This past fall, I got invited on my first-ever photography press trip. It was to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A dreamy autumn destination, no doubt. But most appealing because the trip was hosted by Peak Design––a company that makes the best travel bag I’ve ever found.

Somewhere, the guys at Peak Design are shaking their heads, muttering, “It’s a camera bag, Jenny.”

And, yes, it is a camera bag.

For me, a camera bag has to be also be an everything bag. And, that’s why this post isn’t so much about the place, as it is about the pack. I carried it everywhere for nearly six months before ever coming into contact with anyone at the company and long before I ever ended up in Wyoming, I’d decided this was one of the best purchases I’d made in the last decade. So often, travel is the little moments. Those of us who travel for a living will tell you, little moments of frustration for weeks with something like a bag can sour an entire country.

Why do I love the Peak Design backpack so much?

It holds my Nikon and lenses, but will also accommodate a pair of heels for work or sneakers for the gym. It has a protected laptop pocket, a secondary tablet sleeve, and rubber-encased zippers.

There’s a locking system on the zippers (ideal for crowded markets in Bangkok), and the bag is nearly waterproof. Downpour? You’re golden. Dunking it in the ocean? Maybe don’t do that.

The pockets all have magnetic closures (you can flip it upside down and nothing is coming out), and hidden tripod straps. There’s a customizable interior, and in the TSA line, the side handles allow you to toss it in a bin with ease. A velcro pass-through allows you to slide it down over the handle of your rolling luggage.

I paid $250 (full retail) for this backpack, and that’s the most I’ve ever spent on a day pack. Hell, it costs more than my giant Osprey.

But, you know what? I’d do it again tomorrow. It’s made of a fabric that doesn’t peel, scratch or fray, no matter how much you toss it around. Mine is more than a year old, and it still looks brand new.

If you’re a photographer or a traveler, Peak Design might just make your favorite bag, too. They probably make a lot of gear you never ever realized you need. Especially this thing called The Capture, which is absolutely amazing for photography nerds. Check it out.

Here’s my imagery from Jackson Hole that I took over the three days with the company. I was given a free hotel, free meals and taken on incredible hikes with guides I did not pay. So, I won’t go into those lovely experiences. On this blog, I never exchange press for free stays or free meals. If I like something, it’s because I purchased it and loved it.

I will admit one slight theft though. I’ve added a stolen montage from Peak’s Instagram account at the end, so that you can see the backpack in action. Yes, it’s a camera bag, but apparently it also fits a small, furry dog. 

My No. 1 goal for 2018 is to put three kittens in a Peak Design backpack, and to snap a photo cute enough to get it on the Peak Design Instagram feed.

Jenny Adams is a freelance travel writer, author and photographer. She currently contributes to a number of publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Hemispheres, American Way and Imbibe. She's the former Bar Columnist for the Miami Herald, the current Copy Editor at Robb Vices and is also wrestling a half-written novel, set in New Orleans. Jenny's got an knack for getting lost, an addiction to full-fat cream cheese, and a deep and abiding love for every Water Buffalo she's ever seen. Her bookshelf is mainly Tom Robbins, her favorite word is 'visceral,' and you can find out more about her at www.jennyadamsfreelance.com.

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