Gear Thoughts. Peak Design everyday backpack 20L

A week with Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L

A couple weeks ago, I went ahead and purchased Peak Design's Everyday Backpack 20L from Allen's Camera.  Now if you really want to know, I now have five camera bag/transportation items- my Filson Magnum, ONA Camps Bay backpack, Thinktank International, and my very first one, Domke bag.  If you follow the link on the ONA, it is on my ebay page selling it for $200. 

Here is my reasoning for going with the Peak Design, even though with all the gear in it is about as weighty as the gear in the ONA- ease of getting to my gear.  With the ONA, since the gear storage is at the base, you can only access it when you put the bag down, unbuckle the top flap, and then unzip.  Then do vice versa to close it all up.  It is fine if you are just carrying from spot to spot.  But if you plan on going around and photographing, that issue may come up.  Now that may seem trivial, but it gets pretty annoying.  With the Peak Design, it allows you to sling it to the side and open the gear from the side, which cuts down that process down by one or two steps. 

The second reason, is that being a biker (I got a mountain bike, not a motorcycle!) the ONA is way too boxy leading to being an issue biking with.  With the Peak Design, it has a more streamlined design making it easier to bike with. 

But.  The ONA is a beautiful bag.  Its material, waxed canvas, is one that I really like.   More so than leather, it is true.  I'd rather wear my tin cloth Filson Short Cruiser than a leather jacket.  Well not that I have a leather jacket..  The 20L, is nice, but if in the waxed canvas material I would have been hands down favorite. Still its material is water resistant and durable, so it's not without its functionality. 

With all my gear inside, a 5D4, 5D3, 35L, 50mm, 85L, and an ipad, in both bags, the weight dispersion is about the same.  Though I felt the straps on the Peak Design was more padded for it.  I don't want to know what these bags would feel like if I had a 15in laptop in there.  That said, I don't know how heavy the bags would have been since I haven't tried putting my old 15 MBP in.  I use my ipad for travel. 

So my choice between the bags is pretty obvious- the Everyday.  I still love my Filson, which is my go to bag for my minimalist exploring.  But if I wanted to carry the rest of my gear it would have to be the Everyday.  That's not to say the ONA is terrible, it isn't.  It just doesn't suit my needs.  So please buy it.  I am selling it for more than half it's cost- $200. 

First Assignment on Philadelphia Magazine and other stuff

So over the weekend Philadelphia's September issue came out.  It is the issue where I got my first assignment from them photographing Wm. Mulherin Son's.  Go pick up an issue! 

My next assignment with them will be out in October for the Best of Bar's photo essay.  Look forward to that.  I can't wait to share the rest of the work here and or on my exposure, but I am on a NDA.

Other than that, I finally booked my 2nd hotel in Vietnam.  My plan is land in HCMC and stay there for two days, then fly up to Hoi An and stay for four days, then go to Hue for several days, then to Hanoi for three or so days, and then return back to HCMC before I fly home on the 28th. 

And in camera news, the Canon 5D Mark IV has been officially announced.  And to a lot of uproar to majority of the videographers out there.  As a predominantly stills shooter, this camera is definitely one that I will eventually pick up.  $3500 is pretty steep.  That along with the profoto B1 (and octabank), and fuji XT2 and its lens line up for 24-35-50 (equivalents for 35mm).  This is going to be a pretty pricey year. 

Filson Magnum Collection bag

Filson bags are made to last.  

I thought to start this piece with that one sentence to put this bag review and impressions into perspective as I delve into this impressions.

Filson teamed up with Magnum photographers- Steve McCurry and David Alan Harvey, to create these bags from photographers for photographers.  The idea was to make bags that would outlast the photographers, made to look not like a camera bag, and awesome.  


I went up to NYC right after work on Friday to pick one up.  Crazy right?  ...yes.  But, as they won't be on sale in their online store till June, I figured might as well go get one now.  Plus I am probably one of the few with them in the proverbial wild right now.  The store itself is pretty nice, small, and intimate.  Limited selection of goods for sure, but the items on sale are really well made.  I decided on getting this bag over an ONA, which I was researching prior to discovering about this Filson, because it doesn't look like a camera bag.  And I am not looking to make a fashion statement with my bag.

Of course being a food and culture photographer, I am not out in the wilderness or in trouble locations as much as magnum photographers.  Still I am in markets and food fairs photographing, so I want do not want to be noticed as a photographer.

The fabric is a densely woven canvas with a wax element in it to prevent water from going in.  It's rugged all over.


The thing with this bag, not sure what the bag name is, is that it can hold a 15in laptop, possibly an ipad as well, a camera with a lens attached, and second lens.  Smaller items like camera batteries, memory cards, and etc can fit into the side pockets.  So using this bag for day trips, or small excursions is its focus.  Though keeping your gear light is probably for the better.  

So as you might not be able to pack away all of your camera gear, this is the bag for your go to gear.  Which is fine with me as I primarily shoot with a 5D3, 50mm zeiss, and a 35L.  


The inside has a cover for the camera gear so wandering eyes won't be able to see the gear unless you leave the flap open.  

Walking around with this on, it felt really secure and snug around me.  The camera was accessible for me to pull it out when I needed to take it out.  And vice versa easy for it to go back in.  

This bag was designed and made in Seattle.  And quality is amazing!  I can't reiterate that enough!  The price tag might be the deal breaker for some.  It runs for $335 before tax.  Though that is comparable to bags from brands like ONA.  At the end of the day, the price tag, while steep, for a bag that will outlive you and keeps your gear that is worth thousands of dollars, it is worth every penny.

If interested and not near their NYC storefront go online at