I’ve used a lot of camera bags over the years. Some have come and gone quite quickly while others have endured the test of time. The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L, however, has survived better than most and for almost a year now it’s been my go-to bag.
I tend to prefer backpacks to shoulder bags as like to be able to distribute the weight across both shoulders. One issue I’ve had with some backpacks is that the straps are too far apart so they never sit comfortably on my shoulders. The Everyday Backpack is perfect in that respect yet the straps work for men as well.
There’s also a chest-strap that helps keep the bag in place when you’re climbing over rocks, cycling, or just rushing through a busy city.
When I first received the Everyday Backpack 20L I thought that the laptop compartment wouldn’t be large enough for a 15-inch MacBook. But it’s bigger than it looks, so actually, the laptop fits in just fine. Meanwhile, the divided main compartment has room enough to take a compact system camera like the Fuji X-T2 or Olympus OM-D E-M1 II with two or three lenses (including a bigger lens like the Fuji 50-140mm f2.8 WR OIS XF Lens) and a few small accessories plus essentials like a purse and a memory card wallet. Alternatively, a large DSLR like the Canon 5D Mark III and two or three lenses can be housed.
Peak Design supplies three of its clever FlexFold dividers to allow you to customise the bag’s storage to meet your needs.
One of the things I like about the Everyday Backpack is that it can be opened from either side or the top. From the sides, you can reach into the divided main area while the top gives you access to the uppermost section. Depending upon how you’ve configured the dividers you may also be able to reach further into the bag.
The side sections house zippered pockets which are useful for things like memory cards, filters and adapter rings. They’re fairly slim, so you can’t fit a lot in, but they are useful.
Each side section has two zip fasteners. Rather than one fastener chasing the other so you can open with one and close with the other, they face opposite directions. That means that you can open the sides from either end. If you don’t want to put the bag down you can swing it round on one shoulder and up zip the side to get what you want.
Another nice feature of the Backpack is the MagLatch on the top flap. This comprises a magnetic clasp and metal loops that form locking points and look the steps of a small ladder on the outside of the bag. They’re actually riveted to a stainless steel internal plate, so it’s a pretty tough system. The magnet pulls the flap in and catches one of the loops. To open the flap you just need to pull the handle a little and then lift, it’s a one-handed process.
The 4 steps of the ladder mean the top compartment can expand or contract as you need. One thing to keep an eye out for is that the sides of this compartment are neatly tucked-in under the top flap. If they’re not there’s a risk that water may creep in if it’s chucking it down with rain.
Conveniently, there’s a small pocket at the front of the top compartment that’s the perfect size for a passport.
Both sides of the Backpack have small expandable pockets that also have magnet closers. These are handy for carry a water bottle, brolly or the feet of a travel tripod – you’ll need to use one of the concealed straps to keep this in place. A large tripod won’t stay put in this location but you can strap one to the front of the bag if you like.
Returning to the subject of rain, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is weatherproof. I can confirm this after having carried it around London for hours in torrential rain. The only area that showed any sign of water ingress was one small section of zip at the top of the laptop compartment, it was just ever so slightly damp so to be on the safe side I put my laptop in a plastic bag as a precaution.
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L Verdict
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L is a smart looking bag that’s comfortable to carry even when fully laden. Its clean lines make it look smaller than it is and you can fit a surprising amount of gear inside. While I might be inclined to give a laptop the extra protection of a plastic bag, I’m confident that my camera gear will stay safe and dry even in heavy rain when it’s inside the Everyday Backpack.
It proved a great choice of bag to take on a recent trip to the Alps, carrying my laptop, a Fuji X-T20 and five lenses along with a GoPro and a few small accessories. More importantly perhaps, especially given its name, I’ve found the Everyday Backpack 20L to be a good bag to use everyday.
At around £229/$260 the Everyday Backpack 20L is an expensive bag, but it’s hard-wearing, comfortable and smart.