Daniel Groves

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First Look: New Peak Design Cuff, Leash and Anchor Links

Published: 16 August 2017 · Tags: camera, gear

A quick rundown on the latest straps from Peak Design

Disclaimer: Peak Design sent me the units I’m using here to review, and I did not pay anything for these. However, I will keep this as impartial as possible, and am already a heavy user of their gear (see Gear for a Landscape and Adventure Photographer and Fitting Peak Design Straps on a Fuji Body).

Peak Design have jsut released the new Leash and Cuff straps, as well as new Anchor links to help those who wish to attach them directly to their camera body. There’s plenty of new stuff here, both obvious and discrete, so this will run through whats new as well as why you might want to upgrade.

Let’s start with the (big) small change.

 alt: The new Peak Design Cuff and Leash in their packaging
The new Peak Design Cuff and Leash in their packaging

The anchor links are like the bread and butter of the Peak Design strap system. You attach them to your camera body and then leave them there forever: every strap they make will clip in and out of them without any issues. With the new Leash and Cuff Peak Design have updated these to fix a few little issues.

First, the cord is now thinner while still being rated for the same 90kg (200lbs) of their predecessor. This is useful for those who wish to mount them directly to their camera body, and will save having to knock the eyelet bushings out as seen in Fitting Peak Design Straps on a Fuji Body.

 alt: A closeup on the Peak Design Anchor Links. The old design is on the left
A closeup on the Peak Design Anchor Links. The old design is on the left, while newer chamferred design is on the right.

The top-edge of the anchors has been chamfered too which lets them slide into every Peak Design product a little more easily then before without effecting the holding power of them to stay locked in place once they’re in, which makes this a very welcome change to the product; this new shape is fully compatible with older Peak Design straps, too.

The only downside I can see to these new links is the warning system: they used to wear into yellow and then red so you got an early warning of them links wearing. The result of the thinner cord is they’ll wear straight from black to red removing the intermediary warning.

New Cuff Strap

The original Cuff always seemed like a fantastic idea: a subtle wrist mounted camera strap that you could wear all day as a bracelet and only clip it into the camera when you needed to. The reality was subtly different: it was fine as a strap but it was always awkward to fold away, especially when trying to be fast.

 alt: Opening the new Peak Design Cuff
Opening the new Peak Design Cuff

The problem was the use of an anchor link when fastening the strap around your wrist in ‘bracelet’ mode: it was fiddly to get it done up with one hand, and just as fiddly to release it again. Peak Design have fixed this on the new strap by using a magnetic fastener which allows it to be folded away with a quick flick of the wrist, and quickly grabbed when unfolding it. It’ll be interesting to see if this solution stays folded in real-world use, so far I’ve only had a chance to test it around the house having been at work since it arrived.

 alt: The full contents of the box forthe new Peak Design Cuff
The full contents of the box forthe new Peak Design Cuff

The length of the strap is controlled by a sliding buckle that’s much faster to slide than the previous strap, and locks in bracelet mode by folding backwards on itself. You can adjust how tightly it sits on your wrist by sliding the magnet along a sleeve in the bracelet. It’s easy enough to adjust this, and only took me a couple of seconds to do so.

 alt: The old (left) and new (right) Peak Design Cuffs sat next to each other.
The old (left) and new (right) Peak Design Cuffs sat next to each other.

Once adjusted to fit my (extremely skinny) wrists properly the bracelet has been comfortable, and I’ve not even noticed it on my wrist.

New Peak Design Leash

I’ll make this clear straight away: I do not own the old Leash strap, so this will be by no means a comparison compared to the old one. I do own the Slide Lite, however that’s an entirely different strap in the lineup.

 alt: Opening the new Peak Design Leash
Opening the new Peak Design Leash

The new leash immediately looks more professional than the old one: it’s tidy with beautifully machined metal hardware with leather reinforcements and sleek black adjustment tabs. The old one always looked a bit cheap to me, but the new one looks anything but.

 alt: The box contents for the new Peak Design Leash
The box contents for the new Peak Design Leash

It feels perfectly comfortable with my Fuji X-T1 mounted as a sling strap, however if I was going to carry a camera for any length of time like this I’d probably still reach for my Slide Lite as the extra width does distribute the weight over a larger area.

 alt: The new adjustment hardware for the Leash is a classy bit of work.
The new adjustment hardware for the Leash is a classy bit of work.

The strap itself has the nicest feel out of any of those in the Peak Design lineup: it’s smoother than the others and feels more comfortable when it comes into direct contact with skin. It seems to stay put well, and the pull tabs make it very easy to adjust. I fully expect to add an anchor link to each of my rucksacks now to make it easy to attach the Leash as a safety tether for my camera when it’s not mounted on my Capture Pro.

 alt: The silky smooth new material for the Leash.
The silky smooth new material for the Leash.

Another perk to this strap is the size: it rolls up to almost nothing making it ideal to leave in a bag just incase I want it when I’m out backpacking, hiking or mountain biking.

 alt: The new Anchor mounting plate fits the Fuji X-T1 like a dream.
The new Anchor mounting plate fits the Fuji X-T1 like a dream.

The leash now comes with a small adapter to add to your tripod mount that’s perfect for mirrorless systems1, or much more subtle for other cameras. It bolts straight on and has two slots to attach anchor links, and sits about 5mm proud of the camera body.

Summary

All in all there’s some welcome improvements to the new Peak Design offerings. The new Anchor links are much easier to use, and took a few seconds to fit to my camera strap eyelets: much faster than the laborious and fiddly process of the predecessors.

The new Cuff is much more practical in use. It’s quicker to put on and now doesn’t even require a passing thought to mount of the camera or fold back away to a bracelet. I’d happily buy one of these in a heartbeat and look forward to seeing how much of an improvement there is in real-world usage.

 alt: Fujifilm X-T1 with both the Leash and the Cuff mounted.
Fujifilm X-T1 with both the Leash and the Cuff mounted.

Finally the new Leash seems like a flexible and versatile strap. It’ll be that perfect one to leave in the top of a hiking rucksack incase I decide to dump my bag and get off-piste for a un-encumbered photo. This is one product the Peak Design team should truly be proud of.

At the start I made it clear that I have been send these as review units: I didn’t pay a penny for any of this. Even so, I’d happily be honest and make it clear if I thought any of this was not worth the money, however all of these are improvements on products I either already owned or wanted to own. I’d be more than happy to hand over my own hard-earned cash for any of these products.

  1. Unlike any other footplate I’ve found for a camera, this one actually clears the battery door so I can swap out batteries without removing the plate.