Peak Design Camera Cubes Review
The Peak Design Camera cubes give you all the organization, security and features you’d come to expect from a Peak Design camera bag in a small, portable container. We’ve been loving how customizable these things are and how well they integrate with the Peak Design Travel Backpack. Our only complaints are that the messenger mode isn’t quite ideal, and we wish the quick zipper access worked as well as it does on the packing cubes.
- High customizable organization with origami shelves.
- Seamless integration with the Peak Design Travel Backpack.
- Multiple access points.
- Quick zipper access doesn’t work well on the smaller cube.
- Messenger mode is not ideal.
- Not quite as heavy-duty as some other camera cubes on the market.
8.1 oz (229.6 gm)
(No Dividers), 12.3 oz (With Dividers)
12.6 in x 6.3 in x 6.7 in (32 x 16 x 17 cm)
(Small), 12.6" x 12.6" x 6.7" (Medium), 12.6" x 18.1" x 6.7" (Large)
Nylon, Polyester, EVA Foam, Hypalon®, YKK Zippers, Elastic, Polyurethane, DWR Coating
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Peak Design is known for making photography-focused travel gear that is chock-full of innovative features and smart designs. So when we first got our hands on all of the Peak Design Packing Tools, the camera cubes were one of the first items we wanted to try out.
These camera cubes, along with all of the other Peak Design Packing Tools, are designed to fit nicely into the Peak Design Travel Backpack. (Wow, that was a lot of “designs” in one sentence.) And while the travel backpack is not built for photographers, these camera cubes can turn it into a bonafide camera bag or a camera-travel-hybrid pack. Long story short—these camera cubes, along with some of the other packing tools, allow you to customize your pack based on your needs. And we think that’s pretty sweet.
These camera cubes come in three different sizes. There is a small, medium, and large, which correspond to the Peak Design “Packing Units.” Just like the packing cubes, the small camera cube is one unit, the medium is two, and the large is three. The Peak Design Travel Backpack fits three units—and while you can get away with stuffing more packing cubes into your pack than intended, you really are limited to 3 “units” of camera cubes. These things are much more rigid than the packing cubes and you really can’t compress them or stack them.
In this review, we’re mainly going to be taking a look at the small camera cube—which is the one we’ve been using the most. We’ll go over a couple of unique features that the medium and the large have, but for the most part, they’re are all the same.
The Camera Cubes use a 400D nylon canvas that’s polyurethane and DWR coated on each side. This is similar to the Wash Pouch and Tech Pouch—although the camera cubes are more rigid, with some firm padding. There are also some YKK #8 zippers.
Starting with the exterior, there are two grab handles that both have eyelets, allowing you to attach various Anchor accessories. (For the uninitiated, almost all of Peak Design’s gear has these attachment points, which allow you to attach straps and various accessories together.) With those attachment points, you can toss a strap on here and wear it like a little messenger bag. We have to say that, although this is a clever idea and we like the versatility, using this thing in sling mode is a little bulky.
There are also some nylon loops on the outside that can be used to integrate the Camera Cube directly with the Peak Design Travel Backpack via C-clips. This is an excellent little detail, as it allows you to keep the cube securely fastened inside your bag. Plus, you can fold the opening of the cube all the way over—leaving the contents exposed—and attach it inside your pack near the side access. That way, when you open up the side panel on your pack you have direct access to your camera gear.
And lastly, there are small little loops on each corner of the bag that are pretty incognito. They sit right up against the bag, so they’re not going to snag anything accidentally but you can still get some good functionality out of them.
On the inside, we’ve been rocking two cameras—an a6500 and a Canon G7 X, if you’re curious—with plenty of room for additional accessories. This cube—keep in mind, we’re talking about the smallest one—comes with a total of three adjustable inserts. The first two are Peak Design’s signature style origami shelves, which allow you to divide things up as you see fit, and the third is a small mesh pouch that either attaches to one of the shelves or the side of the Camera Cube itself via velcro. If you’ve never used these origami-style dividers, they’re pretty great. Basically, you can configure them to divide your bag up and they each have a little shelf that pops out to divide things up further. Plus, they all velcro into the inside of the cube as you see fit.
Overall, we’ve been loving the versatility of this system. It allows you to really customize everything to your liking—whatever that might be. And it really just works. No tinkering, no frustration, it’s simple and easy.
We should also note that the medium and large sizes offer very similar organization on the interior. The only real differences with the medium and large sizes is that they come with two additional small and large dividers. This means you do have a lot more options in terms of organization with the larger pouches.
And finally, we do have a few tips for packing these things up:
- You’ll want to put your items in one at a time. Once you’ve got one or two items in you’ll want to push the divider flush against your gear, and then you can start to form it around everything. This is definitely the most efficient way we’ve found to pack the cube up.
- Before you start organizing, make sure you know where the access points are on the cube and think about how you’ll be accessing the gear in your pack. You don’t want to Velcro everything in only to realize the access point on the cube doesn’t line up with the access on your pack.
When it comes to deciding which size to buy, our main advice is to keep in mind that the large cube size will basically take up your entire bag, turning it into a camera bag. There is a tiny bit of room at the top, but that’s pretty much it.
We think a minimalist could totally get by with a medium camera cube full of gear and two small packing cubes with clothing and all the other “stuff” you need for travel. And for the traveler that’s just looking to carry around a small amount of camera gear, the small size will do nicely.
These cubes look great! Can’t wait to test them out.
Been loving these camera cubes, although we’re mainly using the small one. No complaints thus far.
Nothing to note outside of some simple blemishes that rubbed off. Also noticed the quick zipper access doesn’t work quite as well as it does on the packing cubes.