This is a guest review of the Peak Design Everyday Sling by wedding photographer Dustin Baker.
We’ve all heard of it – that three-letter word that means we have a problem. It’s one of the biggest addictions around, and it afflicts countless individuals in our field, from professionals to hobbyists…
GAS, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome is real, and yes, I have it too. GAS is just a nice way to say “I’m absolutely addicted to buying photography gear.”
But I don’t have a problem ::said while scratching at my neck like Dave Chappelle’s Tyrone Biggums character:::
Having GAS doesn’t just mean you like to collect cameras and lenses. Oh no, GAS goes deeper than that.
Do you have any idea just how many camera bags I have owned in the last 7 years since I discovered a passion for shooting? Probably about 37.
In addition to the quest to put together the ever-elusive “perfect” photography kit, I have also been on a quest to find the perfect bag to put said kit in. The problem with that is that neither exists.
It’s ever-elusive for a reason – a metaphysical construct from the photo gods to keep us spending our money on things we probably don’t need – but damn it feels good to keep trying!
I just recently had the opportunity to check out the Peak Design Everyday Sling to see if it had what it takes to make me happy for a few months – or hopefully even longer! There’s no way that I’d be willing to drop $150 US for a bag that only holds my attention – or physically holds up – for only a few months. This would have to be a long-term investment to make it worthwhile.
But now, I’ve had my my gear in one for a bit and I have some thoughts…
Peak Design Everyday Sling Review | Intro
I’ll start right off by saying this: Peak Design makes some sexy looking stuff. Their entire line of bags just look fantastic, and every time that I’ve fiddled with them at my local camera store and thought about purchasing one, I’ve felt like they were extremely well designed and even better built.
And the Peak Design Everyday Sling is no exception. I decided to go with the 10L version in the Charcoal color, but the bag is also available in a 5L size and in Ash (light gray) and Black too.
It’s obvious that real photographers were a part of designing this bag and it was clearly built with purpose.
In addition to just looking great, the Peak Design Everyday Sling really does have quite a bit of function to go with it’s beautiful form. I definitely appreciate the attention to detail that went into designing this bag.
Peak Design Everyday Sling Review | Features
I honestly had no idea that the Peak Design Everyday Sling was as feature-packed as it is. From looking at it, one just might thing it’s a good looking bag that holds a little bit of stuff, but there is a lot more going on here.
My first impression of the bag is that it really is pretty rugged and well-made. The materials are clearly top-notch and I’m not worried at all about it holding up over the long-term. That has to be the first hurdle for me when considering dropping $150USD on a bag and Peak Design has cleared that hurdle easily.
When it comes to the actual functionality of this bag, the first thing I have to comment on is that the organization system is brilliant. It adopts the same patented FlexFold pocket structure that the other Peak Design bags have.
This system is the most flexible pocket organizing system I’ve seen. It is almost endlessly customizable without having to mess with annoying padded velcro dividers – man, I hate those things.
The ability to flip the pockets up and down to go from regular, full-height dividers to what Peak Design calls a “cubby” or “shelf” really is a dream.
I am currently a hybrid shooter from the perspective that I have jumped into the world of Sony mirrorless with the new Sony A7III [Related: Sony a7III review], but I also have a Canon kit comprising of a Canon 5D Mark IV and a few prime lenses. As I write this review, I currently have the following items in the main compartment of my Everyday Sling:
That’s a pretty darn well-rounded kit to fit in such a slim bag. I honestly didn’t think I could fit that much gear in it, but what’s really amazing is that it fits even more stuff than that…
It has a pocket to fit up to an 11” tablet; the secondary front pocket is expandable and can easily fit a large speedlight or LED video light, a trigger, cell phone, chargers, pens, and business cards; and the main compartment flap has a zippered pouch that contains 4 little cubby pockets that are perfect for carrying extra camera batteries and memory cards, in addition to lens caps. Again, great organization options.
Both ends of the Sling have a dedicated loop that is designed to securely fasten a Capture plate, which is great for attaching a second camera body or other accessories to the exterior of the bag. That’s a big plus for me, and I expect I’ll be ordering a Capture plate soon. This was a nice surprise to learn about, as I had no idea this was possible when I first got the bag.
Another great design cue that Peak Design has brought from its other products is the quick adjust strap system, which makes tightening or loosening the shoulder strap extremely easy. I love this on my Peak Design Slide Strap and I love it on the Everyday Sling as well. [Related: Straps for mirrorless cameras]
I don’t live in a very rugged and harsh environment – South Texas gets pretty hot, but that’s about it. We have lots of sunshine and we don’t have to shoot in the rain or snow very often, but if I did, I’d be confident that this bag would hold up. It sports a weatherproof coating on the bag itself as well as weatherproof zippers.
So for all you globetrotting adventure photographers traipsing through Icelandic waterfalls, I think your gear will probably stay pretty dry. It also has a neat little theft-resistant zipper loop to help protect your gear from prying hands.
One minor design choice that bothers me a little is that the bottom of the bag isn’t flat. I do have a tendency to set my bag down while shooting, and it would be nice if the bag was able to sit upright so that I could access the contents more easily.
Since the bottom of the bag is slanted towards the front, it tends to roll forward when sitting on the ground. I just have to make sure the zipper is closed completely so that my lenses don’t roll out when I set the bag down.
Obviously, this design choice is meant to save space and to keep the bag as low-profile as possible, and it’s only a minor nuisance, but I found it worth mentioning.
Another minor thing about the Peak Design Everyday Sling is that the expandable secondary pocket located on the front of the bag, while roomy, is a little bit finicky to access. I feel like the zipper opening should be just a little bit wider in order to dig into the pocket with my larger hands.
Although I was able to fit a full-size speedlight into the pocket, getting my hands on it to take it out was a little bit tricky. This is not a very big deal though, because after all, the speedlight does fit and the zipper closes just fine.
With all of that said, I find the Peak Design Everyday Sling to be a very comfortable bag to carry while shooting. The cross-body design of the strap makes it very easy to swing the bag from your back to the side or front of your body for accessing the gear inside.
[Related: Camera Sling Bags Reviewed]
I can very quickly, and easily, swing it from my back and swap a lens, zip it back up and swing it back. It’s easier than taking the bag off your back and having to dig into a backpack.
Peak Design Everyday Sling | Price
All have served the purpose for a short while, but none have yet to be “perfect”. A lot of that may have to do with me being a little cheap when it comes to bags.
Cameras and lenses are expensive, and let’s be honest, I’d much rather spend big bucks on those things than on a bag – which is dumb, because you’d think I would want the ultimate in protection and style to carry my expensive investments in. But alas, I have tried multiple $30 “Amazon Specials” over the years, only to realize that they just don’t last.
Even though I feel like this bag is wonderfully made and really well-designed, I still am having a little bit of a hard time swallowing the price tag (see latest price here).
If this bag were priced from $99 – $115, then I wouldn’t even think twice about it; it would be a no-brainer for me. But even with that said, the pain in the wallet from buying this bag will subside over time and I’ll be left with a great bag that is going to last a long while.
So I guess that means it is worth it. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” is as true here as it is with most things.
Peak Design Everyday Sling Review | Conclusion
I think I’ve found the perfect bag for my session work, and I think I’ll probably even start using this bag at weddings so that I don’t have to carry my large Think Tank Harddrive Backpack on me at all times.
The Peak Design Everyday Sling is perfect for shooting getting ready and portrait times of a wedding day, and my giant “Fit-Everything-I-Own” backpack can stay in the trunk of my car or behind the DJ’s table during the reception.
No, it’s not going to hold everything I might need for an entire wedding day, but it will certainly hold everything I need to take the couple out for some portraits, that’s for sure.
I think it’s time to retire my $30 “Amazon Special” messenger bag – the one with the warped and crushed velcro insert that does nothing to truly protect the gear that I make a living with.
I’m glad I finally made the decision to go with something that would actually last and protect my investments long-term. Welcome to the family, Peak Design Everyday Sling! I think we’re going to get along great!
Guest review by Texas wedding photographer Dustin Baker | www.loneoakstudios.com