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Review: Peak Design’s Everyday Messenger Bag is Both Sexy and Smart

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The Everyday Messenger bag is Peak Design’s latest product to make a debut on Kickstarter, and it has blown past its $100,000 goal and raised over $2.2 million so far. Designed with the help of photographer Trey Ratcliff, the bag aims to fulfill the “workflows of photographers, creative, travelers, and commuters.” We got our hands on the world’s first pre-production sample bag, and today we’ll be taking a closer look at it.

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Yes, Peak Design knows that ‘San Francisco’ is spelled wrong; it will be corrected before the product’s final release.

If you head to the Peak Design Kickstarter page, the first sentence proclaims that “The Everyday Messenger is a beautiful, intelligent, and adaptable message bag.” Based upon first impressions pulling the messenger out of its packaging, we would have to agree. Available in either charcoal with red accents or tan with blue accents, the bag features an elegant and modern design with sharp angles that are further complimented by hints of subtle and smooth organic design elements.

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Looking at the small bag that arrived, we questioned how we would be able to fit the claimed 20.5L of storage within it. However, opening the bag quickly quelled our worries. Using an innovative metal latching system and internal foldable dividers, the bag can easily transition between its smallest size with an internal capacity of 13.5L to its maximum capacity of 20.5L. Best of all, the bag doesn’t look awkward in any form factor — no excess of straps or materials are in sight.

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Speaking of the metal latch system, I can safely say that I have never been so excited opening and closing a bag. It sounds ridiculous, but the metal latch Peak Design came up with is simply too fascinating to avoid playing around with a few times. Trademarked as the ‘MagLatch’, the bag uses a latch that attaches to one of four different mounting points and uses a magnet to keep everything secure.

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The internal folding dividers are also quite fascinating and feature an origami-style design allowing you to customize exactly how the internals are arranged. It is even possible to quickly fold the top of the compartments down to protect the gear below and allow you to pack even more of your necessities.

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If you find the need to pack more tidbits, there is a large front zipped pocket with eight individual embedded pockets. Two side pockets easily allow you to slide in your phone and charging cables while on the go. And, if you find the need to take your tablet or laptop with you then the messenger bag’s rear sleeve can hold laptops and tablets up to 15-inches. I was able to fit everything that I usually carry around and more into the Everyday Messenger without any trouble.

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One of my absolute favorite features is the individual top zipper that gives you instant access to your bag’s goodies without needing to undue the primary latch and expose the entire bag. As a street photographer, being able to quickly grab my gear when I spot a subject worth capturing is necessary.

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If you already know about Peak Design then you probably already know that they have a bit more tech up their sleeves. The company is also the manufacturer behind the Capture series of camera clips. Sold separately, the system integrates smoothly with a strap on the side of the Everyday Messenger and allows you to quickly detach and reattach your camera. As a separate product, we won’t be going into much detailed on the Capture clip besides saying that it is an excellent product that you wouldn’t regret purchasing.

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Once you have managed to fit your gear inside, every bit is well protected from the outside elements. The outside of the Everyday Messenger is made of a synthetic canvas material that is then waxed, and DWR coated to prevent water from getting inside. Meanwhile, your gear sits nice and comfy thanks to the soft interior that Peak Design says “will hold up to years of stuffing and re-stuffing.”

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Throw on the bag as a messenger using the padded seatbelt-style strap or use the handle to carry it around like a briefcase; either option is comfortable for travel. We also appreciated the ‘quick-adjust’ strap for resizing on the fly. If you feel you need more stability, you can always pull out the stabilizer strap to keep everything pinned closer to your body.

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Upon first glance, it is understandable why one might misinterpret the Everyday Messenger bag as a solution that chooses form over fashion, but you would be mistaken. The Everyday Messenger bag is the perfect blend of both elegant modern fashion and strong utility.

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The Peak Design project still has another thirty days on Kickstarter, so you can pick up the Everyday Messenger for a discounted price. At $195, you can purchase the bag in either charcoal or tan ($55 off retail). Those who pledge $225 will receive the messenger bag along with a small field pouch. At $375 and above, you can start purchasing bundles that include the Capture camera clips, camera covers, and even a trip to New Zealand.

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