Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

Started Mar 5, 2018 | Discussions
stevesayskanpai Contributing Member • Posts: 676
Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

Hi all,

I'm trying to decide between these two bags. Any thoughts from people who might have tried them both?

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OP stevesayskanpai Contributing Member • Posts: 676
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

These are the bags:

Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 vs Tenba Cooper Slim 13

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 stevesayskanpai's gear list:stevesayskanpai's gear list
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MJFinelli
MJFinelli Contributing Member • Posts: 551
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

such a hard choice.. Tenba and Peak Design are my top two favorite bag brands. They both really think and design the bags so great..

I owned the Tenba DNA 13 and loved it but it was too wide and bulky for my Sony A7 series camera. I was looking at the slim and think it would be such a great bag.

I own the peak design backpack and I love it.. Both companies make amazing products, I think best is find them in a store and compare side by side.

 MJFinelli's gear list:MJFinelli's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +2 more
OP stevesayskanpai Contributing Member • Posts: 676
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

I found the same about the DNA13 - too bulky! The Cooper Slim looks far better in that regard.

So far I've come up with the following pros and cons on paper (there is a PDEM in a local camera store but nowhere near me stocks the Tenba):

Peak Design Messenger 13

+ Tripod sleeve! Such a big pro for me.

+ Design of pockets - I prefer the look of the pockets, as well as the inside lining finish

+ Dividers? They seem to be well made in the origami style

+ Two pockets on the back of the bag

+ Sleek design

+ Magnet latch looks useful (and cool!)

- Too showy?

- More expensive! £230 vs £150 for the Tenba

- Not a massive fan of car seatbelt style straps

- Heard about problems with the strap slipping

- Seems more likely to topple over when set down on a flat surface

Tenba Cooper Slim 13

+ Unflashy, good for travel in this respect

+ Fully closes - zips up and flap over the top

+ Somehow seems like there might be more space?

+ Prefer the strap, second carry strap also attached

+ Side pockets unzippable, more useful

- Lining of pockets looks a bit cheap?

- No place for carrying a tripod (or is there a way to customise this ...)

- Design of front two pockets - not so keen on these always-open style ones

So far it feels like the Peak Design has more pros and more cons - it is a more divisive bag and quite particular - some will love it and some will hate it? The Tenba seems less divisive, a generally useful, functional, well-made bag but with a few negatives, particularly the lining which I don't like much (however I haven't seen it in person) and the lack of a place to carry a tripod (although could I customise this by using the suitcase strap or somewhere else on the bag?).

I'm planning to carry, at the very maximum, a Macbook Pro 13, D5500, 18-55 AF-P, Tokina 11-20 2.8, Nikon 50 1.8G, Nikon 55-200, plus a filter, mini tripod, sunglasses, possibly a guidebook/paper book and/or Kindle, also a small bottle of water.

That's probably more information that anyone needs (or wants), but I'll report back on what I buy and how it goes - if anyone has any further advice feel free to comment!

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 stevesayskanpai's gear list:stevesayskanpai's gear list
Nikon D5500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR
OP stevesayskanpai Contributing Member • Posts: 676
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

Just to add I got the Tenba Cooper Slim 13 in the end and couldn't be happier with it!

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Constructive criticism of my travel photography portfolio is always welcome:
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Twitter @stevesayskanpai

 stevesayskanpai's gear list:stevesayskanpai's gear list
Nikon D5500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR
FXuser New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

I have used Domke bags for many years so naturally like the Cooper. I really tried to like the Peak Design 13 but ended up selling it and getting the Cooper. The Peak Design is stiffer and less conforming to your body. It comes with those 2 origami dividers which I thought were genious until using them. They are rigid and fold only in a predetermined positions. When arranging equipment, there was always a lot of dead space especially when stacking as there would always be a gap over the lower lens simply because the way the origami divider would fold. I ended up using other dividers from another system. When carrying the Peak Design, it it always felt like I was carrying a stiff box rather than a messenger bag. Regarding a tripod, I like to carry tripods on a separate strap. All this is very subjective so it's best to try things out yourself.

(unknown member) New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

I'm having the same problem, almost. Deciding between the Tenba Cooper 13 and the Everyday Messenger 13.

My big problem is: At most I carry a 12" tablet or 13" MBP, a mid sized DSLR and a MFT camera. Plus lenses. 5 of them, more may be added eventually. None of them are big, with one pancake lens and only one that's more than 10 cm high. I also need to bring a water bottle (a slim one but relatively long one would usually do) for example, and lots of smaller items like a powerbank, cables, chargers, ...

The Peak Design should let me stack my lenses nicely AND give me quick access to them, which is great. Especially in version 2, though that one is quite expensive still.

However the side pockets seem to be useless, and I don't like how the whole bag seems to be really stiff instead of conforming to my body. The latter should spread out weight better.

With Tenba I get closer to my current bag, it's flexible, has good side pockets (yay water bottle!) that look like they can be even used for open coke bottles as a convenient way to store it when at an event.

But then there's the stacking of lenses. There are enough dividers supplied I guess, but how would I go about accessing the lenses? With PD I just fold open the divider, grab the lens, change it, put the other lens back in and fold back. Done. Awesome. Perfect. But with the Tenba? Won't I have to rip out the divider just in order to access my lens? I swap them frequently, which ruined the sides of my current bag. The velcro just won't stick anymore. Plus the noise it makes. It's just so terribly inconvenient.

I did read somewhere that these smaller dividers on the Cooper 13 only have velcro on on side, but I couldn't find any confirmation on that, and what little videos and photos there are didn't show this portion of the bag. If it is indeed this case, I'll put my order down immediately.

Unfortunately there are no shops nearby that carry either bag.

OP stevesayskanpai Contributing Member • Posts: 676
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

Hi,

Yes the Tenba has smaller dividers with velcro only on one side - these are great for stacking lenses in my opinion.

Also I've found the water bottle pockets (for that's what they are) on the sides of the bag incredibly convenient.

Only one person's opinion but I'm a bit of a bag nerd and very picky with what I buy, and have honestly never been happier with a purchase than the Tenba Cooper Slim 13.

Compared to the Peak Design it's one-third cheaper, I dislike the PD car seatbelt style strap, and I find the PD design to urban/distinctive for the variety of trips I go on.

Took the Tenba to Japan at Easter and am visiting Central Asia with it for a month in the summer and it feels like a bag that suits both types of trip perfectly.

Update: my review of the bag is here: https://notesontravel.wordpress.com/2018/06/17/tenba-cooper-slim-13-review/

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 stevesayskanpai's gear list:stevesayskanpai's gear list
Nikon D5500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR
(unknown member) New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

Cool, thanks for the review and thanks for the response. How many of the one sided dividers are there? In videos I don't see any... and just to make sure, by one sided velcro we are talking about 1 out of the 4 corners having velcro, right? So that it only attaches to one point, so that it actually rests on the lens when something is on top of it?
I don't know if I'm too happy about the two front pockets that can't be closed (?), my current bag has those and stuff keeps falling out (well, it has velcro, but it doesn't stick anymore). I usually have my bag in the footwell for my car, so if I brake or corner it may fall over, spilling the content. In that regard I like the PD more. I don't mind a quick adjusting strap, it's better than my bag where it's much harder to adjust, but still slips (due to wear I guess).

At my place they are usually about the same price. The Tenba is reduced right now, but I can also pick up a PD that was returned by a customer for about the same price (V1... V2 I would have to wait a bit, so right now it's more expensive.

It's possible that V2 has fixed the side pockets a bit, which would make me lean towards it again. And I like having various options of making it stick to the body. Then again, with the Tenba it's not as necessary?

In terms of design I think both are cool. The PD stands out a bit more as a stylish bag (which is also very rare at my place... I don't think I have seen one in the wild yet!). As long as it doesn't attract thieves I'm fine with that. I'm ok with something a tad more flashy. And the Cooper 13 looks quite bulky... I might actually go for the slim, as apart from width (missing 2 cm) it is significantly bigger than my current bag. I think I should be able to fit everything nicely.

Anyway, I think I'll go for the Tenba and get something to organize SD cards etc. (though having it be part of the bag wouldn't hurt). The side pockets are just too important, it's a shame PD sacrificed those for style, and from what I read they even reduce space inside the bag, despite being not very useful. Not having them at all may have been better. The zipper idea could have worked wonders... flat and neat when not in use, but when you do need it, you can use it.

One more question: How flexible is it? Can it be slimmer when there's not much in it, or is it stiff (the PD seems to be stiff...).

OP stevesayskanpai Contributing Member • Posts: 676
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

I think there are two 'one-sided' dividers, although by one-sided I mean that they have velcro all the way down one side of them, not just one corner.

It's definitely flexible in my opinion, the whole insert can be removed too.

To be honest I always buy things from Amazon so I can easily return them if I have any problems at all. With a bag a lot of it is down to personal opinion, and I think you really have to see the bag for yourself before deciding if it's for you or not - so I'd definitely get it with a store that offers a decent returns policy.

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 stevesayskanpai's gear list:stevesayskanpai's gear list
Nikon D5500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR
(unknown member) New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

The shop I intend to buy it from indeed has a good returns policy, and I could also order both bags from them. However I'd rather not bother them unnecessarily, because restocking does cost them money, and eventually they even have to offer the bag at a much reduced rate. Since it's not a big shop like Amazon I try not to cause more damage than absolutely necessary.

I'd like to see more than 2 of these dividers, though I guess it will do...

Maybe I'll end up with the Slim version, though I sometimes get gear for review, which might require more space.

kadajawi New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

Hey there, I finally regained control of my "real" DPReview account, instead of User xyz...

I ended up ordering the Tenba Cooper 13 DSLR, as I figured that it has significantly more interior space without much of a growth outside. It arrived today, and I have mixed feelings.

I prefer the canvas of my old Matin Balade Bag 300, which is pretty rough. I think the water proofing coating just feels a bit odd to me. Also, with the camera insert it's pretty stiff. The Everyday Messenger Bag would be even stiffer though.

I wear my bag to the left of me, and the zippers seem designed for people carrying it on the right. To open, I have to reach to the back, far away, and then try to pull it towards the front. It's much nicer to pull it from the front to the back... with my old bag, the main compartment has two zippers. Chose which direction you prefer... Not sure why they couldn't do it with a bag that costs 3 to 4 times as much.

The side pockets are really nice, though I wouldn't mind if they were a bit bigger. Then again they are still a big improvement over the Peak Design, although the recently launched V2 of the bag seems to have improved a bit. The side pockets are bigger.

The two big front compartments feel nice and are spacious, but why can't they be closed? Ideally they'd have used weak magnets (we don't want to damage hard drives, which are predestined to go in there) or something similar (like a stiff material that snaps back into position... think some soft cases for glasses from a while back?). One of these compartments feature pen holders made from that super lush leather. Not sure why... but I'm not complaining.

I can't find any place for SD cards. Like, Tenba could have sown into the interior 5 to 10 small pockets that fit one SD card each. Maybe with some slightly elastic material. That would be super useful.

And now comes the kicker:

I can only find 2 big dividers that are full height, but say the top third is folding, and can be velcro'd into a different position, say at a 90 degree angle. There are also 3 smaller dividers, about 2/3rd the height of the bag. All dividers have velcro on both sides, meaning I can't make it so that only one side attaches and the other can be lifted up... and this is a bit of a deal breaker. Since I have one lens that is 14 cm with MFT adapter attached (2/3rd of the bag height), 2 that are 6 cm, 1 that is 3 cm and 1 that is 8 cm, plus a DSLR body and a MFT body, I need compartments, compartments, compartments. That I can stack on top of each other. I figured out a way that seems to work, but if I add more lenses I will have to stack them on top of each other without protection between them. Not that I'm too fuzzy about this, I used to throw all my gear into one bag with no separators between them. What does work on the big separators is sticking the velcro to the separator itself. Then I can just have a part of it fold away. Unfortunately that doesn't work with the smaller ones, where it'd make more sense. Plus it'd be nice if they had supplied another step down in terms of size, plus a few more options perhaps. It's not a cheap bag.

There's one more thing: The strap. Not a big fan of the cushioning. I think it is too stiff and to... round and thick? The way it is designed it doesn't spread out the weight as much as with my old bag. There it is thicker on the outside, thinner on the inside, and quite wide. Seems to spread out the weight better. Not using the cushioning thing might be my favorite way to wear the bag, but I'll have to try it properly.

I'd also like to have space on top of my camera gear for stuff such as an umbrella etc., but that's not going to work here as I packed it. It would with the Everyday Messenger... was also thinking of adding the Peak Design Everyday Field Pouch to carry my accessories, and occasionally act as camera bag if I only want to bring my MFT + a lens or two. Not sure I can fit it though...

I'm not 100% convinced. Plenty of things I like, but also things I think are less than ideal. To be fair I'd probably think the same with the PD EM...

kadajawi New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

Ok, so I spent 3 hours walking and standing with my fully loaded bag 5 lenses, 2 cameras, powerbank, lens cup full of water, some smaller items. It's more comfortable than I expected it to be. I'd still like the bag to adapt to my body a bit more, but the strap was pretty good. Especially when walking. Now I can understand why it is so thick and cushioned... it takes away the bumps. Also I had the cushioning part only reach just below the top of my shoulder, so little weight was actually sitting on top of my shoulder. My chest took most of the brunt. That helped a lot in terms of comfort I imagine.

I think I'll keep it.

kits Contributing Member • Posts: 830
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

stevesayskanpai wrote:

Just to add I got the Tenba Cooper Slim 13 in the end and couldn't be happier with it!

Does't the Slim bulge a little with A7 series camera attached with lens due to the pop for EVF? I had 13 Slim and gave it away to friend for that reason. Wondering if Copper 13 DSLR will be too wide.

Sony A7Riii height is 3.9 and inside depth of Cooper 13 Slim is only 3.5.

 kits's gear list:kits's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic LX100 Sony a7R II Sony a7R IV Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM +20 more
Neverland76uk Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

The interior dimensions seem very narrow for the 13 slim version.

Slim and deep ... Sounds very hard to get anything back out? Or does it all get a bit more flexible over time and easier.

I saw a guy on YouTube who struggled to take out an Olympus 12-40 lens cause it was too deep and probably too snug.

I do really like the bag and currently have the 15 version (non slim) but would like something smaller in addition

 Neverland76uk's gear list:Neverland76uk's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +7 more
OP stevesayskanpai Contributing Member • Posts: 676
Re: Tenba Cooper Slim 13 vs Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13

Hi there, I've loved this bag in the end. It fits my Tokina 11-20 attached to my DSLR with another lens in the bag. It certainly isn't suitable for peopel who lug tons of gear around, but for my needs it has been excellent.

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Constructive criticism of my travel photography portfolio is always welcome:
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 stevesayskanpai's gear list:stevesayskanpai's gear list
Nikon D5500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR
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