I've been using Peak Design bags for years. I bought an Everyday Backpack in 2017 after reading almost universally glowing reviews, and watched it quickly become the bag on just about every tech blogger's back at press events and trade shows.
Seriously, I can't tell you how many times someone on the Android Central team has grabbed the wrong Everyday Backpack on their way out during work trips and had to turn around, and with CES right around the corner I can see this happening again soon.
This wouldn't be a problem if any of us would just get a different bag, but the fact of the matter is that Peak Design makes great bags (along with camera straps and other accessories) for photographers and videographers alike.
With a starting price of $260, though, these are some of the most expensive backpacks around — excluding bags from luxury brands like Gucci. But unlike a Gucci bag, I think the Everyday Backpack v2 is still well worth the money for the right kind of person.
A more refined take
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L v2
Bottom line: Peak Design's second generation Everyday Back improves on its predecessor's design in just about every way, with better materials and smoother zippers. You have more organized dividers this time around, and an eye-catching new Midnight Blue colorway.
- Cleaner design with better materials
- 3L of internal expansion with MagLatch top
- Includes four straps for external carries
- Internal pockets are much more flexible
- Much better padding on straps
- Very expensive
- Side openings are much stiffer
- Not a great fit if you don't carry a camera
Everyday Backpack v2 What's new
The second generation Everyday Backpack is pretty hard to tell apart from its predecessor at first glance — at least, aside from the new Midnight Blue colorway. You get the same general design language that makes it instantly recognizable as a Peak Design product, albeit with an overall rounder profile that, while I didn't love it at first, has definitely grown on me.
I didn't expect to be this amped about zippers of all things.
Peak is using a new and improved 100% recycled 400D fabric on the outside that feels higher quality than on the first gen bag. It's still weatherproof, of course, something I can vouch for after over two years of carrying the original Everyday Backpack through heavy rain and even having a full cup of coffee spilled on it. I love that Peak Design is incorporating leather on the top handle for more than just the ash gray colorway this year, though interestingly the leather side handles have been uniformly swapped for nylon. I actually don't mind this though, since it rounds out the handle for a comfier grip.
As far as storage goes, you have the same 20L and 30L options as before. The MagLatch system on the top flap can be used to expand or contract the total capacity, and it's been refined to be a bit easier to open and close one-handed.
Where Peak Design really improved the outside of the bag this year is with its new UltraZips, which use abrasion resistance and feel dramatically smoother than the previous model's conventional zippers. I didn't expect to be this amped about zippers of all things, but when you use them dozens of times every day to get in and out of the bag, it makes a big difference.
Some more minor external changes: the side pockets are deeper this time around, making it a little easier to fit things like tripods without needing external carry straps. You get four hidden carry straps with the v2, along with a waist strap that takes some of the weight of the bag off of your shoulders. They've also gotten rid of the huge velcro pad on the back holding the luggage passthrough together in favor of magnets, which I love. Those magnets also now hold the straps in place on the bag, which is a nice small touch for when your bag is sitting stationary — oh, and the Everyday v2 does a much better job at sitting upright on the ground.
One of the biggest complaints I heard with the original Everyday Backpack was that the shoulder straps were too thin and stiff, making it uncomfortable to carry heavy loads. This was never much of an issue for me with about 15 pounds of gear, but the good news is that the v2's straps are much better padded and, dare I say, comfortable.
Something that's totally new on the Everyday Backpack v2 is the adjustable laptop compartment on the inside of the bag — which, by the way, is accessed by zipping from right to left this year, opposite from before. It takes some getting used to. There's a new velcro flap that lets you adjust the depth of the velcro pocket, allowing 13-inch laptops to be just as easily reachable as 15- or 16-inch ones.
I'm able to carry 20 pounds of gear comfortably, thanks to the better strap padding.
There's also a lot more space for a tablet this year, thanks to a stretchier fabric divider. There are two pockets inside the cable divider in the laptop compartment now, which help organize small cables and other items.
Inside the main compartment of the bag, you get the same three foldable dividers as before, which play a huge role in making the Everyday Backpack so customizable. The dividers now have small black markings that make it much easier to align both sides to the inner walls of the bag, and of course, you can still fold the dividers any way you like to accomodate different sized gear.
If you're wondering what kind of loadout you can carry with the smaller 20L, I manage to fit a 15-inch laptop, a camera, two lenses, an ND filter, a wireless lav kit, a 100Wh power bank, over-ear headphones, two multi-device chargers, and a drone with two spare batteries and its remote controller — all with room to spare in the top of the bag.
Everyday Backpack v2 What's not so great
That's very impressive for such a small and sleek bag, but it still isn't perfect. One of my favorite things about Peak Design's backpacks is that the hinge on the straps lets me quickly sling the bag over one shoulder, unzip one of the side panels, and instantly get into my bag even while I'm walking. That's still doable on the Everyday Backpack v2, but the zippers for the side panel don't reach as far back as before, meaning the panels are much stiffer and harder to keep open. The backpack is designed entirely around side access, so of course, you can still get in with relative ease, it just won't stay open anymore without you holding the panel yourself.
The side panels are much stiffer and don't open as far back as before.
There's also the issue of the new pockets on the inside of those panels. On the previous generation Everyday Backpacks, there was a zipper lining the entirety of each side panel that kept all of the contents in place. With the new design, Peak has separated the inside of each side panel into two equally sized sections with their own zippers. This works okay for small items like camera batteries, but there's less room to keep things like loose cables in place.
And as much as I love the internal dividers for sorting all of my camera gear, the stiff interior design means that the Everyday Backpack still isn't necessarily great for people who don't need to carry a camera with them. You can remove all of the dividers if you so choose and leave the inside of the bag completely empty, but it doesn't expand as much as a bag made of a softer material would — not to mention it's expensive to use as an ordinary backpack.
Everyday Backpack v2 Should you buy it?
With a starting price of $260 that only goes up if you want the larger 30L bag, it's hard to recommend the Everyday Backpack v2 to casual users, just like it was hard to recommend the first generation model. For anyone other than media professionals who need to carry an abundant amount of gear around, it's simply too expensive for most people to justify. But as a traveling videographer who needs to be able to keep everything on hand in case of unexpected situations, Peak Design's backpacks have been an invaluable part of my setup for years.
If you liked Peak Design's first Everyday Backpack, you're going to love the Everyday v2. There are a few downsides to this iteration; I don't love how much stiffer the side panels are, and the pockets on the inside of those panels are much less useful this time around in my opinion. But the new rounded design quickly grew on me, and this bag feels considerably more polished than its predecessor.
It's made of better and more eco-friendly materials. It makes use of magnets rather than velcro for its luggage passthrough. The UltraZips are far smoother, and the straps are better padded.
The Everyday Backpack v2 is almost universally better than the v1, and while it's expensive, I'm a firm believer that your backpack is just as important as the gear you put inside of it, so a good bag is worth investing in — at least, if you use it as much as I do. This is easily my new favorite bag, and the one I'll be recommending to my media professional colleagues at the very least.
A more refined take
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L v2
Peak's best backpack just got better.
Peak Design's second generation Everyday Back improves on its predecessor's design in just about every way, with better materials and smoother zippers. You have more organized dividers this time around, and an eye-catching new Midnight Blue colorway.
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