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The first time I heard about the Skout from Cotton Carrying Systems was earlier this year when they launched their Kickstarter campaign. I’m continuously on the hunt for the best way to carry my camera gear, and the Skout was an immediate contender.
I watched their Kickstarter with interest. The campaign for this unique harness was more than 1200% funded and raised over $100,000! Needless to say I was thrilled when the awesome folks at Cotton Carrying Systems sent me a pre-release of the Skout to review.
What is the Skout?
The Skout is a hands-free sling-style camera harness. It is designed for active photographers who need their hands free, but want access to their camera quickly. The twist and lock mount keeps your camera secure while you’re on the move. It also comes with a detachable rain cover so you can protect your gear in unpredictable weather.
Functionality – What worked and didn’t work for me
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve used my Skout many times – on bike rides, and on walks. The harness is quite comfortable and very secure. The best part is having my hands completely free! I could bend down, move around – and my camera stayed secure.
- Perfect for walking/hiking
- Useful hidden zipper storage on inside of harness – great for ID, an extra memory card, etc. (too small for my iPhone 7+ though.)
What Didn’t Work (for me)
While I thought the Skout was, overall, quite comfortable – it wasn’t a perfect fit. I’m a big girl, and not terribly fit (working on that, though). Adjusting the harness to my body was somewhat challenging – and I could imagine that a woman with a larger chest could find the Skout very uncomfortable.
I had high hopes for using the Skout while out riding my bike, but the moment I stepped off the pedals my camera’s lens knocked into the handlebars (Canon 6D and Canon 24-105 f/4 L lens). My lens also tended to bump the top of my leg as I pedaled. My experience was a bit better on a second bike ride after switching to my small 50mm lens. If you shoot with a smaller camera you’ll likely fare just fine on a bike, but a full size kit is cumbersome.
Who Needs the Skout?
The Skout is built for active photographers. If you want your camera easily accessible, but your hands free, then the this sling-style harness is a solid option.