More Useful Accessories for Travel Photography From Peak Design

More Useful Accessories for Travel Photography From Peak Design

Peak Design has released new gear to complement its growing Travel Cube range. For traveling and adventurous photographers, they may be exactly what we need.

The two new Travel Duffel bags I reviewed recently are not the only new items from the Peak Design stable. Along with them are new Packing Cubes and a small Tech Pouch. These add to their already broad array of gear for photographers like me.

The New Ultralight Packing Cubes

If you are unaware of the Packing Cubes, various travel organizers comprise the range. Usually made from 70D Ripstop Nylon, they are designed to help you organize your stuff when you travel. Now, new options are available with different sizes, colors, and materials. The latest additions include new Ultralight Packing Cubes organizational pouches that give more choices.

Different colors, so what? I often hear people moaning when a new color range is released, saying it doesn’t mean much. I disagree. Color coding makes instant recognition of gear possible. For instance, I use different colored straps to differentiate my cameras on photoshoots. When packing gear, having different color pouches in your bag makes it easier to identify it by sight within my luggage.

Another useful feature is the possibility of attaching a carry strap (sold separately or transferred from other PD gear) directly to these pouches. Thus, you can use Packing Cubes as sling bags.

These new Packing Cubes feature an all-new proprietary material called Terra Shell™, which Peak Design says is the most high-performance and eco-friendly fabric it has ever produced. They have a long and proud history of genuine ethical and environmental awareness, being climate neutral and a member of 1% for the Planet.

The new Ultralight versions of the Packing Cubes have a more simplified design than the originals with just one compartment and one zip, instead of two of each. Moreover, the mesh version of the two new Ultralight Packing Cubes features a stretchy and breathable transparent mesh fabric. That may be useful for packing damp gear, allowing air to circulate. Being stretchy, it can also incorporate oddly shaped items.

To give an idea of size, in the small 10L Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube, I could fit both my OM-1 cameras with lenses attached and have plenty of room to spare. The extra small (XS) 3L version would take one camera with a 40-150mm lens attached to it. I should emphasize that this example is solely to give an idea of scale; I would normally use their more protective Camera Cubes for storing and transporting my cameras.

Meanwhile, the XXS 1L would take half a dozen camera batteries.

The non-mesh Regular Ultralight Packing Cubes are made from a new 100% recycled PFAS-free Terra Shell™ fabric and are secured with a weatherproof UltraZip™.

All these Packing Cubes fold away into tiny packages and are held in place using the elasticated tag loops on the zips.

In use, I found this range a great way to store ancillary equipment like my lens cleaning kit, a bean bag, rolls of film, my hat and gloves, and a dry pair of socks.

Tote Bag

PD has also released a new color, Sage, for their zip-top Packable Tote bag. Made from the same proprietary self-mending rip-stop Versa Heal™ nylon that Peak’s other Packable Totes and Packing Cubes are constructed from, this 12L bag seems exceptionally strong. It features an internal pocket with a pop fastener. The bag folds away into that pocket. Weighing just 2.8 oz, it is a handy bag for your travels.

It’s easy to see this is a superbly made bag. Although this isn’t what it is designed for, I filled it with water, and it didn’t leak. Therefore, I can be sure that packing clothes in it on an expedition up a mountain will keep them dry.

Small Tech Pouch

The original Tech Pouch was one of those things I didn’t need; it was a bit too big for my needs. Imagine an elongated zipped wallet with numerous internal pockets, designed for carrying memory cards, batteries, filters, cables, a cell phone, and other ephemera a photographer needs. I could see its appeal for those who use lots of gear on a shoot, but for me, it was overkill.

PD has released a scaled-down version of the same unit. Half the size of the original model, the one-liter Small Tech Pouch will fit into a coat pocket or the top compartment of Peak Design’s Travel Backpack. Its exterior is made from the same heavy-duty recycled and water-resistant nylon and is held shut with a waterproof zip. I find that a far more convenient size.

It has an internal zipped pocket with three storage slots on the outer edge designed for storing memory cards. That pocket also has enough space for my external hard drive. Adjacent to that, the main compartment is divided into four sections: two large and two small. One of the large sections will take my smartphone and the other a power bank, while the small sections are suitable for four camera batteries.

The other outer edge of the pouch’s interior has three open pockets and a pen holder.

Externally, the two anchor loops are suitable for attaching any of the multitudinous straps available from Peak Design, plus a finger flap to ease carrying the pouch. One thing I think it could have benefited from is belt loops.

The Small Tech Pouch passed my five-minute shower test.

Whether traveling or on an extended photoshoot, this is an incredibly useful tool for keeping your accessories protected, together, and easy to find. As I said, I found its size more convenient than the full-sized two-liter version.

Who Are These Accessories For?

Although much of the gear is designed primarily for photographers, I think people in other fields will be interested in these too, especially those who enjoy adventurous outdoor activities. Having previously worked in the outdoor education industry, I wish I had owned some of this gear when I went on sailing or canoeing expeditions. The Ultralight Packing Cubes and the Tote Bag would also have been a better option than the drawstring nylon stuff-sacks I used to pack gear into when hiking.

What I Liked and What Can Be Improved Next Time

What I Liked About the Range

  • All are very well made and versatile.
  • Different color coding to help identify gear.
  • Waterproof.
  • Components, like straps, will work from other PD gear.

What Could Be Improved Next Time

The small Tech Pouch would benefit from having belt loops.

The price point of the gear reflects the quality, but it may be unaffordable for some.

In Conclusion

As their name suggests, Peak Design is very good at identifying needs and inventing top-quality gear that meets them. Not every item in this range will suit every photographer, but there are photographers, me included, who will find a lot of the gear useful because of its waterproofing and hard-wearing build.

The entire range and their prices are available via the B&H website”

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