Peak Design Travel Backpack Review
Several accessories were launched alongside with the Travel Backpack. These help make the “Travel line” a true system and not just a backpack.
The tech pouch is the item most closely associated with photography. Small and weather resistant, it is a multi-purpose small case.
The outside of the pouch is made of the same material as the backpack itself. Available in black or sage, it includes two small holes where anchor links can be attached. Doing so and using one of the company’s straps turns the tech pouch into a small sling bag, which can be used to carry a compact camera (think a Ricoh GR) or other items. The pouch also features two small handles at the bottom and on each side. This lets the user hold it from below and open/close it with ease.
One side features an external pocket, whose intended use is to hold a cell phone. A pass-through hole communicates with the inside and lets a cable through, ideal for charging.
The pouch stands upright when open, a nice touch.
The inside is essentially made of pockets and compartments. Both sides offer larger empty volumes for larger items. Three pockets are sewn on each wall. The middle is made of an “origami” pattern, built around a center zippered pocket with smaller internal sleeves. The central pocket is surrounded by four triangular holes giving plenty of options for storing smaller items.
Apart from the external walls and central zippered compartment, every pocket is made of stretchy fabric. The center section can be pushed to a side if needed. As can be seen from the images above, the tech pouch is capable of carrying multiple items. We had no problems carrying, at the same time, a wired computer mouse, laptop charger, power bank, USB cables, fiber optics cleaning cartridge, and other odds and ends.
The wash pouch is similar, in many regards, to the tech pouch.
Both share the same general shape and appearance, although the wash pouch is a bit larger and has gray stitching to help differentiate it.
It also features an external pocket, lined with easy to clean fabric, and intended to carry a razor or electric toothbrush.
It also features a hidden hook, intended to hang the pouch to free up space in a small hotel bathroom. When using the hook, the pouch opens wide to show its content. This pouch also stands upright when set down.
The inside bears some resemblance with the tech pouch, with a central compartment and pockets on the side. Those side pockets are sturdy nylon mesh.
The center pocket is a magnetic enclosure intended for a toothbrush. It features two small loops allowing the user to pull out the lining for cleaning.
The wash pouch offers more empty space than the tech pouch, to accommodate larger items. The side pockets are also wider and deeper.
This pouch can serve for many purposes in addition to toiletries. It could be used as a kind of second tech pouch, although it lacks the external carry options of its sibling. For some people, it will be too large and maybe over-designed, but frequent travelers will probably be happy to have a capacious and durable pouch. Sadly but expectedly, the pouch does not conform to air travel regulations, as liquids must be visible when passing through security. In addition, the razor pocket is of minimal use for air travel, for obvious reasons.
Packing cubes are an obvious addition to a travel line of products. Packing cubes are increasingly common and popular.
Instead of playing copycat to the current products on the market, Peak Design decided to try and reinvent this simple travel aid.
Their packing cubes come in the charcoal color that has been a hallmark of the company until recently. The small cube, when filled, takes up one packing unit, while the medium takes up two. Both are extremely light.
Both cubes propose the exact same features. The first notable one is the tear-to-open approach: pulling on the two tabs at the front quickly opens up the cubes. This means two zippers must be used to close them, however, but it has the advantage of creating a wide opening.
The cubes can be expanded and compressed. If compressed, two of them can generally be stacked to fill one packing unit inside the bag.
One nice element is the inclusion of a secondary compartment. Accessed via a single zipper, this section is meant to carry dirty laundry, a nice idea. It can expand to fill up to 90% of the cube’s volume when expanded, creating a useful separation. This secondary volume can also be used to create two virtual packing cubes to better sort through different items. Note that this second section expands inwards and does not make the cube larger.
There are cheaper cubes on the market, most of which are smaller than the Peak Design products. On a per-volume basis, these packing cubes are competitive, although prices vary wildly for such products. Of course, they will fit in just about any suitcase, not only the Peak Design bags. When compressed, they can also fit, if barely, in the front compartment of the backpack, freeing up some space in the back for camera gear or larger items.
The last item in this accessories list is the shoe pouch. Designed as an ultra-minimalist packing cube, the shoe pouch is made of a single piece of fabric. It folds to a compact size for storage and is extremely light.
When deployed and filled, it takes up one packing unit.
This pouch can contain more than one pair of shoes, or be used as an extra packing cube for travel. Surprisingly for such a minimalist product, there are two loops to attach anchor clips, hooks or carabiners. The shoe pouch could thus conceivably be worn as a sling, or more likely attached to the outside of the Travel Backpack.
The travel line launched with a good array of accessories to supplement the backpack and photo carrying possibilities. For the photographer on the move who wishes to travel light, this system makes a lot of sense. Items integrate well together, even though they cannot all be inserted inside the backpack at the same time. There are many possible configurations and packing options, making the system quite flexible. The quality is among the best, with price tags to match of course.