As the father of a rambunctious two-year-old, and a newly arrived two-month-old, I’ve searched high and low for a bag that can hold all of the random things that a parent needs while still accommodating a camera and a couple of lenses for family pictures. What I’ve found are many that almost do the trick but were always just a bit deficient in one manner or another. Then I discovered the Everyday Messenger bag by Peak Design.

The bag is the fifth Kickstarter campaign by Peak Design, a camera accessories company based in San Francisco. It’s also their most successful, with nearly five million US dollars pledged from 17,000 backers. The bag had quite a bit of hype to live up to. After spending two weeks with it, I have to admit that it delivers in spades.

Form and function meld harmoniously with this day-to-day bag. First off, the bag keeps its exterior to a minimal design. At first glance, my wife said that it looked really metro, with its understated grey charcoal, red accented exterior.

The MagLatch flap closure system is just dead simple. So simple, it makes you wonder why someone hasn’t thought of securing a bag like this before.

Delve inside and you’ll find another evolutionary step towards the perfect bag. The three provided origami-like FlexFold dividers are ribbed to allow for folding flaps to shrink or expand to your needs. The front pocket is very handy for placing those random small items such as camera batteries, mosquito spray or an extra pacifier. The left side of the bag holds a strap with their Anchor Link quick connector attached to the end of it. While mainly designed for keys, I attached yet another pacifier. This is a lifesaver as a pacifier is now always at hand if the little one is being a bit fussy.

While it looks quite slim, the Everyday bag has a maximum volume of 18 litres. Needless to say, I’ve managed to put the whole kit and caboodle in there, with some room to spare. I’ve managed a full-sized DSLR with lens attached, two additional lenses, random batteries, a memory card holder, a Leatherman, a diaper pack, additional clothes for both kids, a 15-inch laptop, iPad mini (for Yo Gabba Gabba viewings) and a battery-powered fan.

Made in Vietnam

Peak searched high and low in the region for their manufacturing and after some serious deliberation, betted on Vietnam. When they first looked into Vietnam, Peak was surprised to discover the long history of technical bag manufacturing in Vietnam. Peak Design’s Adam Saraceno: “The large scale and long history of technical bag manufacturing in Vietnam was very surprising to us. We visited factories that were making bags for brands that we have a tremendous amount of respect for.”

This, along with the flexibility of the workforce, made it a dead simple choice to choose Vietnam over it’s neighbours.  “Certain sewing techniques, rivet construction, and hardware interaction are all things that are unique about our bags, and require cooperation and training to get right. That really gave us the confidence to move forward with setting up our manufacturing in Vietnam.”

Peak Design is sold at the Raw Shop at 61 Nui Thanh, Tan Binh District.

You can also order the bag at peakdesign.com. Peak is also currently running a Kickstarter campaign for two new bag designs at kickstarter.com