Reviews

Clik Elite Camera Capsule Product Review

by Kari Post | October 29, 2010

© Kari PostAny seasoned backcountry enthusiast knows that a well organized pack is key to a successful trip into the wilderness. Backpackers organize gear into stuff sacks, pouches, and pockets to make packing a precise process and items easier to find as they are needed. It seems that Clik Elite, the company that makes performance packs for adventure photographers, took this tip from the backpacking world when they designed the Camera Capsule.

The Camera Capsule is really quite simple in design, but genius in terms of practicality. It is a small, padded rectangular compartment that opens at the top via a zipper. Two removable padded dividers are provided to help protect and organize the contents of the Capsule. The Capsule comes in one color, a bright orange-red color that makes finding it inside a filled backpack easy, and is make from a durable nylon material. A low profile handle on top of the Capsule sports the Clik Elite logo and makes carrying the Capsule one handed easy. Unlike other pouches designed to hold multiple lenses, the Capsule has a smooth profile with no clips, straps, or buckles, making it lighter and easier to pack inside of a larger bag.

The Capsule comes in two sizes: compact or pro. The smaller compact size measures 11x7x4.5 inches and weighs 0.22 lbs; the larger pro sized model is 11x7x6 inches and weighs 0.66 lbs, according to the manufacturer specifications. (Note: My Camera Capsule Compact weighed in on my kitchen scale at 0.64 lbs.)

As an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys backpacking and bicycle and boat touring, I had been looking for an easy way to pack a minimal amount of photography equipment into my pack, dry bags, and panniers without having a bunch of loose items rolling around. I had been wrapping my camera and lenses in shirts and unworn clothing, but I always worried about the expensive equipment coming unwrapped and shifting around in my pack, where it could easily be exposed to a hard rock or tree branch when I set my pack down. The idea of having all of my camera gear in one spot, protected from bumps and falls by foam padding, was much more reassuring.

Clik Elite Camera Capsule review © Kari Post

I got my hands on the smaller sized Camera Capsule and put it to use as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I’ve now had the capsule for about eight months, and I use it at least once a week. It’s been up Mount Monadnock, the second most climbed mountain the world, dozens of times, gone backpacking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and on biking and paddling trips in the Adirondacks of New York. The Capsule fits easily into my backpacking packs and bike panniers, and slips right into the dry bags I use in my kayak. It has quickly become one of my most used photography items, and a necessity on any of my longer trips.

Critique wise, there isn’t much to say about the Camera Capsule. Its design is simple, but it works. The bag is well crafted, and looks like it will hold up to years of use. I’m not crazy about the orange-red color, but it’s practical, even if it is a bit flashy for my tastes. Loaded with my 17-40mm f/4 mounted on one camera (either a Canon 5D Mark II or 7D) in the middle, a 70-200mm f/4 on the side, and some extra filters, batteries, and memory cards on the other side, the Capsule just barely closes, and the lenses cause the fabric to bulge on the top and bottom. Despite the tension on the zipper, it still holds securely and has shown no sign of slipping. The problem with this setup seems to be the height of the bag, not the width, so I don’t know that the larger pro-sized Capsule would help in this case. An extra half inch of height would probably do the trick.

Interior of Clik Elite camera capsule © Kari Post

I really like the Camera Capsule. It is unlike other pouches offered on the current market in that it allows photographers to carry multiple items in a single, padded compartment without the extra frills and whistles of straps and clips that just get in the way and make the entire package more bulky. I find that using the Camera Capsule, packing my photo gear into my outdoor equipment bags is much easier, and I like the peace of mind of knowing my gear is well protected. This little pouch has given me added versatility in my photography excursions, allowing me to carry my equipment to places I hadn’t before.

The simple, lightweight design of the Camera Capsule is perfect for backpackers, travelers, outdoor adventurers, and anyone who wants to carry a minimal camera setup along with a lot of other gear in packs that aren’t necessarily designed for photography items. For adventure photographers, the Capsule is an ideal solution for protecting valuable photography equipment on the go, and I would highly recommend it.

About the Author

Kari is a self-described adventurer, photographer, outdoor enthusiast, conservationist, and nature lover. She loves being outside in nature, exploring the world around her, and doing just about anything that keeps her on the move. Kari picked up photography as a young girl and developed a serious passion for the still picture in high school. In college, she combined her photography hobby and love of nature and began photographing wildlife and outdoor subjects, which now make up the bulk of her work. Kari views photography as a way to share the beauty she sees in the natural world with others. She hopes her images can be used help educate and inspire others to appreciate, preserve, and protect wild places and creatures, and aspires to one day work as a photojournalist for National Geographic documenting conservation issues. Visit Kari's website at: www.karipost.com and her blog at: www.karipost.com/blog.

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