Product Review: The One About the Peak Design Shell

Like taking pictures while hiking or being active outdoors? As many of you know, the weather can be quite unforgiving when it comes to your camera gear.  Even if your equipment is weather-sealed it is best to be as careful as possible to protect your gear.

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Recently I have been going out shooting in terrible weather conditions.  After using the disposable Optech Rain Sleeves, which are an excellent alternative for less than $10, I decided to invest in my very first Peak Design accessory and purchased the Peak Design Shell.  The Shell uses a stretchy fabric with a waterproof membrane that keeps the camera safe and protected from the elements- water, snow, dust, and abrasions.

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The Shell comes in three different sizes, small, medium, and large designed to cover different equipment configurations (check out the graphic below).  I purchased the medium Shell for my Canon 5D Mark II and Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 lens.  After getting the Shell pulled over the camera and secured with the built-in draw strings, I was impressed with the snug fit.

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Peak designed the Shell with two small inserts, called anchor ports, intended to work with other Peak Design productsSlide , ClutchSlide Lite.

The fabric is soft and can be easily folded into a ball carrying when not in use.  If it gets dirty it is hand or machine washable, just let it air dry.

I tested the Shell during our most recent snowfall.  When I wanted to review my images in the field, I had to peel the rear of the Shell back from the camera exposing it to the wet snow.  Accessing my shooting controls was also tricky as I had to pull most of the fabric off the camera, which defeats the purpose of having the camera protected from the elements.  I tried changing aperture and shutter speed through the fabric itself but it was too difficult.

While the design of the Shell isn’t perfect, it does provide excellent protection from the elements.  My suggestions to improve future versions are:

  • A small hole that allows the eyepiece of the camera to use, similar to that of the Think Tank Hydrophobia system.
  • A transparent window in the back to be able to see the LCD screen of the camera that is weatherproofed and can be easily opened to make quick adjustments.

Overall the Peak Design Shell is an excellent product if you need to keep your camera protected from the elements while traveling.  I highly recommend this product for anyone shooting outdoors.  If you would like to pick up a copy of the Peak Design Shell, please call our store at 215-547-2841 or visit our website.

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