If you’ve been into photography for any amount of time at all, you’ve probably heard of the name “Peak Design”. Although they’re definitely famous for their (amazing) camera clips, they also have put out a lot of really high-end, epic bags over the years.
Since you’re currently reading this review, I reckon you’re probably looking at their Everyday Sling and thinking, “is this bag actually that good?”.
Why You Can Trust Us
Chance (that’s me) has been practicing photography for 10 years and has been a paid professional for most of it. Over the years, I’ve cycled through plenty of good and bad (and terrible) camera bags. I’ve had the Sling for about a year and I don’t plan to replace it anytime soon (read how I review/test gear).
Well, I’ve owned it for quite some time, and I’m hoping to answer that very question for you in this review! 🙂
Let’s dive in.
- Keeps gear safe and dry
- Comfortable and adjustable
- Versatile & customizable
- Fantastic durability/longevity
- Fits plenty of random junk
- Tripod straps aren't perfect
- Extra dividers would be nice
Yet another great product from Peak Design, the Sling offers a minimalistic and clean camera-carrying solution for any photographer.
Alright, first up, let’s talk about some history. No, I don’t mean the history of the company. I mean the history as to why I was in the market for a new bag and why I gravitated towards the Peak Design Sling specifically.
I Hate Camera Backpacks
Well, the biggest reason I decided to hunt down a sling is for the simple reason that I just dislike camera backpacks. I think they’re bulky, typically uncomfortable, and have way more space for camera stuff than I’d ever actually need.
Given this fairly minimalist setup, I’ve never felt the need to have a gigantic camera bag that can fit five different lenses, two DSLRs, and a tripod to boot.
I Carry Other Stuff
Besides my seething dislike of camera backpacks, I went with a sling because I also just carry a lot of other stuff. Phone, wallet, keys. A (very small) first aid kit when out and about. Battery bank and compact USB-C charger. Spare batteries for the camera. Sometimes a small tripod. Lots of things, you name it.
I used to rock a small camera insert (Tenba BYOB 10) when I still regularly shot with my a6000, but that proved to be just a little too small for my comparably massive new full-frame setup.
Backpacks Are Inconvenient
The next reason I decided to go with a sling is because backpacks are just inconvenient when shooting on the fly. You see, when I used my previously-mentioned camera insert, I always had to take off the bag, pull out the insert, unzip it while precariously balancing it in my hand, and finally pull out the camera.
It wasn’t the end of the world having to do that, but it certainly slowed me down a lot. If I was hiking, for example, and wanted a picture, I had to hold up my hiking buddies for like a full minute while I took everything out, snapped a picture, and eventually put it back in.
With a sling, I can unzip it, reach in and pull out the camera with ease. Without even having to stop walking.
Slings Look Nice
The final reason I decided to go with a sling is that I just simply think they look nice.
I’ve always been a fan of the sort of “casual but classy” look. Maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel “fancier” than I am, but I really do just like the look of a sling.
Speaking of which, this thing comes in three different color choices. Although I really dig the gray, I decided to get the black because it’s a little more incognito. I travel a lot and I tend to try to “blend in” a little more in urban environments. The gray screamed, “I’m a camera bag!!!” whereas the black just looks like any ol’ satchel.
Materials & Durability
Anyways, now that you’ve read 400 words of me ranting about my distaste for traditional camera backpacks, let’s get into the real meat and potatoes of this review. Let’s talk about materials and durability.
Spoiler alert: the Peak Design Sling is an ABSOLUTE BEAST.
First off, it’s made entirely out of 400D nylon. Now, I must confess that I don’t entirely know what that means, but I do know that it’s quite strong and durable.
I’ve bashed this thing against rocks and even dropped it a few times (I think I might be a bit more clumsy than I like to admit). The outer shell is shockingly strong and I haven’t ever felt as if my camera was in danger of being damaged when inside.
With that being said, I did give the lens a bit of extra padding inside the bag (I’ll talk more about the interior a bit later).
Did I mention that this outer shell is also made of 100% recycled plastic and that it has a climate-neutral certification? Good stuff.
The zippers (their marketing jargon is “Ultra-Zips” lol), just like the shell, are also fantastic. I yanked on these guys many times and they refuse to break.
They always zip smoothly and I haven’t had any issues with durability. Oh, and as a nice bonus, you can also hook them into the strap loops on the bottom of the bag for extra security (which makes it harder for potential thieves to unzip the bag).
Finally, the bag is also waterproof. I got caught in a pretty nasty rainstorm a couple of weeks after buying it and I thought my gear was going to be toast. Much to my delight, I escaped the torrential downpour after a few minutes and everything inside the bag was totally dry (even though I certainly wasn’t).
Now, let me share another fun waterproofing-related story…
It’s Mudproof Too…
The day after I bought this bag, I went down to the shores of Lake Michigan to get some pictures of the beach. On my walk back up, I saw what looked like a shortcut going up the bluff. Another hiker had just gone up right before me so I figured, why not?
Well, I’m halfway up and I slip on a patch of mud. Sure enough, I go face-down into a mud pit and the bag takes the brunt of the hit. To make matters worse, I slid a few feet back down the incline.
So yeah, I was pretty peeved, thinking I had ruined my bag. However, everything inside was perfectly fine, and I was able to get (most of) the mud off with copious amounts of paper towels and water. There are still a couple of stains on it, but hey, it did the job of protecting my gear!
Comfort & Usability
So, the Peak Design Sling is built like a tank, but how is the comfort and day-to-day usability of it?
First off, the strap is pretty comfortable. It’s highly adjustable (“excess” strap can be tucked into two discrete little pockets), and you can wear the bag in a variety of ways (front/back).
Most of the strap is padded with the exception of the buckles/adjustable bits. Admittedly, I’m a pretty skinny guy, so it sort of digs into my chest a little bit when wearing just a t-shirt. However, if I throw a hoodie or jacket on, it’s extremely comfortable.
I tend to chase hoodie-weather, so I don’t have issues with comfort 95% of the time, and I’d imagine it’s even better for those individuals who are not built like a literal stick.
Oops, one quick thing I forgot to mention. The straps are connected to the bag via a swivel thingy (I’m not sure of the correct terminology). This means they’ll swing and adjust to your body as you move.
Going back to my earlier points, some of the beef I have with most bags is that weight ends up being distributed poorly.
With the Peak Design Sling, I’ve found that the whole bag is fairly heavy (due to high-quality materials and whatnot), so loading up one side of the bag with your heavy camera doesn’t have as negative an effect on comfort.
I throw my a7iii on one side, and a couple of small accessories on the other side and it never feels unbalanced.
Anyway, it’s built like a tank and comfort isn’t a problem, so now it’s time to talk about features!
First off, the outside of the bag features a very small but easily grippable top handle. This handle is surprisingly strong and has also been way more convenient than I’ve ever expected.
When I travel, I run a two-bag setup. Large hiking-style backpack (carry-on) for carrying all my crap, and then my camera sling for the camera (obviously) and some other stuff (acting as my personal item). The handle makes it quite comfortable to lug around an airport all day.
As a bonus, the handle allows you to slide the bag onto any suitcase (if you don’t travel with a backpack). Oh, and there are also two tiny side handles on the bag, though I sort of forget they exist most of the time.
Next up, the bag features some integrated straps into the bottom. While these are obviously designed for carrying a tripod, you could also strap in other random things like a water bottle.
I have, admittedly, not used them much. When I first got the bag, I’d attach my Gorrilapod and… it just only kind of worked. I imagine with a larger tripod, it wouldn’t be an issue, but my small one was just a little bit too compact to fit properly.
I had a few occasions where I’d glance at the bag and the tripod would be hanging from just one of the straps. Again, I don’t think this would be a problem for most tripods, but for my ultra-compact travel variety, it was a little sketchy.
Finally, let’s delve into the interior of the Peak Design Sling! The inside is frankly a little bit tight. Thanks to the clamshell-style opening of the bag, interior space is fairly limited BUT it is quite well protected.
First off, one of the coolest interior features is the customizability! The bag ships with a few of these weird origami-esque inserts. The walls of the bag are made of velcro, so you can manipulate these inserts to subdivide your bag however you like!
I ended up making a sort of “cage” for my camera to go lens-down into. It’s a snug fit, and I placed an extra spare soft velcro thingy (from a previous bag) at the bottom in order to add just a little more cushioning for the lens. Besides the camera, I have some knick-knacks like a battery, USB-C cable, and some random bandaids (I’m weirdly accident-prone).
I think the customizability is epic. If you wanted, you could easily fit a decent amount of lenses and gear in this thing thanks to the fact you can make “compartments” for all your stuff.
Two Interior Pockets
Besides the large main compartment, there are two more (small) compartments attached. Near the “back” of the bag (the side that touches your body), you’ll find a hard sleeve-type compartment. I’ve used this to hold documents like my passport and ID when traveling. A little bit of extra security versus leaving them in my pants pocket.
The other pocket is a tiny zippered pocket that I use to hold a spare SD card, cleaning swab, and microfiber cloth.
Skinny Outside Pocket
Lastly, there’s a very skinny outside pocket on the front of the bag. It’s VERY tight, so I don’t actually use it for much right now (I just have spare cable in there).
You could, however, definitely use it for SD cards, charging cables, etc.
Alright, before we round out the review, I want to once again go over how I personally use my Peak Design Sling. Remember, as I mentioned earlier, I have the 6L version. I DEFINITELY would not want to downgrade to the 3L, but I also don’t think I’d need the excess space from the 10L.
Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t usually use my tripod with this bag. My tripod is just a little bit too small, so it slips a little out of the bottom straps.
So, I keep the outside of the bag pretty minimalist.
In the main compartment, I have my Sony a7iii with the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8. I put it lens-side down and it fits just perfectly. It’s snug and safe (thanks to the origami-style divider thingy), yet I can still hook my hand into the wrist strap and pull it out at a moment’s notice.
So yeah, if you’ve ever typed, “what fits inside a Peak Design Sling 6L” into Google, there’s your answer.
On the other side of the main compartment, I typically keep a spare battery, my USB-C cable (the battery life on my camera is insane so I usually don’t bring a battery charger, just USB-C), plus some random stuff. Random stuff could include bandaids or other small first-aid things, or even my keys (more on the reasoning of that in a minute).
Rear Interior Pocket
In the tight rear pocket, I usually keep my passport (when traveling) and, frequently, my wallet and other important documents.
You see, this bag is a little bit too small for water bottles, so I actually put my wallet/keys in the bag, and put the water bottle in my pants pocket. It looks stupid, yes, but it’s incredibly functional and I’m quite happy with the setup!
Mid-size water bottles fit fine in my pants pockets and keeping my wallet/keys in the bag is a nice little bonus for security.
Interior Zipper Pocket
I use the tiny interior zippered pocket for, as I said earlier, a spare SD card and general camera cleaning stuff.
Usually, I’ll have a sensor swab and microfiber cloth in there.
Exterior Zippered Pocket
Finally, the small exterior zippered pocket.
Frankly, I rarely use it as it is just SO TIGHT. However, sometimes I’ll throw a battery bank or spare USB-C cable in there.
Whew, that was really a lot of information, wasn’t it? If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading about my opinions! I love this bag.
Value for Money
So, you might be asking, is it worth rolling with the Peak Design Sling when you can just get something cheaper? Look, I also bought a budget off-brand sling on Amazon first because I wanted to save money. It was trash, and I ended up returning it and investing in the Peak Design bag instead.
It might feel weird spending so much on a small bag, but think of it this way: this bag will last at least a decade (probably more?) and it’ll keep your gear safe. AND, it’ll look stylish while doing so!
Anywho, I think I’ve ranted and raved enough about the bag. If I’ve convinced you to pick one up for yourself, I’ll leave a purchase link below. I do get a (very small) commission at no extra cost to you if you buy, so thank you for the support! 🙂
Thanks for reading.