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Seeking Solution - how best to carry an SLR Camera
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Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
Seeking Solution - how best to carry an SLR Camera on 06/28/2013 21:54:10 MDT Print View

I have tinkered with different ways to carry my DSLR on the trail--and I'm not really happy with any solution I've found so far.

A few thoughts:
>If I carry my camera gear in my pack, I have to take my pack off just to take a picture.
>If I carry it on a strap around my neck, it eventually becomes painful and the camera tends to swing, putting it in danger of sideswiping a rock or something.
>I modified an el cheapo no name fanny pack and strapped it between my shoulder straps so that it would ride across my stomach. This wasn't a terrible solution, but I kept wondering if there wasn't something professionally made that would do the same thing better. Also, my modified fanny pack wasn't waterproof.
>I just ordered Zpacks Chest Pack--anybody tried it for camera gear? No padding to protect the camera and probably a bit small (might fit the camera, but no filter case)

Any suggestions? What has worked for you? HELP!

P.S. In spite of this being BPL, I'm not terribly concerned about weight. I'm more concerned about gear access and keeping my (expensive) camera safe. Let's face it--those of us posting in this particular thread have gone ultralight...SO WE CAN CARRY MORE CAMERA GEAR!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Seeking Solution - how best to carry an SLR Camera on 06/28/2013 22:12:48 MDT Print View

We discussed this just the other day.


Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
Sorry Bob on 06/28/2013 22:27:43 MDT Print View

Links, d--- it, links ! ! !

(I found a couple of the more recent threads, Bob...thanks. I'm working some crazy hours and don't have time to dig too much, though, if you--or anyone else--know of any particularly good threads, please post the links)

Edited by HotTub on 06/28/2013 22:45:30 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sorry Bob on 06/29/2013 00:05:51 MDT Print View

If you click on my name, it will take you to my list of postings. Look for a camera case thread from about a day ago.


Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
zpacks chest on 06/29/2013 00:48:28 MDT Print View

i use it to carry my camera and posted photos in the review thread

otherwise have a look at :

Edited by Fre49 on 06/29/2013 00:51:36 MDT.

Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
Re: zpacks chest on 06/29/2013 01:52:21 MDT Print View

Zpacks will also do custom chest bag. It allows for more items.

Will Webster
DH20 on 06/29/2013 07:55:18 MDT Print View

I've used a Think Tank DH-20 Digital Holster for backpacking with a DSLR and zoom lens (17-50 f/2.8). I put Op-Tech Reporter straps on my pack shoulder straps; these clip to Op-Tech Pro Loop connectors on the bag for quick release. This keeps the bag from swinging side-to-side. To control front-to-back swinging I run a light strap from one of the loops on the bottom corner of the bag to where the shoulder straps tie into the hipbelt of my pack. Works very well, although on very steep descents I pull the bag to the side so I can see my foot placement. The DH-20 holds a consumer DSLR with the 2.8 zoom very comfortably; I've also used it with a 7D but I had to take the L bracket off in order to get it in and out comfortably. If you want to carry a pro body such as a Canon 1-series cinderblock you'll need a much larger/heavier bag, such as a Lowepro holster.

I've recently switched to micro 4/3 for hiking. I've carried the OM-D without a bag, either with the 12-50 kit zoom or the 17mm f/1.8, using the same Reporter / Pro Loop connectors without a problem. In the past when I tried to carry DSLR + 2.8 zoom without a bag the weight of the lens pulled the camera down enough that the bottom edge of the body was bumping against my chest; this got annoying after a while. The m43 lenses I'm using are light enough that isn't a problem - until I decide I need a faster or longer zoom on the trail.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
camera packs on 06/29/2013 13:47:36 MDT Print View

This Lowe pack comes in a variety of volumes:

Fastens to shoulder strap or belt:

I have used a Cotton Carrier chest harness and they have a way to attach a camera to a shoulder strap, too.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: camera packs on 06/29/2013 13:54:41 MDT Print View

Frank, that Dan Bailey thing looks completely impractical for a backpacker. I think he is just hawking them on his web site for mercenary reasons.

I use a variety of different Lowepro packs and cases for different purposes, but this is one that I think I will skip.


Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Hip belt or aarn on 06/29/2013 19:13:51 MDT Print View

Well, you mentioned wanting to be able to reach your camera without removing your pack. The Lowe packs have that capability. I have done a multi-day hike with a holster-type camera case attached to my hip belt for easy access. I have also done multi-day hikes with the aarn pack which has large pockets on the front which can be accessed without removing the pack. A camera could be carried there.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: Seeking Solution - how best to carry an SLR Camera on 06/29/2013 19:59:37 MDT Print View

deconstructed and made again Dana Wet Rib.wet rib

Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
Thanks for the suggestions on 07/02/2013 18:17:36 MDT Print View

Hey y'all,

Thanks for the suggestions. Peter, thanks for the pic - looks like a great alteration. That looks practical.

My trip is coming up soon. I have the Zpack thingamabob on order. If it doesn't meet my needs, I guess I will use my old converted el cheapo for this trip. I sure wish I had started this thread six months ago.

Thanks guys.

HElinTexas C
(Helintexas) - MLife
Carrying camera on 07/05/2013 05:25:01 MDT Print View

I haul a DSLR camera on my trips. To provide easy access and to prevent neck strain, I use the keyhole solution.

It weighs about 3 ozs and most importantly it works. The straps attach to your backpack shoulder straps and in effect replace your sternum straps.

Very simple solution to having easy access. You can dirtbag a piece of plastic under and over if rain threatens for protection.

Jeffrey McConnell
Lowepro AW 65 on 07/22/2013 18:24:02 MDT Print View

I use a Lowepro AW 65 attached to my shoulder straps of my pack via biners. It swings a little but works pretty well. I'm happy with it.


Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Capture Camera Clip v2 on 07/22/2013 18:26:49 MDT Print View

I know a few people that love the Capture Camera Clip.

Super durable and pretty much the lightest option out there.

They just put v2 on Kickstarter, and I've ordered on for myself:

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 07/22/2013 18:27:54 MDT.

Jason Lee
(jasonthelee) - F
Zing Camera Cases on 07/22/2013 18:50:28 MDT Print View

This is what I use for climbing/backpacking. There is a retaining strap that goes around your body to keep the camera from bouncing off you with each step.

Donnie Lacer
Camera Capture on 07/30/2013 19:55:52 MDT Print View

I have the first version and will purchase version two.

What I want is some kind of lightweight bag that I can put in my side-belt pocket, something like sil-nylon with elastic around the edge for times when it rains.

Any ideas of where I can get one made?

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - M

Locale: Orlando FL
camera carry on 08/30/2013 22:36:36 MDT Print View

I have several CLIK chest/side packs and they have a feature that enables connecting the chest pack to your backpack straps using delrin buckles. I have a couple of Lowepro's as well but the CLIK is lighter, is more modular for flexible carrying configurations.
Lowepro has quick deploy rain covers though, big plus.

Mike Oxford
(moxford) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley, CA
Check out a toploader/holster! on 09/05/2013 16:19:34 MDT Print View

I have one of the toploading Lowpro AW holsters. I removed the shoulder-strap and put a heavy-duty web belt on it. Then added lower strap around the bottom (think, military gasmask pouch-on-the-leg.) They don't show it (they always show it on the chest for some reason) but at least on the older models on the backside there's a wide hip-belt slot. I actually use a military web-belt with ALICE clips with the handle loop on the back but both work.

It has the SLR w/tele+hood, all the supplies, an extra 50mm 1.4. Attached to one side is a flash (SB-800) in its case, and on the other I put a drawstring waterbottle holder. Double double duty as water carrier and/or catchall pouch, or secondary flash.

I love it. Mostly I love..

1) It doesn't interfere with the pack, at all
2) It does not bounce around
3) I can drop the camera in, swipe the zipper and have both hands free. In or out takes < 5 seconds.
4) It's comfortable. I've worn it on multiple 12-hour stints.
5) When I go to Disneyland, I have both hands free with no camera in the way. I can put my kids on my shoulders and it's not in the way. They're not kicking it. It can go on rides with me, by shifting it around to the front of my leg.
6) The weight is mostly on your leg
7) When I bend over, the camera doesn't fall in the way.
8) It never shifts around when I raise my arms, tip sideways, or swing when I stumble. Wait, no, I never stumble. IF I stumble. :)
9) Built-in raincover.
10) It makes for an acceptable day-hike carrier. Note the water-bottle carrier above, and depending on what side you get it'll hold various amounts of food, wind jacket, etc. If you're carrying the camera anyways, you can fit a decent amount in there unless you have a monster FF w/2.8 tele on it. Then it gets a little tight.

1) Padded carrier is not silnylon. But at least it's protected!
2) It's a tad heavy, but the stuff's protected!
3) The belt CAN interfere with some backpacks. However, you don't have to worry as much about the positioning of the belt because, since the weight is mostly on your leg with a lower strap, it has a broader "acceptable ride pattern." The belt becomes less load-bearing and more bounce-control.

I looked at the more recent models on Lowepro's website, but it looks like they have changed up the bags.
This is the closest ....

Here's the older version that I have:

Regardless, check out that style of case ... I really (REALLY) like having it on my leg.