Photography has been one of my passions for years, which I guess is good since it’s what I do for a living. But even during my off time I always have a camera at the ready in case I see a cool shot. Recreating in the Utah outdoors presents uncountable opportunities for photography, especially while backcountry skiing in the Wasatch Mountains. For years I used a small point-and-shoot digital camera on ski-tour excursions, but those types of cameras never had the chops to capture good photos of my friends skiing by. Frustrated by too many images of skier’s backsides exiting the frame, I decided I needed a digital SLR, pronto.
After a bit of research, I ended up purchasing a Canon Rebel T1i. But my friend Mason Diedrich always says, “new gear leads to more new gear,” and once again, his wisdom held true. After years of having a small camera in a case on my pack’s waist belt, an SLR body was now a huge burden. My first few days in the backcountry with it worked okay, but having to take my pack off every time I wanted to get a shot was tiresome. I also realized that wet skins probably shouldn’t share the same space as sensitive camera gear.
What is an aspiring ski photographer to do? I found my answer in the Clik Elite SLR ChestPack.
Click Elite is a company based in St. George, Utah, and they make all kinds of light weight camera packs for outdoor adventure. The Clik Elite SLR ChestPack is a padded case that hugs the body, keeping the camera safe, secure, and ready to pull out quickly to capture any photo opportunities.
The main pocket holds most standard SLR cameras with a 5.5-inch long lens. It has a four-point strap system that wraps around the back and fits comfortably under backpacks. There is also an accessory pocket and a hidden side pocket for extra batteries, filters and lens cloths. Plus the pack is made from durable, snow resistant materials.
When I first tried on the Clik Elite SLR ChestPack, I was very resistant to the idea. Strapped to my chest, it felt like a Baby Bjorn for my camera, or a giant tumor growing out of my torso. But when I started skinning up the mountain, I quickly grew used to it being there to the point that I didn’t notice it at all. The ChestPack never inhibited my freedom of movement, and the ability to zip it open, pull the camera out, and take a picture without any fuss was brilliant. Sure, I felt a little silly wearing it at first, but the convenience of having my SLR at the ready was worth any preconcieved bias against the pack being a fashion faux pas.
Skiing with the Click Elite SLR ChestPack was also totally painless. Once strapped down tight, it didn’t flop around or get in the way. After my friends gave me a hard time about the look of the thing, they were quickly silenced after seeing photos and video of them skiing powder while actually being in focus for once. Sure, carrying a digital SLR into the backcountry can be a pain, but the quality of the pictures is worth it, and the Click Elite SLR ChestPack makes it possible.