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This is the best backpack I've ever owned
As a professional writer, my backpack is like an extension of my body. I take it everywhere and it contains the tools I need for doing what I do. For a backpack to make the cut with me, it needs to be rugged, keep my things organized, allow me to easily access any one thing at any moment, and yeah — it’s gotta look good, too. So far, the best backpack I’ve found for this is the Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2.
Now, there are a lot of backpacks out there and every company tries to paint theirs as being the greatest. I haven’t tried all of them, but I’ve burned through a ton, and the Everyday V2 is the only one that’s impressed me on every single level. In fact, it is one of the few products I’ve ever owned that I’ve used for more than a year and still feel just as happy as I did the day I put it on for the first time.
I understand that people might be skeptical of what I’m saying. Let me explain the three main reasons this is the best backpack for me.
Let’s get organized
There are two versions of the Everyday V2. One is a 20-liter model while the other goes up to 30 liters. I have the latter and believe me, I use every single nook and cranny.
Most backpacks have built-in organizational pockets and dividers for you to use. Some will even make these organization systems modular so you can change them for your needs. Peak Design takes a slightly different approach by permanently sectioning out the backpack into three areas: a top, middle, and bottom. Each area can only be slightly modified and is mostly just empty space, but how you use and access that empty space is very versatile.
The Everyday V2 gives me the flexibility I need to cram everything into it but still be able to access any individual item easily.
Normally, having organization at the bottom of a backpack would be useless because you can’t easily get to that area without removing a bunch of other stuff first. Peak Design solved this by making each side of the backpack open up so you can access any part of the backpack from either side by unzipping the “wings.” Now you can keep something at the bottom of the bag and get to it just as quickly and easily as something at the top.
On each wing, you’ll find lots of little zippered pockets and slots. These are perfect for business cards, cables, thumb drives, etc. But the three open sections are where the bulk of your gear is going to go.
Now, you could just stuff things into these slots. You could toss a pair of shoes into the bottom slot, some folded-up shirts and socks into the middle one, and then some toiletries and other loose items into the top slot. That would make this a great weekender bag. However, I have lots and lots of little things I might need in my day-to-day life so I use the Peak Design Tech Pouch for these slots. Two of the pouches slot very neatly into the bottom and middle tiers of my backpack. I can unzip a wing, yank out the pouch, and access whatever I need in a matter of seconds.
Peak Design makes a slew of other organization bags and dividers that fit into the slots of the Everyday V2. Some of them, like the Field Pouch V2, can double as a fanny pack as well. The backpack actually comes with three FlexFold dividers, which are origami-like flaps that you can fold and shape to subdivide the three sections of the pack. Basically, Peak Design gives you the framework and then offers the tools to make that framework optimal for your specific use case.
Obviously, I can’t go anywhere without my laptop and some phones. On the back of the pack is a classic laptop pouch as well as some smaller pouches for phones, a small tablet, or whatever mostly-flat things you might need to store. Essentially, there’s a spot for everything here.
Do it all and look good doing it
Having the ability to store everything in a backpack isn’t really that impressive. I could probably fit all my gear into any large backpack if I tried. However, being able to get to that gear easily would be a whole different story, and that’s one of the biggest reasons the Everyday V2 is the best backpack for me.
One of the signature design elements of the Everyday V2 is the MagLatch. This magnetic metal latch system allows you to easily access the top section of the backpack without needing to use a zipper. The top section then becomes the obvious place to store often-needed items, like sunglasses, a hat, your passport, gloves, or a camera.
There are so many ways to organize, access, and customize this pack.
The MagLatch system has four connections, which allow you to set how much stuff you can cram into this area. You could pack it to the brim and connect the MagLatch to the topmost rung or leave it mostly empty and use the bottom rung. Either way, the MagLatch is going to hold fast.
While wearing the backpack, you can sling it on one of your shoulders and access this area with just one hand. In fact, you can do this with nearly every area of the bag. If you have your phone, a beverage, or a camera in one hand, you don’t need to put it down to get something out of your bag. This may seem like a silly little thing but it makes a huge difference in an airport queue, during a video shoot, or while walking.
The only exception to this rule is with the theft-deterring zipper system. You can connect the zipper to a sturdy loop on the side of the backpack to prevent someone from being able to easily unzip your pack as you’re walking by or while waiting for the subway. It won’t fully lock thieves out, but it would be difficult for someone to open the pack without you noticing. With the lock system on, you would need to use two hands to open it (or be very good with one hand).
Hidden at the bottom of the backpack are two straps. These allow you to attach larger objects to the backpack for those days when you have more cargo than even 30 liters can handle. These straps are sturdy yet slim, and I’ve used them a bunch for carrying everything from bike helmets to clothes to boxes.
The fact that this backpack can do all this stuff is terrific, but it also does it while looking great. Everything on the black model is black, giving the pack a minimalistic uniform look. However, if you’re not an all-black-all-the-time person like me, there are dark gray, light gray, and blue models as well.
The best backpack is also the last backpack
I’ve gotten a lot of queries from people on my backpack. I’ve been stopped at coffee shops, airports, and even on the street by people asking what the story is with it. I always give my glowing review and then I usually get the big question: How much does it cost? The answer to that is simple, which is that it costs a lot. The 30-liter model I use is $279.95, which is a very hefty price for a backpack. For most people, even spending $100 on a backpack is a lot. When you include the two pouches I use as well as taxes and all that, I spent over $400 on this setup.
However, this brings me to the third reason I love the Peak Design Everyday V2: It has a true lifetime warranty. You know how boomers love talking about how things used to last so much longer back in the day and how you’d get something fixed if it broke instead of buying a new one? Well, boomers will love the warranty that comes with a Peak Design backpack.
All Peak Design backpacks come with a full lifetime warranty just like in the old days.
If anything breaks on my backpack at any time, I can get it replaced for free. This applies for the rest of my life. In fact, it can even be longer than that because I can gift or sell the backpack to someone else, and the lifetime warranty would transfer to them.
In other words, I will never need to buy another backpack after this one. That’s worth $400 to me.
Besides, it’s not like you need to pay the list price for an Everyday V2. Peak Design has a robust official used market, with all backpacks coming with the same lifetime warranty. The company also does periodic sales, with huge discounts usually offered during Black Friday week. If I have any regrets about buying this backpack, it’s that I didn’t think to do it during a discount sale.