- Buyer's Guide
Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip vs Everyday Backpack V2
As a professional photographer for close to ten years, I’ve searched for the perfect pack and solution to fit both my daily and professional needs. I’ve tested dozens of packs and cases from pretty much every brand out there. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of clients on various assignments, from lifestyle shoots for Stance Socks to commercial campaigns with UFC athletes. Each project requires different gear and as I typically work remotely I tend to have a base kit consisting of a camera body, a lens or two, and a MacBook Pro on me each day. So when Peak Design announced the new Everyday Line it caught my attention.
Since 2010, no other bag company has been as successful through crowdfunding as Peak Design. In fact, they are the most funded brand EVER on Kickstarter. Their first nine campaigns have raised over $32.4 million including their original camera bag campaign that included the Everyday Backpack, Tote, and Sling, which raised over $6.5 million alone.
Despite all of the success via crowdfunding, Peak Design decided to make their new collection, called the Everyday Line V2, available immediately and directly on their website. The collection includes seven styles with improvements to the design and materials of the original Everyday line and introduces a couple of new models.
The overhaul features updates to the Everyday Backpack and the introduction of the new Everyday Backpack Zip. I’ll refer to each respectively as V2 and the Zip. These two bags are very similar in concept and execution but upon further inspection, you’ll notice some considerable differences. I had a chance to test both camera packs, the V2 30L and Zip 20L, to provide some insight into the pros and cons to let you know which pack may work best for your daily needs. For over a month I switched back and forth between the two packs to test each one out. Most of the usage through typical workdays that consist of office work, meetings, and basic shoots.
Both packs are available in two sizes, with the V2 available in 20L and 30L versions, and the Zip available in a 15L and 20L option.
Both packs are also available in four colorways each with the V2 available in black, ash, midnight, and charcoal and the Zip available in black, ash, midnight, and bone. I personally dig the midnight color as navy is a hard colorway to get right and Peak Design does just that.
Shape and Structure
The V2 has a more refined and rounded profile than its predecessor but is slightly larger in stature and more robust than the Zip.
The Zip is even more streamlined, tapered, and rounded-off. So there’s more of a ‘fashion’ vibe that might appeal to tribes into streetwear and urban daypacks.
Wrap-around zipper vs. MagLatch closure
The main difference to the exterior of the two packs is the large top flap found on the V2 that provides access into the main compartment and is sealed with a MagLatch. This can be adjusted to expand to fit more or larger items when needed. This large compartment provides easy and quick access to items such as a camera body and lens or a jacket while on the go.
The Zip features a single zipper track that goes along the perimeter of the pack and allows the pack to be open fully or in sections to access the contents.
The key difference is obviously the expansion of the V2, but also that it feels a bit more stable and provides more reassurance that gear won’t fall out with three separate compartments with their own zippered or MagLatch closure.
The zippers work very well, perhaps too well. The Zip’s single zipper makes it more susceptible to accidentally opening the pack a bit wider than expected and having gear fall out. The first time I had the Zip fully loaded I almost dropped my camera body and lens that was in the top compartment when I held the pack on my lap to access the side panel. As the zipper slides open very easily, it opened slightly larger than expected.
Internal / External Storage
Both packs are designed with a handful of hidden pockets for additional secure storage. These can be found in the top of the main compartment, on the inside flap pockets, and in the laptop sleeve pocket. The V2 has a storage spot located on the front of the pack, which is secured by a magnet. The Zip has an internal zip mesh pocket. Both packs come with a pair of Cord Hook carry straps that work with the Peak Design Cord Hook system that allows for extra external pack storage.
Internal organization is also similar in both packs with included FlexFold, an origami-inspired modular organization solution that provides padding for valuable gear. The FlexFold inserts are adjustable via Velcro and can be removed. V2 comes with three FlexFold dividers and the Zip with two.
The key difference is that the V2 feels a bit more stable and provides slightly more reassurance that gear won’t fall out due to the design of the pack, while the Zip when fully open may be susceptible to accidents.
On the plus side, the open design of the Zip makes it quicker and easier to adjust while the pack is empty.
Both packs include a variable height laptop compartment to fit up to a 15″ laptop. The adjustment is quick and easy by simply lifting the flap and adjusting the Velcro panel to the designated internal markings of either pack. This is designed to help protect your precious laptop during drops to keep it from a direct impact with the ground.
Additionally, both packs also have a luggage pass-through area that makes it easy to conveniently attach the pack to your wheeled luggage.
Although you’ll find a magnetic strap attachment can be found on the V2 to keep the straps in place, so it keeps things a little tidier.
When it comes to comfort and adjustability, both packs excel. The included sternum strap can be adjusted quickly to provide additional support for a loaded pack and also stows away nicely. Both utilize the same breathable venture mesh back panel and padded straps. The main difference is the weight between the packs with about an *extra pound added to the V2 due to the use of extra materials and with the extra FlexFold divider that comes with the pack.
*based on the weight provided on the website for the 20L version of each pack with dividers
The price point may be the most determining factor for some when making the decision between the two packs. The Everyday Backpack V2 is $259.95 for the 20L version and $289.95 for the 30L, while the Everyday Backpack Zip is $189.95 for the 15L and $219.95 for the 20L.
To recap, the main differences in the Everyday Backpack V2 and the Everyday Backpack Zip are:
- Wrap-around zipper vs. MagLatch closure
- Internal expansion available in the V2
- FlexFold Dividers – 2 included with the Zip and 3 with V2
- Cinch straps – 2 included with the Zip and 4 with V2
- Size options – 15L and 20L for the Zip and 20L and 30L for V2
- Color variation – Bone available for the Zip and Charcoal for V2
- No magnetic straps for stowage with the Zip
- Weight – Zip is slightly lighter than V2
- Price – Zip costs less than V2
Overall, both are solid camera packs that are versatile for daily use and durable to withstand the elements. The decision for most will come down to price, size, and performance for their own personal needs. The Zip is a more minimalistic pack with a very clean aesthetic, while the V2 is more robust, feature-rich, and secure.
For a daily camera pack, I personally would opt for the Everyday Backpack V2 20L based on its organization and accessibility, storage capacity, and size that fits comfortably on my body (I’m 5′ 7″). The price point is in line with what I would be willing to pay for a quality camera pack. It holds just enough gear for a quick shoot or to have on hand daily essentials i.e. camera body, a lens or two, 15″ MacBook Pro, and accessories.
If I was looking for a fashionable daypack that could carry camera gear every now and then, I’d reach for the Zip.
For travel assignments or larger studio shoots that require more gear, I would turn to a specialized camera bag with wheels and gear case.