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Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Designs Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker

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Peak Designs Travel Backpack Review: Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Photographers 2020

 Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Photographers 2020

  • Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Price: $299.95 

Weight: 4.5lbs (2.05kg)

Dimensions: 21x13x6.5” (expands to 7.5”)

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

What We Like: Multiple access points, stow away harness system. 

What We Don’t: Price. 

Peak Designs has created a great backpack with their Travel Backpack. With add-ons sold separately by Peak Designs, the pack is easily the Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Photographers in 2020. This designation is due to the clean design, multiple access points to the main compartment, and amazing stowing system for the harness. The technology that they were able to incorporate really shows in the final product of the Travel Backpack, even if they couldn’t come up with a catchier name.

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  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
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Pros

Laptop and Electronic Storage Pocket

Harness System

Cons

Boxy shape

Material Aesthetic

Weight: 5.1lbs (1.7kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Slim Design

Can Accommodate a 17” Laptop.

Cons

Looks Like a Suitcase with Backpack Straps.

Weight: 3.9lbs (2.4kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Zipper Security Systems

Price

Cons

Top Loading

Weight: 2.6lbs (1.17kg)

Dimensions: 21x14x8.25” 

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Great Harness System

Internal Storage

Cons

Laptop Sleeve Location

Weight: 3.17lbs (1.44kg)

Dimensions: 21x14x9”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Designs Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker

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  • Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Multiple Access Points

Stow Away Harness System

Cons

Price

Weight: 3.42lbs (1.55kg)

Dimensions: 21x14x9”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

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Pros

Made for Travel and Outdoor Adventures

Cons

Limited Organization

Boxy

Weight: 5.15lbs (2.34kg) 

Dimensions: 22x14x9”

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 15”

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Pros

Internal Organization

Durable Material

Cons

No Frame

Awkward Straps

Weight: 3.4lbs (1.5kg)

Dimensions: 22.75x18x6.75”

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Adjustable Hipbelt

Good Company Values

Cons

Thin Harness System

Weight: 3.5lbs (1.6kg)

Dimensions: 20x12x8”

Capacity: 35l

Laptop Size: 15”

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Pros

Shoe Compartment

Slim Design

Cons

Small Size

Hipbelt Sold Separately

Weight: 3.7lbs (1.69kg)

Dimensions: 21.5x13.5x8.5”

Capacity: 33l

Laptop Size: 15”

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Pros

Waterproof

Water Bottle Pocket

Cons

Odd External Material Set Up

Weight: 4.5lbs (2.05kg)

Dimensions: 21x13x6.5” (expands to 7.5”)

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Included Rain Cover

Laptop Suspension System

Cons

Harness Stowing System

Weight: 3.12lbs (1.415kg)

Dimensions: 21.6x13.7x7.87”

Capacity: 35l

Laptop Size: 16”

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Pros

Looks Great

Waterproof Material

Cons

Hard to Organize

Limited Pockets

Weight: 3.3lbs (1.5kg)

Dimensions: 20x15x8”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

If you are on Instagram and follow even just one travel account, you have heard of this pack. I don’t know if they paid off Mark Zuckerberg or what, but I only see this pack on my ads. With that out of the way, Peak Design was created from a single product. Their product, called Capture, is an innovative way to keep your bulky DSLR camera snapped to the shoulder strap of your pack and easy to access. Since then, they have created hundreds of products and have done most of their funding through Kickstarternot a bad creation story.

Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Designs Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker

The Travel backpack is as innovative as the company that created it. This pack is able to be accessorized with Peak Design photography “shelves” and other packing cubes (sold separately). Peak Design has done well to create a family of products that can all fit seamlessly together. This backpack was made for a traveling photographer, which is why it earned our award as the Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Photographers.

Storage

The main compartment of the pack is accessible in three ways: a full clamshell opening on the back, a side access pocket, and a traditional top loader style. The side access and back access work with Peak Design accessory items (again sold separately) that will keep any photographer very organized.

Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Design Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker

The pack itself is initially set at around 35l of storage but has expansion zippers that will take it to around 45l, which would come in handy if you can’t help but purchase Mickey Mouse ears at Disney World while traveling. The top of the pack will also snap down to create a 30l day pack set up, giving it a more urban look versus the boxy carry on look.

There are dual water bottle pockets on the side of the pack, a small top pocket, and a hidden side pocket. These are both great little touches to help keep you feeling safe and organized on your travels. Lastly, there are hidden straps that can be used along the front of the pack to hold additional equipment like a tripod.

Laptop Sleeve

The laptop sleeve in the Travel Backpack will accommodate a 17” laptop. The access for the sleeve is best accessed through the back zipper as the sleeve is a part of the main compartment. Though it is not as individually protected as other laptop sleeves, having the addition of clothes along the laptop will add some cushioning.

Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Design Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker

Comfort and Harness System

The shoulder straps on the Peak Design Travel Backpack are a bit thin but use stretch mesh to help with ventilation. The thin straps are mainly due to the stow system that they have adopted. The straps are able to be hidden beneath “wings” on the backpanel that are sealed with magnets, creating a flush backpanel for easy storage in overhead compartments.

There is a thin hipbelt as well that is adjustable and easy to stow away. The hipbelt will add some load support but not as much as the Tortuga Outbreaker’s hipbelt. The harness system is not the most comfortable of the travel backpacks, but it is easy and convenient to hide away

Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Design Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker
Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Design Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker

Security and Material

Peak Design has created its Travel Backpack with a 400D weatherproof and 100% recycled nylon fabric. There is also 900D nylon along the bottom of the bag that is also weatherproof, though I wouldn’t set your bag down in a puddle.

The zippers are weatherproof and lockable for added security. Unfortunately, with three ways of accessing the main compartment though, you will need to invest in a couple of travel locks to keep the thieves at bay.

Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Design Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

There is no question that this pack was made with photographers in mind. With the availability of adding Peak Design camera accessories (sold separately), the Travel Backpack becomes a highly functional travel camera bag. At the end of the day, I still think any traveler would enjoy the storage and durability of the pack as well.

At $299.95, it is an expensive backpack, and if you were thinking of purchasing additional camera inserts, the price would inevitably increase. Peak Design has done a great job of building this pack and making it usable for any traveler. I especially enjoy the “daypack mode” so I don’t look like I jumped right off a plane and began walking around town. It was easy to pick the Peak Design Travel Backpack as the Best One Bag Travel Backpack for Photographers.

Best Travel Backpacks: Peak Design Travel Backpack - Gear Hacker

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