Stuff I like: Peak Design


I’m not great at writing product reviews, but every once in a while I come across a product that is so well-designed, exciting, fun to use, and/or simply so awesome that I really need to share it.  And that’s exactly what happened with Peak Design.

Peak Design started a few years ago with a Kickstarter campaign for their Capture Clip product. They’ve since grown to have a full line of clip and strap products and will soon have a highly-anticipated (and very sexy!) series of camera bags. I’ve been an admirer of their products since the first Kickstarter days, and jump at every opportunity to show their products to clients. The first items I bought for myself were the Clutch handstrap for my DSLR cameras, and a Cuff wrist strap for my Olympus Micro four thirds camera. Last week I received a care package from my friends at Peak and was so excited that the first thing I had to do was take pictures of them to share.

Peak has designed their camera carrying system around two main components: Their unique Anchors and Plates. Peak’s strap products: the Cuff wrist strap, the Leash lightweight strap, and the Slide shoulder strap attach to the camera via included Anchors that loop through the existing lugs (or “earlobes”) on the camera. Products that require access to the tripod mount of the camera, such as the Capture Clips and the Clutch hand strap, come with the proprietary plate. Peak Design’s plate is compatible with Arca-swiss tripods* and has additional Anchor attachment points. (*the ProPlate is also Manfrotto RC2 compatible)

The construction of these products is outstanding. The plates come with an allen key to tightly secure them to the tripod mount of the camera. Any products that include Anchors also come with at least one spare. The Anchors fit into the Anchor Links at the end of all straps with a very clear “click” sound. To be on the safe side, plates should be checked for tightness often, and Anchors should be checked for fraying. The strap products, Cuff, Leash, and Slide, are made of a heavy duty webbing that resembles a car seatbell, but has a silky smooth finish.

As you can see below, all three of my main cameras are outfitted for quick use with any Peak product. Each camera has a plate (I was sent a Microplate especially for the narrow body of the Olympus EP-5), and at least two Anchors.

The Clutch handstrap has a smooth, non-slip finish and a buckle that makes resizing very simple. Peak Design also sells separate Anchor Links for use with any neck or shoulder strap. Here, I’ve attached them to my favourite (non-peak) strap, the Domke Gripper.

Canon 5D (L) with a ProPlate and a Domke Gripper shoulder strap attached with Anchor Links. Canon 7D (R) with standard plate and Clutch hand strap.

The Capture Pro Clip is made of two very nicely machined metal plates, joined by two bolts at the corners. It swivels open and can be attached to any belt or strap up to about 3 inches wide. It easily goes around the ThinkTank waist belt I use for shooting events, on the straps on my camera and hiking backpacks, and on the straps of my messenger bags. I think it will spend most of the time attached to my everyday messenger bag (below). I think that the clip can handle even the thick straps of serious mountaineering packs, but in case it doesn’t, longer bolts are available on Peak Design’s website. The plates at the bottom of my camera slide very smoothly into the clip and snap in place with a satisfying “click.” There’s a red button that needs to be pressed to pull the camera back out, making it very hard to accidentally knock the camera out. For serious activity, the Leash strap can be configured to be a safety cord in case of Capture Clip failure (which seems very unlikely).

Peak Design Products

The Summit Edition Slide camera strap, in Lassen red. The Capture Pro clip on the strap of the California Edition Timbuk2 messenger bag.

The original Slide strap is black, but Peak Design recently made them available in two colours chosen by fans. Of course I voted for my favourite colour, red, and it was one of the winners. These colour edition straps are called the Summit Edition and are named after two peaks in California: the Lassen volcanic peak (in lava red) and Tallac (in Tahoe blue). The special editions are currently available for pre-order, so I feel super lucky to be one of the first to have one. Thank you, Peak Design people!

Ok, some quick Rebecca trivia:

Choose a correct answer, I am a total sucker for anything:
A. Red
B. Limited Edition
C. Californian
D. All of the above

If you guessed D, you would be correct! I’m as giddy about the red Summit strap as I was the day I went all the way* to Venice Beach to get this awesome California flag Timbuk2 bag. Timbuk2 only made 50 of these bags to be sold at the grand opening of their Venice store. The Capture Clip makes my favourite bag even sexier.

(*All the way means 20 miles, but in LA traffic it amounts to 60-90 minutes of driving)

Peak Design and Timbuk2 Products

The Timbuk2 messenger bag in the limited California Edition, Peak Design’s Capture Pro clip on its strap, and the Summit Edition Slide camera strap.

I can’t exclude my little Olympus camera from the conversation, it’s my every day carry, my hiking and travelling camera, my street companion. I use the Cuff wrist strap to keep my camera from falling should it slip out of my hands while we walk or hike. The buckle is secure, but moves smoothly, making it easy to loosen or tighten around my wrist. The very similar Leash is a longer strap that can be adjusted in length and worn as a neck strap, on one shoulder, or across the chest.

Peak Design Products

Olympus Pen with MicroPlate, Cuff wrist strap, and Leash shoulder strap

Thank you to my new friends at Peak Design for these items that will be put to very good use. I look forward to retiring those swingy straps that move too much and never having to take my tripod plate on or off ever again!