Why own any other bag? – Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13L V2 Bag review

If you’ve read my review for the Everyday Sling 3L V2 Bag, then you’ll know I’m a huge fan of satchels, messenger bags, sling bags — the like. Be it the simplistic design or how they allow easy access to your bag’s contents; whatever the reason, they’re perfect for me. So, as a follow-up to the Everyday Sling Bag review, Peak Design reached out to test a much larger bag for gamers. How does 10 liters of extra volume sound?

Just like the Everyday Sling Bag, the Messenger Bag is weatherproof, made from 100% recycled post-consumer material, Climate Neutral certified, and boasts a 400D nylon canvas shell. The difference with the Messenger Bag is that it uses a MagLatch mechanism for the main pocket (I’ll touch on this soon) and the base is reinforced with a 900D waterproof bottom liner. That means if your bag gets soaked on the outside, there’s more protection to keep your electronics safe on the inside.

For now, that’s enough about protection. By now, you should know Peak Design doesn’t mess around with the quality of their bags. And that’s not just limited to the nylon shell — there’s so much more that Peak Design has incorporated into this bag that I didn’t think was a big deal until I tried it.

Can’t believe I fell in love with a locking mechanism.

For one, the MagLatch mechanism. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t noticed bags innovating on something as basic as the lock design. Sure, some try to hide the zippers underneath the shell to protect it from thieves, or others incorporate buckles onto the flip lid, but just when you think everything has been tried, tested, and produced, in comes the MagLatch. It’s a two-stage process, where the latch hooks onto metal clips and is further secured by a magnetic patch woven into the shell. What that means is you’ll easily notice when someone is tugging on your bag to steal what’s inside, while for you it’s even easier to open. That added peace of mind means I don’t need to worry nearly as much about thieves.

If you’re a traveler (or were a traveler, thanks Covid-19!) then you can slip the bag through the luggage pass-through and onto a rolling suitcase. There are two FlexFold dividers provided that will allow you to secure your items so they don’t roll around in your bag. I’m currently using it to secure my KeepCup to prevent it from spilling inside my bag (again, another generous design choice for users). Plus, if you like pockets, you’ll be glad to know this bag has one in just about every corner, giving you even more space to keep your stuff secure. There’s a padded 13” laptop sleeve, hidden pockets, quick-stash side pockets — just name a kind of pocket and it probably has it.

Lots and lots of space.

Just like the Everyday Sling Bag, this one comes with two cord hook straps that attach to the bag to further secure it to your body or to secure extra equipment to the bag like, say, a tripod. The other addition comes by way of the added Anchor Link key tether. This sits on the right side of the bag (if you were to look at it from the MagLatch), and allows your keys to clip directly onto it. The Anchor Link can also be easily disconnected from the bag — just push the Link’s button, slide it out, and in a matter of moments you’ve got it unclipped.

There are only a few things I have an issue with this bag, and one is about the bag’s marketing. Does the lock design increase the bag’s volume by up to 6L? Or is it 3L? The website doesn’t confirm which is the right answer, but there’s only one choice and from my understanding it’s 3L. While that’s not an inconvenience for me (since I don’t even come close to filling this thing up), it is worth noting.

I believe it’s “up to 3L”.

Speaking of volume, it’s crazy how much space this bag offers. I can carry my Nintendo Switch, my Canon 760D, a laptop, an iPad, over-ear headphones, a PS4 controller, and there’s still room to store some extra stuff. So, being a man of science I tried to see how much stuff I could fit into it…

So I tried a PS5.

Did I really need to test that? Probably not.

Yeah… it was pretty clear that that behemoth of a console was never gonna fit. And while I don’t think you’ll find any reason to carry around your ps5, the reason why I mention this very – ahem – “scientific analysis,” was to see just how much it could carry. There’s no bigger entertainment console other than a PS5, and no peripheral comes closer to that size, either. So putting all that into perspective, there’s nothing you basically can’t fit that you would require for your day-to-day needs.

As a follow up to the Everyday Sling 3L V2 Bag review, one of the only problems I had with that bag was that the sling wasn’t cut-proof. Although the sling on the Messenger Bag is wider than the one on the Sling Bag, the problem still exists. The only way to improve the design would be to weave thin metal strips through the sling. Still, it’s important to note that given the size of the bag, you’ll likely notice it slipping off your shoulder a lot sooner than the tiny 3L Sling Bag. And just like the Sling Bag, the nylon shell largely appears slash-proof, so fret not about your belongings being stolen that way.

There’s a lot of fabric and metal to slice through on the shell.

The last criticism I have is the placement of the Anchor Link key tether. While it’s perfectly fine for me — as the bag sits on my right side — it’s going to be irritating for people who carry it on their left side. The Anchor Link tethers onto a hook inside one of the quick-stash compartments located on the side of the bag, while the other side compartment is empty. I know, it’s nitpicky of me, but it’s still something you should know about its overall design.

I’d like to note how much effort has gone into designing the bag. Peak Design has definitely listened to their customers in designing the second version of the Messenger Bag, and even though I haven’t tested the first version, the changes are abundantly clear. The list below details all the differences between the two:

• Significant aesthetic refinements, giving it a sleeker profile
• Less bulk and more efficient construction, making it 24% lighter
• Added external carry strap system with Cord Hook connectors
• Overhauled shoulder strap design for better comfort + adjustment, & elimination of slippage
• More functional organization via new internal and external storage pockets
• Increased laptop and document carry capacity
• Removed outer access zips and front access panel in favor of cleaner profile and MagLatch access
• New UltraZip external zippers, vastly more durable than conventional zips
• New outer fabric is 100% recycled and Bluesign certified (all colors except Black)

There’s no denying that this Messenger Bag is the best dang messenger bag you could ever own. It’s designed for its user in mind, and that’s clear from the design changes from V1 to V2. The bag boasts plenty of space, with plenty of compartments and design choices implemented to secure your belongings even further. If I’ve ever had a doubt to go back to a backpack, then the Everyday Messenger Bag has proven why that’s a terrible idea.



Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13L V2 Bag

Review Guidelines

Peak Design's Everyday Messenger 13L V2 Bag reinforces the best parts of messenger bags and improves on its worst. The only grievances come by way of it having only one location for the key tether and the sling not being cut-proof. But, that is largely overshadowed by how much effort Peak Design has put into designing this bag. It’s designed with its user in mind, with many choices implemented to make this bag both ergonomic, sturdy, and reliable. There’s nothing I could recommend more if you’re on the hunt for the best everyday bag.

With a deep interest in writing, Ben followed that into a Journalism degree. As an avid lover for gaming, he is constantly expanding his library with console, PC, and VR games. He's obsessed with stealth games and loves hunting down the smallest of details inserted by devs.

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