Gepe CardSafe Extreme – Review
As a photographer you spend thousands of dollars on gear that’s sealed from the harsh elements brought about by everyday use. Lenses, camera bodies, bags; but what about memory cards? Chances are, they’re not as safe as you think. The Gepe CardSafe Extreme gives photographers peace of mind when it comes to protecting the photos they just shot, and does it in a stylish and minimalistic fashion just like the rest of your gear.
What happens when you don’t have time to dig around in your gear bag for another memory card or simply need to switch over to a fresh one after you’ve run out of space? Most of the time you end up sticking them in your pocket or in your camera strap (Blackrapid RS-5) where they can easily get damaged, wet, or lost.
This is where the Gepe CardSafe Extreme comes through with flying colors, solving any issue you could ever imagine when it comes to protecting, storing, and accessing your memory cards in an efficient way.
Simply put, the Gepe CardSafe Extreme is a tank. Constructed with thick polycarbonate touting reinforced stainless steel pins that bind the hinges of each side of the CardSafe together, the CardSafe Extreme proves that it’s no cheap toy.
When you grab on to the Gepe CardSafe Extreme you instantly get a feel for the build quality and durability of the product. It’s chunky, and the polycarbonate makes it far better and stronger than many other cheap-plastic memory card storage solutions. In fact, your cards are probably safer in the CardSafe Extreme than in your $6000 camera body.
With a few short tests, I quickly determined how durable the Gepe CardSafe Extreme really is. After jumping on it, kicking it, whipping it down at the floor, twisting it, and squeezing the life out of it, I think it’s safe to say that the CardSafe Extreme is almost indestructible. I say almost because I’m sure you could break it by running it over with a tank or shooting it. But for the everyday extremes, it’s a serious piece of hardware and the polycarbonate stands up to most everything that comes its way. It protects your memory cards, and does it well.
The simple internals of the Gepe CardSafe Extreme are what make this memory card holder superior. It’s a very simple two-piece insert that does three things simultaneously. First off, it’s cut to fit the various sizes of memory cards that photographers and videographers generally used. CF, SD, MMC, Memory Stick, and Smart Media. Each storage slot in the Gepe CardSafe Extreme is identical to the other so you can fit four of the same or mix and match for your needs.
The four slots make it easy for me to quickly change out two memory cards at a time. I can pop two out of the camera and into the Gepe CardSafe and throw two fresh ones right back in my camera in record time. For me, this is a great plus when you have limited time to shoot at concerts.
The same inserts that hold your memory cards also serve as a defense against static electricity so you don’t have to worry about your media getting zapped away when it’s in the Gepe CardSafe Extreme. It’s not something that happens everyday or all too often at all with newer memory cards, but it can happen if you’re careless.
Finally, the two-piece insert also serves as the seal that, when latched shut, effectively waterproofs the Gepe CardSafe Extreme. What good would waterproofing do if the CardSafe were to sink? Not much if you can’t get your perfectly dry and protected media back from hundreds of feet of water. For this reason, the Gepe CardSafe Extreme was designed to float. Creating a CardSafe that floats is taking it to a whole new level and is a ingenious touch that Gepe put on this already handy device.
Although I don’t plan on dropping hundreds of gigabytes of memory cards into the ocean anytime soon, the waterproofing is especially useful for me at concerts when the weather just isn’t in a cooperating mood. It’s nice to have a safe place to store your photos after you’ve filled up a card, especially when it’s raining out or you just don’t have time to dig around in your bag.
Personally I think it’s a good card protection solution regardless of it being indestructible and watertight. Trusting those little $100 memory cards to float around in your bag or pocket isn’t a good idea. The Gepe CardSafe is a great organizational tool and keeps everything in one easily accessible place.
Worthy of a place in your bag?
The endless sea of camera accessories can be a bit overwhelming at times. Limited space in our photo bags makes it impossible to get our hands on all of them at once, but I think the Gepe CardSafe Extreme is worthy of it’s place in every photographer’s bag.
The Gepe CardSafe Extreme is something that every photographer with multiple memory cards should consider using, but it has proven to be especially useful in my concert photography endeavors and now lives in my ThinkTank Speed Racer.
If you need the CardSafe to protect against the elements or simply just to store your cards safely in one place, the Gepe CardSafe Extreme is a very good buy. You can grab the Gepe CardSafe Extreme in black, neon, blue, or red for around 20 dollars depending on the store. For 5 dollars per memory card stored, it really isn’t that much. Who knows, you might get a few more years out of that memory card you would’ve dropped in the mud.