As a landscape photographer that likes to shoot in bad weather and get close to waterfalls, having a protection for my camera and lens is absolutely essential. Even with a good water-sealed system in my Fuji setup, I like to be safe and my go to protection for bad weather, waterfalls and waves is the Peak Design Shell.
What is the Peak Design Shell?
The Peak Design Shell is a water and dust-proof cover that easily rolls up and can be shoved into your backpack. While I don’t often shoot in the rain, it has happened on occasion and I have been thankful to have this on me. The two other reasons I like to carry the Shell with me is I in case I do get caught in a downpour, I don’t necessarily trust my backpack to keep everything dry so it is nice to have extra protection, and the second reason is for shooting waterfalls and waves. Waterfalls and waves are probably the biggest use I get out of the shell as I like to get close to the action and not have to worry about getting things too wet.
Why do you Want the Peak Design Shell?
So, what makes the Peak Design Shell better than one of those cheap plastic covers? I used a cheap plastic cover for years, and having one in your backpack is always a good idea. They take up no room and help in a pinch, but given the choice, I would always rather use my Peak Design Shell.
The Peak Design Shell is made of a water-resistant fabric that stretches to fit snugly fit your camera, which makes it easier to handle and less prone to slippage. The biggest advantage of this is that it also provides some extra protection to your camera and it is abrasion resistant. This means it won’t develop little tears or holes from snagging on branches during a hike or from allen wrenches in your backpack. A little tear in your plastic can lead to big damage if water gets in at the right spot. You don’t have to worry about that with the Peak Design Shell.
The Shell cinches completely closed so if you are carrying on a Capture Clip or strap, you don’t have to worry about the rain. This is great for wildlife photography where you want quick access to your camera, but don’t want it to just sit exposed while you are searching for a subject to shoot.
The one benefit the cheap plastic covers have are the size. They are so small you can shove them anywhere. While the Peak Design Shell is thicker than a plastic bag, it still folds down very small and is going to take up way less space than the bulky rain covers you are used to seeing professionals use. I easily fold up the Shell and place it wherever I have an inch or two of space in my backpack.
Keeps the Water off your Lens
Another really cool park about using the Peak Design Shell is that it has a little lip built on the lens part to hang over and protect the front of the lens from splashing water. It doesn’t work perfectly, but it does keep a lot of the water off your lens to provide more shooting time between wipes with a cloth to get rid of the water spots.
Compatible with the Peak Design Clips and Straps
For Peak Design lovers, the Shell is also awesome because it works with a capture clip or Peak Design strap, which I love using. This help to keep your camera dry and safe without requiring you to constantly keep it in your hands.
So, is it actually water resistant? Yes, the Shell does an excellent job of keeping water out of your camera. I have used this in a heavy downpour, in crashing waves where the camera has been hit and in the constant spray of a waterfall. It has performed excellent under all conditions and my camera always stays dry.
Peak Design’s Warranty
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I use and love a ton of Peak Design Gear. There a good reason for that, the quality of the products is great, but the company is as well.
Peak Design’s lifetime warranty is the real deal. I have never had to use it because of malfunctioning equipment, but I did have an issue with one of my older Capture Clips where I wasn’t paying enough attention while loosening it during a hike up to Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park. The knob fell off somewhere and I never found it. Rather than making me purchase replacement parts like they should have, Peak Design sent me a new pair of knobs no questions asked at no charge.
I can’t see there ever being a warranty issue with the Shell, but if it were to tear or the cinching mechanism have issues, I am confident in Peak Design’s willingness to correct whatever issue you may have.
What Size Should You Get?
The Peak Design Shell comes in three sizes so you have some flexibility, but not complete customization. Finding the right size is key, and with the stretch of the fabric, I don’t think you will have any problems.
The small size of the Peak Design Shell is designed for smaller camera systems. This is the size I use for my Fuji and it works great. It will work for mirrorless systems with most lenses. It will also work fine for smaller crop-sensor DSLRs with smaller lenses like primes or kit lenses.
Unsurprisingly, the medium size shell will fit middle-range cameras. This will work for crop-sensor cameras with almost any lens and with a battery grip. It will also work with full-frame DLSR cameras using small to medium lenses up to a 24-70 f/2.8.
The large Peak Design Shell is obviously going to fit your bigger camera systems. It will fit any full-frame DSLR camera with a battery grip and most lenses.
I highly recommend the Peak Design Shell to anyone that wants a weather-proof shell. It works great for shooting in the rain or desert or beaches or anywhere else your camera is bound to get wet or dirty. I love the Shell as a perfect balance between cheap plastic covers and huge heavy duty covers. You get the portability and cheaper price with better protection and durability.