Gear Review – Peak Design CapturePRO Camera Clip & PROpad

posted in: Gear Reviews, Hiking Gear | 0

Why Buy?

I started hiking on a regular basis in 2011 and from my first hike forward, I have been looking for the best way to carry my camera. I’ve tried several cameras as well as different methods of carrying them, in the hopes of finding a solution that allowed me to carry a camera comfortably and securely, while allowing me to access it quickly. While some of my attempts have have worked ok, I have not been happy with them. I was first exposed to Peak Design and their products in 2012 on a Mt. Whitney hike. My hiking partner had contributed to Peak Design’s first kickstarter campaign and brought his Capture (original design) on the trip. We both carried our DSLRs on that trip and by the end of it I was very jealous of his setup

DK and his Capture towing his DSLR up the infamous ’99 Switchbacks’ on Mt. Whitney Main Trail
DK signing the Mt. Whitney summit register with camera securely attached to his pack by his Capture

In August of 2013 the kickstarter campaign for Capture Camera Clip v2 was successfully funded. I contributed to the campaign and received a CapturePRO with MICROplate and PROpad.

First Impressions

Having seen and handled the original version of the Capture in person previously, there were no surprises when my shipment arrived. After waiting for the kickstarter campaign to end and production to start, I was very excited when I finally had it in my hands. After using the CapturePRO & PROpad for 6+ months, here are my thoughts:

The Good

  • Upon holding the both the CapturePRO & PROpad, you can tell that they are well made and made out of quality materials. The CaputerPRO features ‘all metal’ construction and appears to be very durable.
  • Attaching & removing the CapturePRO to your pack/belt is quick and easy. The same goes for attaching the plate to your camera.
  • No tools are required to attach the CapturePRO to your pack or belt, nor are any required to use it.
  • Once the camera is placed in the clip, I have no fear of it coming loose. It is very secure. The plate lock and button safety lock both add another layer of security, as your camera cannot be removed from the clip once either is engaged.
  • This setup has worked well with any camera I have attached it to, including:
    • Nikon D80
    • Sony NEX
    • Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
    • Nikon Coolpix L26‎
    • Canon PowerShot Digital ELPH
  • Once the plate is attached to your camera, you can slide it into the CapturePRO in multiple orientations. Sliding the camera into the clip upside down makes changing lenses very easy – it’s like having another hand.
  • My camera is accessed quickly and easily. After using it a few times, I didn’t even have to look down to remove the camera or to place it back in the clip. It is easily done by feel, even when I am wearing light gloves.
  • The CapturePRO carries the weight of my Nikon D80 and Sony NEX very nicely. Once I have my pack on, I barely notice the weight. When combined with the PROpad, the heaviest combination of camera & lens that I use does not bounce off my chest or leg as I hike or walk, as I would expect. The setup holds your gear closely and rigidly to your body.

The ‘Bad’

I don’t have anything bad to say about any of the Peak Design products I own. Here are a few nitpicks I came up with, most of which have been ‘solved’ by Peak Design:

  • The Camera Clip & PROpad work great with most of my packs. However, when using them with my Gregory Baltoro 65 and Deuter Kid Comfort II (read: very thick shoulder straps), it can be difficult attaching them to my pack. I have the longest bolts they sell with the clips, but need to unscrew both bolts all the way, squeeze the shoulder strap between the two halves of the capture clip while trying tighten down the bolts evenly. If the bolts were .25 – .5″ longer, this would be much easier. I have used my CapturePRO Camera Clip with other packs with no issues, including: Mountain Hardwear Wandrin 48, REI Venturi 30, Gregory Z35, Osprey Raptor 14 and the CamelBak Hydration backpack.
  • Safety Tether – I wish there was some sort of security tether. While I’ve never dropped my camera, I have come close to missing when putting the camera into the clip. I will sometimes place the camera’s neck strap around my neck or put my sternum strap through it. This has more to do with my careless than it does with the design of the item itself.
  • Exposure to elements – When my camera is attached to my pack, it is exposed to the elements. When walking through fog, very light rain, or in situations where moisture or snow may be falling off of trees, I wish there was a convenient way to protect the camera while it is clipped in. I have used a bandanna or winter hat at times, but this obviously is not ideal. In southern California, dust can also be an issue. Again, this isn’t a knock on the design of the product – if you want your camera to be easily accessible, exposure is an obvious consequence.
    • UPDATE NOV 2014: I recently learned about the Shell, a new product to be released in 2015. It is being advertised as ‘An ultralight rain and dust cover for your camera. It can be used with Capture or it can be used as a standalone product. It can also be used as a protective sleeve when carrying your camera in your bag.’ It sounds like a great solution for my concerns listed above!

Through the Wringer

last update 12/15/14 After 15+ months of use, I am still extremely happy with my purchase. After a couple hundred miles of abuse, both the CapturePRO & PROpad are showing signs of wear, but I have no doubt that they will last for years to come.The CapturePRO is the one piece gear that goes wherever I bring a camera, whether I am off on a 20 mile hike or just heading to the park with my kid. I often tell people that purchasing the CapturePRO & PROpad and combining it with a Sony NEX is the best decision I have made in terms of gear. After receiving my Camera Clip & PROpad, I have continued to purchase products developed by Peak Design. Here is a list of the items I have purchased:

My P.O.V. Kit & CapturePRO clip attached to my Mountain Hardwear Wandrin 48 pack on Register Ridge. Dec 18 2014
My CapturePRO and PROpad attached to my Kelty Kid Comfort II and hitching a ride on Ski Hut Trail. Dec 13 2014
My CapturePRO and PROpad attached to my Gregory z35 on the summit of Mt. Whitney. June 4 2014

 

Disclaimer: I became a Peak Design affiliate in November 2014, but at the time of this review, have purchased all of my gear from PD with personal funds. I am constantly asked about my setup and I recommend it to other hikers; becoming an affiliate was a no-brainer.If you’re interested in purchasing any Peak Design products, be sure to use HikingGeek as your promo code to save yourself some money!