Accessories

The Peak Design Range Pouch (Small) Review

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.

Anchors attached to the bag, which are in turn attached to the strap

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.

Velcro belt loop

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.

Lens in the bottom

Second lens on top of the lower internal divider

Lens cap tucked behind the upper internal divider

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.

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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…

Final thoughts

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

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9 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Cory Miller
    April 22, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I too am completely sold on the Peak Design system. I only have the 3 different straps and myriad anchors at the moment, but this would be great for the times I don’t feel like toting a bag around (i.e. the vast majority of times)

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 22, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Yeah, that’s where I was coming from!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Peter Cumbdon
    April 22, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I’m not a fan of their bags at all, but I have a neck strap and a bunch of the anchors for my various cameras. Guess I was influenced by these damn IG influencers. The anchor system is good idea, but Peak Design is horribly expensive for what it really is.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 22, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      I’m not sure I agree – they are certainly premium priced, but the quality seems to match the price

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Chris Rusbridge
    April 22, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Hamish. Would the small bag take a small camera such as a Sony A6000? My daughter has bought this camera and is looking for a a bag for it… though she also says she wants the bag to fit in her handbag!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 22, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      It definitely depends on the lens – with one of the pancake lenses, I would guess so

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Lori Brooks
    April 22, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Their customer support and integrity is amazing. I believe they had some ridiculously low failure rate on the anchor straps. 7/ 1 hundred thousand or something crazy and yet they went and sent out replacement anchors to every single one of their customers! I have the cuff and the slide lite, and they really are amazing straps.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Kate Johnson
    April 22, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    I’m checking out Peak Design. Need a small bag for my Canonet….or that extra lens…Thanks

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Julian
    April 23, 2019 at 9:11 am

    To me the whole system just seems massively over-designed, and is a solution in search of a problem. I have a little belt pouch that can hold a couple of RF lenses that cost me 20 quid. Or I just carry cameras and lenses in regular bags with domke wrappers or optech neoprene pouches. Works very well, is more flexible and costs way less!

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