I’ve mentioned Clik Elite’s bags here a few times, and I keep coming back to them even though I haven’t yet found one I truly love. The reason for that is that they’re targeting people like me who enjoy active sports like mountain biking and want to take their photography gear along to capture their adventures, but it’s hard to fit my fairly niche requirements precisely. I’ve purchased the Compact Sport, the Small Rangefinder Chestpack and Medium Nature in the past, although I sold the Compact Sport after determining that it was a bit too small for my needs. They’ve since introduced a size that’s supposed to be a bit bigger than the Compact Sport and yet not the behemoth the Medium Nature is: the Probody Sport. I’ll probably order one of those and try it, as it seems to be perfect for what I’m interested in for biking.
Another kind of bag I’ve been looking for is one which I can use as a carry-everywhere bag. I want something that, I hate to say it, is a techno-weenie man purse. I want to have a pocket that can accommodate my iPad and MiFi and some camera gear. When I started keeping an eye out for such a thing, I had my Panasonic GF-1 in mind, so it could be pretty compact. Then I came across a Clik Elite bag I hadn’t seen before: the Traveler. I seemed to be right up my alley, although it appeared to be potentially big enough to carry be Nikon D700 (without the MB-D10 extension) and a standard lens, so I ordered one.
The Traveler gives a good first impression. It’s smaller than I pictured in my mind, which is a nice surprise, since I’m used to getting a bag that’s bigger and heavier than I expect. That said, it’s just a tiny, tiny bit too small in some ways and a little too big in others. The first thing I tried was putting my iPad in the front pocket. It fits…barely, without the DODOcase I’ve been using; I can live with that. The small pocket on the front is clearly built with an iPhone in mind…perfect. The front flap covers the iPad pocket as well as some smaller pockets for a pen, business cards and other miscellany. These pockets can accommodate the MiFi, although not perfectly. Again, close enough.
The real question is: How well does it suit my desire to carry camera equipment? The answer, once again, is it’ll do what I want, but not perfectly. The D700 fits, but it’s tall enough to make it hard to close the zipper, and I’m a bit worried that the top might be pushing a little hard on the iPad. Not enough to worry a lot about, but if I smacked the bag, the eyepiece of the camera might provide enough of a lever against the iPad to cause concern. Since I’m considering this as my everyday bag, it’s the biggest problem I have with the bag.
As I said, I initially had the GF-1 in mind for this bag, although being able to carry the Nikon would be great. The inside compartment of the bag is sort of too big for just the GF-1, so I don’t consider it optimal for that purpose either, sadly. I normally use a LowePro SlingShot 200 AW as my grab-and-go bag; here’s the Traveler next to it for comparison.
I don’t have a bottom-line on the bag yet. I’ll play with it a bit more and carry it for a day to decide if I’m going to keep it. I’m also planning on heading to a local shop to try out a quite different bag: a ThinkTank Retrospective 10. It’s a traditional camera bag, but might be a good candidate for a daily bag too.