The Everyday Sling

Thanks to the great people at Purple Orange Brand Communications for sending a Peak Design Everyday Sling my way before it hit the street!!  Upfront, nobody has asked, or tried to influence me, to endorse this product.  No promises were made and I’m writing my personal opinions freely, plus I would never endorse a product I don’t use.  That said, when originally asked if I’d be interested in one of the new Peak Design bags I actually said “no”…   Sometimes I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  I said this because Peak Design’s last bag, the Everyday Messenger (also called the EDM), was working incredibly well and I simply didn’t want another bag.  However, when the opportunity presented itself to check out one of the new bags, I decided to give the Everyday Sling a try.  Why do this if I loved my current bag so much?  Well, I do love the EDM but having a smaller bag of the same style for just walking or biking near home with just the basics seemed worth trying.  After carrying the Sling everywhere for a week and a half, I’m completely comfortable writing my opinions here because the Sling is remarkably similar to the EDM in just about every way.  Before going on, if the Sling wasn’t a comfortable carry, everything I could write below would be meaningless garbage.  So yes, on top of the features and build quality, thd Sling is extremely comfortable and most times forgot it was with me whether walking or on my bike.  If interested, please see an earlier blog entries about my Peak Design Everyday Messenger experiences:

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Everyday Sling (L) and Everyday Messenger (R).

The Everyday Sling would arrive in mid-September and I was thrilled someone thought enough of me to offer this bag up.  However, I didn’t think about it much, nor did I know the specifics regarding the Sling other than it was smaller than the EDM.   Remember, I loved my current bag (and still do).  What I did ponder was this; what if the Sling didn’t live up to the hype?  Would I be willing to write a negative review about product I wanted to like from a company I truly LOVE??  I was comforted by the fact I didn’t know of one Peak Design product that was bad, why would the Sling be any different?  When the Sling did arrive, to my surprise it seemed as if the beloved EDM just had a little brother!  The build quality along with everything else I saw on the outside of the Sling immediately screamed Peak Design.  It is literally like a mini-EDM where they cut out much of the extra storage space and came up with a versatile Sling bag.  I intended the Sling to be for traveling light, a body with a lens attached and maybe another lens or two in the bag.  However, while the Sling is smaller this is not to say the it isn’t without its features.  While there is no perfect bag, Peak Design’s EDM was the first bag that I didn’t feel like I was just settling in some way.  With the Sling, I again found what I need and feel!

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Dividers move where you need and fold down to store gear on top.

Since this bag for day use, there’s plenty of space in expandable large side pocket for anything else you may need.  The Sling is similar to the EDM in this way, it expands and contracts as you insert and remove gear.  In this case, the side pocket expands and not the entire bag as with the EDM.  However, this bag differs in two ways from the EDM.  First, it is entered through a zippered closure on top instead of a flap style lid, this alone ensures your gear will stay dry and I almost wish the EDM had this feature.  Second, the inserts used to make divided compartments go one step farther than those of the EDM.  Whereas the fold-over tops of the EDM’s inserts create a flat surface area on top to lay items (above right), the Sling’s inserts have a split top

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The split top folding dividers make customizing the Sling very easy!

on the fold-over portion allowing you use them like the EDM’s, or as individual storage above each lens compartment by leaving one part folded down and one up (left).  The cool thing is that if you like the inserts of the EDM, these function exactly the same.  If you need them to function differently in the future, it’s built in!  These might seem like little things, but in a compact bag like the Sling, these small features add up and make the Sling stand out.

The similarities with the EDM are evident in other ways.  The water resistant materials, quality stitching, a clean design with no unwanted straps hanging, space for an iPad or similar device, covered zippers, and built in tripod stowage are all items I have now come to expect from Peak Design; and they delivered!

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The Sling (L) and EDM (R) are both able to use the Peak Design Capture to store your camera externally.

There is a pocket on the inside cover that provides easy access to items regularly needed.  In fact, all pockets can be accessed without taking the Sling off and any raising or lowering of the bag is mindlessly simple.  You’ll never fumble for gear or dump stuff in the street (yes, I’ve done that with a backpack).  The shoulder strap is made to easily adjust when you want to get in the bag, so if you like carrying it high on your back it’s not a big deal.  There is also a strap in the main compartment to attach your keys and even a reinforced area to hang a Peak Design Capture!  Like I said, this is a compact and purposeful bag so all these numerous little features amount to a big deal!

 

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Red dead battery stitching.

There’s more, just like the EDM, the battery compartment uses red stitching on the pockets to place your empty batteries so you don’t confuse them with those charged.  So who wouldn’t like the Sling?  Well, honestly, it’s not for everyone and if you carry a ton of gear and expect this to be your primary bag, it’s not for you.  Remember, it’s a Sling and not a backpack.  While capable of carrying a lot of gear for its size, the EDM or one of the new Peak Design backpacks may be a better fit if you carry a lot of gear.  So who would like this new Sling?  Well, even if I wasn’t out shooting photos, this would be a great day bag to just have because of its versitility and ease of carry.  I’ve been carrying a Canon 6D with a lens attached and one other lens for the most part, sometimes throwing an extra lens in, and the Sling has been comfortable.  This would be a great setup for a street photographer wanting a bag as a daily carry that is out of the way when working.  Now if you have a mirrorless system and want to travel light, THIS IS YOUR BAG!  People who use mirrorless systems are usually trying to keep the load light.  If I had the cash for a Sony A7rii (Hello Sony? If you’re feeling generous…) and some Sony glass to go along with it, this would be my bag 24/7!  Before I had the EDM (and now a Sling), I was a backpack guy.  This led to me carrying WAY too much gear, everywhere; backpacks have lots of room for lenses, filters, and everything else under the sun.  Who carries a half empty backpack?  Now that I’ve gone to messenger bags, I’ll never carry my camera gear in a backpack again; I carry what I need vice everything I own.  My opinion regarding backpacks has changed drastically in the last year as I believe backpacks have their place in camping, hiking, etc.; I even understand why many photographers need them.  However, straight up camera bags or messenger bags just work better for me.  Just my two Abe Lincoln’s worth…

sling7My love affair with Peak Design products began about 4+ years ago when I was tired of taking the wrist cuff off the camera so I could put it on a tripod.  After a little searching online, I found a Peak Design product that made exactly what I wanted except it allowed the camera to be mounted to a backpack or belt!  Since then I’ve used much of their gear because it’s built to last and works as advertised.  It is so refreshing to see a company like Peak Design who stand behind their products and haven’t forgotten where they came from!  The Sling is no different and a prime example of Peak Design’s dedication to making quality photography products.  They never stop amazing me with their ingenious products and I actually get excited when they advertise a new product release!  Lastly, two final thoughts about why I have loved Peak Designs products, this Sling fits in to both categories.  First, once you use their gear you’ll wonder why you didn’t check them out earlier.  I wasn’t even wanting another bag, now I’m hooked on the Sling.  Second, all Peak Design products are built tough and whatever you buy, you won’t be replacing it anytime soon.  So, if you’re on the fence about the Sling, don’t be as it’s built to last, will safely carry your gear, and very comfortable to carry.  Thank you Peak Design and Purple Orange for this great opportunity!

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