Who needs a backpack?
I used to be the kind of person that thought I never needed a bag or backpack. I carried light and didn’t have anything I needed to take with me, other than keys, wallet, pens, multi-tool, flashlight… Okay, it seems like a lot, but it all fits within my large jeans pockets. But what if I’m not wearing the jeans, or I have extra things I need to carry? Oh, I’ve been blessed with functioning hands, so it’s fine, right?
So I thought.
I began carrying water more often, which was fine: just carry it in a hand. But then I got a Steam Deck. How will I port that portable device? With my other hand? Now I’m out of hands. What if I want to carry my jacket since the weather improved? Or take an umbrella with me? Or open a door? Fend off a pigeon? I can’t grow more hands. It would be cool if I could. Though I would probably be experimented on by the government.
An alternative to governmental experimentation
I thought it was time to get a bag. My criteria were simple: an area for a decently sized water bottle, enough pockets and pouches to hold all the various small things I usually had on my person, and enough large volume storage for a jacket + my other stuff should I ever need to forego pants pockets. Hopefully I still have pants and only lost the pockets.
While this criteria was simple to match in theory, I also decided the bag should be decently well built and durable. This decision was quickly made after I saw the plethora of cheapo bags on Amazon available direct from places with equally cheapo labor.
Naturally, this would not do. A mounting desire as I searched for the bag, to have it be from a long-standing and reputable company—this added yet another requirement to the supposedly simple list. Though, this would greatly increase the chances whatever warranty the bag had would be backed, aside from a general increase in the trustworthiness of the company.
I don’t even remember how I managed to stumble upon the Everyday backpack, and I surely had never heard of “Peak Design”, but it was… Oh, it was…
Gimmick at first sight
Open from the sides? Weird clasp thing on the top? Super long marketing video going over its features? I was not impressed, and initially wrote it off.
But as I kept looking, I just couldn’t find anything that stood out to me. I wanted a bag that was easy to open, pack, and unpack; something that wasn’t too bulky; preferably weatherproof or at least resistant… The requirements just kept growing.
And the bag I had previously eschewed started to look more and more appealing.
The gimmicks are nice
After I saw that they had a used marketplace that had the bag I wanted (30L Charcoal) at a $70 discount, I took the plunge. The bag was “PD Certified” and arrived quickly and in excellent condition, with only a bit of breaking in present. Came with all accessories also in excellent condition.
I was immediately interested in the gimmicks. Rather, they quickly began to feel less like the gimmicks I thought they would be, and I found practical uses for all of them. I have since fallen in love with the side access, MagLatch, FlexFold dividers, Anchors, side pocket for my water bottle, and every other feature this thing came with. There isn’t a single feature that I don’t use, aside from maybe the external carry straps. Usually I am not so overloaded that I need to use them, but it’s nice knowing I have the option.
Lots of pockets
There is so much compartmentalized storage in this thing despite the compact size, and the modular nature of the FlexFold dividers even makes it personalizable. I honestly had a hard time coming to grips with just how many pockets and slip pouches this thing had. Off the top of my head, I think there is something like 15 different internal compartments that you can hock stuff, and most of these compartments are kept closed with either a zipper (lower side pockets) or magnets (everything but the main laptop compartment/cable pouch).
Don’t even get me started on the side access. As a backpack plebian that had only ever experienced the classic top-loading bag, this was a huge shocker for me, and just as shockingly useful. You can swivel the bag around a shoulder and easily unzip one of the sides while it stays on your body. I can access most everything in the bag—even stuff I’ve loaded in the top—all without taking it off. This was definitely one of the main draws for me.
The FlexFold dividers are attached with Velc— Ahem, non-trademarked, unencumbered hook & loop material to the front and back of the inside of the bag. The hook side is on the divider, and the loop side is very soft, so you don’t have to worry about scratching anything.
The dividers can be set up in any way you can imagine, from making a small pocket attached to the front or back that you could slip yet another tablet or even small netbook in, to modular side-facing fold-out compartments that can have stuff underneath them sitting in the middle of the bag (like how I have it now), to a long void down the middle that you access from the top, to splitting the bag down the middle and using the side access for most everything.
You seriously have a lot of options for such a portable bag, and it’s quick to take out and reseat the dividers to change things up. Without even taking out any of the dividers, I can easily pop out the topmost one and give myself some extra space where my Deck normally sits.
And I can split this area into two or even three new compartments in seconds.
Is that not just the coolest? Would you not agree that we have reached Peak Design?
But wait, there’s more
Did I mention this thing has carry handles on the side? And comes with a stretchy key lanyard? Sternum strap? Magnetic luggage bag passthrough? Swiveling mounts for the shoulder straps for easy equipping? All with a lifetime warranty?
So many features are bound to be divisive
Now, that isn’t to say this bag or the other bags in the Everyday line are for everyone. I spent a lot of time talking about the side access and FlexFold dividers because they are my favorite features of the bag, and the ones I think would give the most benefit. But if not just those, rather all of the features on offer really inspire no creative solutions in your head to your packing problems, or if you just want a bag that opens and closes and find anything more annoyingly suplerfluous, you probably won’t get much out of the Everyday line. And that’s fine.
Actually, if you like the style but hate the bag for its features, there are alternatives in a similar shape, like the Miles Laptop Backpack:
Really, if YouTube videos are anything to go by, some people just don’t seem to get on with its features from what I’ve seen. It’s definitely a different kind of bag, that’s for sure. But when people don’t like it, they seem to really not like it.
So many features are bound to have problems
The Everyday isn’t perfect either, for as much good as I have to say about it. It’s clear the main volume and the dividers were a big focus, because the laptop sleeve is a bit lacking in comparison. That isn’t to say it’s lacking in gimmicks, since it has a two pocket design and a free-floating bottom with adjustable depth, so any laptop can be made to sit toward the the top, ready to take out. It also has an additional cable pouch that bleeds out into the main volume of the bag, giving you some extra expandable storage.
Rather, the sleeve is very tight and difficult to dig into, so thicker laptops may not fit well and might be hard to stow or pull out, especially if the rest of the bag is full. And the expandable pouch on the front can be easily compressed down and made next to impossible to get into if you overload the main storage.
It’s still worth it
But for those whom have problems that would be solved by using the features on offer—and don’t have a huge laptop/tablet/portable monitor/whatever—I cannot recommend this backpack enough.
(Bottle pictured is the new Coldest shaker. I bought it to go with the bag, it’s about the biggest bottle that will easily fit in the side pouches. I don’t use it for its shaker feature, just as a really great insulated water bottle. context/ideas/blog)
I honestly feel like I cannot do it justice. Just watch the feature overview video, yes the very same one I initially complained about, and let your heart of hearts decide. (It’s telling you you need it.)