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Peak Design Travel Backpack Review

In 2018 Peak Design hit it out of the park with their Peak Design Travel Backpack. The company launched it using another successful Peak Design Kickstarter and had 13,752 backers pledge and raised $5,206,611 to help bring the Travel Backpack project to life.

Peak Design Travel Backpack (Black and Sage Green)

This year I received a heads up email from Peak Design about another Kickstarter project they were working on, namely the Peak Design Travel Tripod. The perfect companion to the Travel Backpack.

Anyway, since the company contacted me about the Travel Tripod, I sent a request to see if I could get my hands on the Travel Backpack 45L, and 2 weeks later a package arrived.

Full disclosure, I also received another package containing the Everyday Backpack 35L, which is specifically geared towards photographers.

Unboxing

Peak Design Travel Backpack

The Travel Backpack arrived in your typical mailing Box with your typical stuffing. Nothing too special, but it also included a Peak Design Packing Cube and Camera Cube (Size Small). Both are extra items for use with the Backpack and great traveling options to combine with the Travel Backpack should you need them.

REVIEW

Travel Backpack Review

When quickly inspecting the backpack, I was really surprised how nice it was. I really like the Sage Green color scheme and all the attention to detail.

PROS


  • Cool Sage Green Color Scheme
  • 45 Liters | Lots of Space
  • Hidden waist belt
  • Lots of handels

CONS


  • Only 2 color options
  • Price
  • No Front pocket


Color Selection

For those that like a “black on black” color scheme, you will not be disappointed. Of course, I tend to like a bit of color, so I opted for the Sage Green, which in the pictures looks very similar to the ash color on the Everyday Backpack, Everyday Sling.

Materials

The backpacks are designed using both 400D and 900D nylon canvas. It’s pretty heavy-duty stuff and seems plenty abrasion-resistant. In fact, I have yet to have any issues with any of my other bags and backpacks that use the same material.

Most of the backpack is covered in 400D nylon canvas with the bottom using 900D for extra protection. The 900D is especially good at protecting the bottom of the backpack from knocks and dings. It has a rubberized feel to it.

The backpack comes with an assortment of zippers from YKK and Zoom, who are leaders in the Zipper world. The polyurethane liner is DWR coated to add a bit of weatherproofing. Aluminum hardware and an abundance of webbing round out the materials.

Commuter or Travel Backpack?

Like the name suggests, the Peak Design Travel Backpack is built and designed for travel. This means it wouldn’t be my first choice for a day pack or commuter.

While it certainly could be used as a commuter, the functionality of it just doesn’t lend itself well for that purpose. The backpack is 45 litters and a bit on the heavy side. Going with something like the Everyday Backpack or Everyday Sling makes much more sense.

For travel, it makes perfect sense, especially those traveling abroad who may want to make use of its backpack capabilities. The PD Travel comes with backpack straps and a hidden waist belt for carrying heavier loads.

Pockets and Laptop Sleeve

The backpack comes with numerous pockets, including 3 hidden pockets and a 15-inch laptop sleeve. The hidden pockets are great for things like passports, wallets and other essential items.

For me, the most useful pockets are located in the front of the backpack with plenty of room for all your misc stuff.

2 water bottle pockets are located on the bag, 1 on each side with room to carry at least a 16 oz bottle.

Peak Design Travel Backpack Storage System

One of the beauties of the Travel Backpack is all the storage options. What makes the Travel Backpack different from most travel bags are the various pouches and accessories you can add to it.

For those who want to travel with their camera gear, the ability to mix and match pouches, camera cubes and packing cubes really helps organize the backpack for travel.

Technical Highlights

Technical Specifications

Technical Specifications

  • Modular Bag System by Peak Design, customize the internal carry options to match your requirements
  • Meets international max carry-on standards in default 35L configuration.
  • Dual expansion zips give 10L extra volume for 45L max storage.
  • Dual side zippers for instant camera and item access.
  • Full rear access via large dual zips.
  • Quick tablet and laptop access using the main back zip.
  • Packing Tools, Camera Cubes, Tech Pouch and Wash Kit compliment the Travel Line Backpack and are available separately
  • Laptop Max dimensions 16″ x 11″ x 1″ (40.6 x 30 x 2.5 cm)
  • Quick tablet and laptop access using the main back zip.
  • Tablet Max dimension 9.5″ x 7.5″ x 0.6″ (24 x 19 x 1.5 cm)
  • 45L
  • Retail: $299.00

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Does The Travel Backpack Fit Under The Front Seat On Flights?

Nope. It is designed to fit in the overhead and not under the seat.

Can The Backpack Carry A Tripod? Does it have a tripod holder?

You can carry a tripod either strapped down on the front or in one of the side pockets. Peak Design has a Travel Tripod that they just came out with.

Can You Carry The Travel Backpack On An Airplane Fully Expanded?

YES! Although you will have to place it in the overhead compartment.

Does The Backpack Come With Any Camera Cubes or Packing Cubes?

No, you have to purchase those separately.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you are a Peak Design owner, you know the quality of their products and the Peak Design Travel Backpack doesn’t disappoint. It certainly is not for everyone, but it does fit nicely into the travel category for photographers and those who want to organize their backpacks for travel.

At 45L it seems a bit too big for commuting with and a bit too small for long vacations, but for those who will travel with a check-on bag, the Travel Backpack will be a nice complement.

Check out Peak Design and their full lineup of backpacks and camera accessories.

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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