I don't want to know how much money I have spent on camera bags over the years. Between video cameras, pocket cameras, SLR's and luggage I am sure that I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars. As cameras have changed and my needs have evolved I have never really been able to nail it all down into one awesome bag. You're waiting for the part where I say "until now" right?
Well, I'm not going to say that the Peak Designs bag is perfect, but I will say that it is the best camera bag I have owned so far for my purposes at the moment.
I shoot a lot of run and gun photos and video. I need a bag that can carry a few lenses, a full size DSLR body with grip, a flash or two, and a 15" MacBook Pro laptop. Sometimes I also carry a sound recorder and a wireless lav set, so that is a lot of things to fit into one bag. To top it all off, I want to be able to carry it on my back and look reasonably normal while doing it — so no dorky camera bags please. The ability to be relatively incognito serves so many purposes while shooting and travelling.
I actually saw Peak Designs Everyday Backpack on Instagram which is pretty cool. It looked like a very refined and well thought out Kickstarter project so I was willing to give it a shot. When it arrived I will say that it was no disappointment — right down to the super cool bag that the bag showed up in. Yes, it was a bag in a bag.
The compartments are customizable and well thought out. There is an array of places to strap or clip additional gear to, and everything fits. Eureka! Up until now I have been using an InCase DSLR backpack which has been great, but as I started to carry around a bigger camera nothing really fit well in there. Plus the traditional floppy gear separators no longer seemed to do there thing. After many airline bins and seats, two trips to Africa and countless other adventures, my InCase bag was just worn out, yet I had been hobbling around with it for the past while unsure of what to replace it with.
I can tell you that I will be a loyal Peak Designs supporter. This bag looks sharp, is exceptionally well built, and is functional beyond anything I have owned to date. This is the best urban camera backpack that I know of. I opted for the 20L size as I like the low profile. Anything bigger and I feel like it needs a rolling suitcase anyway. My only complaint about this bag is that with a 15" laptop inside, it is not that comfortable as it is stiff against your back. Otherwise I'm not too fussed by that. If I'm going to hike a mountain with it, I likely won't be taking my MacBook Pro with me.
Chris Stenberg is a creative director, photographer, filmmaker, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.