Tested: The $3 Million Messenger Bag

Peak Design’s Everyday Messenger is billed as “Kickstarter’s most successful bag campaign ever.” After testing it for a few weeks, I understand why.

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$3.6 million. That’s how much the Everyday Messenger has raised so far on its Kickstarter campaign.

It’s hard to ignore numbers like this, and from the moment I unwrapped the bag, I could tell that the hype was deserved. This bag is durable, well thought out, and designed with a purpose.

James Bond’s Camera Bag

Stuffed with more features than a 007 car, the Everyday Messenger can be used by anyone, but it is really suited for the creative type who is looking for a multi-use camera- and everyday-carry bag.

Peak-Design-Camera-Bag-

Peak Design as a brand comes from a photography pedigree, and it shows in the details of this bag.

Compartmentalization

Three flexible and removable dividers let the bag be configured in many ways — I find myself carrying my camera with me almost constantly now, knowing that my digital baby has a safe ride.

The exterior is soft but durable. It looks sleek and professional but shouldn’t scuff like leather. A reinforced base protects the bottom and tough hardware around the strap connections give reassurance that the bag will last.

Storage Options

A large front pocket with dividers stores small items and the color stitching makes it easy to identity which pocket I’m reaching for (instead of having to dig through multiple pockets that all look the same).

peak-design-everyday-messanger-open

The main compartment is large enough to store a DSLR body and lens, a water bottle or coffee mug, and a jacket at the same time. Or you can remove the liners and open up the compartment to add big stuff.

A small internal pocket is made for stowing a smartphone or tablet, and a zipper on the top of the flap makes accessing the main compartment (without having to actually open the bag) a breeze.

peak-design-everyday-messanger-laptop-sleeve

A zippered sleeve pocket on back fits a 15” Macbook snuggly and also has a smaller pocket for a tablet.

Innovative Clasp

The closure system for the flap is one of the easiest I’ve used. A simple ladder system on the outside of the bag allows the magnetic clasp to fall naturally and lock into place. It can accommodate a variety of load sizes and the fastening system was much quieter than velcro, which most other messenger bags use.

Easy-To-Use Strap

The strap system is flexible and easy to adjust to varied body sizes. A series of loops on the strap allow for large adjustments, while a quick release cam makes finer adjustments quick and painless.

It fit testers from 5’4″ and 130 pounds to 6’4” and 350 pounds, which was most impressive.

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Integration With Other Peak Design Gear

Our model came with the company’s Capture Clip ($59.95), which provides an easy way to secure a camera on the outside of the bag. Although not all of the models come with this, if you have the Capture Clip already (or want to get it), it should be noted that the bag has points specifically built for attaching it.

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Best Camera Bag

This bag stands out in a crowded market. It seems as if everything was designed from the ground up to function in exact coordination with everything else.

The tiny stash pocket for the load strap, the flexible internal dividers, and the pivot strap points help distinguish the bag. Tough, heavy materials make it just feel “premium” next to anything else I’ve used.

Possible Flaw

The only flaw I did notice was some of the sticky stuff on the underside of the strap that is designed to keep it from sliding around on your shoulder (another thoughtful feature) started to shed off after a few weeks of use. It should be noted that the bag we received was a prototype, and often these things are addressed by the time the product hits production.

For bikers, remember that this bag edges more on the side of a briefcase than a made-for-riding messenger bag. Although it does come with a load strap for bike commuting, I wouldn’t recommend the Everyday Messenger to anyone doing long commutes in foul weather; the bag is only weather resistant and probably won’t hold up to long periods of sustained abuse in the urban wilds.

Peak-Design-photo-bag

That being said, if you’re looking for something that goes from home to office easily and is highly adaptable to your lifestyle, the Peak Designs Everyday Messenger is right up your alley.

You can grab one starting at $195 on the company’s Kickstarter page.

tagged: #review

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Eric is a contributing writer based in Bozeman, MT. An avid climber, mountain biker, backpacker, and snowboarder, he earned his degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. When not living the GearJunkie life, he can be found exploring the Montana backcountry.

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