Peak Design Everyday Messenger Review
Cons: Expensive, tricky latch system, average comfort, not ideal for bike commuting
Manufacturer: Peak Design
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Peak Design Everyday Messenger
|Price||$219.95 at Amazon||$160.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Great organization, weather-proof, ideal for photographers, left or right shoulder carry, mounts easily onto luggage trolley handle||Spacious, savvy pocket configuration, easy on/off, comfortable, weatherproof||Waterproof laptop sleeve, weather-resistant, great features, ambidextrous, brightly colored interior||Rugged, weather-proof, stylish, comfortable||Affordable, durable, weather-resistant, simple but functional organization features, customizable|
|Cons||Expensive, tricky latch system, average comfort, not ideal for bike commuting||Heavy, spendy, laptop zipper not waterproof||Exterior water bottle pocket is small, shoulder padding can get bunched up, tips over easily when set down||No padded laptop compartment, cargo pockets don't perfectly accommodate a U-lock||Left-shoulder carry only, minimal protection for laptop, shoulder strap is somewhat finicky|
|Bottom Line||A feature-rich, weather-proof, and durable daily messenger ideal for carrying electronics or camera equipment||This tech-savvy, spacious, weatherproof, and comfortable messenger bag features ample pockets and can accommodate up to a 17" laptop||This is a highly impressive ambidextrous bag with excellent features and bomber weatherproofing||A comfortable, weather-proof, and rugged messenger bag with an attractive aesthetic and just enough pockets to organize your gear||This durable, weather-resistant, and simple bag is thoughtfully designed with great pockets and reasonable comfort, all at an affordable price|
|Rating Categories||Everyday Messenger||Chrome Buran III||Timbuk2 Especial Stash||Mission Workshop Monty||Timbuk2 Classic|
|Packing & Organization (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Wear & Tear (10%)|
|Volume To Weight Ratio (10%)|
|Specs||Everyday Messenger||Chrome Buran III||Timbuk2 Especial Stash||Mission Workshop Monty||Timbuk2 Classic|
|Measured Weight||2.69 lbs||2.71 lbs||2.28 lbs||2.78 lbs||2.02 lbs|
|Measured Volume (purported volume)||13L (13L - 16L)||22L (24L)||15L (17L)||21L (21L)||18L (21L)|
|OGL Volume/Weight Ratio (bigger is better)||4.83||8.12||6.58||7.55||8.91|
|Dimensions||16.14 x 11.8 x 6.7 in||21.25 x 12.25 x 7 in||17.5 x 12.2 x 4.72 in||16 x 10 x 5||14.6 x 12.2 x 7.1 in|
|Number of Compartments||1||2||3||3||2|
|Number of Large Pockets||1||1||3||2||2|
|Number of Small Pockets (i.e. sleeves for pens, thin items)||2||8||4||4||5|
|Number of Zipper Pockets||4||4||3||3, 1 large and 2 hidden inside||3|
|Reflective Material?||No||Yes, on bottom straps||Yes||No||Yes, on bottom straps|
|External Side Pocket||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Sleeve For Laptop?||Yes - 13"||Yes - 17"||Yes - 15"||Yes - 15"||Yes - 15"|
|Stabilizing Cross Strap||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Available Sizes||13L||One size||One Size||21L, 27L, 35L||XS, S, M, L|
|Size Tested||13L||One size||One Size||21L||Medium|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Everyday Messenger is a feature-rich messenger bag with gobs of pockets designed with photographers and tech professionals in mind. Read on to learn more about why we think this bag is ideal for photographers and gear-savvy coders alike.
Compared to other bags in our review, the Everyday Messenger offers average comfort. While the shoulder strap features a stiff but soft foam, it is not as long as some of the others in our review. Additionally, it is challenging to dial in the straps for the bag to sit comfortably while riding a bicycle. However, if you intend to use your messenger bag for transporting your gear or running errands on public transit, by foot, or moving between your car and a coffee shop or co-working space, this bag provides ample comfort. It just rides a little too awkwardly to be comfortable on a bicycle.
Packing & Organization
This metric is one where the Everyday Messenger outperforms the average bag. It is thoughtfully designed with an emphasis on functionality, especially for photographers and champions of organization. There are two external zippered pockets on either side of the bag that feature storm-flaps and weather-proof zippers. These are great for your keys, wallet, or phone. Stashed in one of the pockets is a shock-cord tether for your keys, which includes a detachable keyfob so you can always remember where you put your keys (as long as you don't lock them in your car).
On the inside flap, there is a zippered pocket lined with soft fabric for storing lens filters or sunglasses, as well as a zippered pocket with slots for camera batteries, memory cards, or other small items.
Then, in the main compartment, the Everyday Messenger boasts two velcro-mounted internal dividers, ideal for organizing camera equipment, your lunch, or even some tasty adult beverages.
This is another category where the Everyday Messenger is among the leaders of the pack. Beyond having excellent features for safely carrying a DSLR and two lenses, it features two sleeves to store your tablet and a 13" laptop, plus all of your electronic cables. The only reason it didn't score higher in this metric is that a couple of other bags in this review have extra padding for storing a naked laptop, or space for a larger computer. That being said, there is ample padding for the safe storage of a sleeveless 13" laptop.
Ease of Use
To determine ease of use, we considered how easy it is to pack and unpack the bag, how user-friendly or intuitive the bag is to use, how well it carries, and how easy (or difficult) it is to pick up and get on with your day. The Everyday Messenger scored fairly low in terms of this metric because there is a learning curve for using the mechanism to open and close the bag, the internal dividers take some time to figure out, and it carries awkwardly on a bicycle.
This bag is very feature-rich, which means it takes some time to learn how to best pack it and make use of the features. Additionally, the patented MagLatch closure system was among the least intuitive systems in the review. It does feature a bottle opener, but even after using it several dozen times, we still found it finicky to secure in place and open without hassle.
One thing we do appreciate about this bag is that it has enough structure to rest standing upright while on the ground or on a table — this makes it easier to pack than some of the less rigid bags in this review. Additionally, the Everyday Messenger features a luggage pass-through sleeve on the back of the bag for mounting it on the trolley-handle of your wheeled luggage. If you are drawn to this bag for carrying camera equipment and your laptop, there is almost nothing better, and the closure system is easy enough to master with a little time and patience.
Wear & Tear
For the duration of our testing, the Everyday Messenger showed minimal amounts of wear and proving to be among the more durable bags in the review. We appreciate the weatherproof (and recycled post-consumer material!) 400 denier fabric and burly waterproof zippers — these materials demonstrate a commitment to durability which is something we definitely appreciate, especially at the price point.
Volume to Weight Ratio
To determine our volume to weight ratio, we weigh each bag when we receive it and then measure the volume by filling ziplock bags with 1-3 liters of water and determining how many liters the bag can accommodate. At 2.69 pounds, the Everyday Messenger was among the heavier bags in our review, and with only a 13-liter measured capacity, it had one of the lower volume to weight ratios. This means it weighs more for how much it can carry, which need not be a dealbreaker if you want a feature-rich bag for organizing all your tech gear or camera equipment.
The Everyday Messenger is one of the more expensive bags in our review, but for the right person, it provides immense value. With a face fabric made from 100% recycled post-consumer materials, a sleek design, and well-conceived features, we think of it as the Tesla of messenger bags. If you are in search of a daily messenger bag for transporting your camera equipment or tech gear this bag is a worthy contender to consider.
The Peak Design Everyday Messenger is a feature-rich messenger bag with great options for packing and organizing your daily kit. The rigid structure makes it easy to pack and easy to pick up. While it could offer better comfort and a more intuitive closure system, the internal organization features and weather-proof fabric make up for these minor deficits, making this bag ideal for photographers and tech professionals.
— Mary Witlacil