Clik Elite Luminous Vs. Express 2.0
Acquaint yourself with Clik Elite
If you are not familiar yet with the Clik Elite brand let me sum it up in a few words for you. Durable, attention to detail and quality are the words I would choose to describe this brand and what it brings to the photography pack arena. I am thoroughly impressed with the two packs that I own and I see Clik Elite being by my side for the long haul.
Similarities – Luminous Vs. Express
Although these two packs from Clik Elite do have some distinct areas where one shines brighter than the other, in a given segment they do share some great features. For starters they both are built with the same high quality you expect from the Clik Elite brand, this means heavy duty nylon shell, YKK zippers, EVA foam and durable stitching to highlight a few of the brands’ core manufacturing philosophies. Both packs feature top load pockets good for carrying a wallet, keys, memory card slots, filters, remote releases and extra batteries. The packs have both hip and chest straps which go a long way in helping reduce fatigue to your shoulders on extended outings or vacations. By far my favorite shared feature is the Clik Draw holster system.
Why you should care about the Clik Draw Holster
The Clik Draw is my favorite feature because it was one that I did not know I needed until I had it and now I won’t live without it. If you don’t have a holster or maybe never thought you needed one let’s go on a little imaginary hike together so I can paint a picture for you. You are at the trail head. You open your pack and get your camera out, attach a lens and put the pack on your back, the camera goes around your neck or shoulder using a traditional strap. As you are hiking along you bring the camera up to your eye for a shot of a bird in a tree, then return the camera to your side and let it hang from its strap and continue onward. The camera is not secure on your shoulder however, and it is bouncing around as you move, knocking into your elbow, arm and hiking pole. If it’s around your neck then it is constantly swinging back and forth with every stride, rubbing your chest. It is such a pain to carry a camera like this but you do it because the only other option is to put it in your pack. Let’s be honest, how many of you are going to continue to unpack and pack your camera after every interesting photo you see on a hike? I sure as hell would not. I would be very selective about the shots I think are worthwhile. Now, let’s say instead of hiking this trail you are on a bike. Where do you put your camera now? Before you answer with around the shoulder or neck, let me warn you that I used to carry my camera that way while biking until I broke a UV filter on my handle bars. Then I moved my camera inside my pack while I was biking and guess what? The same principle applied, I became selective with the shots again. I refuse to hassle with packing and unpacking my camera. How in the world are we supposed to do both?
The Clik Elite Clik Draw Holster is the answer to these types of dilemmas. Let’s head back to the trailhead on another imaginary hike. You open your pack, pull out your camera, put the pack on your back just like before, but this time you put your camera in the included Clik Draw holster that is attached to your hip strap on the pack. Now you go on your hike and instead of the camera bouncing on your shoulder or swinging from your neck, the camera is secured on your hip. When you see a subject that you would like to take a picture of just retrieve the camera from the holster, snap the shot and return it to the securing holster. The same goes for biking too. You no longer have to dig in your pack or risk damaging your camera in order to take photos while biking. You can do both with no problem. The camera rests out of the way and securely while biking with the holster system. There is no better way for carrying your camera. The Clik Draw system also allows you to lighten and balance the load on your shoulders and puts the camera and lens directly on your hip, which further helps you while hiking and biking. It’s just the best way to do these activities with a camera and I HIGHLY recommend it.
Express 2.0 Key Features
- Padded laptop pocket
- Water reservoir pocket
- Airline overhead storage compatible
- Travel sized tripod attachments
- MOLLE strap compatible
- Slightly more gear storage Vs Luminous
- Designate gear breakdown area on inside of compartment door
One of my favorite features of the Express 2.0 is the fact that it comes equipped with a dedicated laptop pocket. This is huge for me because it means that I don’t have to bring a separate bag to safely transport my laptop. I don’t just take my laptop on trips, in fact, I like to take my laptop when I shoot landscape photography. I like to connect my laptop to my camera for a few reasons. 1. I can tether directly to Lightroom, that way all of my shots end up directly in my catalog and they are ready to use right away rather than have to import them later. 2. I have a backup copy of my shots right away. The photos are instantly on my laptop and on my SD card. 3. I can see SO MUCH MORE on my 12-inch laptop vs my 3-inch camera screen. I can zoom in, see details, recompose and even start to edit the photos right there while I continue to shoot. The fact that I can safely stow my laptop on hikes is a big plus for my workflow, not to mention when I go on trips.
Luminous Key Features
- Large tripod compatible
- Ski and snowboard storage
- Internal frame makes carrying more comfortable
- Spacious non-camera gear storage i.e. climbing gear, lunch, jacket, gloves
- Camera gear more secure with back opening compartment
If I plan on going on a bike ride on the coast and I want to bring a picnic lunch for my wife, my daughter and myself I really appreciate the extra space I have with the Luminous for additional stuff outside of just camera gear. Of course securing and transporting my camera gear is number one, it is nice to have a pack versatile enough to hold additional things that help plan out a whole day. If I want to bring my 22-inch tripod the Luminous is more than accommodating and I know it will have a secure place on my pack.
Breaking these packs into their respective niches
I don’t like compartmentalizing these packs, but if I had to put them into a niche this is where they would land:
Express 2.0 – Urban/Wedding/Travel
The Clik Elite Express 2.0 is a fantastic travel pack. If you are flying this pack is a must. The fact that you can place a laptop in a dedicated pocket makes it ideal for travel. If you are walking in an urban environment possibly doing some street photography this pack is equally great. You can fill up a water reservoir and stay hydrated as you walk around the city or on the side of a mountain. This pack is a terrific choice for wedding photographers: you can take a TON of gear, you have a gear breakdown area, and the included holster gives you a place to store your camera as you use both hands to help the bride pin up her train.
Luminous – Extreme Sports/Biking/Day Pack
Biking is my number one activity with this pack. Not only does the Clik Draw holster allow me to securely store my camera out of the way, I can carry additional items with me. If my wife and I are biking around Carmel, CA I can pack a towel and picnic and when we head downtown to shop I have a place to carry any items we may purchase. This is a great day pack, but it also shines with the ability to handle a photo shoot on a ski slope. Latch your skis to the pack and head up the mountain to take some extreme slope shots or photos of your models getting air.
With all that said be sure to check out my Youtube video for a closer look at the two packs and be sure to check out the packs for yourself
Check out the Clik Elite Lumious Pack – http://amzn.to/2kLQRNf
Check out the Clik Elite Express 2.0 – http://amzn.to/2kLJFkj