A sling bag is the ideal photography bag for so many people. A good sling bag is small, light and comfortable to carry the necessities. Because of these qualities, it is often the preferred camera bag for street and travel photographers. For those of us with a lot more gear to carry, a sling bag is still a great option to easily carry what you need when you do not need more than a couple lenses and don't need to carry a tripod, flash or anything else that requires a big bag. The second bag I ever bought was a cheap sling bag that quickly became my favorite bag for every outing that did not require a tripod. Unfortunately, the first sling bag I bought was cheap, poorly designed bag and has been relegated to the garage for the last three or four years. Since that time, I have instead relied on using holster bags, which are similar, but usually don't have as much room, or carrying my big backpack when I really did not need it. Finally fed up with the constant compromise of either too small, holster, or too big, backpack or messenger, I decided to give the Peak Design Everyday Sling a try. I already have a lot of Peak Design gear and have been happy with almost everything from them so it made sense to try out the sling bag. You can see my reviews of several other Peak Design bags, straps, clips and other products here, here, here, here and here.
The Peak Design Everyday Sling is a sleek looking bag available in two sizes, 5L and 10L, and two colors, black or gray. I opted for the black 5L because I thought it would be the perfect size and am very happy with my choice. I shoot the Fuji X system and it has been perfect for my gear, but I honestly think it has enough space, it could easily fit a larger system as long as you are not planning on carrying big lenses. The bag has one big open pocket with two flexible dividers, creating three distinct areas for gear. The main pocket also has a seperate pocket where you can put a small tablet, a small pocket for your phone and the flap that unzips has a decent-sized zippered pocket as well. Finally, there is a zippered pocket on the outside front of the bag.
What I Love About the Bag
The size and fit of this bag is perfect to me. The bag can fit a surprising amount for how small it is. There is absolutely no wasted space in this bag and the profile of the bag fits snug against your body to really minimize its impact in terms of adding bulk.
The strap on this bag is great. It is comfortable, sleek and easy to adjust. This is not surprising to me as I love my two Peak Design camera straps (the leash is my current go-to strap). The bag slides easily from front to back and can be tightened against the body for hiking or running without inconvenience and easily loosened to access your gear quickly. I have run into virtually no inconveniences in wearing this bag or accessing my gear in it. Speaking of ease of use, I love that this bag can be worn on the waist. Although nobody wants to be seen with a fanny pack, wearing a bag like this on your waist can be comfortable and efficient. It takes all the weight off your shoulders, keeps the bag tight in place, and allows for the fastest access to your gear inside of the bag. While I don't wear it like this often, it is awesome for those occasions, like when I am hiking or in the middle of shooting and need to access my gear often, where I want to wear it on my waist rather than over my shoulder.
The weatherproof nylon shell of this bag is a big perk for me as well. I believe it is the same material as you will find in the other Peak Design bags, which I have enjoyed using in rough weather. The bag is not waterproof or storm proof by any means, but I have never been afraid of my gear getting wet or dirty when I am carrying this bag in rain or hiking outdoors our lounging at the beach. The quality on this bag is simply top notch. The materials are great and I have no concern at all about this bag lasting forever.
If you use a Peak Design Capture Clip, you will love that there is an easily attachable place for it on the side of the bag. This is great for travel and street photography as you always have your camera out and even more-quickly accessible.
Peak Design incorporates their FlexFold dividers in this bag. These dividers are without a doubt the best dividers you will find in any bag. What is so great about these dividers is that the tops and sides can be folded down to best fit your unique gear configuration. I have found this especially useful in the sling bag as I can fit a lens or filters in one of the dividers and then fold it down and let the body sit over that compartment. Because of this, there is absolutely no wasted space in the bag and you can fit a lot more gear than in comparably sized sling bags.
What I don't Love About the Bag
A problem I have with all sling/messenger bags is that they distribute the weight of the bag in one location, making the bag less comfortable to carry than a backpack. While it is not as big of an issue with a small sling bag like this, it is something I do not love. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around it. I have used messenger bags that add a waist strap and, while that makes it a little more comfortable to carry, it gets in the way when you don't need it (most of the time) and isn't feasible for a small bag like this. As such, it is a necessary evil and not really a big deal as you can just switch shoulders as needed or go fanny-pack style.
The thing most people will struggle with on this bag is going to be the price tag. While $99.95 is not unusual for a high-end sling bag, it is a decent chunk of cash for a small bag that is a secondary convenience bag for most users. If you are a photographer where this is going to be your main bag, the price tag is easier to accept. Even if it is just going to be an unnecessary, but much-appreciated, addition to your normal bag, I think the quality and functionality of this bag justify the difference in price with a low-end sling bag.
If you are a street or travel photographer, I feel comfortable highly recommending this sling bag to you. The quality of construction and ease of use will make it worth the money as you will love using it and it will last a long time. If you are just looking for a sling bag to use once in a while, then it is really going to depend on how much you are comfortable spending on a sling bag. If you just want something cheap that you only plan to use infrequently, there is probably a better option, but if you can afford the greater quality and better design, then this is the bag to go for. Personally, I love having a good quality sling bag for everyday use, those times when I am going out with the family and want to carry my camera with me or when I am headed to an interesting location, but photography is not the purpose. I have also enjoyed carrying this bag with me when I travel. Even though I have my big backpack with me, I like to have the sling because I never go out without my camera on vacation, but I don't want to carry my backpack to dinner or out on an afternoon walk exploring a city. On those occasions, I leave the backpack in the hotel and just carry the necessities in the sling bag. The sling bag is great because I can carry my camera, an extra lens or two, my platypod and ballhead, extra batteries and memory cards, and a snack for the kids or a spare diaper. If you are anything like me, the Everyday Sling will be a great addition to your bag collection.