EXPRESS 2.0 FIRST LOOK
The Clik Elite Way
To me the Clik Elite brand is three things. Durable. Detail oriented. Quality built. The Express 2.0 is nothing short of my high expectations of one of the absolute best pack manufacturers you can find. Clik Elite has a great line of outdoor ready packs. Packs that are at home on the side of a mountain, scaling a rock, skiing, camping, hiking or biking. Their packs are built to fill that outdoor enthusiast needs while keeping your camera gear safe and accessible inside a pack that won’t fail on you.
You will find that durability abounds on the Express 2.0 as well at their other packs. To name just a few examples of the durable parts they employ in their packs, they are made with high density nylon that resist tears, punctures and abrasion. They use YKK zippers, because they are the best, they don’t kink, they operate smoothly and without fail. EVA foam is used instead of the polyethylene, this ensures long lasting padding that bounces back. Stitches are thick and well done, and all materials from stretch pockets to mesh grab bags are just made well enough to last your for years.
There are so many details that the designers over at Clik Elite have added to the Express 2.0. My favorite detail is the ClikDraw system. Essentially it is a leash that replaces your camera strap. That leash is tethered to a specially designed loop on the shoulder strap. In case you happen to drop your camera it won’t hit the floor. The second part of the system is a large loop on the hip strap that acts as a holster for your camera. This has been a game changer for me. I now have a dedicated place for my camera that keeps it safe and very accessible. I find myself taking a lot more photos on hikes because my hand isn’t fatigued from hold my camera steady on my shoulder as I hike. I sure wouldn’t put it away and take it out for every scene. This system is so effortless. It allows my mind to stay focused on searching for scenes and not worrying about the safety of my camera. MOLLE straps are another thing you will find on the hip straps. This will allow you to attach additional accessories that take advantage of the MOLLE strap system. A 2 litter bladder pocket to hold a water reservoir to stay hydrated on your trip. Emergency whistle on the chest strap, not something that we all think we will need but when and if the time comes that we need to send a distress signal you sure as hell will be glad its there. Key lanyard. It is a total pet peeve of mine that pack makers omit a dedicated place to attach my keys at. It is very nice to have, and I expect to have it on all of my packs. Hiking poles plus tripod attachment. Not only can you store you poles and tripod at the same time just a mere tripod mount is sometimes not present on packs. That makes no sense to me. Dedicated 15″ padded laptop pocket. This is my second favorite feature of hte pack. These are just a few of the ways that Clik Elite has managed to make the Express 2.0 a detail oriented pack.
One of my most favorite things about this brand is the fact that they have an incredible build quality. I am so confident in the brands ability to make great packs that I do things I probably should not be doing. I will grab a fully loaded pack by the smallest strap to pick it up just to see if I hear a stitch pop or feel the loop get stressed out under such a heavy load. I will not be careful when sliding down a rock and let the abrasion do what it will. I toss this bag around like, well, a bag. I have no concerns about being delicate with it to prolong its life. I abuse my bags, but I abuse them out of love. I love knowing that this is a buy once in your life pack.
Who is it for
Clik Elite has one pack that is setup to do what the Express 2.0 is capable of doing. The main difference of their 5 pack line is a dedicated laptop pocket. I am very happy to have it too. When I travel I have always had to take my camera bag and a messenger bag for my laptop. There was no other feasible way to do both securely. I don’t have to choose anymore between two bags or leaving my laptop at home. When I go out in the field to do some landscape photography I can now take my laptop. I can sit for hours at a scene with my laptop tethered to my camera and take photos, edit them, blow them up big and see details I could not have without my laptop. It has changed my workflow. That is twice now that Clik Elite has surprised me with something that I didn’t know I was missing out on. Once with their ClikDraw holster system (a must have for me now) and a dedicated laptop sleeve on a pack that is designed to be outdoors. It has chest and hip straps, a water bladder pocket, a rain fly and high quality nylon. Make no mistakes, this Express 2.0 is an outdoor ready pack, but its a gentleman while it is out there by allowing me to take my laptop. This pack is easily my go to pack for traveling. It fits perfectly as a carry on and can sustain me for weeks with the amount of gear it can carry. It is my new favorite pack without a doubt. Well done Clik Elite. The Express 2.0 is an absolute winner and I think you nailed it.
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Clik Elite Pro Express 2.0 Backpack (Camo)
Click HERE to see my review of the Clik Elite Luminous.