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Review: The Everyday Messenger Bag

Review: The Everyday Messenger Bag

The Everyday Messenger Bag created by photographer Trey Ratcliff and Peak Design is the 12th most successful Kickstarter project, receiving more than $4.8 million in pledges from 17,029 backers.

The teaming of Ratcliff, with his popular Stuck in Customs HDR (high dynamic range) and travel photography website, and the craftsmanship of Peak Design, makers of the Slide camera strap and Capture camera clip, certainly has proved to be a successful venture.

The bag combines the styling of a conventional camera bag with a messenger bag to accentuate the best qualities of each for professionals and amateurs alike. Just in time for the holidays, it’s available for pre-order on their website for $249.95.

The Everyday Messenger Bag, available in charcoal gray or heritage tan, was simple to organize using its interior dividers, which fold up into shapes fitting the lens and cameras with “origami-style” FlexFold removable dividers. There are plenty of ways to be creative here. The bag filled up quickly as I added my camera body with a wide-angle lens attached, a mid-range lens and a longer 70-200 f/2.8 zoom.

My older-model 15-inch MacBook Pro also fit, but it was tight. Any newer, thinner-styled laptop should fit easily. There are plenty of pockets, including one for your smartphone and one inside for a tablet. Remember, once you start packing the bag full of gear, including your computer, it will get heavy.

computerinbag600pxI’ve always used an old-school wider, stockier camera bag with conventional drop-in style pockets. The Everyday Messenger Bag expands as you fill it and should work for most camera enthusiasts.

The bag features a front zipper pouch with plenty of pockets for filters, batteries and flash cards. Some of the pockets are trimmed in either green or red colors to remind you which cards and batteries are fresh or used.

For me, the most noticeable feature of the bag is its MagLatch closure system, which secures the gear. The clasp is designed for easy, one-handed operation and will close your bag using either a light magnet or locking it fully if you pull it up into place.

It is easy to access the gear when the bag is closed using the zipper across the top.

Certainly one of the nice features is the way the bag expands when you fill it. This keeps it much thinner when you’re traveling light.

While the Everyday Messenger Bag is in the higher price range of a camera bag, it does feature a lifetime guarantee. It’s made from Kodra synthetic canvas with a wax-style coating that should repel a light rain and hold up great against normal use.

redgreen600pxThe bag can be worn on your shoulder or across your body and the strap is easily adjusted using Peak Design’s slide system. Changes can be made quickly, and there is an additional strap to connect it across your body and secure it tightly for activities such as hiking, climbing or running.

Optional accessories include the Field Pouch, priced at $39.95, which fits inside the Everyday Messenger Bag and is made for smaller accessories like cords, batteries, small hard drives or filters. Also available is the Capture camera clip, priced at $59.95, which is used to carry a camera on the outside of the bag, belt or backpack strap.

I found the bag easy and quick to use. It kept my camera gear well-protected and provided quick access to everything inside using the zipper across the top of the bag or the MagLatch closure system. The Everyday Messenger Bag does a nice job of mixing modern styling with functionality when you need to carry your camera, a few lenses and a computer on your next adventure.

robert.lachman@latimes.com

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