Peak Design Messenger alternative?

Started Sep 9, 2020 | Discussions
Angrymagpie
Angrymagpie Contributing Member • Posts: 771
Peak Design Messenger alternative?
1

My trusty 15" everyday messenger's laptop compartment zipper just failed on me.

I was wondering if I could get some suggestions about a good alternative. Let me give a quick list of my favourite features of the everyday messenger, to give a sense of what I'm looking for:

  1. Quick access to my camera and lenses
  2. Bag is fairly weather resistant and is generally well-built (zippers, dividers, and the fabric hoops that hold the strap to the metal rings are the weak points in my experience)
  3. Quick adjust of the strap is very valuable to me
  4. The laptop compartment that holds a 15" MacBook Pro
  5. Its discreet "not a camera bag" look

Side note: this is the second time I've had a major zipper failure with Peak Design bags - the first time was with my everyday backpack. To be fair, I've been using this messenger bag since 2013, and since I use it alongside my everyday backpack, um, everyday, it's seen a fair amount of use. I went to many different workshops in my city to see if anyone can help me replace the zipper, but apparently the bag is built in such a way that it's almost impossible to do. I guess this is a mark of good quality? Nevertheless, it's a shame to retire it since pretty much everything else still works just fine.

danmitch
danmitch Contributing Member • Posts: 682
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?
3

I keep coming back to Billingham bags - would suggest the https://billingham.co.uk/collections/camera-bags/products/hadley-large-pro

Hadley Large Pro - completely storm proof, sensible size, although traditional not necessarily identifiable as a camera bag.

I have a couple of Billinghams, one I have had for many years - they are very well made indeed, completely storm proof.

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Best - Daniel
A few photos and thoughts at https://www.danmitch.photography
Latest photos on https://www.instagram.com/dangramit/

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Angrymagpie
OP Angrymagpie Contributing Member • Posts: 771
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?

I did not realise that these come with a laptop compartment! Thanks for the suggestion. I was wondering if you could comment on whether if those straps get grimy? From the picture it doesn’t look like the strap has received any water resistant treatment. I live in a tropical environment so I wonder how well that fabric-like material holds up in a longer term

danmitch
danmitch Contributing Member • Posts: 682
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?
3

Angrymagpie wrote:

I did not realise that these come with a laptop compartment! Thanks for the suggestion. I was wondering if you could comment on whether if those straps get grimy? From the picture it doesn’t look like the strap has received any water resistant treatment. I live in a tropical environment so I wonder how well that fabric-like material holds up in a longer term

My older bag is the lighter brown canvas with similar strap and has been on many travels with me as well as coastal trips - storms, salt water - and of course usual British weather, it has not been nursed or babied at all, just brushed off and has some very minor signs of age, scuffs and the odd small stain, but the bag and strap are functionally as new and in appearance also very good.

On this bag I have the older style shoulder pad and the very edge of the foam has deteriorated slightly. My other Billingham has the newer style shoulder pad and is more hardwearing with a sealed design - although strangely I prefer the older slimmer design, both are still available for all their bags and are a worthwhile addition.

I have had other shoulder bags, including from Peak Design, Artisan and Artist but always come back to the Billinghams.

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Best - Daniel
A few photos and thoughts at https://www.danmitch.photography
Latest photos on https://www.instagram.com/dangramit/

 danmitch's gear list:danmitch's gear list
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Angrymagpie
OP Angrymagpie Contributing Member • Posts: 771
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?

Thank you for your very thoughtful explanation. I find it very helpful.

I like the idea of just sticking to a bag - I am not awfully fond of swapping around and doing endless online research just to find another bag. So initially I was going to just order another 15" Everyday Messenger. But the bag's build quality wasn't what I expected. Granted that I've been using it for perhaps 7 years by now, the inserts/dividers have fallen apart, two areas of the back of the bag needed patching, and one of the bolts that holds the lower bottom section of the bag has gone missing. And now the zipper has failed on me. It sounded like your Billingham withstood the test of time much better than my Peak Design!

One more thing though, if I may, it looks to me that the Hadley Large Pro is a larger bag than the 15" Peak Design messenger. Is that your experience as well? (assuming that you also have the 15" messenger)

Thanks again for sharing your experience

danmitch
danmitch Contributing Member • Posts: 682
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?
1

Angrymagpie wrote:

Thank you for your very thoughtful explanation. I find it very helpful.

I like the idea of just sticking to a bag - I am not awfully fond of swapping around and doing endless online research just to find another bag. So initially I was going to just order another 15" Everyday Messenger. But the bag's build quality wasn't what I expected. Granted that I've been using it for perhaps 7 years by now, the inserts/dividers have fallen apart, two areas of the back of the bag needed patching, and one of the bolts that holds the lower bottom section of the bag has gone missing. And now the zipper has failed on me. It sounded like your Billingham withstood the test of time much better than my Peak Design!

One more thing though, if I may, it looks to me that the Hadley Large Pro is a larger bag than the 15" Peak Design messenger. Is that your experience as well? (assuming that you also have the 15" messenger)

Thanks again for sharing your experience

No problem. I don’t have the PD bag any more but checking on line they seem very close in size although I find the Billingham bags feel smaller as they are a bit softer and more flexible, this may be a personal thing and I don’t always carry a laptop with them which helps.

Just to be really clear, I know some people love the PD bags, I just wasn’t that impressed to be honest - be boring if we all liked the same though!

-- hide signature --

Best - Daniel
A few photos and thoughts at https://www.danmitch.photography
Latest photos on https://www.instagram.com/dangramit/

 danmitch's gear list:danmitch's gear list
Fujifilm X100V Nikon Z6 Leica Summarit-M 50mm F2.4 ASPH Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 Nikon Z 35mm F1.8 +8 more
iazybandit Contributing Member • Posts: 636
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?
1

Angrymagpie wrote:

My trusty 15" everyday messenger's laptop compartment zipper just failed on me.

I was wondering if I could get some suggestions about a good alternative. Let me give a quick list of my favourite features of the everyday messenger, to give a sense of what I'm looking for:

  1. Quick access to my camera and lenses
  2. Bag is fairly weather resistant and is generally well-built (zippers, dividers, and the fabric hoops that hold the strap to the metal rings are the weak points in my experience)
  3. Quick adjust of the strap is very valuable to me
  4. The laptop compartment that holds a 15" MacBook Pro
  5. Its discreet "not a camera bag" look

Side note: this is the second time I've had a major zipper failure with Peak Design bags - the first time was with my everyday backpack. To be fair, I've been using this messenger bag since 2013, and since I use it alongside my everyday backpack, um, everyday, it's seen a fair amount of use. I went to many different workshops in my city to see if anyone can help me replace the zipper, but apparently the bag is built in such a way that it's almost impossible to do. I guess this is a mark of good quality? Nevertheless, it's a shame to retire it since pretty much everything else still works just fine.

Contact PD. They should replace it under their guarantee - https://www.peakdesign.com/pages/warranty

Our Lifetime Warranty covers:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Failures or breakages that render part or all of your product to become non-functional
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Jbs1978 Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?
1

Lifetime warranty on Peak design. Contact them on Twitter and they will fix you up.

D Lynch Veteran Member • Posts: 5,241
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?

danmitch wrote:

I keep coming back to Billingham bags - would suggest the https://billingham.co.uk/collections/camera-bags/products/hadley-large-pro

Hadley Large Pro - completely storm proof, sensible size, although traditional not necessarily identifiable as a camera bag.

I have a couple of Billinghams, one I have had for many years - they are very well made indeed, completely storm proof.

Second your recommendation....btw the Hadley Pro (an older bag) has a large pocket for ipads and laptops. A good pad is essential on the strap. The strap is very slippery.

I found a Tamrac Apache 6.2 bag that carries the same. It came in 3 sizes; I bought the largest one so I would have empty space for other essentials...this is an older bag too. It's well made. I like the Tamrac pad (included) better than the Billingham pad I had to buy after I bought the bag.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1281577-REG/tamrac_t1610_7878_apache_camera_tablet_bag.html

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DaveL
Canada

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RAS123 New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Peak Design Messenger alternative?
1

As someone who has used PD’s warranty it was really painless - I was impressed that they kept to their word without trying to wriggle out!

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Angrymagpie
OP Angrymagpie Contributing Member • Posts: 771
Peak Design sent me a new one
2

Just want to give a quick update and to praise Peak Design's customer service

I took the advise from some forum members and reached out to Peak Design, which very generously sent me a new bag!

Having said that, they told me beforehand that the 15L version of the bag had been discontinued!?. They sent me the 13L version instead, which looks great but couldn't quite fit my 15" MacBook Pro.

Regardless, I must say that my interaction with Peak Design was very easy and friendly. I am very impressed by the customer service of Peak Design.

Congratulations on having built such a wonderful brand

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