by Jenny Montgomery
Though I have several dedicated camera bags, most of the time I prefer carrying my camera in my regular backpack. To protect it a bit without adding too much bulk, I’d been covering it in a fleece toque since I hadn’t found a minimal solution that I liked better…until Matador.
The idea is simple and effective: it’s basically a grey puffer jacket for your camera. The Sorona synthetic down filling (600+ fill equivalent) helps protect your camera from bumps and jostles. It has an integrated Waterproof 30D Cordura rain cover, a Hypalon rolltop, and YKK closures. Lightweight (85 g) and adjustable to fit a range of sizes, it should work with most DSLRs and Micro Four Thirds cameras (30.5 x 21.5 x 5 cm).
I tested it for three weeks while travelling in Norway with a 38L backpack. Being able to stick my covered camera right in with all my other stuff made packing simple, especially during the first two weeks when we were flying and changing locations almost every day. Whether playing with huskies in the Arctic Circle, looking at prehistoric rock carvings in Alta, exploring the Lofoten Islands, or appreciating Lysefjord from a boat, I loved how fast I could remove it and not miss a photo—just squeeze the buckle and tug from the bottom. Since the cover isn’t bulky, it’s easy to bring your camera along with you almost anywhere. My only two complaints are that the rain cover slipped out of its pocket sometimes (adding a safety pin fixed that) and that I wish it came with a tether. Even so, the Matador Camera Base Layer is now my go-to camera cover (US$59.99 + a safety pin).