I Try the Peak Design v2 Camera Cubes Offering Clever and Customized Packing

I Try the Peak Design v2 Camera Cubes Offering Clever and Customized Packing

he Camera Cubes from Peak Design have been quite popular with photographers, offering several options for travel with cameras, lenses, drones, and the varied accessories we are all weighed down with. 

Now, with Version 2, Peak Design adds new sizes of their Cubes, including X-Small and Smedium. This adds to the Small, Medium and Large Cubes. All the former Cubes have been redesigned, and here are the new features:

  • Expanded main openings
  • Enhanced weatherproof zippers
  • Updated interior dividers
  • Upgraded interior fabrics
  • 360-degree exterior handles

I've always had problems deciding what cases to buy and use. I buy a case seeing it is small and easy to travel with, then find it won't hold all my gear, which is constantly changing. Then, I overreact and get something too big, which holds my gear but just is not comfortable to move or travel with. 

Peak Design has some clever ideas to address this, and they sent me one of their Peak Design bags (the 30 L) and two of the new Camera Cubes, in this case, a medium and a large version. What's cool about what Peak Design has done is you can consider it a system for storage. Get the size bags you want, and they can be safely inserted into your current large camera bag or backpack, with better and likely more robust storage options. Or, the Cubes can be carried on their own or packed in standard travel bags, giving you safety for your gear. 

Using the Camera Cubes

Since I had the Medium Cube, I wasn't sure how much it would hold. My goal was my Sony mirrorless camera, some lenses, accessories, my Mavic 3 Classic, controller, batteries, and chargers for the Sony and the Mavic. I knew I was wildly ambitious, but since the Cubes are infinitely adjustable, I gave it a try. 

Looking at the bag empty, I didn't think I had a chance of getting my gear in. It surprised me, but it worked. With a couple of adjustments, I got all my equipment in the medium Cube.

Then, I tried to put the Cube in my normal hard travel luggage. It fit like a glove, and I had quite a bit of room to put clothes and other accessories (non-photographic) in that case. Success! You can see the Medium Cube all zipped up in the lower left of my travel case. I had the whole right side available for my other travel needs and a bit of space at the top left.

Peak Design also sent their 30 L Travel Backpack. It's a rugged design, with a variety of straps and outside compartments. Inside, it's bare, and is designed to take any of the Camera Cubes or combinations of sizes. An obvious choice was the Large Cube, and it slips perfectly into the backpack, and now is all set with adjustable compartments for gear. It is very flexible, and showed a lot of thought. Slipping the Camera Cube into the backpack did not appreciably add to the weight, but certainly provided a lot of flexibility. Of course, that large Camera Cube, configured however you like for your gear, will work with other existing backpacks as well.

Others will want smaller or larger cases, and it looks like Peak Design has Cubes for just about every kind of photo outing. The cubes have some clever dimensions. For example, two mediums equal one large. 

Here's their small Camera Cube if you have less to carry. Of course, one or more of these can be backed in your luggage or one of the backpacks Peak Design offers.

Summing Up

The Cubes are all well made, as mentioned, with build improvements from V1. They have first class materials and zippers that look like they are built to last, a frequent failure point in many bags. 

I loved the zippered access points from multiple sides, and that exterior webbing that serves as carry handles that are built into the design from any side of the bags. No spinning the bags to find a place to grab it. 

All the features that make the bags unique can be found in all versions of the Camera Cubes, which is a plus. I think the key to purchasing these, if you are interested, is figuring out in advance what you need, and measuring your selected cubes to see if they will fit in your backpack or standard travel luggage. 

Here's a price breakdown of the Camera Cubes V2 cost:

  • X-Small: $49.95
  • Smedium: $64.95
  • Small: $59.95
  • Medium: $84.95
  • Large: $104.95

For years, trying to keep my equipment carriers at minimum, I would roll cameras and lenses into my clothes and then into my carry-on luggage for travel to minimize pieces I was carrying. I had no desire to check my expensive equipment. It wasn't a great solution. I think these camera cubes solve that issue, with safe storage inside your luggage and a lot less anxiety. 

Peak Design makes some good products. I have their lightweight travel tripod, and it goes with me on every trip. These Cubes are well thought out, well built, and solve some real world problems. Of course, they can be used alone as well. I threw the Medium Camera Cube in the back of my car for a drone-only outing, and it was a great way to get equipment quickly out of my car.

The Camera Cube V2 products from Peak Design are worth a serious look by photographers of all types. I think they made my packing and planning easier and kept my gear safe. It's as flexible a system as I have seen.

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