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Gear Reviews

The Everyday Messenger by Peak Design: A Review On The Perfect Photography Bag

By Joseph Cha on September 14th 2015

The Everyday Photographer

If you’re a photographer like me, then you’re bringing your camera with you whenever you go out. It’s a habit I formed when I realized that beautiful moments can happen anywhere at any time, so I need a bag that can go with me anywhere, at any time.

Peak Design has a new bag on Kickstarter that might fit this bill, and it’s appropriately named The Everyday Messenger. Is it the perfect bag or does it just spout off a bunch of empty promises like an insecure teenager on his first date? Let’s find out!

The Everyday Messenger: Design

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My Everyday Carry

If you take a look at what I usually carry in my bag, you’ll know that I need a bag that’s protective for my lenses, and that’s big enough to fit my Hydroflask when I want to go on an impromptu adventure. The Everyday Messenger fit everything without a problem, so I wondered, what else can this bag fit? So I played a little game called “Will it fit?”

Will It Fit?

How about a Profoto B2 250 Air TTL Location Kit?
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Piece of cake

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Okay, how about a Profoto B1 500 Air Battery-Powered 2-Light Location Kit?

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Easy like Sunday morning

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Okay how about my old messenger bag with my everyday camera kit?

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During part of the test, I started feeling bad because I felt like I forced bag-cannibalism onto this innocent messenger…

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But it fit!

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Not Just a Bigger Bag

Okay, I know you’re thinking “It’s just a bigger bag Joseph, of course it’s going to fit all your equipment; good job on your dumb experiment.” But like Transformers, there’s more than meets the eye here.

Peak Design has a patent pending on the MagLatch(tm) closure system. The system operates on a series of magnetic ladders in which the latch will automatically grab depending on the volume of the bag. A minor upward yank on the top of the bag and it will lock in place. To release, simply pull down and release up on the tab.

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This system is so genius because the footprint of the bag will literally slim down when you put less equipment inside of it. They should have called this ‘The Miracle Bag!’

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The Everyday Messenger: Features

What makes this bag the perfect bag for everyday photographers is the insane amount of attention Peak Design has put into the details.

For instance, the shoulder strap can be switched for use over the left shoulder or the right shoulder. Also, the bag can be worn as a shoulder carry bag, or a messenger style bag.

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For travel, this bag does it all. Do you have a tripod you want to take? Simply slip a tripod through the sleeve in the main flap. Do you want to attach the bag to your luggage? The Everyday Messenger has you covered!

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The bag also features a spot to put the Peak Design Capture Clip, so your camera can always be readily available.

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What else you got? Laptop? Tablet? Pens? Keys? The Everyday Messenger can carry all of those alongside your camera equipment easily!

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The Everyday Messenger: Quality

Every single part of this bag feels like it was made to impress. When you open the bag and see the lining, you are greeted with the confidence that this bag will keep your equipment safe. The straps, pockets, zippers, and buckle are all sturdy and feel like they will last for years and years.

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The shell is made from lightweight Kodra synthetic canvas that is also waxed and DWR coated to repel water. The poly-spun interior is soft on your gear but will withstand years of abuse when taking in and out your equipment.

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The Everyday Messenger: Value

This bag is expected to be around $250 retail. When you look at that number it can be a little daunting, especially if this is your first camera bag purchase. But when you compare this bag to others in its price range, the price makes a lot more sense.

Look up any camera messenger bag in the $250-300 range, and compare the features side by side. What I’ve noticed is that most bags will do some of the things The Everyday Messenger does, but no bag does all of them.

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Before The Everyday Messenger, I had 2 bags that I would use depending on the situation. The Chrome Citizen and the Think Tank Retrospective 30. These bags combined are about $330, and the Everyday Messenger has replaced both bags for me at only $250, which means I could have saved myself $80 buying this bag instead of the other two.

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The Perfect Bag

If I had one annoyance with this bag, it’s that when I recommend The Everyday Messenger to photographers, they ask me “Why?” Then I have to go into my monologue about how

it’sagreatbeagbecauseofthequalityofmaterialsandyoucanaccessyourequipmentwithoutopeningthetopflapanditalsomodulatesaccordingtohowmuchgearyouputinitandyoucanswtichfromasideslingtoafullmessengerbaganditcanholdallyourequipmentsafelyandyoucanalsoattachatripodandattachthebagtoyourluggagewhenyouneedtotravelanditalsoholdsyourlaptopandyourtripidanditlooksreallygoodforaphotographycamerabag…

You get the point.

I was pleasantly surprised with this bag, and that’s saying a lot because I had very high expectations. Right now the Kickstarter for this bag is still live, and you can get your own for only $195. If you’re looking for a bag that can do it all, then this is the bag for you.

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About

I’m a photographer and cinematographer based in Southern California. When I don’t have a camera in my face I enjoy going to the movies and dissecting the story telling and visual aesthetics.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Raoni Franco

    Hey Cha, don´t know if you notice it, but you have two Otus in your everyday carry. You have two (2!!) – Otus – in – your – everyday – carry. Two, Otus, everyday, carry. I think you should go check that out.

    By the way. Cha means “tea” in portuguese.

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  2. Dave Haynie

    I have enough large bags… and I’m not looking for something stylish and attention-grabbing. I have Lowepro Stealth Reporter bags sized to fit both my Canon and Olympus systems… pretty much the whole thing. These days, I’ve been more interested in the ideal smaller bag for travel, something fairly innocuous, theft proof, airplane worthy, with enough room for the OM-D, batteries, maybe the battery grip, and only 3-5 lenses (the primes are f/1.8 and tiny). I have a few of these, but nothing ideal quite yet.

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  3. Rob Giannese

    how does this compare to the ona berlin bags, or any of the ona bags in your opinion?

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    • Cha

      if you want a good looking leather camera bag then the ona berlin is the way to go. But if you need functionality and versatility, then the everyday messenger is the bag for you. Also you save $150 with the everyday messenger.

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  4. pablo serrano

    I come to this website because I do enjoy check out some info and gear reviews. speaking about this bag, are you able to pack the profoto kit, the camera, and lenses together? I have a streetwalker that I got on sale for 120 new for bucks and I really like it which is why I think this bag is over priced for me. :)

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    • Cha

      When i put the profoto b2 kit inside the bag I actually had some room to fit a mirrorless camera and a lens, but probably not enough room for a full dslr camera outfit.

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  5. Andre Queree

    It looks massive for a shoulder bag. I’m not sure I’d want to lug that around all day.

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  6. Trey Mortensen

    How about a 6D, 70-200, 24-70, and another item (14mm, 50, and/or flash)?
    My $50 Chinese hemp bag works but it does struggle sometimes….

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  7. Hagos Rush

    I just purchased one on kickstarter. I cannot wait for this thing to come out in December.

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  8. Lauchlan Toal

    A shame this won’t be shipping for a while, sounds like a great bag for university and photography.

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  9. Scott Walter

    I really don’t think you need to worry about saving $80 on bag when you’ve spent $8500 on glass.

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    • Cha

      80 bucks is 80 bucks. Do you know how many chipotle burritos $80 can buy!?

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  10. Chris Jones

    I’m personally a fan of a good looking bag, I prefer it to a bland boring bag, I don’t like dressing well for a gig and putting on a plain bag, and the same goes for my day job, I want it to all go together, I’m a bit torn on this bag because it’s actually a bit more plain than I like and looks bigger than what I need atm but I could see that changing in the future.

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  11. Paddy McDougall

    Personally I find over the shoulder bags seriously affect my neck and back so not for me. I have to use a Backpack or something on wheels. Especially for heavy gear.

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    • Cha

      i agree with you 100%, which is why I like that this bag can transform into a full messenger bag. When it’s snug agains’t 1 shoulder it distributes the weight a lot better than when it’s just hanging. But when you’re shooting an event and you need quick access to your lenses then having it hang is the way to go!

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  12. Paul Blacklock

    definitely on my xmas list , nice layout and room for my gear

    as for looks, people will still steal a camera bag even if the bag is ugly, so keep them nice cause in my friendly neighbourhood, it’s still safe :)

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  13. adam sanford

    This simultaneously violates my personal rule of not buying fancy looking bags and not buying bags that look like something worth stealing is inside, so I’ll pass.

    But I really dig the animated GIFs above. They are very informative for how the bag works, and might give me some ideas on how to make my DIY bags better. SLRL editors, please include animated GIFs like these in future reviews of stylish, overpriced fancy bags that I will never put photography gear into. :-)

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    • Julien Massie

      What kind of bag would handle a Canon 6D, 4 lens a flash ….

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    • Dave Haynie

      I use a Lowepro Stealth Reporter D400 AW for my Canon 6D system. Holds the body with the 24-105 f/4L, 4-5 other lenses, smallish flash, remote trigger/intervalometer, lots of batteries, my 12″ tabket if I want it, etc. Worth checking out. I liked it enough to get the D300 for my OM-D system.

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  14. Dalibor Tomic

    Must have indeed!!!!! :D

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