waist Belt
I know waist belts are kinda dorky looking but they are really practical. Speaking from experience, hiking long distances with this bag can get a little uncomfortable. It would be nice to have a belt as an option for more support.
Also, I mentioned I’m a dad. We know a thing or two about carrying heavy babies, and most baby carriers have a waist strap. Time for photo bags to join the dad trend!
Peak Design Everyday Backpack Review | Conclusion
First let me say…it’s a great bag. It’s one of the most high quality camera bags I’ve ever used. And trust me I’ve used a lot.
After 6 long months of testing the Everyday Backpack, a couple of questions remain:
Would I buy this bag?
Maybe. It’s totally worth the money. Just as a wedding photographer, it might not be as practical.
Well then who should buy this bag?
Lifestyle photographers. People who are traveling taking cute pictures of themselves hiking through the Pacific Northwest. People who hop on a plane every other week to some new exotic destination just to take photos and post to Instagram. Secretly, I’m just a dad of two who is jealous. :)
Landscape Photographers. Even though it doesn’t fit a bigger size tripod, this bag will hold up in the wild. It’s sturdy, waterproof and feels good on your back. I would definitely recommend this to my landscape photo buddies as a good hiking camera backpack.
Street photographers. You can have style while you’re shooting on the street. Easily carry around the gear you need and also load it with it with any other personal essential. However it is big and since a lot of street photographers carry minimal gear, that is something to consider.
Non-photographers. Everyday users. Yes, the Everyday Backpack is not just a clever name – it really does seem to be for everyday use. Going to the office, or school, or on errands- this could be your perfect backpack. This review comes just in time for the bag enthusiast in your life this holiday season.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30. Some of you may be wondering…so do you have 43 bags now? Nope. My wife and minimalist photography partner, Lindsay, made me look at each one and narrow the count down majorly.
She donated or sold most of them and it’s safe to say…she was right. I’m happy to report that my bag count is under 10 now… with the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30 being one of them.
Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post contain affiliate links which help support Shotkit.
Daniel and Lindsay Stark are award winning wedding and portrait photographers based in Portland, Oregon.