Again in 2015, when my spouse and I have been in search of a bag she may carry her laptop computer and different work-related objects in, we stumbled throughout a Kickstarter mission for the On a regular basis Messenger from Peak Design. It wasn’t the most affordable choice, nevertheless it seemed like it could stand as much as the damage and tear of day by day use. And it seemed like the corporate had put numerous thought into making a stable bag that will meet her wants.

After a little bit of analysis, and evaluating it with different luggage, we purchased one. It was our first expertise with Peak Design merchandise. Nevertheless it definitely wasn’t our final.

Photo of Peak Design's Travel Backpack

Photograph courtesy of Peak Design

My spouse, who is just not a photographer, nonetheless makes use of it day by day. In truth, we have been so impressed with it that I purchased their follow-up product – the On a regular basis Backpack – for myself.

I take it on my bicycle commute to work day by day. I additionally use it to hold my digicam gear after I shoot pictures for shoppers. Its high quality, usefulness, and considerate design touches are spectacular, and illustrate how Peak Design made these merchandise to swimsuit photographers in addition to on a regular basis individuals.

After I discovered Peak Design was increasing its choices from everyday-style luggage to a line of merchandise that target journey, I used to be intrigued. The Messenger and Backpack luggage have served my spouse and I effectively through the years, and I used to be desirous to see whether or not the Journey Backpack may dwell as much as the legacy created by their different merchandise.

Travel Backpack filled with camera gear.Travel Backpack filled with camera gear.

The Journey Backpack isn’t particularly centered on photographers, however Peak Design has clearly stored photographers in thoughts with this bag.

Testing the Traveler

To completely check the Journey Backpack I used it to hold the whole lot I wanted for a five-day, 1800-mile highway journey up and down the midwest United States to see family and friends. I stuffed it to the brim with:

  • my digicam
  • shorts, socks, shirts, and pants
  • my private care objects
  • a Nintendo 2DS XL
  • a number of chargers
  • an iPad for watching Netflix in resort rooms.

It was tossed round in my automobile, loaded and unloaded a number of instances, and hoisted up and down so many flights of stairs that I misplaced rely.

It carried out flawlessly.

I used to be instantly impressed on the stage of design and consideration that went into the Journey Backpack. They’ve made dozens of tweaks and thrives to each facet of this bag that separate it from most run-of-the-mill carrying companions. It’s the eye to element you’d count on with a bag of this caliber and worth. The material is thick, the fasteners and clips are sturdy, and the zippers are simply accessible. It’s acquired just about the whole lot I needed in a journey container, in addition to some issues I didn’t even notice I used to be in search of.

Photograph courtesy of Peak Design

After I returned my spouse, who’d not too long ago attended a piece convention on the East Coast, mentioned she wished she’d had the Journey Backpack as an alternative of her normal carry-on suitcase. And I’d say the identical would maintain true for almost anybody. We’ve got a pleasant set of baggage that works simply fantastic, however having used the Journey Backpack I’d fairly take it over our different journey gear.

Pockets, Pockets All over the place

The Journey Backpack is sufficiently big to carry the whole lot from cameras and garments to sneakers and bathe objects, but sufficiently small to slot in an airplane carry-on cargo maintain. Pockets abound within the Journey Backpack, with each nook, cranny, nook and flap having a cavity or pouch tucked away for all method of trinkets, tchotchkes, reminiscence playing cards and energy cables.

The well-padded shoulder straps will be tucked away beneath thick flaps that snap shut with a satisfying magnetic click. When the bag is zipped up and browse to be tossed right into a trunk or overhead airplane bin, extra pockets on the edges allow you to get to your necessities at a second’s discover.

Photograph courtesy of Peak Design

In fact, all these additional are ineffective should you can’t get to them simply. Fortunately the Journey Backpack offers you loads of methods to get to your cargo. The again of the unit (the half that you just really carry in your shoulders) unzips and folds again to disclose all the contents of the pack, leaving nothing hidden or tucked away behind recessed facet panels. In a nod to the On a regular basis Backpack, the edges unzip so can seize one thing shortly with out having to open up all the bag. And the entrance zipper allows you to entry a separate portion of the bag, which will be helpful for stowing laptops, tablets, notebooks and different skinny objects.

One of many hallmarks of the Journey Backpack is how one can tweak and alter it to fit your wants. Need more room? Gussets on the entrance unzip so you’ll be able to stow considerably extra cargo. Want much less house? You possibly can squeeze the bag right down to a extra manageable dimension by collapsing the highest with two handy snaps. Don’t want  the shoulder straps? Tuck them away behind the magnetic flaps to maintain them out of your manner.

A tall skinny pocket runs from prime to backside on the interior again flap for stowing tremendous skinny objects, with one other pocket inside it. Or you’ll be able to preserve the pockets closed with the Velcro attachments and ignore them altogether.

No matter you wish to deliver, there’s in all probability a pocket to carry it. Photograph courtesy of Peak Design.

In case you merely need a huge, cavernous, well-designed duffel bag, unzip the divider separating the small entrance portion from the spacious fundamental portion to create a single huge chamber that may maintain absolutely anything.

This illustrates the numerous methods the Journey Backpack can be nice for almost anybody on the go.

Sweating the Particulars

Peak Design has included a variety of small particulars on this bag that make it perfect for vacationers. Interlocking exterior zipper straps discourage unscrupulous vacationers from swiping your gear. Attachment factors on the within offer you handy areas to strap down your objects in order that they don’t transfer round. Handles on the highest, backside, sides and again allow you to carry the Journey Backpack in no matter manner fits your wants. And all the product is simply the best dimension to suit neatly into an airplane overhead bin.

Photograph courtesy of Peak Design

The all-round construct high quality is astounding, simply as I’d count on after proudly owning two different Peak Design luggage for a number of years. And no, I’m not being paid to say this. I used to be a Okay-12 trainer for 5 years, and utterly wore out a number of luggage inthat time. Let’s simply say I can inform a cheaply made bag after I see one, and the Journey Backpack is something however.

The outer shell is created from thick Kodra cloth, which feels robust and durable whereas nonetheless having a level of flexibility that lets the bag squish and stretch as wanted. The primary zipper is thick and chunky, and all zippers are hidden beneath lengthy skinny flaps that, presumably, offering a level of weatherproofing and  a way of safety. An informal observer in all probability wouldn’t even see them.

Despite the fact that I wasn’t precisely light with the Journey Backpack on my highway journey, 5 days isn’t practically sufficient time to evaluate long-term sturdiness. For that I look to my On a regular basis Backpack and On a regular basis Messenger which, after years of near-daily use, barely present any indicators of wear and tear and tear. I’d count on no much less from the Journey Backpack. Admittedly a few of the interior pouches and flaps don’t have the identical diploma of thickness, nevertheless it’s nothing I’m fearful about. Peak Design merchandise have a lifetime guarantee, so if something did fail it could be taken care of by the producer. It’s good to see an organization prepared to face behind their merchandise like this.

Photograph courtesy of Peak Design

Whereas the Journey Backpack itself is very helpful, customizable and sturdy, it actually excels when paired with equipment such because the Tech Pouch, Wash Pouch, Digital camera Dice and Packing Cubes. These are elective, however extremely really helpful in case you have particular use-case eventualities in thoughts, similar to carrying cameras and lenses together with your garments and toothbrushes. These equipment are designed to suit contained in the Journey Backpack and, within the case of the Digital camera Dice, embody mounting factors and particular {hardware} to make sure minimal motion and shuffling round.

If you wish to use the Journey Backpack for carrying digicam gear, you’ll positively wish to get the elective Digital camera Dice. Photograph courtesy of Peak Design

The Digital camera Dice is particularly designed to suit the wants of people that carry cameras and lenses. It is available in three sizes – small, medium and enormous – with each utilizing Velcro dividers to create areas to carry your gear. Whereas different luggage use comparable methods, the flex-fold dividers utilized by Peak Design will be folded and reconfigured to a higher diploma than I’m used to seeing.

Aside from the Digital camera Dice, my favourite packing accent was the Tech Pouch. It assist each digital merchandise I introduced with me (apart from my iPad), and neatly stowed all my cables, chargers and recreation cartridges too. It stands upright when open, revealing all the contents and supplying you with immediate entry to something inside. The Wash Pouch is ok for holding toiletries for a single individual, however should you’re touring with a companion don’t count on the whole lot to slot in a single pouch.

The Digital camera Dice is secured in place by sturdy anchors you’ll be able to detach. However they’re a bit tough to function, and continuously inserting and eradicating the Digital camera Dice will be irritating, particularly in case you have bigger fingers.

Extra of a curiosity are the Packing Cubes, which maintain clear and soiled garments. They do a very good job, however I’m unsure they’re well worth the worth when you are able to do primarily the identical factor with a plastic bag. However to be truthful, plastic luggage aren’t made from light-weight breathable cloth, nor have they got zippers to shut them up tight.

Vacationers, Photographers, and Photographers Who Journey

At this level you could be asking what all of this has to do with pictures. In spite of everything, Peak Design has been designing straps and clips and instances and luggage for photographers because the firm was based.

However the Journey Backpack is exclusive of their lineup. Whereas it’s definitely helpful for photographers, significantly with the Digital camera Dice, it’s designed to suit the wants of anybody who finds themselves on the highway and want a sturdy, versatile, customizable answer to hold their stuff.

The 45L Journey Backpack in comparison with my 35L On a regular basis Backpack, with a DSLR and 70-200 lens for scale.

If this sounds such as you, and also you commonly carry cameras, lenses, filters, spare batteries, small tripods and different objects, you’ll be happy with the Journey Backpack offering you additionally purchase the Digital camera Dice. However should you want a bag particularly designed to hold digicam gear to gigs, or only a versatile all-in-one carrying answer, the Journey Backpack will not be for you. For these conditions you may want one thing smaller, such because the On a regular basis Backpack or one other bag that isn’t fairly so cumbersome.

And therein lies the rub. Whereas the Journey Backpack is an excellent product, it’s exhausting to unequivocally suggest this bag as a result of its usefulness relies on your expectations and the way you employ its many options. In case you’re regularly on the transfer and want to move numerous digicam gear, garments, electronics, and even on a regular basis objects then the Peak Design Journey Backpack will certainly fit your wants. It surpasses virtually each different small suitcase, backpack and carry-on baggage – after which some. I can’t consider a state of affairs the place the Journey Backpack wouldn’t be perfect in case your aim  includes touring.

Photograph courtesy of Peak Design

As a day by day multipurpose bag for schlepping cameras, lenses, lighting, garments, paperwork, laptops or anything of that nature, one other product would extra doubtless fit your wants. It’s sheer dimension precludes it from being a stable answer for college kids. And although the highest snaps to scale back its total dimension, it’s nonetheless too huge for photographers who want to move just a few cameras and lenses round city. However in case you have a lot of digicam gear the Journey Backpack, mixed with a large-sized Digital camera Dice (which nearly takes up the backpack’s whole out there packing house), might be the answer you want.

One other difficulty is the worth, and I’d be the primary to confess the Journey Backpack isn’t the most affordable choice in the marketplace. The MSRP for the backpack alone is $300, and that doesn’t embody any pouches, digicam cubes or perhaps a rain fly, all of which may drive up the associated fee considerably. In case you’re used to carrying your garments and digicam objects round in a $30 duffel bag, you would possibly balk on the concept of spending ten instances as a lot for one thing that, in some methods, isn’t a lot totally different.

Snaps on the prime enable the bag to shrink in dimension, nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly massive and cumbersome for on a regular basis utilization.

However if you see how the Journey Backpack is a lot extra than a duffel bag, together with the standard of the supplies, the care and a focus to element, and the best way it’s designed particularly to fulfill the wants of busy individuals on the go, you would possibly suppose twice. After I take into consideration the methods my On a regular basis Backpack and my spouse’s On a regular basis Messenger have come by way of for us through the years whereas displaying hardly any indicators of wear and tear, and evaluate it to our many luggage which have disintegrated, damaged or fallen aside, the worth of a Peak Design product begins to make extra sense.

I’m a giant fan of the Journey Backpack, and I hope you’ll be able to see why. In case you’re regularly on the highway or within the air, this bag will fit your wants impeccably, particularly when utilized in tandem with the Digital camera Dice, Tech Pouch, Wash Pouch and Packing Cubes. I’ve a closet stuffed with duffels and suitcases to hold issues on journeys. But when I needed to decide one bag for my journey wants, it could definitely be this one.

Sturdiness: 5/5

Flexibility: 5/5

Value: 4/5

General Ranking: 5/5




Simon Ringsmuth

Assessment Date

Reviewed Merchandise

Peak Design Journey Backpack

Creator Ranking


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