After my recent review of the Peak strap system, I started contemplating a desire for one of their bigger bags. I’ve not had bag GAS before – it turns out I might be a big fan of this Peak Design kit. Anyway, I’d not committed to any particular idea when the PR chap from Peak got in touch to say he’d sent me a bag to play with. Not just any bag though, this was a preproduction sample of their new Everyday Sling 5L – which just so happens to have been launched today! That’s right folks, this isn’t just a bag mini-review, this is news too!
As it turns out, the PR chap who works for Peak was quite pleased with my review. Not only because it was largely positive about the gear, but also he told that not many reviewers get the Peak Design system of straps concept – I guess it turned out quite well that I ended up with a whole bunch of the kit. One way or another, despite my occasional nitpicking, the review went down well – the result of which seems to be that they’re happy enough to send me new kit to play with, new preproduction kit at that… I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty chuffed about this!
A little disclaimer
I suspect I’m supposed to use the high resolution product shots supplied by Peak Design throughout this post, but that’s not really the way I roll. As such just be aware that a lot of the photos in this post are of a preproduction bag. I was told in a little pre-release video presentation I was sent that there might be the odd rough cut, or unfinished feeling part to the bag. Actually, I can’t see anything of the sort. As such, if with a keen eye you spot anything in these photos that looks a bit crappy, it’s quite possible that it’s not how the finished bag looks. For finished bag pictures, have a look at the product on the Peak website.
The Everyday Sling 5L – The news bit
The Everyday Sling 5L is a new bag from Peak Design. It’s a sling bag that doubles up as a bum bag/fanny pack (ha!). It’s touted as the lightest, most compact, most affordable bag in the Everyday line. They’re also keenly illustrating how suitable it is for carrying a couple of DJI’s smaller drones – though that’s of no interest to me since I don’t have and don’t want a drone. That being said, the various marketing blurb also talks about it being suitable for a mirrorless camera and a lens or two, or maybe even an SLR and a single zoom lens. The gist is, it’s not a massive bag, but it’s not tiny either – it’s 5L – and as such is for a carry-light kit of some sort, rather than the kitchen sink, taps and microwave that some photographers like to carry. It’s also weatherproof, has a couple of flexible divider things in it and also has space for a tablet up to 11”… and comes in a grey colour as well as the black one I’ve been playing with.
The Everyday Sling 5L – Mini-review
So what do I think of it? Well, I must admit I now feel like I’m somewhat fighting a tide of kit fancy. I finished my last Peak Design review smitten, and nothing has really changed since. Since I’ve had this bag I’ve been using it instead of my Camslinger. Though I should add, for my needs, I don’t think it could entirely supplant my need for a smaller bag for just carrying an extra lens or two. The Camslinger manages to be just big enough for the mirrorless kit I shoot for most jobs. The Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L bag is possibly slightly too big for my most regular minimal approach to kit. That being said, this is a very personal preference… and I must admit, having the extra space has given me a bit more freedom without me feeling too weighed down. I can in fact fit almost my entire professional camera kit into it.
Believe it or not, in this photo you can see my Sony A7rii, 18mm Zeiss Batis, 28mm Sony lens, 35mm Zeiss/Sony lens, 55mm Zeiss/Sony lens, 85mm Zeiss Batis, a battery charger, couple of batteries, strap and a couple of memory cards. I can’t imagine me ever carrying like this – its a bit overloaded, but it goes to show what can be squeezed in.
As mentioned, the Everyday Sling 5L can be worn in two ways. This is similar to the Camslinger I’m used to in as much as it can be both worn on the waste and as a sling bag. The difference is, the Everyday sling best works for me as a sling, whereas the Camslinger works better for me as a bum bag. For a start, the Everyday Sling 5L tackles the issue of the strap length in a slightly more developed way. The Camslinger is more simple, but doesn’t come with a shoulder pad. The Everyday Sling 5L has a clever system for stowing the superfluous shoulder pad when used as a bum bag (see the video on Peak website here for more on that), and when used as a sling takes advantage of the really neat quick adjustment pulls also found on the Leash strap.
My main issue with the Everyday Sling 5L in its bum bag configuration is that it doesn’t sit as well as I like on the hip. It’s most comfortable either around your back or front – it’s not really designed to contour your side in the same way as I felt the little Field Pouch was, and isn’t narrow enough just to sit on your side in the way the Camslinger is. That acknowledged, as a sling bag I’ve been very impressed. The Everyday Sling 5L in its Sling configuration is very comfortable indeed, but moreover it feels like it contours your body really well. In use I found myself quite frequently using the quick adjustment pull to slightly tweak its comfort throughout the time I used it. This made for a bag that feels even more comfortable as if it starts feeling a little uncomfortable after an extended period of use, it can just be tweaked slightly.
Since I haven’t really had all that much time with this bag, rather than so some sort of full review of all of its claimed features (I’ve not used it in the rain for eg), I thought I’d share a bit of my patent pending waffle about a few meandering observations I’ve come to whilst I have been using it.
Since my previous review, I’ve taken to using the Slidelite strap with my Sony A7rii. I just really like that strap – it is so comfortable even after long shoots. Anyway, with the Slidelite attached to the camera and the Everyday Sling 5L in use, I expected to find the two overlapping straps to interfere with each other. Actually, this wasn’t to be the case at all. With the fact that the Slidelite strap is made out of smooth nylon car seatbelt material and that the Everyday Sling is made out of the same material and contours your body so well, I’ve found no issues with the straps getting tangled or annoying me in use. Which seeing as I’m very easily irritated by things getting in my way when I’m working, feels like quite an achievement by Peak Design.
The fold down divider
One of the really genius design features of this bag is its folding dividers. On of them folds in half, the other splits at the top. I guess the half-folding one is to allow a bigger camera and lens to sit inside the bag. The divider that splits allows one of the compartments made by the dividers to be split in hight allowing two lenses to be stacked.
I really like this idea but since I have a habit of walking around with my bags either open or partly open I found that moving the split divider to the opposite end of the bag to where the zip starts felt like a more safe option. Since the split section sits about the same hight as the bag opening, it just felt a little like something could fall out if I did carry the bag open.
Open out top
I’m sure me carrying the bag open sounds nuts to some people, but when I’m shooting at work I like to have really quick access. One of the features I noted about the Camslinger was that even when open, by the nature of its overhanging top, its still always basically closed. The Everyday Sling 5L doesn’t work like this – like many sling bags, it just opens at the top. This means that when its open, it is open to the elements. Of course the short answer to this is to just shut it and stop nitpicking. One way or another its opening isn’t nearly as flappy as the old Crumpler bag my Camslinger entirely replaced.
There are a few useful pockets in this bag. I have already stuffed the front one with business cards and tend to stuff my keys and wallet in there too. Inside there are little mini pouches either side, a zip pouch inside the front and the tablet slot (that my massive I pad won’t fit into – excuse to buy a mini??). But out of all the pouches my favourite are by far and away the little ones inside the top of the lid. I’ve used these for batteries and memory cards but the nicest thing about them is that they are just the right size for a roll of 35mm film.
Skip to the end
As is I’m sure is obvious, I really like the Everyday Sling 5L. The way the top opens isn’t perfectly ideal for an idiot like me who likes to walk around with an open bag, and I definitely find it nicer to use as a sling rather than a bumbag, but other than that I find it fairly hard to fault. A small thing I know, but I really love the mini-pockets. I don’t suppose for one minute these were designed for film, but the fact that film fits into them pleases me no end. It’s also very comfortable to wear and even when rammed to the hilt manages to not feel too cumbersome.
For most of my uses, in many ways the Everyday Sling 5L is probably too big for what I like to get away with when I’m shooting for work. That being said, because of the extra space, for the first time in a few years I’ve been carrying slightly more than I might usually carry. Thanks to it being such a comfortable bag, I’ve not really felt all that weighed down either. In short, it’s allowed me to break my rules and slightly over-pack… which probably sounds quite funny in a review about a camera bag that’s basically designed to be small, but there we have it, I’m a carry light-kinda guy!
So who is the Everyday Sling 5L for? Well for a start, it’s quite obvious reading the marketing blurb that it’s going to be very well suited to you if you own a little drone. But actually, as they also point out, it makes a really nice all-purpose carry-light kit bag. Once that I’d quite readily recommend too!
The Everyday Sling 5L is available over on the Peak Design website via this link!