This is Peak Design’s first go at a bag aimed at photographers. To create the bag, Peak Design collaborated with pro photographer Trey Ratcliff. The group came together to create a bag that would adapt around the equipment it needed to carry as well as the user, rather than have equipment and man adapt to the bag.
“I’m sick and tired of camera bags,” Ratcliff says in the promo video. “They’re bulky foam cubes with messy dividers and tons of dead space. I’m tired of switching bags when I’m not shooting – I wish I had one bag that I could use every day.”
So Peak Design went to work, and here’s what makes the bag unique. The Everyday Messenger, at its basic form, looks like a typical messenger bag; in fact, it’s designed for regular everyday use, hence the name, so it looks stylish. It is, however, adaptable and can expand from a 13.5-liter capacity to 20.5 liters when it’s used for photo gear. The outer material features a weather-resistant waxed shell with high-density padding that protects against falls.
The main compartment’s soft interior is highly flexible: Instead of placing padding in areas to fit one or more cameras, Peak lets the individual mark out space and place a protective origami-inspired FlexFold divider made of high-density foam. Multiple FlexFold dividers are provided, and the inside compartment is capable of carrying two or more cameras, lenses, and other gear with appropriate protective padding. For example, the bag can be configured to hold a full-frame DSLR with three lenses and accessories.
There’s also a dedicated 13-to-15-inch laptop pocket with a tablet and document sleeve. A new patented latch design, the MagLatch, allows users to open and close the bag “blindly” with one hand, and has four locking positions. Plus, there is a secondary opening via a top zip that offers quick access to the bag’s main compartment.
In the front panel there are additional compartments for smaller gear, whether it’s memory cards, chargers, and portable hard drives for a photo shoot, or common items such as smartphones, keys, and other essentials. There are also side pockets for things you need in a hurry.
The bag, with its padded seatbelt-style strap, can be worn as a messenger bag (over the head) or as a low-slung shoulder bag (like a purse). It also has a quick-adjusting strap to provide extra stability at the waist when using the bag as a messenger bag while on a bike, or when you just want more security. Everything about the bag has been reinforced for durability, and there are even two attachment points for Peak Design’s Capture Clip for holding a camera or two.
In addition to the Everyday Messenger, Peak Design also created the Field Pouch. The small bag is designed to organize items, whether it’s your photo accessories or toiletries. It can fit inside either the Everyday Messenger’s main compartment or front panel.
Kickstarter pledges for the Everyday Messenger start at $195 (available in Charcoal or Heritage Tan), with a December delivery, and go up to $5,500 to get the Everyday Messenger plus loads of photo accessories and a five-day photo workshop in New Zealand. If you want just the Field Pouch, that costs only $30. Despite surpassing its funding goal, there have been no announcements of any stretch goals.