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03-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #1
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Clik elite Obscura backpack - any good for a K5?

I'm on what seems like the eternal search for a good hiking/photo backpack and whilst the F Stop Loka currently stands at the top of my list I've found the Clik Elite Obscura which looks very promising

Obscura

Seems to tick all the boxes:

Easy camera access - for a smallish DSLR at least
Good harness system
Good storage for both photo & hiking gear
Central tripod carrying setup
Hydration pack facility

Just wondered if anyone had tried one?

Thanks

Simon

03-26-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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I don't have any experience with this bag, but here's a video review:


(editing to add link to text review of same reviewer above. He mentioned it in his comments)

http://clickglide.com/?p=557

I was impressed to see the bag swallow the monster of a lens mounted on the 5d. The camera fit was a bit tight, but perhaps not as much of an issue with the smaller Pentax bodies.

The usefulness of this pack will vary with your needs and how you plan to use it, but for me, looking at it from my perspective and hiking I see these issues:
  1. Camera mounted on bottom. I have a tendency to plop my bag down. With the camera on the bottom of my pack I'd, of course, have to be very careful no to do that.
  2. The bottom loading of the camera would also imbalance the bag. I don't see any nice solution to this but to simply not use the port.
  3. A note about any bag with a raincover. If you expect any significant rain then it's likely to fail. Water will seep through the straps, down the back and eventually get into your bag. I counter this with waterproof bags (simply trash bags), but with the "marsupial pouch" there isn't any way to surround this in a dry bag. If you expect nothing more then very light rain and no possibility of immersion, then these may work.
  4. Finally, while hiking I like to keep my DSLR handy. It's always attached to my chest straps or hanging from my neck and then secured to the sides to stop it from swinging. This keeps my camera always at the ready while giving some protection and not impeding my movement. In other words, my camera doesn't go in the bag unless I'm strictly transporting it.
  5. I'm not terribly fond of hydration packs. Most distort the bag and make it uncomfortable. The only ones I don't mind are the ones with an internal frame and/or special shaped hydration bladders (I love my Osprey hydration pack) to eliminate this problem. However, the weight and the maintenance of the system means I'll typically just use a water bottle, even in my hydration packs.

My own solution is to use one of the many backpacks or buttpacks I have and then just protect my equipment with a combination of lens wraps or lens pouches as needed.

Last edited by wasser; 03-26-2012 at 10:47 AM.
03-26-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by wasser Quote
I don't have any experience with this bag, but here's a video review:



(editing to add link to text review of same reviewer above. He mentioned it in his comments)

Clik Elite Obscura Photo Backpack review | ClickGlide

I was impressed to see the bag swallow the monster of a lens mounted on the 5d. The camera fit was a bit tight, but perhaps not as much of an issue with the smaller Pentax bodies.

The usefulness of this pack will vary with your needs and how you plan to use it, but for me, looking at it from my perspective and hiking I see these issues:
  1. Camera mounted on bottom. I have a tendency to plop my bag down. With the camera on the bottom of my pack I'd, of course, have to be very careful no to do that.
  2. The bottom loading of the camera would also imbalance the bag. I don't see any nice solution to this but to simply not use the port.
  3. A note about any bag with a raincover. If you expect any significant rain then it's likely to fail. Water will seep through the straps, down the back and eventually get into your bag. I counter this with waterproof bags (simply trash bags), but with the "marsupial pouch" there isn't any way to surround this in a dry bag. If you expect nothing more then very light rain and no possibility of immersion, then these may work.
  4. Finally, while hiking I like to keep my DSLR handy. It's always attached to my chest straps or hanging from my neck and then secured to the sides to stop it from swinging. This keeps my camera always at the ready while giving some protection and not impeding my movement. In other words, my camera doesn't go in the bag unless I'm strictly transporting it.
  5. I'm not terribly fond of hydration packs. Most distort the bag and make it uncomfortable. The only ones I don't mind are the ones with an internal frame and/or special shaped hydration bladders (I love my Osprey hydration pack) to eliminate this problem. However, the weight and the maintenance of the system means I'll typically just use a water bottle, even in my hydration packs.

My own solution is to use one of the many backpacks or buttpacks I have and then just protect my equipment with a combination of lens wraps or lens pouches as needed.
Thanks for the detailed response - the video link is interesting too.

Your current solution is the one I use too, I have an Osprey Atmos backpack and then drop the camera inside in a holster bag for protection but access is way too awkward - to be honest I'm not keen on the idea of carrying my camera around on chest straps knowing how often I end up on my backside when scrambling etc., I think it's safer in my backpack. I don't tend to use hydratiopn packs most of the time either so this isn't a killer option for me but I guess it would be nice to have the choice, I'm not too worried about the rain cover as I tend to find it at least keeps the majority of water off the main pack and the weather sealing of the K5 gives me that added confidence too, one of the main reasons I bought the K5 - we have more than our fair share of rain here in North Wales.

It does seem that dual purpose hiking/photo backpacks are only just starting to appear so perhaps I might be better waiting a while longer until more manufacturers see that there's a market for them

thanks

Simon
03-30-2012, 04:36 AM   #4
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Had a look at these?

Hi Simon,
I feel we are looking for the same thing, let me know how you get on?
Did you see that RK Photographic have the Clik Elites?
Vanguard ? Photo-Video - Tripods, Camera Bags, Cases, Optics, Binoculars

Cheers Jules...

03-30-2012, 04:57 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jules Quote
Hi Simon,
I feel we are looking for the same thing, let me know how you get on?
Did you see that RK Photographic have the Clik Elites?
Vanguard ? Photo-Video - Tripods, Camera Bags, Cases, Optics, Binoculars

Cheers Jules...
Hi Jules,

Thanks for the links - I did notice that RK sold the Clik Elites, I'll probably buy from them if I go with that makes. The Vanguard link is interesting but untortunataly the backpack only seems to carry a tripod on the side of the pack which I'm not keen on - the hunt continues, I'll post of I find anything else but must admit I'm not too optimistic that many other options exist, very starnge I think as I'm certain that there's a decent market for them

Simon
03-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #6
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Warming myself to the Obscura, I like the fact it splits the load, Lenses in teh top and body/lens in the bottom, it's one of my bugbears with the lighter bags that they tend to lump all the gear together in the bottom of the bag, making it uncomfortable on long hikes, this way the load is more spread out. I like the centre tripod carry too but I don't think it'll take much of a tripod to start to tear. that carry system. Came across exactly that problem with my Kata Bumblebee 222UL, the material began to rip and the stretchy pockets on the bag laddered like a cheap pair of tights! The problem I have is with the size of the side opening to the bag, it will not take much more of a DSLR to make it awkward to get the Camera in and out, there are quitte a lot of unhappy D7000 users out there, I don't want to buy the "perfect" bag only to have Pentax bring out their k3 (Or whatever) later this year and it be just a little bigger so's it won't fit! Then the Damn bag search starts again! Just the size of that pouch opening really thats it at the moment, prettty good really! If you get hold of one before me please do let me know your thoughts on it as it seems an otherwise near pefect fit for my needs too...

Last edited by jules; 03-31-2012 at 11:29 PM.
04-01-2012, 12:04 AM   #7
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Amother possiblity? Might be harder to get hold of but I heard Paramo of all people were going to sTart fetching em in to the UK...
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04-03-2012, 03:45 AM   #8
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Just following this up...just been on a photo workshop with the well known British landscape photographer, Joe Cornish, coincidentally he had an F Stop Loka which looks a very nice piece of kit.

personally though I'm leaning more towards the Clik Elite Contrejour 35, mainly as I really like the side access panel - doesn't seem to be any major quality differences between Clik Elite & F Stop from what I can find

Simon

04-03-2012, 05:47 AM   #9
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Dakine have also updated their line of Packs...

But I feel they are a bit heavy???
Dakine Europe Packs : Photo Packs

I like the look of the Fstop Guru but I feel the Clik Elite Back system looks better, The Loka is getting to the too big stage I feel?

I too love the look of the Contrjour over all of them but I think I'll lose bits of my anatomy if I try to get that un
04-03-2012, 04:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by simonkit Quote
Thanks for the detailed response - the video link is interesting too.

Your current solution is the one I use too, I have an Osprey Atmos backpack and then drop the camera inside in a holster bag for protection but access is way too awkward - to be honest I'm not keen on the idea of carrying my camera around on chest straps knowing how often I end up on my backside when scrambling etc., I think it's safer in my backpack. I don't tend to use hydratiopn packs most of the time either so this isn't a killer option for me but I guess it would be nice to have the choice, I'm not too worried about the rain cover as I tend to find it at least keeps the majority of water off the main pack and the weather sealing of the K5 gives me that added confidence too, one of the main reasons I bought the K5 - we have more than our fair share of rain here in North Wales.

It does seem that dual purpose hiking/photo backpacks are only just starting to appear so perhaps I might be better waiting a while longer until more manufacturers see that there's a market for them

thanks

Simon
I don't use a holster, but i thought about getting one. I currently use a Zing pouch, which is just a neoprene pouch with a belt to secure it to my waist. If I'm ever uncomfortable with the camera on my chest, I'll just stuff it in my bag. However, I like having it out for quick shots of the people I'm hiking with or the animals I spot.

QuoteOriginally posted by simonkit Quote
Just following this up...just been on a photo workshop with the well known British landscape photographer, Joe Cornish, coincidentally he had an F Stop Loka which looks a very nice piece of kit.

personally though I'm leaning more towards the Clik Elite Contrejour 35, mainly as I really like the side access panel - doesn't seem to be any major quality differences between Clik Elite & F Stop from what I can find

Simon
Depending upon the length of your hikes and your needs, there may be some major differences between the Clik Elite Contrejour 35 and the F Stop Loka. The Clik is 29.5L, 4.12lbs to the Loka's 37L, 3.45lbs. At just over half a pound the difference isn't enormous, but it might be over many miles. Are you going to fill a 30-37L bag? You said your current setup is an Atmos, which could be 50-65L. That's some serious space. Is this just for day hiking? What lenses and how many do you carry?

I typically limit myself to three lenses and infrequently pack a full tripod. I can put all that along with food, water, and other misc gear in my fanny pack and be good for a long day of hiking. This bag, the Mountainsmith Tour, even has straps on the bottom that could be used to attach a tripod if you wanted.

Incidentally, the volume of my Mountainsmith is nearly exactly the difference between volume of the Clik and the Loka, 8L.
04-04-2012, 02:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by wasser Quote
I don't use a holster, but i thought about getting one. I currently use a Zing pouch, which is just a neoprene pouch with a belt to secure it to my waist. If I'm ever uncomfortable with the camera on my chest, I'll just stuff it in my bag. However, I like having it out for quick shots of the people I'm hiking with or the animals I spot.



Depending upon the length of your hikes and your needs, there may be some major differences between the Clik Elite Contrejour 35 and the F Stop Loka. The Clik is 29.5L, 4.12lbs to the Loka's 37L, 3.45lbs. At just over half a pound the difference isn't enormous, but it might be over many miles. Are you going to fill a 30-37L bag? You said your current setup is an Atmos, which could be 50-65L. That's some serious space. Is this just for day hiking? What lenses and how many do you carry?

I typically limit myself to three lenses and infrequently pack a full tripod. I can put all that along with food, water, and other misc gear in my fanny pack and be good for a long day of hiking. This bag, the Mountainsmith Tour, even has straps on the bottom that could be used to attach a tripod if you wanted.

Incidentally, the volume of my Mountainsmith is nearly exactly the difference between volume of the Clik and the Loka, 8L.
Thanks for the link to the Mountainsmith, looks interesting but I'm sure it isn't big enough for my needs....when using the Atmos I also carry gear for the wife - it's more to do with bulk really, mainly fleeces, waterproof trousers, extra mid-layers etc. My atmos isn't full but I'd rather have a little free space than be struggling to fit everything in.

Camera gear wise I think if I bought the Loka the small ICU would suit my needs 90% of the time as I take a similiar amount of gear as you...K5 with 17-70 attached, 12-24 and a 55-300, perhaps a small prime too. The reason I'm looking more at the Contrejour is really for the reasons you mention, the Loka is probably a bit on the large side and I do prefer the more "fixed" camera compartment on the Clik Elite and the bonus of the side access. The Contrejour is also sold by Amazon here in the uk who have an excellent returns policy if I need to use it, the Loka is much more difficult to get hold of (& return)

Thanks

Simon
04-04-2012, 05:16 AM   #12
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if you want to do serious hikes, have you thought about the Naneu K5 Adventure K5 | Naneu Bags
Or if you don't need that much space the K4L or K3L, Adventure K3L | Naneu Bags, Adventure K4L | Naneu Bags
04-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
if you want to do serious hikes, have you thought about the Naneu K5 Adventure K5 | Naneu Bags
Or if you don't need that much space the K4L or K3L, Adventure K3L | Naneu Bags, Adventure K4L | Naneu Bags
Thanks for the suggestion, had a quick look on the website but they don't really meet the specs I'm looking for, still only seems to be the F Stop Loka or Clik Elite Contrejour


Simon
04-10-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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F Stop all the way. Nobody says customized like F Stop. Get more gear later or want to haul more photo gear one day and less other gear switch the ICU. The next day want to haul less photo gear and more other gear done...
04-10-2012, 12:23 PM   #15
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I have the Obscura backpack for about a year and I love it! I was also looking at the Contrejour 35, but it was a little out of my budget.

I'm a small girl, (5'2 & 120lbs), this bag fits nicely and is comfortable. It is great for day trips and I even took it out last year on a 3 day backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains. Weighing a total of 21 lbs, and I was able to fit my camera gear (2 lenses/1 body + accessories), water, food, sleeping mat, backpacking pillow, clothes, pots, bear spray and some other stuff I can't recall at the moment. I had my sleeping bag attached to the outside and I did not bring my tripod although I could have fit if if I wanted to. The bag has held up well so far.
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