Over the years of using my Lowepro Slingshot 100AW for carrying my camera, I came to the conclusion that I wanted something simpler for travel. While the Slingshot functioned just fine. It was larger than I needed and began to look dated after having it for almost ten years.
So, when Peak Design launched a small version to their Everyday line – the Everyday Sling 5L – I was excited at the opportunity to downsize my bag and try something new.
When I first received the Sling 5L, I was pleased with the clean and streamline look. It was light and soft to the touch. The bag was malleable while still being rigid. I saw it as a useful bag for general every day carry and was excited to put it to the test.
The interior comes with two foldable dividers that provide up to four compartments of storage.
There are also two stretchy pockets on either side of the bag, a padded sleeve with a magnetic closure at the back for small tablets, and a zippered pocket on the top flap for memory cards.
The exterior offers some nice aesthetic touches, a testament to Peak Design’s attention to detail.
The brown leather grab handle and brand accent is a nice compliment to the ash grey fabric, blue stitching and brushed aluminum hardware.
On one side of the bag, there is an attachment point for a Capture Clip, allowing you to leave your camera mounted on the exterior of the bag.
On the front, you’ll find a zippered pocket for your keys, wallets and/or small accessories.
So, my first test was to see if my Canon 6D would fit inside. While it technically did fit, I was very disappointed.
The bag would not easily close in a manner I was comfortable with. The height of camera would push up against the internal and external pockets, making them not as accessible.
The hot shoe would also cause a little bulge on the bag and I became concerned about the wear and tear of the inner lining over time from the constant rubbing.
Peak Design’s claim of the 5L’s “impressive capacity” to carry a “Full-Frame DSLR + lens” is too liberal in my opinion. While my Canon 6D with 35mm lens and arca plate did fit. I feel I need to sacrifice the accessibility of the pockets just to carry my camera. I was also not comfortable storing anything fragile in the pockets in fear that I would discover that I accidentally damaged my phone, tablet or similar.
This bag is better suited for small entry level DSLRs like the Canon SL for a more comfortable fit.
I also can’t say I’m a huge fan of the shoulder strap’s quick adjusting mechanism. It’s not intuitive and it will take some practice to get use to. While I find it convenient to loosen with one hand, I often found myself having to use both hands to fidget with and tighten the strap. There are much better quick adjustment mechanisms out there. I also prefer the one used for Peak Design’s 10L Sling and Slide Strap.
Comfort and Easy Access
When worn as a sling, I found the 5L to be very comfortable. It contours my back perfectly and I think a large reason for this is how the attachment points of the strap is designed. For me, it made a world of a difference compared to other bags I’ve tried like the Lowepro StreetLine 140 and the Thule Covert CSC Sling.
And once you master the art of quickly adjusting the strap, it becomes quite easy to swing the bag under my arm to access its contents.
Being able to repurpose the bag and wear it around my waist as a belt pack is an interesting idea. I see this being useful when I get tired and don’t want pressure on my shoulders.
However, in practice, I found the usage mostly limited. It is most comfortable around my back or front. Unlike a field pouch, the 5L does not sit well on my left or right because it is too wide and rigid to conform to the contour of my sides and makes working with the 5L on my waist quite cumbersome to slide around.
Will this replace my camera bag of ten years? Unfortunately, not for the time being. While I do plan to move on to mirrorless cameras in the next ten years, I do not plan to do so any time soon. Overall, Peak Design’s Everyday Sling 5L is an impressive and comfortable bag ideal for every day carry, mirrorless/CSC cameras and small entry level DSLRs. Especially if you are a person who prefers to carry the bare minimum with you.
At $130 CAD retail, I find the price point a little high compared to similar products. However, for me personally, the comfort I feel with this bag compared to other products warrants the price difference. Just don’t expect to carry more than a DSLR with a small lens.
Want to read what others have to say about the 5L? Here are some more links to other reviews: