My review of Lowepro’s S&F Light Utility Belt for Photographers

I have been using this for a couple of years now. So far I like it very much.

Pros:

All equipment is easily accessible. Modular construction is priceless. You buy exactly what you need. You can quickly reconfigure it as per your day’s shoot. Don’t want that bottle holder today…remove it in 2 seconds. Want to take that third lens today…add the lens pouch in 2 seconds. Voila!

I spent a couple of hours in a local camera store…going through all the various ‘modules’ they offer for this belt. I bought the Lens exchange case [make sure you check out this item], another small lens case [Lens Case 8 x 6cm], the bottle pouch and the phone case. Too bad they don’t make anything for the camera body [with an attached lens]. I mix and matched this belt with a Toploader 50 AW case. That attaches to the belt [attachment is not too good, it hangs away from the body. To make it snug I used a couple of cable ties to pull the D rings on the bag closer to the belt. Works but I really wish they made something for this belt. They do have a camera case but that is only for carrying a body without a lens attached.

I also tried their deluxe technical belt but found it to be too warm. It is pretty wide at the back. Plus this light version allows you to slide the equipment holders wherever you want…for example if you wanna sit down in a tight chair [or a ride at Disney] you may need to move your lens case which you have at your side toward your front. Done easily with the light version!

Currently I carry around a Canon 7D, a 50mm 1.4, a 10-22mm EF-S and a 24-105mm L. I love my setup. I leave the Toploader’s top open and when I am not using the camera for a few minutes I just put the camera face down in it. Shields the camera from knocks and also prevents is from swinging around.

The Lens exchange case is a beautifully designed piece of equipment. It allows me to change a lens while standing up in a crowded situation. No worries about dropping a lens! You gotta see it to believe it.

I have used this setup to many trips to Disney and Legoland. Works fine each time.

Cons:

  1. The padding behind the attachments on the belt is not attached in the center of the pad. It is only attached at the 2 ends of the pad. Hence it rides up and ends up not pad anything. That is a bad design. Why not have a Velcro or something at the padding’s back?
  2. Loaded with stuff, the whole setup slips down. Last year I used it without the shoulder strap which came with it. This year I tried the strap…it makes it better but I am going to try the “technical harness”. They also have a vest but that looks too warm to me.
  3. [not really a con, but gotta mention it] The whole setup makes you look like batman! You probably will attract thieves and pickpockets. I get oohs and aahs from the security people. You do get some looks but I got used to it. My wife always rolls her eyes when she sees me putting this thing on! She thinks this is rather excessive and I should have a simple camera bag like everyone else.
  4. You really need a bag or something to carry this thing around if you are not wearing it. I use a small luggage bag right now, but have my eyes on their ‘transport duffel backpack’.

Overall…if you can stand the looks….this is highly recommended!

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