It’s been almost exactly a year since I bought my “big” camera, my first ever non-compact model, a Panasonic DMC-FZ28 bridge camera – the sort that’s almost an SLR, but without all the hassle 🙂
When I bought it I knew it was going to be awkward to walk with and I tried a couple of methods of carrying it, eventually settling on a Lowepro Apex 100 AW, a cushioned case with a rain hood. This I slung around my neck and under my left arm, allowing a quick-draw with my right hand. It was okay, but not ideal. The bag is quite deep and it hampered the movement of my left arm, so I never felt like I ever got into the walking rhythm properly.
Well I’ve found another solution; thanks to OMM and v-g. The OMM Trio chest pouch is a bit of an odd looking piece of equipment – you certainly aren’t going to win any fashion awards with this thing. v-g tried it and their success prompted me to have a go too.
It is supposed to be attached to an OMM rucksack, but it’s versatile enough that it works with my Berghaus Arête 45 and my Berghaus Velocity 25. The two straps at the top of the photo above are velcro loops clipped to the pack and the idea is you unclip them and attach the velcro loops to your shoulder straps (as shown below), you can then clip the chest pack back on. The lower bungee cords attach to the lower belt area somewhere handy – you can adjust the length of the bungee cords to reach an appropriate clip point on your particular pack.
The pack takes my camera nicely, with a bit of room to spare for an energy bar and a phone if needed. It’s not waterproof though, so I also have a dry bag folded into the pouch as well. This actually gives the pouch some shape and makes the loading and unloading of the camera a bit easier. It has an internal mesh pocket inside the main pouch and this is great for a couple of Silica Gel bags for keeping the moisture away from the camera, or a lens cloth.
An unused feature on my pouch is the fold-down map carrier – I find it much easier to use my own map case, in my cargo pocket, rather then unclipping the pouch all the time to read the map. Unlike the photo above, the pouch now includes a mesh panel over the plastic map cover that reduces the amount of sweat generated by a plastic panel next to your chest, but also means it’s something else to unclip before you can read your map.
My item weighs 128g.
I’ve drawn a few odd glances since I’ve been wearing it and one person stopped me to say what a wonderful idea it was and where could he get one, it turned out that his pack (a very old looking design) didn’t have any suitable place to clip the lower bungees, so it may have been difficult to use for him. The first time I used it when walking with Tex he nearly had an apoplectic hernia from laughing so much, but later conceded it worked well and didn’t look quite as daft as he’d made out.
Some reviews have expressed concern that you can’t see your feet when using it and this causes problems on tricky descents. I must say that I’ve not had any problem in this respect and I’ve got a large belly, onto which the pouch sits and exacerbates any problem.
The only issue I have, is that you need to be careful when taking your pack off. I have to remove the whole pouch before I take my pack off. At first I did try just unclipping one side and leaving the pouch attached, but the centrifugal force of swinging the pack off your back, tends to send the pouch on a wide arc and is likely to crash into things – not a great idea with £300 worth of camera in it.
It can also be awkward when opening gates towards you, and squeezing through gaps that would normally be do-able, but you soon get used to the extra girth 🙂
All in all a great piece of equipment.