Thoughts on the Spider Holster for the Think Tank Modular Belt (Review)

Gear & App Reviews February 9th 2014 8:43 AM 5 Comments

I’ve been a big proponent of getting gear off your neck and shoulders since my chiropractor and my body both yelled at me about pain management. With so much gear to lug around at weddings, I decided to move my lenses from a cross-body bag to a hip pack. The Think Tank Modular Belt System has been the perfect solution for me, but I still have arm pain and my leave-the-camera-on-the-ground syndrome causes angst. Enter the Spider Pro Holster Adapter Kit.

[REWIND: 5 Tips to Save Your Back]

What Is It?

The Spider Pro Holster is a two part mechanism that allows you to hang your camera from your hip. A base plate is secured to your camera’s tripod mount. On your hip through a belt system, you have a holster. With the two pieces in place, you can hang your camera on your hip, safely and securely. Spider has created adapter kits that allow the belt system to hang from existing modular belt systems like the Think Tank Belt System that I have as well as the Lowepro Belt Kit.

[REWIND: Think Tank Modular Component System Review]

spiderholster think tank adapter

Installation

The kit comes with an instruction manual and all the pieces you need to install your holster onto your modular belt (with the exception of a Phillips screw driver). The instructions are a little confusing and by that I mean, the configuration of the item I received didn’t quite match the manual. It begins with being told to use the included hex key to disassemble the holster when in actuality the holster I received was put together with screws that require a screwdriver. If you can get past the initial confusion, maybe watch the online tutorial on the assembly instead or just get the general gist on installation and forge ahead, the installation itself isn’t complicated.

spider holster installation kit

The Important Parts

1. The Base Plate

  • Made of quality materials with solid craftsmanship it looks and feels secure. It’s designed to handle a pro-DSLR camera with a large lens and flash attached.
  • It has a hex wrench tucked into a niche that is so convenient and by itself gets points for clever design.
  • The ball pin placement allows for both right and left handed (or hip hanging) shooters.
  • Attaching the base plate doesn’t mean sacrificing your tripod mount since they include one as well.
  • Optional D-ring attachment can be purchased for attachment to a wrist strap. This was an important discovery as my Camdapter wrist strap mount was already a plate on the base of the camera and with the spider plate attached AND a tripod mount plate, I was looking at a triple base on the bottom of the camera.

spider holster base plate

2. The Holster

  • Again, quality of materials is solid and secure. The attachment to the width of my Think Tank Belt is perfect.
  • The holster itself has a lock that keeps my camera in place when the ball joint is on rest position, giving me peace of mind when my camera is hanging for longer periods of time.

spider holster

3. The SpiderPro Pad – The pad is made of quality material though I’m not entirely sold on the shape/design. This is probably the one element I am the least pleased with. The pad is secured to the belt with Velcro strips. My problems with this design:

  • If the exposed Velcro on the pad is the hook side also known as the rough part. Because the top of the pad is a u-shaped design, the “ears” of the pad don’t sit flush to the belt. Wrapping the Velcro strips around the pad’s ears doesn’t cover the hooks completely. Any straps you might have hanging from your body or even the sleeves of your clothes may catch on the exposed section. I’ve already ruined a sweater because of this.
  • If the exposed velcro on the pad is the loop side (aka the soft part), you have the rough side facing into your belt. You need to set the velcro strips provided between the pad and the modular belt webbing as the hooks (now facing the belt webbing) will catch onto your belt and may damage the material. Any part that isn’t covered by your belt is facing your clothes and may ruin that material.
  • The pad itself is fairly wide taking up a good 8 inches of belt space. Depending on the number of packs and/or the positioning of your packs, you might have to move things around to accommodate the amount of space the pad needs.

After wearing the holster and pad as designed through one wedding, I opted to remove the pad and just have the holster on my Think Tank Belt. The video actually shows that the use of the pad is optional. The experience without the pad was fine for a few minutes of use. Hanging my camera from my hip for extensive amounts of time was little uncomfortable and made me wish for the extra protection so I’ve returned the pad since.

spider holster pro pad spider holster ThinkTank adaptor

CONCLUSION

03-product-reviews-5-starI really love the Spider Holster. It provides me with a safe haven for my camera when I need to put it down. The quality and craftsmanship behind this piece of gear is exceptional. I’m giving this item a 5 out of 5 rating.

 

 

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About

Michelle is a Southern California Portrait and Wedding Photographer. When she’s not geeking out with a camera she’s nerding out in her IT world. All other moments in the day are spent with her two wonderful children and her sweet hubby

See her work on The COCO Gallery
check out her blog at frexNgrin

5 Comments

  1. J. Cassario

    I love my Spider Holster and have the dual kit with a clip and pad on each hip, I dont know what I would do without it. The pad is a little big but it’s never gotten on my nerves or in my way. I have definitely been called a cowboy quite a few times…or Tex, but I love being able to have a camera comfortably on each hip to switch back and forth as needed. I’ll take comfort and piece of mind over looks any day, especially when it comes to wedding photography. I might just start wearing cowboy boots. Great review Michelle!

  2. David Liang

    This is perfect! I’ve always wanted a holster like this but I could never figure out how to get it on my think tank belt. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Spider Holster

    Dear SLR Lounge,

    Thank you for your review. The problem you have experienced regarding the pad is due to the fact that when you reinstalled the pad on your Spider Holster, you installed it backward. The “hook” side of the velcro should be on the back side of the pad against the Think Tank belt surface with the “loop” side or soft side facing outward. Then you would not experience the snagging of your clothing. Try reversing the pad and you will not experience any difficulty. I hope this is helpful and can change your opinion.

    George Cannon

  4. Caelen Weber

    Great review! I use the Spider Holster belt, so the pad is built in, which is a plus for me as I can understand the bit of annoyance with the velcro and ‘ears’.

    I’ve had a Spider Holster since they first came out and it literally has been a back and life saver. I generally shoot with a D700 in my Spider Holster with my 70-200 on it, a D700 over my shoulder with a Black Rapid RS-7 strap and a ThinkTank Retrospective 10 on my shoulder as well. It works well for me, but I’m going to be lightening the shoulder load more by moving lenses to the belt as well soon. The ease of use and super quick accessibility is such a huge plus at weddings!

    On another note, Shai Eynav, the owner of the company, is an amazing dude whom I hope to meet some day and their customer service has surpassed any company I have ever had contact with over a fault in a product. I had one of their first edition holsters, which, unbeknownst to me had been later redesigned due to a weakness where the pin on the camera wore through the stop that is cast into the holster, causing the pin to pass right through, which happened when I was running up church steps shooting a wedding causing my camera to tumble onto the limestone. Shai went above and beyond to make sure I was totally taken care of with a completely new belt and updated holster and that my camera/lens was ok.

    Apart from the great quality of the updated Spider Holster, after their incredible customer service I am an absolute proponent and believer in the Spider Holster. A company is only as good as they treat their customers, and this company is gold! Plus, their products are super!

    -CW

  5. Michael Chapman

    Good review – thanks for the info.

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