Everyday Backpack 20L by Peak Design
Let me call out a few obvious facts first: there are a lot of camera bags. And none of them are perfect. Choosing a camera bag, like choosing a camera, is a personal choice and about finding the right combination of trade offs depending on your needs.
I’ve owned and used the 20L Everyday Backpack (V1) for 5 years now. This bag has gone around the world with me and on plenty of photo excursions along the way. And while I’ve been tempted numerous times to pick up something new over the years, nothing on paper or in practice has bested this bag yet.
One of my favorite differentiating features is that it opens from the top as well as from both sides. This not only gives me optimal flexibility in how I organize my camera and gear, but this also gives me easy access to everything without taking the bag off my shoulder. Swinging it around one shoulder lets me quickly zip open the side flap and grab my camera. This is a HUGE win!
Many camera bags, including the previous one I used, offer a full back opening. While this can be nice at times, in most cases, I don’t like that I have to take off my backpack and place it face down on the floor just to get something out.
Having thick and sturdy handles on both sides as well as the top has also been an ergonomic game changer. Whether I’m pulling the bag out of a trunk, an airplane overhead compartment, or just carrying it between shooting locations, I’ve appreciated the ability to lift and hold the bag from multiple sides. Upside down is literally the only wrong way to hold this bag.
The rest of the features that make this bag a great everyday camera bag are similar to many of the best examples today. An infinite amount of pockets, a completely customizable divider system, a safe and secure way to transport your gear; the list goes on and on.
The V1 has been my everything backpack for 5+ years. The only thing stopping me from upgrading to the V2 is the fact that this one is still going strong — a real testament to its build quality.