The Cotton Carrier is a camera system designed to offer alternatives to wearing your camera on a strap around your neck. I tested out the two-camera system, which includes a camera vest harness and a camera holster. After threading on the camera insert bolts into your camera’s tripod mount, you can attach your camera directly onto the harness and/or the holster. The Cotton Carrier is intended to be a secure way to carry your camera while also allowing quick access. I tested this out while on a high-ropes course with my son.
The black harness vest has adjustable, padded straps so that it can be altered to get a snug, secure fit for all sizes of people. The way the harness goes on is great for anyone who has back problems, because it doesn’t put strain on the neck, like a normal camera strap. The weight is well distributed and balanced. It’s comfortable to wear, and the back part is mesh, so it breathes. It doesn’t become too uncomfortable in hot weather. When the camera is attached on the front, it’s quickly accessible. It’s much quicker than keeping your gear in an adventure backpack to keep it secure while you are on the move. The harness keeps your camera accessible, like when using a camera strap, but you can feel sure that your gear is secure enough for lots of action.
With Cotton Carrier, you can fit into tight places. While on the ropes course, I wouldn’t have had room for a photo backpack, but I felt confident knowing my camera was safely attached right in front of me. You can run, bike and do all sorts of activities….and have your camera in your hands in a second.
The Cotton Carrier vest harness is perfect for people who are into adventure sports, hiking or any sort of active endeavour. However, when you are just out and about in town, it looks a little….well, let’s just say that it is not very subtle. If I’m in the mountains or doing an adventure activity, I don’t mind, but personally, I would not use the harness in town on a daily basis as an enthusiast—even though it does its job very well—because it is a bit too eye-catching.
That said, I use the holster on a day-to-day basis. It can be attached to the camera vest harness to hold a second camera, or you can use it alone on your belt if you only want to carry one camera. After having tried using the holster solo on my belt, I now use it almost everyday. When I put my belt on, I skip a belt loop on the side where I attach the holster, so it rides a little lower than my waist. This way, I can slide the holster and my camera around behind me when I take my bike up and down the stairs. I’ve never had a problem with it, and I have no worries about it falling when biking or doing other activities. It’s nice to have right there, ready for a photo at a moment’s notice. Since I’ve started using it, I find myself taking my camera everywhere. I take a lot more photos since it’s so quick to grab my camera, snap a photo and be on my way again.
The only things to be aware of are to account for a slight increase in your width while walking around things like tables. The other factor to know in advance is that when you set your camera down on a flat surface, it is standing only on the small circular insert, so it tends to tip over a little.
The Cotton Carrier is simple-to-use, solid and feels like a professional tool. It’s a little expensive, but it is a well-made, seemingly indestructible, high-quality Canadian product that does exactly what it is supposed to do. It’s an investment that will last you ages, and there’s even a lifetime warranty.