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Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13-inch V2

The Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13-inch V2 is sleek, light, smart and comfortable... it also has some very clever features

(Image: © Rod Lawton)

Our Verdict

The Peak Design Everyday Messenger is a bit of an icon in the world of camera messenger bag design. It looks as smart as a briefcase, but it packs in as much camera gear as any regular shoulder bag. There are so many clever design touches it's hard to take them all in straight away. So is it the best bag ever? Nearly, but not quite. It has a couple of features and quirks that might not suit everyone.

For

  • Surprisingly high capacity
  • Flexible internal organization
  • Lots of pockets and cubbyholes

Against

  • The lid is the only closure
  • Smaller items can rattle around

The Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13-inch V2 is a redesign of the original V1 bag, with a number of improvements. It has a sleeker, lighter design, new internal and external storage pockets, improved laptop and document capacity, better exterior zips and new strap hoops.

Peak Design products tend to live up to their name, with countless smart design touches that show real ingenuity, and with a dash of style which, let’s face it, we don’t always expect to see in a camera bag.

We tested the 13-inch version of this bag, but there’s also a 15-inch version for people with a bigger laptop. You can get the Everyday Messenger 13-inch V2 in black or light grey (‘Ash’) finish.

Specifications

Design: Shoulder/messenger bag
Max external dimensions: 410×170×300mm
Max internal dimensions: 350×130×260mm
Weight: 1,210g
Laptop size: 13-inch
Extras: Anchor link key tether, Cord Hook carry straps

Design and usability

It looks pretty slim from the outside, but you can get a lot in this bag. We packed in a mid-size DSLR and kit lens plus four more lenses, two either side. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

This is one smart-looking bag. You could take it on an office commute or into a board meeting with a big of swagger instead of trying to hide it under the table. 

The first version of this bag even had an expanding front pocket for all your cables, pens, portable drives and other office paraphernalia, but that’s been taken away to make the bag slimmer and neater. It’s a shame (for compulsive pen organisers, ahem), but it does make this a much better camera bag because it doesn’t get as stuffed and ‘bloated’ as the old one when you pack things in every pocket.

The Everyday Messenger 13-inch V2 is still pretty snug. With a 13-inch MacBook Pro in the rear compartment, you won’t be able to get a lot of documents in the compartment behind it.

The main compartment is very efficient, though. Peak Design’s ‘FlexFold’ partitions have a bit more padding than before, so as well as offering the same fast and quickly configured internal partitioning, they make your kit feel a bit more cosseted. However, while bigger full frame cameras and lenses will fit very nicely, smaller APS-C cameras and mirrorless systems will rattle around a bit. There's almost too much space. A third FlexFold divider might be the answer.

You get two of these FlexFold dividers as standard and they can be fitted vertically for taller gear and lenses, or the top sections can be folded out to make half-height ‘shelves’ for a down-facing DSLR or separate compartments for two lenses stacked on top of each other.

There’s a front pocket (smaller than before) for small stationery items or memory cards, two zippered side pockets for keys (there’s a key loop for extra security), phones and wallets, and another zippered compartment in the inner lid surface.

The Everyday Messenger does not have a zippered main compartment – everything is secured by closing the lid. However, you can put smaller items in the pockets for security, and nothing big like a camera or a lens is going to fall out. The lid’s ‘MagLatch’ catch and quick operation mean that what you lose in theoretical security you definitely gain in quick access.

Verdict

Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 V2

You can slide in a 13-inch laptop in the rear sleeve and some (thin) documents behind it. There's also a 15-inch version. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

The Everyday Messenger 13-inch V2 is not especially cheap or especially capacious for a shoulder bag, but its finish, its design and its feeling of durability are absolutely first rate. You keep on discovering neat little bits of design, like the half-hidden elasticated  internal side pockets for water bottles and other bits and bobs, and the super slick lever-buckle shoulder strap adjustment. And those FlexFold internal dividers are just brilliant.

The Everyday Messenger 13-inch V2 is not all style and no substance. There is a lot of style, certainly, but a lot of substance too. Its internal design does feel a better match for larger camera gear than today's smaller mirrorless systems, though.

Read more:

These are the best messenger and shoulder bags right now
How to choose the best camera bag
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