It’s been a while since I pretty much entirely ditched all other strap and bag brands and fully bought into the Peak Design system. Despite this, whilst looking for a little bag to stow a compact camera or a second rangefinder lens, I didn’t think to check the Peak Design offering. I already own a Field Pouch, and just assumed that was the smallest bag they made. Turns out I was wrong. Browsing the Peak Design website one day for something completely disconnected, I discovered the Range Pouch.
The Range Pouch is a smart carry-case that’s apparently made of some sort of hard wearing, liquid repellent material that comes in 3 sizes. I have the smallest of the 3 called, “small”, the other sizes are “medium” and “large”. No messing about like your average coffee shop, these guys have stuck with a naming convention that actually makes some sense. They’ve also done a pretty good job on the website of describing the 3 sizes in terms of what can be fitted into them. To be honest, though, all I was really fussed about was the smallest.
As a photographer who shoots mostly rangefinder and compact cameras, I was looking for as small a bag as I could get away with. I’m not a fan of putting compact cameras or lenses in my trouser pockets, so as we move toward the more mild seasons when I (hopefully) won’t need a coat, I wanted something small and light to solve this particular carrying issue.
I’ve talked about the Peak Design range as a system before here, but in case you aren’t aware already, it partly revolves around a simple system of little Anchors. These Anchors can be attached to basically anything the little loops will hook through, the various straps that Peak Design also make will then clip to the Anchors. The beauty of this is that it means that the straps can not only be switched between different cameras quickly and easily but can also be switched between cameras and the smaller bags that Peak Design also make.
The Range Pouch is indeed one of the smaller bags that uses this system. On the back, there are two little loop-holes that allow the Anchors to be attached. It also has a belt loop which is attached via Velcro. The advantage of the Velcro loop is that you don’t have to undo your belt to attach it. It might be slightly less secure I suppose, but in use, I’ve not had any concerns using it like this. The Anchors attach with a very positive click too, so definitely no concerns there either.
Using the Range Pouch to carry a second lens
When I first started looking for a little bag, it was to carry a single second lens. I wouldn’t have conceived of the idea that there was a small bag like this that could be suitable for more than one lens. As it turns out, the Range Pouch is just such a bag. Despite this bag being small, it still has a pair of internal dividers that pull away from the internal wall. The advantage of this is that with one lens stowed in the bottom of the bag, a second one can be stowed on top of it without any concern that they could cause each other any damage by rubbing together whilst being carried. The second flap can then be pulled out over the second lens and something stored behind – a lens cap for, example.
You might assume that this means the bag is actually too big for the task of just carrying one lens. But actually, thanks to it being designed like the Field Pouch with a flap that folds over the top of the bag and attached to a long strip of Velcro down the front of the bag, it can be folded tightly over a single lens to keep the bag nice and small.
Actually, this Velcro strip is the source of probably my only quibble with this bag – it doesn’t feel quite as grippy as some Velcro I’ve come across. That being said, I did read somewhere that it’s quieter than normal (brand?) Velcro, and the loopy surface does feel more hard wearing than some – so perhaps it lasts longer, despite not being quite as grippy from the beginning? I guess time will tell…
Carrying the bag, and a camera
When I first got the Range Pouch, maybe even on its first outing, I found myself coming a little unstuck. I loaded the bag with a second lens attached it to the strap and went out with my camera in my hand. I did a bit of shooting and then needed both hands to do something else. Without my camera on a strap I had to put it on a wall for a minute. I puzzled over this for a minute thinking I was going to need to make use of my second Peak Design strap which would inevitably result in the dreaded double-strap-tangle. That was until I remembered I was using the Peak Design system. Now, I appreciate this little anecdote sounds a little like some sort of poorly contrived infomercial, but this genuinely happened, so bear with me…
I unclipped the bag from the strap, attached it to my belt, then clipped the camera to the strap instead. I then carried on my day with my kit in this configuration, but I could have reverted to how I’d previously been shooting, or even left the bag attached to my belt, and taken the strap off the camera and put it in the bag under the spare lens I was carrying. It’s little moments like this with this system that you realise just how well designed it really is!
A compact camera bag
As a compact camera bag the Range Pouch spot on too. I’ve probably used it more for this purpose than carrying a second lens so far, but to be honest, there’s not much to say. My small compact cameras fit in it easily with the flap folding right over and holding them safe. My biggest compact camera the Ricoh FF90 Super fits in it too. In fact, the one day, I even used it to carry a small camera and a spare roll of film under the lower inside divider – I might even fit two in there with a small camera and a bit of a shove. Not that I ever need that much film in one outing, mind…
As I’ve said, I’ve completely bought into the Peak Design system. You only have to have a look through my Instagram to see how many of my cameras also feature the little dangly Anchors hanging from the strap lugs. I suspect that this does make me a little brand loyal, but quite genuinely, I find very little fault with the small Range Pouch. For what I wanted, it’s absolutely ideal!
You can get your our Range Pouch here