The latest V2 version of Peak Design’s Everyday Sling is an innovative camera and travel bag. I’ve used both the 6-liter medium edition and the 10-liter large edition for several months now and this review covers my impressions after this extended use.
- Amazing organizational features
- Super quick access
- Stylish; doesn't look like typical "camera bag"
- Quick-release clip is awesome
- Comfortable to wear
- No water bottle pocket
- Shoulder strap could be slightly more padded
Why I bought the Peak Design Sling
Since travel blogging is my job, I carry my camera with me virtually everywhere I go during my trips.
That’s why I needed a camera bag that’s easy to carry throughout the day, allows rapid access to my camera, and with enough extra space for some essential travel items.
This is what led me to the Peak Design Everyday Sling. I initially bought the 6-liter version as a gift for my partner, but soon got a 10-liter version for myself as well. This review is based on using both the 6L and 10L.
This is now my second sling camera bag, after using the LowePro Slingshot Edge 250 AW, which ultimately let me down. To be fair to the LowePro, it got me hooked on slings; I love the ability to quickly sling the pack around to the front, open the side zipper, and get my camera out in one move — all using one hand and without needing to take off the backpack. This is amazing for street- or travel photography.
Sady, I had to replace the LowePro after about three years. Partly this was due to needing more space for my expanding kit. But the main zipper also broke and I got really sick of the Lowepro’s shoulder strap, which isn’t reversible and — despite its thickness — often left my shoulders very sore.
Compared to the LowePro Slingshot Edge 250 AW, the Peak Design Sling has been a big upgrade in many respects.
Are they only for cameras?
Peak Design started as a photography gear brand, so you’ll definitely see this as the main use case. The Sling’s internal foldable walls are absolutely designed for storing lenses and other photography gear.
That said, you can use the Sling as just a travel daypack.
My impressions here are of using it as a camera bag, but what you store inside is of course entirely up to you. I think the two smaller editions work especially well as an all-purpose travel daypack.
If super quick access to a camera is not as essential, and you prefer a slightly higher degree of comfort, you could also consider the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L.
How much fits in the 6L and 10L?
The Everyday Sling 10L can hold quite a bit of gear. I pack my 10L Sling with a Panasonic Lumix GX8 camera, 2 to 3 additional lenses, my Mavic Mini drone, a GoPro, a power bank, and a few other gadgets.
Depending on the day, I may also pack a small packable rain jacket, some snacks, and other travel items.
The 10L will also fit a tablet or small ultrabook in the back sleeve, though I generally leave such things at home or at my hotel. With an ultrabook inside it’ll be pretty heavy.
The Everyday Sling 6L is best for one camera body and about two lenses. Make that just one lens if it’s a particularly big telelens, or if you shoot full-frame.
I know, the official images will show the 6L packed with multiple lenses and a small drone, but I think that’s just too cramped. The 6L really is ideal if you don’t always carry tons of gear, but still like to have a few tools in your toolbelt.
It’s suitable for a camera with maybe one or two lenses. At least, this will leave enough breathing room if you shoot with an APS-C or full-frame camera. If you use a smaller camera system, such as Micro Four Thirds, you’ll be able to fit more.
The Everyday Sling 3L is the edition I have not tested myself, though being the smallest it should be suitable only for a compact camera or perhaps a small mirrorless with one lens.
You can take a look at these overviews by Peak Design to see how much fits in each version.
The official examples are useful, though I do think you’ll be really stuffing your sling if you follow them exactly. I prefer to fill a bag up to a maximum of 70% or so, as this makes lens changing or grabbing an item from the bottom much easier.
Both sizes are comfortable, though for the 10L it depends a bit on how much you pack.
The Everyday Sling 6L is highly comfortable in part due to its smaller size and thus lower weight. I’ve worn the 6L for entire days without issue. Its comfort level is just perfect.
The Everyday Sling 10L is quite big for a sling. As such it took me a bit longer to get used to, but after learning how best to wear it, I’ve found the Sling 10L very comfortable as well. It won’t ever be quite as comfortable as a normal dual-strapped backpack, but of course, you gain a ton of accessibility in return.
With the 10L filled up the max, I sometimes had a slightly sore shoulder after 6 or so hours of walking with it — but that seems pretty reasonable. Luckily the strap is reversible so it can go on the other shoulder, which is a great feature that my previous sling backpack was sorely lacking.
I had some early concerns about the thickness of the Everyday Sling’s shoulder strap; it is mainly made of a material similar to a seatbelt with some added padding on the shoulder area. However, it does the job rather well in practice.
Perhaps 20% more padding would be nice to have in a future edition, but I’ve had no major complaints. I would say that it’s much more comfortable than some pictures might initially suggest. My previous LowePro Slingshot Edge, which has a thicker strap, actually proved to be less comfortable.
How to wear the Everyday Sling
One important thing to note: these are not messenger bags, even though they may resemble them a bit. You can still wear it like a messenger if you want, but for the best results, you should definitely position it on your back.
The straps on a sling are meant to be quite tight so that the bag can rest easily on your back. It first took me a good 20 minutes of messing with the straps to figure this out, but then I really liked the comfort level. Once you find the optimal position, you actually hardly feel the weight of the 10L Sling, let alone the 6L.
The shoulder strap has a quick-release clip that lets you easily loosen or tighten it. This is an awesome feature and using this is also key. You can quickly loosen this to better access your stuff, then effortlessly tighten it again to make it more comfortable to carry.
Overall I’ve found both size Slings very comfortable to wear. It’s a big advantage that you can vary the ways that you wear it; left or right side, on your back, or on your side.
The 3L or 6L versions can even be worn on the hip (think ‘fanny pack’ or tool belt style), though the 6L version is arguably too big to make this comfy. In any case, consider it an alternate mode and not how you’d usually wear it.
The various carry styles do mean that even if your shoulder gets a bit sore after many hours of wearing, you can change things up and maintain good comfort.
The Sling’s internal organization is superb. The main innovation inside (also seen in other Peak Design products) is the foldable origami-style dividers. These let you set walls within your storage space but also create two separate levels for stacking items.
Having used these dividers for a long time (with my Sling as well as my old Everyday Backpack V1), I can confirm they maintain their rigidity over time while also remaining easily foldable.
Besides these dividers, there is a zipped compartment on the inside where you can easily store batteries, SD cards, or other small items. A sleeve, which closes easily using a little magnet, provides space for a tablet, a notebook, or something similarly shaped.
Finally, there is one zipped sleeve on the outside for quick access items. This sleeve can sometimes be a bit hard to get into with your hand due to the sturdiness of the Sling’s outer material.
All these organizational features make using the Sling a breeze. When using it primarily as a camera bag, I find it very easy to store accessories like batteries, and change batteries or lenses using one hand, with the bag acting as a temporary ‘desk’.
Four little pouches are available for accessories. I use two for spare batteries and the other two for a UV and polarizing filter.
One thing that felt a bit missing to me was a bottle holder. To be fair, I’m not sure how Peak Design could have added one without compromising the aesthetics too much. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take away the fact that it doesn’t have a bottle holder, and I sometimes wish it had one. (Or some other area separated from my electronics gear.)
I looked at some ways to attach a bottle to the shoulder strap using a loop — and that will probably be my solution. There is also another way to add a bit of capacity for such items, which is to use the two attachment straps that enable you to attach some items to the bottom of the bag. I’ve found this useful for attaching a raincoat or large (e.g. 1 liter) water bottle when going on a hike.
For long hikes, I definitely take a bigger hiking daypack, but I’ve found the Peak Design Sling very useable for shorter day hikes as well as city exploration.
One last thing about the materials used: I’ve noticed a tendency with Peak Design products (the Sling as well as the Everyday Backpack I’ve owned previously) to show wrinkles after some time. This is because the outer material has two layers: a thicker base layer and a thinner fabric around it. This is not a big deal, but I should just mention that slight wrinkles in the corners or on the flaps may appear over time.
Pros and cons
The best thing about the Design Everyday Sling is its lightness and agility. These packs are very easy to sling around and access quickly, which is perfect for street or travel photography.
The 10L when fully loaded is almost pushing it a bit in terms of size and weight, but I think its versatility more than makes up for it. Both versions are comfortable to wear. If you have a particularly small frame, perhaps the 10L could be a bit on the chonky end for you. For me, it’s just about the maximum size for a sling.
It’s obvious Peak Design put a lot of thought into the Everyday Sling. It’s a really great and well-designed backpack. It’s worth watching some of the videos to see all the different ways you can use it.
One thing to note is the price: the Slings are quite a bit more expensive than other camera or travel bags on the market. Then again, they also stand out from the pack in a number of ways.
The materials used are very sturdy and have a premium feel, while the functional design is very smart, as is typical of Peak Design. I also have to say the aesthetics are a huge step up from other competing bags out there. LowePro or Manfrotto products just scream “camera bag!”, have logos on them, or unnecessary red or yellow accent lines. Peak Design keeps it a lot more minimal and classy.
This combined with the organizational features made it worth the added cost for me, and I’ve been very happily using the Sling as my default camera and travel daily carry bag.
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