Innovative Design. Lot’s of Potential. Nomatic Everyday Backpack Review

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Peter McKinnon’s inaugural partnership with Nomatic generated a buzz when they launched their backpack Kickstarter in 2019. They are back for another collaboration to ring in the successor, the Nomatic Everyday backpack. The second Kickstarter has recently concluded, and production is underway.

The Nomatic Everday backpack keeps many popular original features like quick top access, back access, roller luggage handle pass-through, and numerous customization options. Their newest innovation is a smaller version of their original camera bag that can double as an everyday backpack.

Much of the hype centers on the collaboration with Peter McKinnon. Even the press release we received focused on his social media influence when introducing the backpack. The Nomatic Everyday backpack has many options and cool features to fit various needs. Does it provide the comfort and customization that the name suggests to become your everyday bag? We received a backpack prototype to find out if it is worth the $324 price tag.

Too Long Didn’t Read

The Nomatic Everyday backpack is an innovative backpack with many customization options. There is room for improvement in the comfort department to serve every body type and double as an everyday bag.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Customization makes the bag very functional
  • Easy access to different compartments of the bag
  • Roller luggage handle pass-through
  • The laptop sleeve provides room for a 16” MBP
  • Organization
  • Water-resistant
  • High quality construction

Cons

  • It’s really big.
  • The adjustable sternum straps provide an odd fit for women.
  • The straps could be more comfortable, especially when weighed down with camera gear.
  • Unzipping the back compartment to access all components takes some getting used to. It is a different design than a lot of camera backpacks.

Gear Used

I used the Nomatic Everyday backpack with the large cube. I was able to fit a Canon 5D Mark IV camera body, Canon 85mm f1.2 L II Lens, lens hood, charger, instant film, Broncolor transceiver, and a GoPro in the large cube. The top compartment easily held my Hasselblad 501cm and instant film cameras.

I was also able to fit a 16″ MacBook Pro, two water bottles, memory cards, lens end caps, and personal items with room to spare. The large cube can be customized to accommodate smaller camera bodies and multiple lenses that the bulk of DSLR systems utilize.

The backpack accommodated the Fujifilm 70-300 f4-5.6 lens and Fujifilm XT-4 camera body. It would also fit a lot more gear if using a smaller system such as the Leica M-mount and the newer mirrorless systems.

Tech Specs

All tech specs were provided by Nomatic McKinnon Everday Kickstarter campaign.

  • Built with durable, water-resistant materials and zippers
  • 19” tall x 12” wide x 8” deep
  • Internal Main: 18” x 11” x 5.5” with top taper
  • Laptop compartment: 14.25” x 9.75” x 1” fits up to 16” laptop
  • Weight: 3.42 lb with ladder system. 3.14 lb without ladder system
  • Small cube: 10.5” x 5.25” x 5”
  • Small cube weight: .95 lb
  • Large cube: 11” x 11” x 5.5”
  • Large cube weight: 1.77 lb

Ergonomics

Let’s start with the outside of the Nomatic Everyday backpack. The EVA molded back panel dons the skull and bones detail, padded shoulder straps with adjustable sternum straps, and a padded grab handle.

The EVA molded panel has a roller luggage handle pass-through slot. Just past the padding is a laptop sleeve that can hold up to a 16” laptop.

On the sides of the bag are magnetic water bottle holders that double as a tripod carrier by attaching external straps to the molly systems. The front of the bag also has multiple molly systems to secure bulkier items such as large tripods or a jacket.

The Nomatic Everyday backpack has top access to place essential or grab-and-go items. It also has complete back access by completely unzipping the back of the bag.

The top access also has a magnetic door for accessibility when the bag is completely open.

We used the primary volume system as a full-on camera backpack with a large cube and ladder system for this review. On the inside, you will find a large removable cube and removable ladder system. It is fully accessible from the outside without having to unzip the bag completely.

The backside allows numerous options for organization. It consists of four mesh pouches to house smaller items such as memory cards, batteries, a GoPro, and chargers.

Build Quality

The Nomatic Everyday backpack is made of water-resistant materials and zippers. It survived a Montana thunderstorm, and the contents remained dry. The padded grab handle and EVA molded back panels feel substantial.
The overall construction of the bag is of high quality and will not wear out quickly.

The cubes offer padded protection, although it isn’t substantial. I prefer a little more padding if I were to be carrying high-end camera bodies and lenses. I would also like to see a double layer of mesh specifically to prevent the inevitable wear and tear of transporting a tripod.

Ease of Use

The Nomatic Everyday backpack is large in stature. When not completely full, it tends to rest on your backside if you have junk in your trunk unless the shoulder straps are fully cinched up. However, this isn’t the case when the bag is fully utilized. It is also heavy enough that I would dread a long commute and a fourth-floor walk-up at the end of a long shoot day.

The adjustable sternum straps fit most lean body types. I am a very average woman and found the fit of the sternum straps to be odd. They are the most comfortable when in the middle position. However, it really emphasizes the chest in a not-so-flattering manner. The top position is too high and tends to push the chest down.

The shoulder straps are positioned wide for smaller frames. The sternum strap must be fastened to keep from feeling as though it will slide off. When all compartments were full, I experienced broken blood vessels on my shoulders. I usually only encounter this when squatting intensely at the gym. The shoulder straps felt like they were digging in like underwire poking out from a bra when carrying heavy gear for prolonged periods.

The top access is very convenient. I found myself often putting my main camera body in it when moving to a different location. I also liked putting an instant camera and instant film in the top compartment to quickly grab candid frames in between looks.

Accessing the gear in the large cube requires putting the bag on the ground and unzipping it completely. I feel the cube should be fitted to the backside of the bag with the laptop to rest on the straps when on the ground. Having the cube on the front and having to unzip the weight of the laptop felt backward in this prototype. At the same time, it makes sense.

The small cubes and ladder system allow further customization for easy organization access from the top without having to unzip the bag fully.

Conclusions

Likes

  • The customization options will satisfy most photographer’s needs.
  • Water-resistant
  • Roller luggage handle pass-through
  • Lot’s of organization
  • The easy access to the top compartment is very convenient.

Dislikes

  • It’s hefty for an everyday bag.
  • The shoulder straps could be more comfortable.
  • I don’t love the skull and bones detailing.
  • The adjustable sternum straps could be improved upon to fit more than a specific athletic body type comfortably.

The Nomatic Everyday backpack offers a plethora of customization that is sure to fit the needs of most photographers. All the convenience comes at the price of a large mass though.

The heft will not be a problem when worn for shorter periods of time. Although, we would love to see them revisit the sternum straps and shoulder straps to make the backpack more comfortable for women and other non-athletic body types.

Seeing as how this is a prototype, there is the possibility that comfort will be improved upon in the manufacturing stars. As is, we give it three out of five stars.

Brittany Smith

Brittany is a commercial fashion and portrait photographer working in Montana and NYC. When not behind a camera she can usually be found at a local artisan coffeeshop, writing for photography education sites and publications, teaching fitness classes, or baking something fabulous.