The Peak Design Everyday Backpack – 30L – V2
This is Peak Design’s largest and most popular backpack camera bag. As mentioned in previous posts, you’ll know that we are huge fans of the Peak Design products especially the Everyday Sling 10L bag. These bags are our main camera bag for all our travel photography work, however, please keep in mind when reading this post, that we always travel as a couple and therefore we are able to carry a lot of gear between us. This is why we can use the smaller Everyday Sling Bag 10L that under many circumstances would be too small for a single photographer. Therefore, we will review this bag as if we were a single photographer to give it more relevance to the majority of photographers.
Photographers, especially travel photographers, generally prefer to carry backpack camera bags, as this is usually the only type of bag that will fit all their equipment and accessories. So, will this bag fill the needs of photographers considering that it is only a 30L bag? Even our Vanguard Alta Rise 45, has a larger capacity (45L). But don’t let that fool you – it’s all in the design of a bag that dictates the amount that it can carry. Even the Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip 20L surprised us with what it could fit into its 20-litre capacity. If you are interested, check out ‘What’s in our Bag“.
For this review, Peak Design has kindly supplied us the Everyday Backpack 30L – Midnight (colour) to review. Read on…
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L – V2, as mentioned above, is the largest of their Everyday Bags range. There’s also a 20L version of the bag which is a little bit more expensive than the Everyday Backpack Zip 20L. We can’t compare the two as we do not have the 20L version of this bag but would imagine that this is slightly more expensive due to the ability to expand the bag by adjusting the top opening MagLatch. Unlike the Everyday Backpack Zip 20L, which has not been designed as a conventional backpack bag that opens completely, the Everyday Backpack 30L does.
Photographers will love this bag as it fits a ton of gear in its 30-litre capacity (plus the extra 8L capacity when the MagLatch has been extended to the top connection), as a matter of fact, we found that the bag fits more than our Vanguard Alta Rise 45, albeit not as snugly. Having said that, the bag is extremely heavy, for us anyway, when filled to capacity. The big plus for a bag this size is the ability to access both sides of the bag without removing from your shoulder. We can do this with our current backpack bags to remove the camera from its compartment, but removing other gear from compartments in the bag usually require us to remove the bag completely. This bag has been designed not only as a day-to-day camera backpack but also for those wanting to venture further afield as it allows storage of personal items as well. Rather than worry about check-in luggage, we could easily use this bag for our gear and a change of clothes for a short duration domestic trip.
Note: If you plan to travel internationally with this bag you may struggle to remain within the carry-on limitations of 7-10kgs if carrying all your gear. We circumvent this issue by splitting our gear between a backpack camera bag and the Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L as this bag is classed as a bag for personal items and can sit underneath the seat in front of you.
Above: Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
Rear View – Hover for a closer look
Above: Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
Side View – Hover for a closer look
The exterior of the bag, for us, is quite unusual in shape. When we first opened the packaging, we were quite surprised by the shape of the bag. Unlike the conventional turtle-shell shape that is quite common for backpack camera bags, this one looks quite square, almost old-fashioned in its design. It’s not particularly a design that we like but then it’s not about appearance but about practicalities, and this bag has heaps.
The bags shell has been constructed using 100% recycled 400D nylon canvas and is DWR (Durable Water Repellant) impregnated. This is a coating that makes the fabric water-resistant. It is also double PU-coated (coated with 2 layers of polyurethane that also makes the fabric water-resistant, lightweight and flexible. The bottom of the bag, which is usually the most vulnerable area of a camera bag, has a stronger 900D waterproof liner which makes it more durable and protects it from extra wear and tear.
Above: The top compartment
The exterior of the bag is packed with features –
- The exterior of the bag can be opened from both sides with zippers but the top of the bag opens by way of the MagLatch connectors on the front of the bag. Therefore this bag still maintains its shape and is designed more like a conventional backpack camera bag. These MagLatch clips are quite ingenious, as not only do they secure the top flap of the bag, they connect magnetically. The magnets will hold the flap in place which is great when you are in a hurry and don’t want to immediately connect the clip
- The bag has no exterior pockets other than the 2 large side pockets which are primarily designed for storing a tripod and a water bottle or both. We would have preferred at least 1 small zippered pocket for easy access to lens cleaning cloths, small torch etc. These pockets, when not used, will close using hidden magnets. Each side pocket has a single nylon loop with a strap attached. These can be used to secure the contents of the pocket by attaching the loose end to another nylon loop at the top of the bag. There is a pocket of sorts at the bottom of the bag that houses 2 straps to connect an item such as a tripod should the side pockets be used for other items, however, we’re not sure you could use the pocket for anything else. Maybe a waterproof rain cover for the bag could be stored here
- There is a noticeable lack of dangling straps. Compared to our Vanguard Alta Rise 45. This is a great feature, as there is nothing worse than taking the bag off and having a multitude of straps flapping around
- There are 3 padded handles, which is extremely handy, although depending on what you store in the side pockets, may impede access to the side handles. There is also a nylon tether attached to one of the handles that allow you to attach items such as keys* which can be then stowed in the pocket
- There are numerable external nylon loop attachment points – 10 in total. These are great for attaching additional items to the bag. If you want to use the side pockets for other items then these give you the option to maybe attach a tripod elsewhere using these attachment points
*If travelling, not sure we would attach our keys here. They would probably be more secure in the small pocket in the Laptop/Tablet compartment.
- The rear of the bag has a luggage pass-through for easy and secure roller-top carrying. Always a great feature, especially for travel photographers.
- There is an adjustable sternum strap which is ideal for distributing some of the weight. When not in use, this can easily be stowed to a connection point on the shoulder strap so that it isn’t dangling. You may want to use this as the bag does not have a waist belt unless purchased separately. We much prefer the waist belt. If you’re going to fill this bag you will want more than the sternum strap.
- The padded shoulder straps also rotate where attached to the top of the bag making it easier to put on. They are also ideal for attaching the Peak Design Capture Clip or Peak Design Lens Kit. The shoulder straps can be held in place at the back of the bag using hidden magnets keeping the shoulder straps out of the way when not in use. You can even cross over the shoulder straps to the magnets making it even tidier. In our opinion, this is an excellent feature, as it makes the bag a lot more streamline when it is off your back. The shoulder straps are stiffer than we are used to and not as comfortable as our current backpack bag. For a big bag like this, we’d prefer a bit more padding in the straps. Maybe this will improve over time with use.
- Zip pulls attached to the exterior zippers can be looped together or attached to another anchor point as a theft deterrent. Great for when you are in transit but fiddly to undo if you are in the field and in a hurry.
Width: 33cm (top) & 32cm (bottom)
Depth: 27cm (top) & 15cm (bottom)
Width: 31cm (top) & 30cm (bottom)
Depth: 23cm (top) & 15cm (bottom)
This bag is very deceiving in the amount it can carry, as mentioned above, although the capacity of this bag is 30L (plus the extra 8L when extended using the MagLatch connection), it fits a lot more gear than our Vanguard Alta Rise 45, which is a 45 litre bag.
The interior of the bag features the following –
- A zippered compartment that sits on top of the bag between the shoulder straps and the top carry handle accommodates a laptop/tablet. The sleeve can fit a 15″ laptop or 16″ Macbook Pro and up to a 12.9″ iPad Pro tablet. The sleeve is customisable, so if you have a smaller laptop then you can adjust the sleeves so the device is easier to remove. Just keep in mind that once your gear is loaded it may be a bit tight to insert/remove a laptop from the sleeve. The sleeve dividing the laptop and tablet is magnetised so if you are only storing one device the other sleeve can remain closed (or used to store other accessories such as a Lenskirt). There is also a full-width pocket which is a great place to store documents such as a passport etc. There are also 2 smaller pockets to store accessories. You probably won’t want to place any bulky items in these pockets as it may encroach on the interior of the main compartment.
- The main compartment of the bag has 2 pockets on both sides of the interior. The top pocket on each side opens/closes with a magnet whereas the bottom 2 pockets are zippered. The zippered pockets, once the Flexfold dividers are installed, are best accessed from the right-hand side or left-hand side of the bag. The magnetised side pockets can be accessed from any of the openings of the bag. There is another magnetised pocket at the top of the interior of the bag
- The bag has 3 Flexfold dividers to house all your gear. They use velcro to remain in place. Each divider will give you the ability to separate 3 average size lenses.
Above: The Laptop/Tablet compartment. There is a sleeve for a laptop, tablet and a couple of additional pockets that are handy for valuables or other accessories
Above: Interior pockets. A magnetic connected pocket at the top and a zippered one at the bottom. These are located on both sides of the bag’s interior.
- Great design
- Great for carrying an enormous amount of gear. In addition, there is room for other personal items.
- Dimensions of the bag still within standard carry-on allowances although would be tight if side pockets are being used
- Two pockets plus a section for a tablet and 15″ laptop
- Plenty of internal pockets
- *Weatherproof but not waterproof
- 2 side pockets to carry a tripod and a water bottle
- Easy to access your gear, as long as you remember which side of the bag to open
- Collapsible dividers make it easy to carry plenty of gear
- Easily adjustable sternum strap
- Secure attachment for an accessory such as keys
- 2 straps located at the bottom of the bag to carry an additional item such as a tripod should you want to use the side pockets for other items
- Heaps of external attachment points using the Peak Design Cord Hook system
Some of these CONS may not necessarily be a problem for many photographers. The only real CON for us is the lack of at least 1 zippered external pocket, however, at a pinch, we could use one of the side pockets designed for the water bottle or tripod.
- Not the most comfortable bag to carry for extended use
- It’s a large bag that you would probably struggle to carry if filled to capacity with gear, although any large bag filled to capacity would be difficult to carry. Having said that, you could consider buying the smaller 20L version instead
- The lack of external zippered pockets. Having at least one pocket to access a small torch, cleaning cloths etc would have been nice
- The waist belt is not included
- Not *waterproof. If the MagLatch clip is set to the top attachment the bag certainly would not be weatherproof.
*Weatherproof (aka water-resistant) – usually the material has a coating which will cause water droplets to bead on the surface giving it added protection, however, it will not make the bag impervious to penetration by water. To produce a bag that is Waterproof would mean a completely different material thus adding considerable weight to the bag. If this is a concern, we suggest you purchase a rain cover for the bag. You could also try spraying the bag with a fabric protector, however, we’re not sure how that would react with the materials current coatings. We could not find any information on their website saying that this would be an issue.
Above: An average amount of gear that can be carried in the Everyday Backpack 30L. This is not filled to capacity by any means – Top Row: Peak Design Travel Tripod, Samyang 12mm f2.8 Fisheye lens, Sony FE 16-35 f/4 lens, Samyang 100mm f2.8 Macro lens, Filter Bag for the 100mm Square Filter System. 2nd Row: Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE lens, Sony A7Riii camera body with Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 lens attached, Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 lens with an attached adapter, spare batteries. 3rd Row: Sony FE 70-200 f/4 lens, Microsoft Surface Go tablet, small torch, air blower The Rest: wireless remote control, Allen Key, circular filters*, cleaning cloth, step-up adapter ring, spare SD cards, Peak Design Slide Lite camera strap, wet weather jacket (for us – not the bag ).
*We recommend GOBE Filters. Use ‘widescenes‘ at checkout to receive a further 15% off all products
Sizes & Colours
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack bags are available in 20L and 30L sizes. Both sizes are available in Black, Charcoal, Ash, and Midnight. Hover over the image below for a better look at the colours.
Above: Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L and 30L Bags
We have found that the cheapest pricing for the bag is direct with Peak Design, especially here in Australia where the retail price is always more expensive. To give you an idea of price, at the time of writing, the prices are –
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L – AUD$363.00** or USD$259.95*
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L – AUD$405.00** or USD$289.95*
* US Customers – Free Standard Delivery in the US, however, taxes may apply
**Australian Customers – AUD prices exclude taxes and shipping. As there is a global warehouse in Sydney the shipping price will be calculated at domestic rates.
Worldwide Customers – For shipping costs worldwide check out the rates here
The Final Word
Peak Design has once again designed a great camera bag. Overall, the bag, in our opinion, has been designed for the photographer that has a large kit or a landscape photographer that gets off the beaten track and wants to carry other items in addition to their gear. Access to both sides of the bag without removing the bag will make it a popular bag for travel photographers, albeit the 30L may be a little large. If you are looking to purchase this bag as your first camera bag then we don’t think you’ll be disappointed, although you may want to also consider the smaller 20L version.
The popularity of this bag is a testament to how practical it is for many photographers but personally speaking, the jury is still out as to whether this is a bag that would be used in our day-to-day travel photography work. For us, we see this bag as a great ‘transit bag’ for carrying our gear between destinations. For day-to-day photography, we still prefer our Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L bag.
If you have any comments or questions about this product then we’d love to hear from you.
RATING: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L – V2
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L – V2
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