Think Tank Stash Master Photo Cubes Tested

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Think Tank Photo has launched a revised and expanded lineup of Stash Master Photo Cubes. These protective camera cubes can transform an already-owned favorite tote, backpack, or duffel bag into a great camera bag. They’re also compatible with a range of specific Think Tank camera bags as optional accessories. In this review, we’ll closely examine the new features of the revised Stash Master range and configure all five sizes with a bunch of camera gear to see what best fits in each one.

think tank stash master photo cubes
The new Stash Master series comes in five size variations. (Left to Right) S, M, M Pro, L and L Pro.

Disclaimer: Think Tank provided the Stash Master Photo Cubes for this review. No money changed hands, and they did not see the review before it was published. The information and views expressed on this page are my own.

Stash Master – Old Vs. New

Think Tank Photo has been making camera bags with optional removable padded camera cubes for some years. These camera cubes are labeled Stash Masters and were initially created for use in the Backlight Elite 45L and the Rotation Backpack series (22L, 34L, and 50L Pro). Although designed to fit specific Think Tank bags, they could also be used in any other camera bag, backpack, or duffel.

Designed around specific bags, though, the three older Stash Master models lacked a cohesive look and set of design features. To address this, Think Tank has refreshed the entire series of Stash Master Photo Cubes to create a universal product that can be used in a greater range of their bags and other bags, backpacks, and duffels you might already own. With this refresh, the Stash Master series expands to five sizes with several new features that help position them as universally useful gear protection cubes.

The old Stash Master lineup is being replaced

Think Tank Stash Master Photo Cube Design and Features

Shoulder Strap

The Stash Master Photo Cubes come with a padded shoulder strap to give it shoulder bag functionality when you want to pull the cube out of a larger bag and go for a wander with your camera. If you’re putting the Stash Master cube into one of Think Tank’s backpacks, or your backpack, you might not find this strap useful. However, if you are using the Stash Master to add some camera protection to a larger suitcase or duffel bag while traveling, the shoulder strap will come in handy when you reach your destination.

Zippered Pocket

All five Stash Master models have a zippered mesh pocket on the inside of the top lid that is large enough to store a memory card holder and spare camera batteries. While this seems a relatively minor feature, the pocket’s inclusion is a big differentiator between the Stash Master series and other camera cubes like the F-Stop ICU series or the Shimoda Core Units. A small pocket for your camera accessories acknowledges that this Stash Master might not be placed into a camera bag, and you may not have anywhere else to store those mission-critical items safely.

Camera Access

The smallest Stash Master (S) has a single zippered entry on the top of the cube. The four larger models have a zippered access on the top and a second zippered entry on the back to reveal the whole interior of the cube. Having two entry methods expands the range of bags for which these Stash Master models will be perfect. I recommend only choosing the Stash Master S if you use a tiny camera or have a tiny bag to put the cube in. Otherwise, the modest increase in size and price to the Stash Master M, with its two opening options, will be appreciated.

Grab Handles

The smallest Stash Master has a single grab handle on the top. The four larger cubes have a second grab handle centrally stitched into the back panel to help you open it.

Materials and Hardware

These new Stash Master cubes have a higher-quality feel than the previous range. They no longer feel like accessories and instead feel like camera bags in their own right. The face fabrics are tougher, and the zippers, with their sizeable glove-friendly zipper pulls, feel like a more expensive choice from the YKK catalog.

Stash Master Photo Cube Sizes and Specifications

(Left to Right) Stash Master S, M, M Pro, L and L Pro

The Stash Master Photo Cubes are available in five different sizes, and these five sizes cover two different depths. Stash Master S, M, and L cubes are deep enough to hold standard ungripped cameras. Stash Master M Pro and L Pro are about 1.5″ deeper than their normal depth counterparts and will better hold a gripped DSLR, gripped mirrorless camera, or large pro-bodied cameras such as Nikon Z9. That said, smaller/shorter pro bodies like a Canon R3 and gripped Sony mirrorless cameras can also fit in the Stash Master S, M and L – see photos below.

Stash Master S

  • External Dimensions: 9.25” W x 8.25” H x 5.5” D (23.5 x 21 x 14 cm)
  • Internal Dimensions: 8.75” W x 7.75” H x 5” D (22.2 x 19.7 x 12.7 cm)
  • Weight: 9.5 oz (0.27 kg) including divider set and shoulder strap
  • Volume: 6 liters

What Fits:

  • 1 standard body (eg Sony A7 series, Nikon Z7)
  • 1-2 lenses (eg 24-70mm f/4, 85mm f/1.4 prime – Up to 70-200mm f/4 unattached)
  • Flash
  • Zippered mesh pocket: Batteries, card wallet, lens cloth

Stash Master M

  • External Dimensions: 11” W x 10.75” H x 5.75” D (28 x 27.3 x 14.6 cm)
  • Internal Dimensions: 10.5” W x 10.25” H x 5.25” D (26.7 x 26 x 13.3 cm)
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 1 oz (0.5 kg) including divider set and shoulder strap
  • Volume: 10 liters

What Fits:

  • 1 – 2 standard bodies (e.g. Sony A7 series, Nikon Z7)
  • 3 lenses (e.g. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/4, 35mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 – Up to 70-200mm f/4 unattached)
  • Flash
  • Gripped or pro body placed flat (eg Nikon Z9)
  • Zippered mesh pocket: Batteries, card wallet, lens cloth

Stash Master M Pro

  • External Dimensions: 11” W x 10.75” H x 7.2” D (28 x 27.3 x 18.3 cm)
  • Internal Dimensions: 10.5” W x 10.25” H x 6.7” D (26.7 x 26 x 17 cm)
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 4 oz (.57 kg) including divider set and shoulder strap
  • Volume: 12.5 liters

What Fits:

  • 1 gripped body (e.g. Canon R3, Nikon Z9, gripped Sony a1/a7/a9)
  • 3 lenses (e.g. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/4, 35mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 – Up to 70-200mm f/4 unattached)
  • Flash
  • Zippered mesh pocket: Batteries, card wallet, lens cloth

Stash Master L

  • External Dimensions: 11.75” W x 12.5” H x 5.75” D (29.8 x 31.7 x 14.6 cm)
  • Internal Dimensions: 11.25” W x 12” H x 5.25” D (28.5 x 30.5 x 13.3 cm)
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 3.5 oz (0.55 kg) including divider set and shoulder strap
  • Volume: 13 liters

What Fits:

  • 1 – 2 Standard Bodies (e.g. Sony A7 series, Nikon Z7, Canon R5/R6/R7/R8)
  • 3-5 lenses (e.g. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/4, 35mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 – Up to 70-200mm f/2.8 unattached)
  • Flash
  • DJI Mavic and Controller
  • Zippered mesh pocket: Batteries, card wallet, lens cloth

Stash Master L Pro

  • External Dimensions: 11.75” W x 12.5” H x 7.3” D (29.8 x 31.7 x 18.6 cm)
  • Internal Dimensions: 11.25” W x 12” H x 6.8” D (28.5 x 30.5 x 17.3 cm)
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 6 oz (0.74 kg) including divider set and shoulder strap
  • Volume: 17 liters

What Fits:

  • 1 – 2 Gripped Bodies (e.g. Nikon Z9, Canon R3, gripped R5, gripped Sony a7)
  • 3-6 lenses (e.g. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/4, 35mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 – Up to 70-200mm f/2.8 unattached)
  • DJI Mavic and controller
  • Flash
  • Zippered mesh pocket: Batteries, card wallet, lens cloth

Materials

All Stash Master cubes are built with the same materials:

  • Nylon/Poly Double Diamond two tone 210/320 • Poly200D
  • PolySpun550DSpunC/PU
  • Vellex interior
  • Belly O Mesh
  • NylexandPoly200Ddividers
  • Non-slip fabric on shoulder strap
  • YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) zippers • 3-ply bonded nylon thread
  • Durablewater-repellant(DWR)coating

Conclusion

The old Think Tank Stash Master camera cubes were designed as accessories for specific Think Tank camera bags. Now Think Tank has replaced them with a universally useable range of five new Stash Master Photo Cubes, including features to help you turn any backpack, suitcase, or duffel bag into a camera bag. If you already own a favorite bag, or you must use an activity-specific bag such as a backcountry skiing bag, these cubes will help you safely carry a camera.

Impressively, the price of these camera cubes undercuts the price of far simpler products on the market while maintaining the usual Think Tank build quality we all know and love. If you’re looking for the perfect way to turn any bag into a camera bag, the Think Tank Stash Master is the best option I have tested.

Where to Buy + Free Gift

US Customers who click this link get a free gift when they spend over $50 in the Think Tank/MindShift online store. For more details or if you have any issues, see this post.

I appreciate it when you use our links to make your purchases. US residents who shop on the Think Tank Photo website through one of our links will be eligible for a free gift at checkout. This is well worth it! Canadian readers usually best shop with B&H Photo to take advantage of their free shipping to Canada on purchases over $100, plus the option to pre-pay the duties.

Photo of author
Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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3 thoughts on “Think Tank Stash Master Photo Cubes Tested”

  1. Thanks for the review. How do these compare, thickness, and weight to the f-stop ICU? I’ve been thinking a lot recently about using an ICU with some ultralight gear to reduce overall weight. Something like an ICU in a Hyperlite Moutain Gear Daybreak or Unbound. Would be really interested in your take.

    Reply
    • These are thinner (but not too thin) and my sense is they are slightly lighter, though I would have to get the scales out to be certain. They are certainly less bulky, but all the extra zippers add back some of the weight so I would think the weight is similar. Still, they would be my pick compared to an ICU now.

      Reply
  2. How well would the large think tank fit in a Shimoda 30L bag? I’ve got multiple setups where a camera and lens is a bit over 11″. I can squeeze it into the medium mirrorless ICU, but it’s not easy. If this large think tank would fit it would give me the room I need without taking all the space of the Shimoda large ICU. And what about the zip top and side access? do they fold underneath easily or are they stiff? It might also make the side access more manageable than it is now for me.

    Reply

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