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