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Review: Peak Design Leash and Cuff

by Peter Walkowiak on 04/14/2013

Leash & Cuff

Peak Design returned to Kickstarter with their latest project and guess what? They did it again with the same crowd funding that started it all. They set out to raise a measly $10,000 and walked away with $215,000 worth of pre-orders for their new campaign.

The newly funded project is the Leash and Cuff and customers, myself included, have had it for a couple months now. Both the Leash and the Cuff were made to work with their existing Capture Plate or on their own. The strap duo makes using straps with your camera a breeze. I’ve worn it, depended on it and put it through its paces. These are my thoughts on the company’s second endeavor.

Leash & Cuff

Gear Used

Leash and Cuff

Nikon D600

Build Quality

Leash & Cuff

The system consists of two parts, the Leash and the Cuff. Both are partially dependent on the company’s existing Capture Clip (review) and when combined, they make a complete system. Both the Leash and Cuff are made out of the same material and use the same connection. The material used is 12 strand braided Kevlar, 2-shot high strength Delrin, and 20% glass filled PA-6. In human speak it’s essentially seatbelt material and they feel as strong as the material sounds. Each of the ends have a plastic piece that allows you to connect it to an Anchor.

Leash & Cuff

The Anchors are the second part of the system which come with both the Leash and Cuff. Four Anchors are included with the Leash and two with the Cuff. Peak Design jokes on their Kickstarter page saying that 10 of these could hold up a Buick. Joke or not, unfortunately I don’t have a Buick to test the claim.

Leash & Cuff

These are connected to either your camera or a Capture Clip base if you have one. Once they are connected in place by using a “cow hitch” knot they can easily snap into place to the plastic end of the Leash or Cuff.

Leash & Cuff

When you need to use the camera without a neck strap, you just remove the anchor from the Leash. In this case you only have a couple inches of fabric hanging off instead of six like my OP/Tech strap.

Since both items are quite different in use I will be doing two mini reviews for each. Also both the Leash and Cuff are also sold separately so you may only be interested in just one of the two.

Leash

Leash & Cuff

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Thin and light, easily pocketable if needed.
  • System is easy to attach and detach
  • Multiple uses (neck strap, sling, safety tether)

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable when used as a neck strap

Ergonomics

Leash & Cuff

The Leash, as mentioned before, is made out of some very strong material and there is plenty to go around. Its length can range down to about two and a half feet up to around five feet. At each end there is a plastic piece where the Anchors can snap into place. Towards the center, depending on the current strap setting / length, is an adjustable piece of plastic and an Anchor attached.

Leash & Cuff

This adjustable piece will change the length of the Leash therefore changing the mode of use. The Anchor attached will aid you in transforming the Leash into a sling in which it snaps to the cameras base or eyelet.

In Use

So how does the Leash feel after its been strapped to you on a long hot day? Well the Leash doesn’t offer any sort of padding in any configuration. I happen to be a princess. Therefore, I am accustomed to nice padded neoprene straps. I wear these not because it’s required by royalty but instead because I carry around some heavy gear. From time to time when shooting a gig, I have to keep these big systems around my neck all day. I used my D600 for this review because this is my light backup body. Also this camera would already be paired with the Capture Clip system on my waist. The weight difference between my two cameras makes a big difference when you have zero padding around your neck. As you may have read comfort was my only complaint with the Leash around my neck, as a strap and a sling. During testing and most days I wear just a shirt because I live where the sun is always shining. If I were wearing a jacket it would prevent the Leash from rubbing on my skin, then I would have zero complaints. If I were to buy some of velcro neck cushion I would replace all of my neck straps for Leashes, it’s that convenient.

Leash & Cuff

On the note of convenience I found it very easy to switch between different modes. To do this all you have to do is make sure the fastener is on the one end. When the strap is doubled up you can open it up and throw it over your shoulder. Now with the fastener side on your back you’ll have a sliding piece in the front which is ready to be Anchored. To use it as a neckstrap all you have to do is remove it from your neck and fold it in half with a fastener on each end. Then, throw it over your neck and you’re ready to attach your camera.

Cuff

Leash & Cuff

Pros and Cons

Pros

When worn it blend in and doesn’t stand out.

Comfortable

Strength to hold a dangling camera

Cons

One handed use can be tricky

May not be that comfortable on small wrists

Ergonomics

Leash & Cuff

The Cuff ranges from eight to twelve inches, and it’s made of the same material as the Leash. For me, the amount it overlaps fits my wrist perfectly. I have to assume that, when I make the Cuff shorter as if to fit a smaller wrist, it has some extra overlapping strap. This may make wearing the Cuff a bit uncomfortable on smaller wrists.

Leash & Cuff

As far as comfort goes the strap honestly goes unnoticed. Usually when I wear the Cuff, I forget that it’s even attached. I’m wearing it as I write this and it really just feels like a very small light watch. When the Cuff is Anchored to a camera from time to time you may feel a pull, but that’s it. Well, unless you let the camera dangle from your wrist while you enjoy an ice cream cone at the Zoo. I’ve tested the strength of the Cuff and many camera drops later I feel confident that my gear is safe.

In Use

Once you open up the Cuff a bit you are able to slip your wrist through. Just fasten it down tightly around around your wrist and you’re good to go. The Cuff can now either be Anchored down to your camera or wrapped around your wrist again to secure it. As I mentioned, when not in use, the Cuff easily flies under the radar for design and comfort.

Conclusions

Well once again Peak Design has made a product that you must trust to hold your precious camera gear. Like the Capture Clip before it I feel safe and confident when I hear the Leash and Cuff click into their anchors. A simple idea built around an already amazing product.

When it comes down to it you may feel like you’re paying a bit of a premium for a neck strap but not when you compare similar products. You have to keep in mind that for a sling alone like the black rapid strap you’ll end up paying well over $40. So at $35 for both a neck strap and a sling the Leash is quite a good deal. Plus, there’s the added value that it fully integrates with the Capture Clip, if you have one.

Now for the Cuff, how does it stack up against similar products? Well the competition comes in around $6 and a few get to the $20 range. One of these is the Black Rapid wrist strap which is currently priced at $19 so I’ll take aim at them again. The Black Rapid is made from similar material but does not have the ability to neatly wrap around your wrist. If I had a wrist strap that had a cable hanging from it I would likely take it off due to discomfort when not in use. The Cuff is in sight, yet it stays out of mind, and I find it well priced compared to the competition. Once again, it nicely integrates with the Peak Design system.

The combo can hold their own and have shown almost all strengths. I personally find the Leash uncomfortable after long walks around my neck but that is the sole flaw for me with the kit. So, as you should have guessed, the Leash and Cuff get a big approval from me.

If you have yet to check out Peak Design’s Capture Clip you can read my review. For 10% off your order of either the Capture Clip or their  new Leash and Cuff use the code phoblog.

For more information or sales of the Leash and Cuff make sure you visit their website.

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