Hands-Free Camera Harness

Backcountry Solutions is trying to eliminate the discomfort of carrying a heavy, bulky SLR camera while hiking. Its Keyhole hands-free camera harness clips your SLR camera to your backpack harness and keeps the lens pointed down to protect it and carry it closer to your body.

Designed for activities like hiking, snowshoeing and even biking, the harness holds a camera tightly to your chest, making it quickly accessible when you need to shoot. Plus, the setup takes some of the camera weight off your neck and distributes it to your shoulders.

Keyhole camera harness closeup.jpg

Keyhole hands-free camera harness

To set it up, you screw a small knob into a camera’s tripod mount (on the bottom of the SLR body). That knob then fits in the “keyhole” slot on the chest harness, which is secured to your backpack straps. The camera sits securely on your chest ready for quick use.

In a test, the product worked pretty much as promised. A heavy Canon SLR sat securely for many miles on a hike. One issue: With a bigger lens, the camera swings sideways and the lens does not point straight down unless your neck strap is shortened enough to keep it from moving.

The Keyhole hands-fee camera harness costs $30. www.backcountrysolutions.com

—Ryan Dionne

Posted by Backcountry Solutions - 12/31/2009 10:01 AM

Thanks for the great write up on our KEYHOLE Product. I’d like to clarify the swing issue. We understand that all cameras/lenses are not perfectly balanced in the downward position. As a result, our design and set-up instructions suggest a step to “adjust the camera neck strap so that the camera has a little tension on your neck with the camera lens facing down”. When this small neck strap adjustment is made, the camera/lens sit squarely and securely without any tilt (or swing), regardless of camera or lens size. Thanks again and please visit out website.

Posted by Kris - 12/31/2009 01:39 PM

Great idea!! This fixes one of the reasons I hate carrying a DSLR while backpacking. Any chance I can find this in Finland or Europe?

Posted by Mark Griffith - 01/05/2010 12:36 PM

I carry an SLR with me ALL the time hiking. This doesn’t look to solve the issue of lens fogging from body heat. At least the camera bags that strap to my packs chest harness help with a layer of insulation.

Posted by My Life Outdoors - 01/05/2010 12:43 PM

I was hiking with my DSLR just the other day and was thinking there has to be a way to keep this thing from swinging. Looks like a great product. I will have to give it a try.

Posted by Don Vachini - 01/27/2010 12:02 PM

After spending the better part of 32 years hiking and backpacking to fish for high elevation trout, one of the drawbacks was a swinging SLR camera. A DSLR camera was even bulkier, adding to the angst of protecting it near rocks, brush,etc. I can’t wait to test this product!

Posted by Anonymous - 05/03/2010 05:12 AM

nice piece of camera accessory! i tried it and it definitely gave me more freedom and less stress worrying about my camera.

Posted by Camera Harness - 07/15/2010 09:35 AM

Kind of sounds inconvenient to not be able to comfortably use a big lens with this, but I suppose it’s a minor detail people have to just get used to.

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