Backcountry Solutions provided me with a Keyhole Hands-Free Camera Harness to test and are also supporting a giveaway for readers (read the post for information). This has no influence on my opinions and my review is completely unbiased.
My camera kit is at the cheaper end of the DSLR scale, but spending what I did was still a big deal to me. What worries me is that I often test the limits of its durability, especially when I take it out hiking.
By far the dumbest thing I’ve ever done was balancing my camera on a tree branch, in order to take a timer photo of myself at a lookout. I still face-palm myself when I think about it.
As I posed awkwardly, waiting for the camera’s shutter sound, I heard a massive crash. I realised the extreme level of my stupidity as soon as I heard it. The wind had blown (as wind generally does), the branch had swayed (as branches generally do in the wind), and my precious camera had toppled lens-first into the dirt below.
Thankfully I always keep a UV filter on my lenses, so the lens itself was scratch free. The lens and camera still seem to work perfectly well, despite the impact. It was nothing short of a miracle. I learned a valuable lesson that day. (Don’t be an idiot?)
But some of the trauma that my camera has suffered on hiking trips has been less easily avoidable. Like the many occasions when I’ve had it around my neck while hiking, and have either forgotten to hang onto it while bending over to look at something, or taken a spill while scrambling over rocks or boulders and lost my grip on it (being the nimble coordinated fellow that I am). Inevitably, the swinging camera makes contact with something solid. I’m glad to say it’s about two years old and, surprisingly, still going strong.
I didn’t think there was much that could be done about these kinds of mishaps until I discovered the Keyhole Hands-Free Camera Harness.
This harness system attaches to the straps of any backpack or hydration pack, positioning a keyhole plate in the middle of your torso. A knob screws into your camera’s tripod mount-hole, which can be slotted into the keyhole in order to keep your camera firmly attached to your chest. It also comes with a strap to hang onto your lens cap when you take it off, which is very likely to save me some money on replacement caps.
The harness is a bit of a pain to attach to your pack, so you wouldn’t want to be switching it between packs too often, but once it is in place it’s very easy to use. One side of the harness is equipped with two buckles, so that it doesn’t have to be fully removed every time you take your pack off.
When you need to use the camera, it’s no trouble at all to unsecure it from your chest. This actually removes the temptation that I often have to put my camera back in its bag, meaning I’m more likely to get that killer shot that I may have previously been too slow (or lazy) to get.
For $39.45 (including shipping to Australia), this is a very handy and affordable bit of hiking gear to have. It can be ordered online from Backcountry Solutions.
This competition is now closed. The winner was Pauline from Echuca in Victoria, Australia. Thanks to everyone who entered. Please stick with us and you’ll be eligible for many more competitions in the future.
Do you have a Keyhole Hands-Free Camera Harness? What do you think? If you have anything to say, please leave a comment below.