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Peak Design’s Camera Cubes, launched in 2017, have been incredibly popular products for photographers looking for module protection for their gear. They provide protection for your equipment in any bag, not just dedicated camera bags, making it easier to bring your gear anywhere. And now, the camera equipment company has announced an updated version of these protective bags with many important upgrades. That includes better weatherproofing, better dividers, and more handles. Also, two new sizes—X-Small and Smedium (that’s not a typo)—join the original Small, Medium, and Large options.
Peak Design was kind enough to send me two sizes (X-small and Large) of the new bags to test out ahead of the launch, so I was able to get some hands-on experience to share. Here’s what’s new about the Camera Cubes V2 and what you can expect from the bags.
What are the Peak Design Camera Cubes?
Peak Design manufactured the Camera Cubes to nest perfectly in its Travel and Outdoor bags, but you can toss them in just about anything since they offer padding on all sides. When you are using the Peak Design Camera Cubes with Peak Design bags, the included C-Clips allow you to securely attach the Camera Cube so that it doesn’t slide around.
Using camera cubes also allows your camera backpack to do double duty when you don’t need camera gear, meaning you don’t need to buy as many packs. You could even get away with not buying a photo-focused bag at all, which would save you lots of money. And Peak Design’s Camera Cube can even be used as stand-alone bags (especially the X-Small). They feature cord hook connection points, so you can toss on a camera strap to carry the bag.
Finally, these Peak Design bags are 100 percent carbon neutral and are the only camera cubes on the market that are Fair Trade Certified, just like all of Peak Design’s bags.
What’s new in the Peak Design Camera Cube V2?
Peak Design is always very thoughtful with how it designs its products, and that is very evident in the changes it made to the already excellent Camera Cubes.
First, the two new sizes join the lineup of Small, Medium, and Large. The X-Small exterior measures 9 x 4.7 x 5.9 inches and offers an internal volume of 3.5 liters. It comes with two extra small dividers. This size is ideal for small and minimal mirrorless setups or would also work well for a drone or drone accessories. I was able to fit my Sony a7 III with the Sony 24-70mm f/4 attached, along with the small Kodak H35 film camera. It was snug around my mirrorless camera but did fit.
The Smedium (no, that’s not a typo; it is really named Smedium) Camera Cube V2, as you might guess, sits between the Small and Medium. Its exterior measures 12.2 x 9.25 x 5.9 inches, and the internal volume is 10 liters. The Smedium comes with two medium dividers, one small shelf divider, one small divider, two extra small dividers, and one detachable pocket.
The existing three sizes maintain the same sizes as the original versions but get all of the same upgrades.
Build quality upgrades
Peak Design kept the weatherproof 160D 100% recycled nylon canvas shell of the first version of the Camera Cubes. But, in order to make them even more weatherproof, they switched to new zippers called Ultra Zips. There is also weatherproof taping on all external seams to keep all water out. The exterior also gets even more grab handles—one on each side—making them easier to carry and grab out of your bag when necessary.
In the Camera Cubes V2, Peak Design expanded the main opening to provide better access to gear, including items on the sides and in the corners. The top flap folds entirely out of the way, so you won’t have to fumble with holding it open while trying to get something out. One really smart feature is the removable padding in the lid. If you use a Peak Design bag with padding on all sides (such as the Travel Backpack) and want one-zip access to your gear, you can take out that padding and tuck the top panel away for quicker, easier access. The Medium and Large sizes also feature a zippered opening on two sides, which enables quick entry when using bags with side openings.
The flexible dividers also get an upgrade in the V2 version. They offer a cleaner aesthetic and come in even more sizes so that you can fully customize your setup. The entire interior is also softer in the V2 bags.
Finally, the bags are all about 10 to 15 percent lighter than their predecessors. That’s not a ton, but when you’re lugging around a camera backpack when hiking or traveling, every bit of weight matters.
Peak Design Camera Cube V2 in use
Admittedly, I was not a Camera Cube person originally. I’ve always stuck to dedicated camera bags with built-in protection. But that has been extremely limiting in certain situations, meaning I either don’t bring my camera somewhere or deal with a bag that’s less than ideal for a given situation. The Camera Cubes V2 have changed my ways.
I recently went out for a brief SUP adventure and wanted to have my camera on hand, but don’t have a camera bag that I would trust if it happened to fall overboard for some reason. I have an EXPED waterproof bag, which is not a dedicated camera bag. But, with the X-Small Camera Cube, I was able to safely bring my camera along by tossing it in the waterproof bag. Likewise, for bigger trips, I could easily through the Large in a bigger duffel to take my entire kit but still keep a relatively small camera backpack on me with select pieces of gear as needed.
As with all other Peak Design gear I’ve used, the Camera Cubes V2 are made of extremely quality and durable materials. I haven’t been using them for terribly long, but they feel like they will last forever. The water that got on the bag when I was SUPing beaded up and slid away, with no water soaking into the material at all. The interior is nice and soft. The flexible dividers are just sturdy enough and feature strong velcro to keep them in place even with lots of movement. And the wide opening is awesome to have. It makes it easier to pack in my gear and allows me to easily see what I have when I’m looking for something.
Pricing & availability
If you don’t mind missing out on the upgrades, Peak Design is selling the V1 versions for 20 percent off as long as supplies last.