Everyday Messenger Bag Review

I’ve spent the last couple of years rocking a Kenneth Cole Reaction leather messenger bag that I’ve used during the week for my day job as well as on the weekends when I go out to a local café to get work done. It’s treated me well over the years but has also taken a beating. Over the last month, I’ve been testing a new messenger bag from Peak Designs called the Everyday Messenger Bag. If you missed it, the Everyday Messenger Bag was Kickstarted a couple of years ago with over $4 million pledged making it the “most funded bag ever” according to Kickstarter.  Is the bag worth the hype?

Features

  • Capture Attachment Points - 2 dedicated Capture clip attachment points for fast exterior camera access
  • Quick-Access Top Zipper - Top zip allows latch-less access to main compartment
  • Secondary Quick Access Point - Front access panel area provides expandable space for smaller items
  • Color Coded Stitching - Color-coded internal pocket stitching helps keep your photography workflow organized by separating dead batteries and full storage cards.
  • Side Pockets with Anchor Attachments - 2 side pockets provide quick access to keys, lens caps and smartphones. A hidden key/ID tether with integrated Anchor Link connector is located in one of the side pockets.
  • Carry-On Approved - Approved for carry-on by all major airlines. Both sizes fit easily under airplane seats.
  • Loves Your Luggage - Use main strap or stabilizer strap to hang the Everyday Messenger from your rolling luggage for easy transport through airports.

Design

The first thing that will strike you with the Everyday Messenger Bag is its beautiful design. There’s a reason why this bag was Kickstarted with over 17,000 backers, and one of them is its beautiful design. It’s striking not only in pictures but also in person. The Everyday Messenger Bag comes in both a 13” and 15” model. Originally I was sent the 13” version but requested to switch it out for the 15” because my MacBook Air was just a little to snug in the 13” model. I’m glad I went with the bigger one anyway because it offers significantly more storage room.

The Everyday Messenger bag has a lot of design elements that were made with a photographer in mind. I’m as far from a photographer as they come. My main mode of photography is on my iPhone 7 Plus. I sold my DSLR years ago and don’t see going back anytime soon. Although I’m not the primary audience for the Everyday Messenger bag it's versatile enough to work extremely well for a variety of needs. By far my favorite feature is one of the most simple but useful design decisions Peak Design made. There are two zippers at the top of the bag that allow you to quickly get into the bag without opening the latches. Over the last month of the many times, I’ve been running late for a meeting I can open the zipper and grab my laptop quickly and move on to my meeting. It’s a simple design decision that has come in handy more times than I can count.

I tend to walk quite a bit with my bag so having a lot of options on how to carry the bag is actually really nice. You have the normal messenger bag strap which has a fair bit of cushion but also tends to get tangled up easier then I’d like. Then there’s a small briefcase style strap as well which is nice if just moving from conference room to conference room. And then there’s the ability to stabilize the bag if you’re going to go hiking or ride your bike with a strap that will go around your waist. The bag is ultra-durable and allows for a wide variety of use cases.

In the main pocket of the Everyday Messenger Bag is a big open compartment that comes with three “Flex fold dividers.” These are one of my favorite design choices that Peak Design made. They are removable (with velcro) and allow you to customize your bag to whatever design you need. For me, I kept one in which allows me to separate my laptop charging cords from my two Moleskin notebooks and iPhone battery pack. Before I’d just kind of throw it all in a big compartment but now it’s nice and organized. On a recent business trip, I added a second one back in so I could keep some external hard drives more secure.

Behind the main pocket is a separate area which has two compartments, one for a laptop and one for a tablet. As a gamer that means one is for my laptop and the other is for my Nintendo Switch which I tend to bring everywhere I go. There is a ton of padding throughout the bag but there’s a plenty in this pocket. I’ve never worried about my laptop, iPad Pro, or Nintendo Switch in those compartments while using the bag.

Testing

For the last month, I’ve used the Everyday Messenger Bag almost every single day. More than any other product I’ve reviewed I’ve put this bag through its paces. There were a couple of things that took some time for me to adjust to. First off the clasp which Peak Designs calls their "Maglatch" has four levels to latch onto. It took me a couple of days to get used to that mechanic and my wife even a month later still seems to get hung up on the mechanic. Once you get the hang of it the ability for this bag to expand and contract is incredibly useful.

In terms of pure functionality, the Everyday Messenger Bag is one of the most functional bags I’ve ever tested. This bag has so many small features that go a long way. There’s a small slot on either side of the bag that I find to be a perfect spot for my Apple Airpods and Apple iPhone. It’s a small touch, but makes emptying my pockets and using my bag for what its intended, to carry stuff, securely and yet easily accessible. Another small thing that brings me a lot of joy is organizing, and then reorganizing after that. I’ve gone through a couple of iterations using the included dividers on finding the right mix of organization and ease of use. I didn’t know that I would want this much flexibility in a bag but now that I have it I’m not sure I ever want a bag without it.

Overall

As I was sitting down to write this review at a Panera Bread in Southern California a random stranger came up to me while I was in line and said that he loved my bag and asked me where I got it. It’s not nearly the first time someone has commented on the Everyday Messenger Bag since I started using it daily a month ago. The Everyday Messenger Bag is not cheap coming in at over $200, but you get a bag that is both highly functional and also stunning to look at. Time will tell whether it stays looking that great over the years, but at least to this point, I’ve never been more excited by a Messenger Bag in my life.

I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to try and bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.