Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 Review

Athol Hill_Peak Design Messenger12

In 2016, over twenty-five thousand backers put their hard-earned cash down on the Peak Design campaign making it one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history.

The bags were delivered as promised, and the range went on to be one of the most popular ranges of camera bags on the market. You can’t go to a camera event without seeing them.

shk-fs-table__imageHighly Recommended Slick and durable bag design for day to day use with small kits.Get Price

Three years later, Peak Design announced a version 2 set of Everyday bags. Peak Design says if you buy them now, they will be more amazing than the first one…I know what you’re thinking: Manufacturers always say that. That’s why we are here reviewing it…

Today we’re looking at the messenger. The Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 is one of the last in the range to arrive from Peak Design. I haven’t seen many reviews, so I suspect they were later off the production run than the others.

Technically, I think it’s the third version of the Messenger, but from what I understand, the 2nd edition was more of a v1.5 than v2.

Let’s take a closer look to see if it’s still the best camera messenger bag of the year.

Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 Specs

 
  • Carrying/Transport Options: Adjustable Shoulder Strap, Top Handle, Trolley Sleeve
  • Features: Accessory Loops, Adjustable Interior Dividers, Laptop Compartment, Tablet Pocket
  • Exterior Material: Nylon
  • Exterior Dimensions: 15.55 x 14.17 x 7.48″ / 39.5 x 36 x 19 cm (Expanded)
  • Type of Closure: Magnetic Flap, Zipper
  • Water Resistance: Water-Resistant Material
  • Interior Dimensions: 12.2 x 13.9 x 3.74″ / 31 x 35.3 x 9.5 cm
  • Maximum Volume: 439.71 fl oz / 13 L
  • Number of Dividers: 2
  • Weight: 2.2 lb / 1 kg
  • Laptop Size: 13” 

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Build & Appearance

The bag is a good size on the average user. I am 6′ (183cm), and it fits me perfectly. It’s small and adjustable enough to fit a range of heights.

Style may be subjective, but when 25,000 backers decide to buy into a Kickstarter bag campaign, you’d have a hard time arguing the Peak Design bags are not stylish. The style is modern, and the colour schemes work well.

The thing about Peak Design is that their bags aren’t just about looks. They’re also about doing things differently and trying to innovate to make the usability and handling on the bags better. This is still the case with the Everyday Messenger V2.

When the first Kickstarter campaign was underway, Peak Design got peoples attention with these innovations like their unique flexfold divider design and magnetic latches. This continues across their range of bags.

Peak Design has done a great job of keeping the style consistent across their products. Many of the bags have different looks and feels, but the range is still consistent.

Whether it’s a backpack or messenger, you can see a Peak Design immediately.

Manufacturing quality on the Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 is very high as one would expect from Peak Design. The quality of the metal finishes is excellent and suits the bag style.

The first thing that surprised me with the Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 is the solid structure and overall lightness.

Construction quality is very high, and there are many small things details that make the attention to detail evident.

The material used is durable and waterproof, and the design is such that it protects the interior from the rain without the need for a rain cover.

It’s worth noting that packing the bag to full capacity is more likely to expose the interior to the elements as it pushes the side protection out. If you’re using it on the biggest setting, I would avoid venturing out in heavy rain.

Exterior Features

Small things like the metal strap rotation latch are nice touches with the Everyday Messenger V2.

On the exterior of the Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2, youll find the noticeable features like a shoulder strap and handle. Ill cover the strap more under the comfort section, but both work well for their intended purposes.

The handle is padded, which is a nice touch. The shoulder strap method works well and allows for a fair amount of rotation on the strap.

There is a luggage pass-through which is always a welcome addition on any of my bags. Peak Design has done a great job of keeping it integrated into the Everyday Messenger V2 design, so it doesn’t stand out or affect the styling on the bag.

Peak Design provides two zipped pockets on either side of the Messenger V2. These are suitable for keys, phones or wallets. One side includes a keychain with a bungee cord with a quick release anchor link.

Peak Design include a handy little quick release anchor for your keys in the side pocket.

You will also find an area on either side of the bag to attach Peak Design’s Capture Clip system for mounting the camera externally – see the full Peak Design Capture Clip Review for more on this useful little accessory.

Peak Design provides two straps to secure additional items to the exterior of the bag, such as attaching a tripod to the bottom of the bag.

The straps (or one of them) allows users to secure the bag to your body if you are using it cross-body while cycling or riding a motorcycle.

The important thing is while there is a fair amount of functionality, it doesn’t break the lines of the Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 –  they’ve managed to create a bag that is functional and still looks good.

The only thing missing is a water bottle holder. That may be a show stopper for some users, depending on the importance.

Interior Features

Interior quality is good as is expected. The attachment loops are well designed and fit in with the aesthetics of the Everyday Messenger V2.

The main access point is via the flap. The flap is adjustable to ensure that you have some flexibility for additional storage. 

The Peak Design Flexfold dividers have an ingenious design which has been rolled out across all Peak Design bags. The system is one of, if not the very best way to pack camera gear I’ve seen, due to the flexibility it provides with stacking lenses.

The dividers are especially helpful for those carrying smaller lenses like full-frame f/1.8 or APS-C lenses, where you have the flexibility to stack multiple lenses.

Fortunately, Peak Design sell the Flexfold dividers separately – I actually purchased an extra set to organise the camera gear in one of my ONA leather bag years ago, which says something about how effective they are.

Under the flap, you will find a small pocket where your accessory straps are stored. This is great for small things like memory cards, cleaning cloths or cables for laptops.

The not so hidden pocket. It would be good if the hidden pocket was more hidden!

There are two pockets found on either side of the interior, allowing you to store small items you want to keep separate and prevent moving around in the bag.

It would suit spare batteries or small speedlights similar to the ones that come with Fujifilm cameras.

There is a separate pocket at the front of the Everyday Messenger V2, which Peak Design call a hidden pocket.

However, it’s a little too obvious with the large zip to be considered “hidden”, unless you’re trying to hide it from your 90-year grandfather who isn’t wearing his glasses…

I looked for another pocket because I assumed that couldn’t be it, but couldn’t find one. If they wanted to keep something hidden, putting it behind the luggage pass-through might have worked better.

Storage Capacity

The storage capacity is quite good for a messenger. It’s tall enough to fit a Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5/6 GM, although it would be a tight fit.

The storage capacity on the Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 is larger than I expected. It fits a gripped Sony A7riii and 24-70mm f/2.8 with space to spare. 

The Everyday Messenger V2 is quite simply a messenger bag for bring a camera, 1-3 small lenses, and some accessories with you each day. It’s not meant to be a heavy-duty camera bag for lugging a camera and 12 lenses to a portrait shoot.

The laptop compartment fits a 13″ laptop along with a separate sleeve for documentation or a tablet. It fits an iPad Pro 12″, but you will have challenges with both a laptop and iPad Pro with a keyboard case.

My iPad 12″ with keyboard cover just fits in the laptop area, and it doesn’t provide the option for both unless you sacrifice your camera storage.

Gripped full-frame cameras will pose no problem for this bag.

The Flexfold dividers are easy to manipulate, which makes switching between photography and non-photography requirements quite easy.

In using the bag for non-photography work-related use, I found it was easy enough to flip the dividers around for non-photography use.

Loaded up (without overloading), I could fit:

  • Gripped A7riii with 135mm f/1.8 attached
  • Zeiss Batis 18mm
  • Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 (or two smaller lenses like the Sony 24GM and Batis 85 f/1.8
  • MacBook Pro 13″
  • iPad Pro 12″
  • Laptop cables, mouse, spare batteries
  • Speedlight or reflector

Ease of Use/Comfort

Both the hand strap and shoulder strap are good quality with heavy padding to ensure the user doesn’t suffer discomfort while carrying.

Messenger bags usually offer excellent usability, as they don’t typically suffer the same challenges as backpacks, notably, they’re carried on the side of your body, not your back.

In addition, Peak Design has a history of innovation focused on usability so I was expecting to be impressed by this bag… and I wasn’t let down.

The Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 is one of the better messenger bag designs I have encountered for ease of use. It’s down to the small things like the padded handle.

The latch for opening and closing takes a little getting used to when you start using the bag. It’s primarily due to the stiffness of the material when it is new.

It makes it a little harder to latch the bag initially, but this becomes easier in a short period of time when the bag breaks in.

The strap itself is extremely comfy and grippy with a memory foam style quality. It’s quick and easy to adjust. Don’t be fooled by the length of the strap; there is more of it inside the bag.

Value for Money

Another small touch that shows how well thought out the bag is – the excess strap is pushed inside the bag, so it doesn’t hang down in an unsightly way.

The Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 has a retail price of around $220 (see latest price here). This is what I would expect for a bag of this quality from an established vendor.

As someone who reviews a lot of bags (I have 15 in my possession right now), I try to guess pricing on each bag before writing this section.

This allows me to understand whether the actual pricing is the high or low relative to what I am expecting.

In this case, I guessed it to the dollar, which is a pretty good reflection of how fairly I think Peak Design priced it.

Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 Review | Conclusion

Peak Design has a great reputation behind them. If the past is anything to go by, the Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 will be every bit as successful as its other products. It’s a very good bag for the price.

The Everyday Messenger V2 is more of an evolution, but that is a reflection of how good the previous model was than a lack of innovation or quality on the current bag.

It’s one of those cases where Peak Design has taken the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra and applied it. The refinements applied to this bag are well thought out.

This ensures that the small design updates don’t negatively impact the overall functionality of the bag, and that the features implemented are improved from the V1 model.

As a frequent flyer, a luggage pass-through is always high on my list of requirements and Peak Design did an excellent job integrating this into the design.

While it does mean that existing users of the Everyday Messenger V1 (reviewed here) may not have a lot of reason to upgrade immediately, it’s also good for them to know that when their current bag is on the way out, a worthy successor is waiting.

For those who don’t have one and are looking at a new camera messenger bag, the Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 makes perfect sense.

Likes

  • Quality of construction and material
  • Ease of adjustment and usability
  • Looks

Dislikes

  • Hidden pocket not hidden
  • The magnetic latch can be fiddly when the bag is new
  • No water bottle holder
shk-fs-table__imageHighly Recommended Slick and durable bag design for day to day use with small kits.Get Price

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.

Athol Hill is a sports and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia

Features9
Looks10
Build Quality9
Usefulness10
Price/Value9