My Review on Peak Design The Everyday Messenger

DSCF0581-2

I am currently having a Billingham Hadley Pro shoulder bag, ThinkTank Perception 15 backpack and a Crumpler Messenger bag to carry my camera with me for different occasions. I really don’t know why, but I had clicked the button to back the Peak Design’s kickstarter project for their Everyday Messenger Bag. Perhaps when it comes to camera bags, we are just as spoilt as ladies with their handbags… Or even worst.

DSCF0583-4

DSCF0582-3

Anyway, the bag was delivered to me in December and I have been using it often for office work and photography outings. I decided to use it a little longer before I give my verdict and review to the bag. After about 3 months with it, I think I am ready to share with you what I feel about using this bag in real life.

DSCF0584-5

DSCF0587-8

The good:

  1. Material used feels comfortable to touch, and it seems like going to last well.
  2. The “Maglatch” closure system is brilliantly designed to close the bag with ease, and to avoid gears from dropping out then the bag topples.
  3. Holds a hell lot of gears and stuff inside.
  4. Holds up to 15″ laptop and tablet, but do note that the laptop compartment is pretty slim, so bulky laptop may not fit well.
  5. Holds a tripod! I do feedbacked to the team on this request when they first started the campaign, and I’m glad that they included this features to the bag.
  6. The “Flex-fold” dividers are nice for stacking gears in the bag.
  7. Attachment for Peak Design’s Capture on the side is a nice feature, though I don’t use it often at the moment.
  8. Quick access top zippers is good for… quick access!
  9. Seems to hold up pretty well when used under drizzles.

DSCF0586-7

DSCF0585-6

The bad:

  1. The design is a little “futuristic” and may not be your cup of tea.
  2. The magnetic metal clip scratches badly after a few use, not a big issue for me, but some might get bothered by it.
  3. The shape of the bag looks odd to me when it is fully loaded with gears.
  4. I’m not a body builder and I’m pretty slim, the bag seems a little… oversized on me when it is fully loaded with gears. I would prefer the bag to be less wide in size (probably 13″ laptop size?) for more mobility, but this also means it will not hold a 15″ laptop.
  5. Somehow the bag feels a bit heavy to me even when it is empty, perhaps it is because the bag itself is pretty solid, or maybe the shoulder pad is not doing it’s job well enough.
  6. The shoulder pad is not the most comfortable one out there and certainly can be improved.
  7. The easy slider mechanism will slide off from the set position over time, which is annoying. I will need to readjust the slider from time to time.
  8. Front pocket is a little small, but it’s more than enough to hold filters, batteries and some smaller things like lenspen and charger.

thumb_IMG_6766_1024

I guess that pretty much summed up what I feel about the bag. This bag is not cheap, but I can certainly find values in it to justify for the price tag. Head to Peak Design‘s website to find out more. Till then.

Review: ThinkTank Perception 15 Backpack

Credits: Picture from ThinkTank Official Website

I have been using this bag for quite awhile… I think since early this year until now to be precise. Initially I’m looking for a bag to replace my daily working bag, preferably a camera bag, since I would like to kick start my habit of bringing out camera with me (though I still need more consistency in this regards… still need to cultivate further on this habit…). I’m looking for a bag that’s comfortable for daily use, able to carry my company laptop, some other stuffs like memo, power bank and etc. After some search, I have shortlisted a few bags, and in the end settled with this ThinkTank Perception 15 Backpack.

As a camera bag, it’s a backpack that holds up to 15” laptop, top loading of mirrorless camera body with lens attached, top loading of additional lens, accessories to be placed at the bottom of the bag, and tripod can be secured on the outside of the backpack. the material used for the bag is like nylon-canvas hybrid, it feels good with touch, and though it is not 100% water resistant, it does holds well against drizzle. I have been using this bag in the rain and though it does get wet as time goes by, the inside of the bag remains dry. Having said that, I’m not advising you to use the bag in a downpour as I doubt it will be able to withstand that amount of moisture. Not to worry though, as the bag came with a rain coat just when you need it. I travelled to Japan with this bag, and I managed to stuff the following items into my bag:
  1. Fujifilm X-T1 Camera Body
  2. Fujifilm X-Pro1 Camera Body
  3. Fujinon XF10-24mm F4 R OIS lens
  4. Fujinon XF23mm F1.4 R lens
  5. Fujinon XF56mm F1.2 R lens
  6. Fujinon XC50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS lens
  7. Additional 2 batteries
  8. Cleaning kit consist of blower, lens wipe and cleaning cloth
  9. Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod
  10. Small umbrella
  11. Power bank
  12. 7” Tablet
  13. Full size tripod secured on the outside
  14. Filter pouch with 6 screw on filters inside
Sounds like a whole lot of stuff? Yes indeed! I could have stuff in a Macbook Pro, but I choose to bring along a tablet instead for casual trip. I just selectively bring along camera and lenses that I need for the day, put into the bag and ready to go out and shoot for my trip. The padding on the shoulder straps are extremely comfortable, it makes me focus on my shooting instead of worrying the pain of the weight over my shoulder.

As a daily bag, it does what it does as a… bag. It carries laptop, charger, mouse, memo, umbrella, water bottle, power bank and so on. Due to the design of the bag as camera-loading-from-top, there’s only limited space at the bottom. Sometime I would like to stuff in thick documents and laptop at the same time, but I just couldn’t fit both into the laptop compartment. So if you carries a lot of documents, this may not be a good choice of bag for you.

As for the downside of this bag, first come to my mind will be the material used. Yes, I mentioned that I do like the material of this bag just now, but I do wish it is fully rain resistant without the need of a rain coat. And then is about the design of the bag. Since camera and lenses are loaded on the top, the bag tends to get top-heavy easily. Hence, the tendency for the bag to topple down is high. You can counter this by filling up the bottom of the bag to improve stability, but I have just get used to it and will place my bag with care to ensure it won’t topple over.

All in all, I’m very satisfied with this bag from ThinkTank and would highly recommend you to take a look at it if you are considering a camera bag that can carries a laptop for you. Now, I just need to get myself to start carrying camera more often in my bag… lol… Head over to their website for more information on the available sizes and colours. Till then.