Best portable flash kit: 6 top models tested and rated

Best portable flash kit: 04 Lencarta Safari Li-on Portable Flash

Five things to look for in a portable flash kit

Bessel WP6 400Ws portable flash system review: can you really take studio-grade lighting anywhere you go?

To get the best portable flash kit for your needs, these are the important features to consider…

01 Singles or doubles?
A single flash head is often all you need outdoors, because you’re adding to daylight instead of creating all the light required.

02 Memory effect
Unlike Ni-Cad cells, the lithium-ion or lead-gel batteries used in the power packs in this group don’t suffer from memory effects. You therefore don’t need to worry about topping up the charge.

03 Charging time
Fully recharging an exhausted battery pack can take from two to six hours. For prolonged shooting, it’s worth buying a second battery pack. It’s usually quick and easy to swap batteries.

04 How many flashes?
The number of full-power flashes varies between competing systems. For example, the Elinchrom on test enables 150 full-power flashes from a full battery, whereas the Calumet manages 450. Expect many more flashes at reduced power settings.

05 Whatever the weather?
None of the flash kits on test are weather-proofed. Water and flash systems are a poor mix, so they can’t be used in the rain.

PAGE 1 – Best portable flash kit: 01 Bessel WP6 400 Ws  
PAGE 2 – Best portable flash kit: 02 Calumet Genesis GF400 + PowerPort Duo 1000  
PAGE 3 – Best portable flash kit: 03 Bowens Small Travelpak Kit + Bowens Gemini 400Rx  
PAGE 4 – Best portable flash kit: 04 Lencarta Safari Li-on Portable Flash
PAGE 5 – Best portable flash kit: 05 Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Hybrid One Head
PAGE 6 – Best portable flash kit: 06 Priolite M-Pack 500J Frankfurt Kit
PAGE 7 – Five things to look for in a portable flash kit

READ MORE

First camera crash course: simple solutions for mastering your new DSLR
Best camera focus techniques: 10 surefire ways to get sharp photos
Digital camera modes explained: choose the best shooting mode for your subject
Bounce flash photography techniques in 4 simple steps