Archive for April, 2012

Clik Elite Escape camera / lighting backpack review


The Clik Elite Escape backpack is a mid-sized camera pack targeted more towards the consumer market than towards the pro market. That at least was before the pros got a hold of it. This pack carries like it’s nothing on your back with a load of cameras and lenses but for me, this pack shines as my battery powered strobe pack. It’s the perfect combination of space, ease of access but all in a compact well carrying package.

This pack is the absolute perfect size for the usage of battery powered studio strobe units. My two normal kits fit like a glove. For an Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed + A Head, it fits with very little room to spare. There’s just enough for the pack and head in the main compartment with room in the top and front pockets for Pocket Wizard transceivers,  sync cables and other accessories. The elastic mesh side pockets and bungee straps will carry (2) small or (1) medium sized light stand or something like a water bottle. The reflectors can be strapped on to the front side of the pack with the horizontal adjustable strap.

For the Alien Bees or Einstein’s the Escape is a double barrel solution. (2) of these monolights plus (2) Vagabond Mini battery power packs, cables with room for about two more lenses, lunch or whatever you can come up with along with the exterior accessories mentioned above for the Elinchrom Ranger kit.  I’ve also tested the Escape with a Profoto 7b kit and it is just as good of a fit and carries just as well.

The top of the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack with the top flap opened.  Access to the main compartment is easy with the double zipper system.  You undo the velcro handle closure and pull it open.  You have access to all your gear in no time!

The top of the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack with the top and main flap opened revealing the main compartment.  The double zipper access on the main flap makes for very quick access to your gear.  You just pull up on the velcro handle and the whole pack opens up.

The Clik Elite Escape camera backpack side view

Detail view of side pocket elastic ties on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  Light stands stay in well on both side pockets tied in with these elastic ties.

Detail view of the front pocket and strap on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  The strap expands enough to hold my Elinchrom Ranger 50 degree 13″ reflector on the pack.

Detail view of the inside of the front pocket on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  Plenty of room for Pocket Wizards, cables and other smaller accessories.

Detail view of the waist straps on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  Three loops in the webbing to attach various accessories.

The harness system on the Clik Elite Escape camera backpack.  The straps are a bit narrow and light, but it’s not designed as a pro pack so this should work for most.  Shown with a radio and a point and shoot camera pouch attached to the loops in the straps.  This pack carries very well and is extremely comfortable in spite of the narrow straps.  The harness works well.  It’s short, narrow, and just deep enough to carry what you need, but not too big so for me, skiing with this pack is very easy.  It sticks to your back very well.  The other part of this that works great, is it carries on my chest well.  This matters when I have to haul everything myself.  I can have my main camera backpack, the Clik Elite Contrejour 40 on my back with this on my chest loaded with lighting equipment and get around myself.

Detail view of the chest strap buckle and adjustment ladder.  The Ladder only moves when you want it to.

The Clik Elite Escape camera backpack with the included rain fly on.  You won’t be losing this anytime soon with this bright red rain fly.


Camera Size: Probody SLR

External Dimension: 21″H x 10.5″W x 8″D (53 x 27 x 20 cm)

Camera Compartment: 18.5″H x 10.3″W x 6.4″D (47 x 26 x 16 cm)

Internal Storage: 11″H x 9.1″W x 1.9″D (28 x 23 x 5 cm)

Volume: 1200 cu in. (19.66 L)

Weight: 3.43 lbs (1.56 kg)

Will hold iPad: YES

Hydration Sleeve: YES

Rain Fly: YES

Tripod Storage: YES


If you got anything out of this review, please click the links below if you decide to buy to help support the site.

Clik Elite Escape Camera Backpack at B&H Photo

Ski Photography – Tom Wallisch Scott Sports Ad – Breckenridge Resort, Colorado


Tom Wallisch at Breckenridge Resort, Colorado during a shoot for Level 1 Productions film After Dark.
Nikon D3 + Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 + Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed (2) + Paul Buff Einstein’s (2) + Nikon SB80 DX (5) + PocketWizard Plus, Multimax, FlexTT5 transcievers + industrial fog machine

It usually doesn’t work out where two of your favorite shots of the year end up being ads for the same company, with the same athlete.  Last season I guess it just came together.  Myself and Tom drove out from Salt Lake City the day of this shoot going from almost summer weather in Salt Lake to full to being slapped in the face with full on winter when we arrived to Peak 9 at Breckenridge Resort, Colorado.  We were late and the crew was about an hour into the shoot.  We unloaded our gear, got our gear on in the car and caught a snowmobile ride up to the feature.  Level 1 Productions brought up a fog machine and combined with the snowfall, it made the shot for me.  If you haven’t worked with a fog machine outside before, you’re in for one hell of a treat.  I mean frustration.  If the wind picks up at all, you lose all control of the fog and with wind being unpredictable, it’s all the luck of the draw.  Fortunately this photo happened about half way into the session since the wind picked up a bit after that and made things difficult to say the least.  With the wind being one of the elements of challenge in this shot, the snow became another challenge.   None of the skiers were really excited about the heavy snowfall, but of course it’s my favorite bit of conditions to work in.  Shooting with heavy snowfall brings in some challenges with keeping your lenses clean and dry, but also keeping my strobes dry and working properly  too.  Something as simple as a large plastic bag going over your strobes can do it.  So far the bags that my outerwear comes in have been the best ones for this as they are HUGE and of course, clear.  I have heard that a turkey basting bag works very well and is a bit easier to come by, as just about any grocery store is going to carry these.  All that being said, I love shooting with the snow falling.  There’s so many things you can do with depth of field and all the different lighting options, it can add a bit of extra dimension to the shot.  As with most times I go out to shoot at night, we finished this night up about midnight and the very long day finally came to a close.

I know this was an ad somewhere, I just don’t know where.  If anyone has seen it anywhere, please let me know!

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