Every Peak Design product that we’ve tried – Everyday Backpack, Travel Tripod, Everyday Messenger – has been some of the best in their categories. And we had high expectations from the Everyday Zip as well.
We were sent the 15L Zip in a color ominously named Bone, and our eyes popped at just how beautiful it looked. It’s got a very sleek, minimalist design that belies how much can be packed into one of these bags, and how remarkably customizable it is.
That said, a light-colored ‘everyday’ backpack may not be the best idea as the bag starts to pick up dirt and scuff marks almost instantly, and every single one of them is visible on the off-white color. Thankfully three other darker color options are also available.
In Peak Design’s own words, the Everyday Zip is a “visually and functionally simpler version” of the Everyday Backpack. So it does have plenty in common with the larger backpack – the inside is identical in both – but one external feature make the Everyday Zip stand out.
And that's the front access zipper that gives the pack its name. It’s called the UltraZip and has been made in partnership with Taiwanese company Zoom Zippers specifically for Peak Design. It’s smooth as butter, gliding along without a single hiccup even along the curves of the backpack – something that can’t be said of plenty of other bags on the market.
While the UltraZip looks like it only offers a single front access but, like the Everyday Backpack, the Zip can be opened from either side. This is achieved by the four zip pulls (or tabs), where the last two on the UltraZip can be used to open either side of the pack. And just because there is side access available, the Zip also comes with padded side handles.
Like on the Everyday Backpack, the zip pulls can be looped together or attached to a lash point to prevent unwanted hands reaching into your bag – not quite theft-proof but it definitely makes it harder for a potential thief.
Other than the UltraZip, the other external features of the Everyday Zip are two large side pockets for water bottles or a tripod. These hide away a couple of straps that can be unhooked from inside the pocket and used anywhere else on the bag – for example, you could strap a tripod to the underside of the bag instead of lashing it through a side pocket. Additional loops are provided around the backpack as well, but just one pair of removable straps are available.
There is a laptop compartment, but we found it quite tight in the 15L for a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Even the internal pockets (on the sides and on the inside of the rear pane) are small and tight – we found ourselves using the FlexFold dividers to stash away knick knacks as the internal pockets are just too darn small. Perhaps the 20L Zip has slightly more spacious internal pockets.
The Zip also has a luggage passthrough on the rear and, like the Everyday Backpack, the shoulder straps are anchored at swivel points to reduce the stress on them.
As we mentioned earlier, the internal organization of the bag is identical to the Everyday Backpack, thanks to the FlexFold dividers. And even in the 15L option you can fit quite a lot. A DSLR body, a couple of lenses and a bunch of odds and ends – you just need to play around with the FlexFolds to make the most of that internal volume.
That said, when the bag is full, it does become uncomfortable to carry – the straps tend to bite into the shoulders and the luggage passthrough presses into the back of the wearer. This can become an issue for anyone who needs to carry the pack around all day.
Like all Peak Design bags, the Zip is made from 100% recycled 400D poly-coated nylon, and the waterproofing is enforced with a 900D nylon bottom panel. And it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Should I buy a Peak Design Everyday Zip?
Buy it if...
You’re after a fashion-forward everyday bag
We’ve bought and used our fair share of backpacks at TechRadar but we have to admit that the Everyday Zip is one of the slickest-looking ones we’ve seen yet. Not only is it good-looking, it’s utilitarian too, packing in quite a bit, even in a 15L capacity bag.
You’re after quality
Like all Peak Design bags the Everyday Zip is extremely well made. It’s sturdy, water resistant and, of course, comes with a lifetime warranty. Buying Peak Design products also means you’re helping the planet – the bag is made from recycled materials and the company offsets all its carbon emissions (including its delivery process).
Don't buy it if...
You’re keeping a tight rein on your spending
All that quality and looks don’t come cheap. At $189 / £145 / AU$270 for the 15L option, it’s not what we would call affordable, but there is value here. Still, there are more affordable alternatives out there.
You need a bag for all-day use
While the Everyday Zip is a great everyday bag, it does get uncomfortable when stuffed full. So if you need a bag that you’ll be carrying around all day, you might be better off spending more for the Everyday Backpack or looking for other, more comfortable, alternatives.