I’m not really one for doing product reviews as I really feel that I’m an unfair reviewer. I THRASH everything. Seriously, ask my business partner… she’ll tell you. I recently broke one of our MB-D10 grips for our Nikons, and my old LowePro bag is on it’s last leg after three years of use. Regardless of that, (And in honor of Full-Disclosure) we have some friends who work over at Clik-Elite. One of them e-mailed me and asked if they could send some product over for us to test out. I said sure. A couple days later a box showed up containing one black Reporter, one of their shoulder strap bags.
The reporter isn’t your typical shoulder strap bag. It comes with more technical features such as a hip strap, which is removable. Both my partner and I have been using this bag when it’s available. She likes it without the hip strap, and simply loosens the velcro that holds it in place in the sleeve and slides it out. I like it with the hip strap. One of the things that struck me right off the bat about this bag is that it’s genuinely a “Pro” bag. I shoot with a Nikon D2X, and we have two D300’s with Battery packs. So our equipment is bulky. A major issue I’ve had in the past is that bags don’t really fit Pro bodies. The zippers on my old LowePro bags are always stressed, since the bodies don’t really fit in the bag correctly. This bag however is built for pro bodies. It’s deep enough from back to front for a Pro body with a lens, a second lens or flash and another item.
I packed the bag up and went for a five mile hike up one of the canyons close by my house. The bag performed as a bag should, staying in place and out of the way during my trek, but being easily accessible when I needed to get to the things I need to get to. During my hike I got a call from a friend and was able to quickly swing the bag around to get to my phone placed in the front pocket
This pocket has enough room for a phone, wallet, keys and some other items like filters or card wallets. It also includes two zipper pockets which will hold up to a 77 mm filter. It also has a strap for your keys. Included, but not pictured is the rain fly that tucks under the bottom of the bag. I didn’t have to use it all, in fact we haven’t used it ever since it hasn’t rained here yet.
I did use the hip strap on this bag, and I was very impressed with the way it performed. It felt like a very substantial backpacking hip strap. It was an actual weight bearing hip strap. This is great, since I have a bad back and shoulder strap only bags tend to enflame the problem. So having this small, already comfortable bag sit the way that it did, with very limited weight on my shoulder was really, really nice. I’d later realize that you can run the bag without the shoulder strap and just the hip strap. I tried it after the hike, but I found it to be a little precarious. The shoulder strap is good to help the bag stay in place.
All in all I was very pleased with the bag. The hike I did was pretty technical and had it’s moments and the bag performed as I felt it should. If you’re a pro who likes to travel light with a single body and one or two additional items this is a great bag. The $13o dollar price tag puts it towards the top end of the price range for shoulder strap or hip strap bags that are comparable in carrying capacity, but it’s worth it due to how comfortable the bag is.
Check out the Reporter bag on the Clik Elite website right here