Camera vest recommendations needed

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So when I'm out and about I generally have a backpack with me; either a dedicated photo one (my old nature trekker does well considering its one of the few camera bags that has a big enough spot for non-camera stuff as well at the front); or a general rucksack which is nothing special and whilst it will hold a good number of things its not compartmentalised for carrying camera gear.

EDIT - Having been reminded of their existence I'm shifting this from a shoulderbag to VEST question because I think it will much better fit my needs than trying to juggle shoulder and backpacks at once.

So come all and share good ideas for a suitable photo vest. Ideally something that can hold a decent sized lens in the front pockets (eg a 70-200mm f2.8; 100-500mm etc...). I strikes me that with mirrorless cameras also burning through batteries faster it will also be good to have pouches easily accessible (and less likely to drop something than a trouser pocket) with those in as well, so an added bonus.

I've got vague memories of "The Vest Guy" being popular way way back years ago - though I'm in the UK not the USA which is a bit of a pain as they are based fully in the USA. But its been years since I last properly looked around so there might well be a bunch of other products on the market now.
 
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So when I'm out and about I generally have a backpack with me; either a dedicated photo one (my old nature trekker does well considering its one of the few camera bags that has a big enough spot for non-camera stuff as well at the front); or a general rucksack which is nothing special and whilst it will hold a good number of things its not compartmentalised for carrying camera gear.

So I'm wondering if there's a small, light shoulder bag that would pair well with a backpack and a black rapid shoulder strap (which I use all the time as its awesome) so that I can get quick access to one lens to fast swap over with. Something which won't flop or slide around too much, but which can hold a 70-200/100-500/120-300 f2.8. So decent sized lenses but not a vast monster of a lens. So I can quickly swap over too it whilst on the go without having to fumble around with the backpack.

I know an ideal approach would be two cameras but I don't have the budget for a second R6MII.

I have seen those backpacks with fast access side slots in the past, but they were almost all for cameras and lenses and I don't think they'd work well for grabbing and inserting a lens on its own (honestly they strike me as fast to grab, slow to put back approaches too).
When I need that setup, I use a suitable camera bag that I can put on my belt, and shove the lens in that. Easy to carry, lens easily accessible through the zip top.
 
Honestly I'm not a fan of weight on my belt as I tend to do a lot of crouching down.

I find if I've a belt tight enough to hold things, like a lens, up and not pull my trousers down; then the tightness is such that its fine when walking, but a pain when crouching.


This does, however, remind me about photo vests (which until just now I'd totally forgotten were a thing) so I wonder if a camera vest instead of shoulderbag would be better, esp when combined with a backpack.
 
I know you aren't keen on belts but Lowepro used to do a technical harness which supported the weight of the belt https://www.parkcameras.com/shop/lowepro-s-f-technical-harness-black_9360560h they are still possibly available s/hand

I don't think there's been much movement in the design of photo vests. In reality there's not much they can do with them. The design effort seems to have gone into things like cotton carrier and similar

Digging around a little more does a front facing bag work attached to the rucksack something like this https://improvephotography.com/39390/mindshifts-new-multi-mount-holster-favorite-holster-bag/
 
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Have you checked out the fishermans vests some have plenty of pockets and sometimes include a fish pocket which should hold your longer lenses.
 
I've tried various things like photo vests and belts and I've always gone back to a bag.

The two points that have led me there are that a bag is much easier to organise and access and a bag can be put down when the weight is too much. Other peoples' mileage will, of course, vary...

Lowepro messenger bag with Sony A65s FZ82 P1010363.jpg
 
Honestly I'm not a fan of weight on my belt as I tend to do a lot of crouching down.

I find if I've a belt tight enough to hold things, like a lens, up and not pull my trousers down; then the tightness is such that its fine when walking, but a pain when crouching.


This does, however, remind me about photo vests (which until just now I'd totally forgotten were a thing) so I wonder if a camera vest instead of shoulderbag would be better, esp when combined with a backpack.
HI Overread,

For a versatile camera vest, consider options like the Domke Photogs Vest or the Stealth Gear Extreme Photographers Vest. These vests have ample pockets for lenses like a 70-200mm f2.8 and other accessories, making them ideal for quick access and reducing the need for a backpack. They also offer good weight distribution, which can be beneficial during long shoots. Although "The Vest Guy" is US-based, you might find suitable alternatives in the UK through photography gear retailers.

Best,
Nilove
 
I often use an Alpinestars motorsport media vest, although they are rare. Domke made one (may still do), or there are various fishing vests which do the same job.

I wouldn't want to carry a lens in mine though, unless it was a relatively small one in the side waist pocket. There are plenty of secure pockets for batteries, memory cards, lens cloths and other paraphernalia. I generally carry a water bottle / flask in the side waist pocket, and occassionally a flashgun in the second.
 
I've tried a few over the years, never been totally happy with any of them. For me fishing vests give you lots of pockets for filters, batteries etc, but all the ones I've tried have either pockets too small for the gear I carry, or not strong enough. I'm always worried with unpadded pockets.
The best I had (cant remember the make now) would hold 2 gripped bodies in padded pockets, 2 medium size lens and a few small ones.... But most of the weight was on the front and I found it hot and uncomfortable. That was years ago though.
I do have a cheapy mesh multi pocket vest, Ebay special, for my odds and ends, but not lens or bodies.
I would suggest you look at military assualt waistcoats, cheaper and built to last, the one I have has huge pockets, you'll get a 70-200 in them no bother.
Another option is a molle vest, you buy the pockets and add them on. That way you get the pockets the size you need (theres loads of different sizes) and you can place them where you want, back front side whatever.
 
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