Personally, I have always found TimeMachine to be excellent at backing up. Sure, some things might be easier if you clone your drive (you can definitely recover faster, as you only need to clone it back). But I have had 2 major outages from upgrading (due to my own complicated setup), and TimeMachine was always successful in getting all my data back.
I do recommend making sure that TimeMachine has run before you upgrade, and optionally make a clone, if you feel safer that way. I can't make any recommendations as far as software goes, as I have never done that before.