Our Peak Design Duffle Bag Review details a beautifully designed and dependable load hauler from an innovative American manufacturer. Please read on to find out more.
Trade Show Chats
I first came across Peak Design at a recent trade show. They had an eye catching stand featuring a wide range of storage bags, phone accessories and travel packs. We explored various items and it was immediately obvious everything was skilfully designed with functionality and style in equal measure. Their smaller bags, ideal for photographers and travellers, had any number of pockets and well thought out spaces for gadgets. Peak Design packs are also carefully tailored for modular storage. Their new range of phone holders and cases also looked perfect for everyone from sports people to everyday users.
But, alongside the function, there was also clearly a lot of thought given to the appearance and construction. Nice colours combined with details like nifty leather tag details and contrasting splashes of colour. Each item was subtly stylish and, when you inspected the production quality, impeccably made. This was gear that would take the rough and yet would be in keeping when you were heading for the smooth.
Meeting The Team
We also took time to chat to some of the Peak Design team. They told us the company was a long established American brand committed to producing top quality products with close attention to sustainability. They talked the talk, but it was also clear they walked the walk. Amongst others, Peak Design is a B Corp company and member of 1% For The Planet.
After the trade show we took time to research the company a little more. We may not have heard of them before, but it was soon clear they had a lot of very devoted customers. It was evident they were one of those brands that many users favoured time and again. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive and with many people reporting owning multiple items.
With all this in mind, we felt it only right to give some Peak Design products a run for their money. So, in the first of these, we have been testing their 65 litre duffle. Here is our detailed Peak Design Duffle Bag review.
As described above, first appearances for the 65 litre duffle are of it being designed with careful attention to making sure it looks good. The bag tested came in sage colour which is a subtle light green. It is also available in black.
There are leather details (all of which are gold certified by the leather working group) and The Peak Design logo is on a small leather tab in one corner. There is also a leather hand guard that can be used to join the two handles to a central point. This is closed by a magnetic clasp. The straps themselves are made from chunky webbing attached to the bag with scooped metal buckles.
The main body is constructed from a 600 denier nylon canvas combined with a heavy duty waterproof base. The fabric is Durable Water Repellent impregnated and double poly coated for weather resistance. In line with Peak Design sustainability ethos, the fabrics are manufactured from recycled Fair Trade certified and carbon neutral material.
There are four zipped exterior and two interior mesh organisation pockets. Grab handles are positioned at each end of the bag and it closes with a chunky #10 weatherproof UltraZip zipper. The Peak Design blurb says this features an abrasion resistant tread that should withstand decades of use.
The model tested is 65 litres in capacity although Peak also do a 35 litre option. The 65 litre model weighs 1.3 kgs and the smaller bag weighs 0.9 kgs. The RRP is £124.96.
Attention To Detail
So, firstly let’s consider appearance. All the styling on this duffle is subtle but stylish and collectively this adds up to a great looking bag. It will serve for the rougher outdoor adventures and yet wouldn’t look out of place if you were checking into a high end hotel. The available colours are great and the look and feel of the fabric is really good.
But, appearance is one things. For this Peak Design Duffle Bag review lets consider how it all works? We have used many types of duffle bag from a range of manufacturers and they all follow a tried and tested formula. In using the Peak Design duffle you’ll soon start to see the aim has been to produce something apart from the rest.
An Innovative Opening System
First is how it opens. The long top zip combines with rigid bars along each side allowing it to open really wide and stay open. This makes the duffle a breeze to pack and is a truly stand out feature. It can be quite a pain when duffles keep flopping closed and Peak Design have found a great work around. Many duffles work around this by having a clamshell style opening with a lid that can be folded back. Peak have found an efficient and elegant alternative.
Next, let’s consider the carrying options. Again, there are some clever tricks up this duffle’s sleeve. The bag comes with a strap on either side that come together to form a handle. These are made of chunky webbing and there is a clipped leather fold over handle that draws them together. This ensures they can be fastened closed and the handle is always ready to grab. So far, they work as the handle on many bags does. But the Peak Design duffle has a trick up it’s sleeve.
The handles are attached via two metal clips that link to loops sewn on either side of the bag. These clips hold the handles securely, but on closer inspection you will notice they can be easily unclipped. This allows the handles to be easily removed, but that isn’t their main purpose.
Rucksack Style Carry
Sometimes you may want to use a duffle with rucksack style straps and the removable straps allow for that. Once the straps are unclipped they can be reattached to alternative loops at the top and bottom of the bag. Hey presto. From handles you now have shoulder straps.
In use this system works well, but with a couple of limitations, When used as shoulder straps there is no adjustment like you would get with normal rucksack shoulder straps. There is also no padding which may make them unsuitable for carrying a weighted duffle any significant distance. These straps work best for that quick carry across an airport or that shuttle from the car up to a hotel room. It’s a clever design nonetheless.
For further carrying options there are grab handles at each end and at the bottom. I initially thought this was a strange place for them to be positioned and yet they actually work really well. If you are loading the bag or dragging it on or off a luggage carousel these are perfectly positioned.
The bag features one large storage compartment which will suit most packing needs. However, in line with Peak Design history as a manufacturer of storage bags, there are lots of other storage options for small items. First, a mesh interior pocket is included on either side of the main compartment. Then, there are double exterior pockets on each side. These are layered so there is one on top of the other on either side. Inside the outer one of these there are further small mesh sections for small item organisation.
The system offers lots of choice for storing small items and makes living out off the bag breeze. The zipped pockets hold a lot and then within that there are various mesh sections that can hold small items. It all works really well, but with one caveat. Although the main storage compartment can be locked, the side pockets can’t. This means, if you are checking it in for air travel, these pockets could be opened.
This could happen by accident, although that seems unlikely as they are covered by a protective flap. However, they could certainly be opened by a person and so this is quite a vulnerability. You would also need to be aware of this if, for example, you were leaving the bag in luggage storage or it was being strapped on the side of a mule.
In terms of durability, we have full confidence in this bag giving a long and reliable life. We have been using the bag over the summer which has involved regular load hauling for work and leisure trips. It is a very robust duffle that will survive many adventures.
As previously mentioned, the principle of Peak products is based around modular systems. With this in mind the duffles can also be used with their packing/camera cubes. The 65 litre option tested can house 4 cubes while leaving plenty of additional storage space. The smaller model will fit 3 cubes. Finally, bravo to companies like Peak Design that are setting such a high benchmark for sustainability.
Our Peak Design Duffle Bag review examines a great travel companion that will suit you just as well on a wilderness adventure as it will on a city break. The styling and design details ensure this is a bag for a wide range of situations and for a long and reliable life. Of course, if you are using it for photography, you can also benefit from the modular storage options available.
Living out of the bag is made extremely easy by the clever opening and well thought out storage and it is great that Peak Design have carefully considered sustainability in the materials used. We fully recommend this bag and have no doubt it will serve you extremely well. Full details on the Peak Design range are available on their website here.
This is the first Peak Design product we have reviewed but we have lots of other storage product reviews available on our website. There are plenty of rucksack reviews but also some more travel based products such as this Aquapac Waterproof Waist Pack and this Osprey Daylite Duffle.