The Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip – 20L
If you’ve read any of other Peak Design reviews you’ll know that we are huge fans of the Peak Design products especially the Everyday Sling 10L bag. These bags are now our main camera bag for all our travel photography work. However, if we are travelling we still transport the bulk of our equipment in a camera backpack (usually the Vanguard Alta Rise 45) and then separate them to the Everyday Sling bags at the destination as we don’t always carry every piece of equipment on a daily basis. To see all our equipment click here to see ‘What’s in our Bag”.
Many photographers prefer to carry backpack camera bags as this is usually the only type of bag that will fit all their equipment. Although we are advocates for the Everyday Sling 10L bags there are times when we want to take a little more than these bags will accommodate and therefore resort to a backpack.
For this review, Peak Design has kindly supplied us the Everyday Backpack Zip 20L – Ash to review.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip 20L fills a gap in the Peak Design line of camera bags. It fits neatly between the minimalist Everyday Sling 10L and the Everyday Backpack 30L. The bag is more of a cut-down version of the Everyday Backpack 30L rather than a larger version of the Everyday Sling, however, it is much more compact and streamlined than its bigger brother even though many of its features have migrated to this bag from the larger backpack. We think that there is a large market for this size bag as it will be suitable for those with a medium-sized kit that still want to carry a larger 15″ laptop. Not even our Vanguard Alta Rise 45 will accommodate a 15″ laptop.
The bag has not been designed as a conventional backpack bag that opens completely. Although the bag has a zipper that extends 270-degree around the bag, the zipper has been designed primarily for the purpose of accessing your equipment without having to remove and completely open the bag. This option makes it a great bag for street and travel photographers who want to access gear quickly, although street photographers may find the bag a bit too big for their liking.
Above: Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip 20L
Rear View – Hover for a closer look
Above: Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip 20L
Side View – Hover for a closer look
Above: An example of the equipment that can be carried in the bag. The bag could carry more as we still had not utilised all the space inside the bag. The 18mm & 15mm lenses could also be swapped out for the Sony FE 16-35 f/4 lens to give it a bit more room if needed. A laptop up to 15″ could also be included. Keep in mind that with this much gear and if carrying both a tablet and laptop, the bag will be extremely heavy (for us anyway) and you may want to consider purchasing the Peak Design Hip Belt.
Top Row: (left to right) Peak Design Travel Tripod, Peak Design Slide Lite Strap, Samyang AF 18mm f2.8 FE lens, Laowa 15mm f2.0 Zero-Distortion lens, WD 2TB External Hard Drive, 2 spare batteries.
2nd Row: Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 lens with adapter, Sony A7Riii camera with the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 lens attached, NiSi Close-up Lens Kit, small torch.
The Rest: Sony FE 70-200 f/4 lens, blower brush, wireless remote control, wet weather jacket, Microsoft Surface Go tablet, filters, Allen Key, lens cleaning cloth and step-up adapter ring, spare SD cards
Unlike the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L, the Everyday Backpack Zip has the conventional turtle shell shape that is quite common for backpack camera bags. Personally, we prefer this design over the Everyday Backpack 30L as we find that design a little bit square to our liking. However, that bag’s design is structured around different practicalities. The bag has a sleek and clean design with none of the dangling buckle straps that are commonly found on many backpack bags (ours included).
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.
The exterior of the bag is packed with features –
- The first thing you will notice is that 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. These pockets, when not used, will close using hidden magnets. Each pocket has a single nylon loop with a strap attached. These can be used to secure the contents of the pocket, such as a tripod, by attaching the loose end to another nylon loop at the top of the bag.
- The second thing that is most noticeable about the bag is the lack of dangling straps. Compared to our Vanguard Alta Rise 45 this is a great feature.
- 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.
- The rear of the bag has a luggage pass-through for easy and secure roller-top carrying
- There is an adjustable sternum strap which is ideal for distributing some of the weight. When not in use, this can easily be stowed so that it isn’t dangling. You may want to use this as the bag does not have a waist belt unless purchased separately
- 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
- Zip pulls attached to the exterior zippers can be looped together or attached to another anchor point as a theft deterrent.
The external bag dimensions are 29cm (W) x 47cm (H) x 16cm (D) while the internal dimensions are 26cm (W) x 40cm (H) x 12cm (D). For all other specs for both the 15L and 20L versions, click here
Above: Side View
Above: Back View
There are two zippered compartments to the bag. There is a compartment for your laptop/tablet at the top of the bag and the main compartment for all your gear. As mentioned earlier, this main compartment of the bag is not designed to open all the way like conventional backpack bags. The only reason to open the bag all the way is to position the dividers so that it accommodates your equipment snugly. After that access is better performed by individually opening the zip on the left, right or top of the bag to access items.
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 underside of the lid of the bag also has another deep zippered pocket.
- The bag has 2 Flexfold dividers to house all your gear. They use velcro to remain in place.
Above: The Laptop/Tablet compartment
Above: Interior pockets
- Clean and sleek design
- Even though only a 20L bag it is a surprise how much you can fit inside
- Two pockets plus a section for a tablet and 15″ laptop in a zippered compartment
- Plenty of internal pockets within the main compartment
- 2 external 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
- Lots of anchor points for attaching other items
- Flexibility to use as an everyday backpack, not just for photography gear.
We’re really splitting hairs here. 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, you could use one of the side pockets designed for the water bottle or tripod.
- Not designed to be opened like a conventional backpack bag but instead more like a sling. This may be a CON for some but a PRO for others
- Dividers have limitations as to the snugness around your gear as they are rigid and the flaps are not customisable for the different sizes of lenses. Therefore, a lens may sit loosely in the section
- The shoulder straps and back of the bag are not as padded as a conventional camera bag e.g. our Vanguard Alta Rise 45, so not the most comfortable bag to carry over an extended period of time when filled to capacity
- 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
- Moderately expensive compared to other similar-sized camera bags
*Weatherproof (aka water-resistant) – usually 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.
Sizes & Colours
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip bags are available in 15L and 20L sizes. The 15L is available in Black, Bone, Ash, and Midnight. The 20L is available in Black, Ash, and Midnight. Hover over the image below for a better look at the colours.
Above: Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip 15L and 20L 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 Zip 15L – AUD$268.00** or USD$189.95*
Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip 20L – AUD$310.00** or USD$219.95*
* 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 phenomenal camera bag. As mentioned earlier, the 20L version fits nicely between the Everyday Sling Bag 10L and the Everyday Backpack 30L. Overall, the bag, in our opinion, has been designed for the photographer that has a medium-sized kit that prefers to open the bag like a sling bag rather than a conventional backpack. Access to both sides of the bag without removing the bag will make it popular for travel and maybe even street photographers. If you are looking to purchase this bag as your first camera bag then we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Would we use this bag? Yes, we would use it as an alternative to our Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L bags when we want to carry more gear and when in transit between destinations when travelling.
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 Zip 15L
Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip 20L
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