Peak Design's Updated Everyday Messenger Is an Alternative, Not an Upgrade

Evaluation:
9/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Lukewarm garbage from Sorta
  • 3 – Highly imperfect design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Excellent, but not the best in its class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $ 220

Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2
Niki Reed

The film Extraterrestrial (1979) is great. As Aliens (1986). They are very different films: the first resolutely of horror, the second resolutely of action. Which is better? It depends on who you ask, or even the mood you are in. The same goes for the redesigned Everyday Messenger from Peak Design. The original was excellent, as was the new, but in different ways.

Here’s what we like

  • Improved storage capacity
  • Excellent comfortable strap
  • Stronger magnetic latch
  • Stronger material

And what we don’t do

  • Fewer options for smaller storage
  • No access when the shutter is closed
  • Less angular appearance

On the technical side, I should give the point to the new design. It is more comfortable to wear, especially under load, and the organization of its interior is significantly improved. The already excellent magnetic locking system has been rationalized for faster opening and closing, and the whole bag is more resistant.

But some of the unique features of the original have disappeared, in particular the ability to access the contents of the main pocket without opening the entire flap. It also seems less distinctive, less angular and more round. This makes a better bag overall, but less interesting.

Modified design

While the original Everyday Messenger distributes its storage with a laptop pocket accessible via a zipper at the back, this concerns a huge storage bucket under the main flap. This is where the laptop pocket (with a second interior pocket for tablets) and the master bedroom are located. It’s big enough for a 13 ″ MacBook Pro (12 inches wide, 0.6 inches thick), so let your laptop guide you. On each side, you can see stretch pockets ideal for a small bottle of water or a sunglasses case.

main pocket for laptop and tablet
Niki Reed

There are two additional zippered sections, one inside the flap itself and one at the front, replacing the front membrane organizer. Both are roughly the size of a phone, but the front pocket also includes a few small storage pockets ideal for camera cards. (This is primarily intended as a photographer’s bag.)

Bag full of content.
Niki Reed

Another thing to mention before continuing: the laptop sleeve now has large, narrow pockets on each side. I would call them “pen pockets” if they weren’t that long. I do not know what they are intended for.

On each side of the main bag, you have side zip pockets. They are quite small – I had a hard time putting my phone inside. There is a clip inside both for the included keychain and on the rigid top you can attach the unique Peak Design camera clip. These have been reversed for access from the rear (or side, if the bag is hanging from a shoulder) instead of the front.

Side pockets with key fob.
Niki Reed

On the bottom (hard to see on our all black examination unit) is the extra hard bottom material, 900D nylon against 400D waterproof nylon on the rest of the bag. Head back and you’ll see what another laptop pocket looks like, but it’s really a pass-through strap for the handle of your rolling luggage. Very useful.

External straps
Two straps included can be applied to 10 different interior and exterior loops. Niki Reed

You see these little curls? These are for the brand new exterior strapping system. If you can’t put something on the internal capacity of 13 liters, or even in the main 16-liter pocket with the magnetic closure on its larger setting, you can attach things with the two straps and clips included. The plastic tabs lock in place with surprising security and can be tightened for difficult items. They’re great for things like tripods that are a little too large to fit in the main pocket. There are four external and six internal straps.

Featured features

The biggest asset of the bag is the MagLatch closure system, which allows an almost instantaneous opening and closing of the main pocket of the bag. This improved version is even stronger and safer without losing speed. It seems that the whole bag was designed around it.

Main ion flap of the Maglatch system.
The MagLatch system is even better on this improved design. Niki Reed

This is good, because the large zipper at the top of the flap, which previously allowed quick access to the inside of the bag without opening it completely, has disappeared. The same goes for the small quick-grip pocket that was perfect for your phone. I suspect that Peak Design has received feedback from users and has found that this feature is not used very often.

Another carryover from the original design is the strap, with a unique adjustment system that facilitates changes on the fly of its length. But there are some subtle improvements here. The strap rotation points now attach to the back of the bag instead of the sides, making it easier to sit on when you walk or cycle. It also has small hidden pockets to store the excessive length of the strap on the main adjustment points. The expanded luggage straps also act as a chest strap if you need more stability.

Back strap pockets.
Niki Reed

Peak Design has kept its innovative interior separation system. The bag comes with two folding origami-inspired dividers that can reconfigure the main compartment in different ways, thanks to three foldable pocket or shelf positions on each.

Oragami interior dividers.
These interior dividers can be moved thanks to a strong velcro and folded in three different positions. Niki Reed

These are even more versatile thanks to their velcro bag-style fasteners, so that the dividers can be placed almost anywhere inside the bag. Of course, you can delete them completely if you want maximum storage.

Improvements and disadvantages

The biggest functional change to this bag is to move the laptop and tablet compartment from the outside to the inside. It’s also considerably larger – I can now put my much larger ThinkPad T450 in it, which was impossible on the old 13-inch bag.

Everyday Messenger V1, left and V2, right.
Everyday Messenger V1, left and V2, right. Niki Reed

I have two thoughts on this. I can see that it makes sense if you carry your laptop as a secondary item, as a sort of backup for your phone and other equipment (mindset of a photographer). But for someone who wants faster access to a computer more or less all the time, that means opening the main shutter much more often and making sure it stays well organized so that access to this location is not blocked.

I’m also not a fan of the redesigned little pockets. There is no quick plug for my phone, or at least none that does not require a zipper for security reasons. The side pockets are inverted and use zippers instead of magnets, and are much smaller, again, which makes me rely more on this larger main interior.

Baggage handling loop.
Niki Reed

The modifications to these side pockets also make the bag more ovoid and less angular, losing a bit the attractive attractive shape of the original design. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but I appreciated the almost polygonal aspect of the original. This may be less of a problem on the gray version of the bag, which has more offset accents to give it a defined shape.

Call it same

The updated design exchanges flexibility in small pockets for faster access to a larger main pocket. I’m not going to say it’s the wrong decision, and it certainly has advantages on paper in terms of carrying capacity and comfort.

But if I could take the upgrades from the strap, magnetic latch, and external strap latches, and bolt them onto my old Peak Design bag, I would, even sacrificing a little carrying capacity to do so. It is a situation “the grass is always greener”.

Everyday Messenger V2, left and V1, right.
Niki Reed

That’s not to say there’s nothing wrong with the new Everyday Messenger. It’s still head and shoulders above almost every other bag I’ve used, including some of the competition at this premium price point ($ 220 for the 13 liter version). But after making the comparisons with the original model, I’m glad it’s always easy to find for readers who wish.

Here’s what we like

  • Improved storage capacity
  • Excellent comfortable strap
  • Stronger magnetic latch
  • Stronger material

And what we don’t do

  • Fewer options for smaller storage
  • No access when the shutter is closed
  • Less angular appearance

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