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Skiing with a chest pack (for camera) - drawbacks?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've been looking at options for carrying a camera while skiing in a way that is easily accessible.

Backpack, or even a sling pack just doesn't seem to suit my needs - hard to access and mostly larger than I need.

I'd be carrying an Olympus OMD EM5 with a small zoom (12-50 kit zoom) - and I'd also like room to toss in a 70-300mm zoom as well. If you're not familiar with the OMD line, it's mirrorless and much smaller than a standard SLR conterpart (both the body and the lenses).

I was looking at the Click Elite Access chest pack. I think size wise it would work - maybe even be a bit larger than I need.

Does anyone ski with a chest pack - for camera or other gear? Is it intrusive? Does it hinder your movement in any way?

We're heading to Winter Park and Steamboat in a couple weeks, and it will be the first time taking out kids (girls 15 and 13) out west so I really would like to use my camera more than I usualy do.

Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 7

I ski with a camera pack for my dslr or a sling pack for my dslr and less gear -- both work, but are cumbersome and it always makes me nervous to ski with so much expensive gear.  I do carry my small hd camcorder in a small bag on my chest and I really like the ease of access, as well as it just seems more secure on my chest.  If you've ever fished with a chest pack, then it's about the same.  It feels a bit stupid with the front pack, but if I'm accessing the camcorder a lot, then it's the only way to go.  As for what brand, style, etc. -- there are a ton out there.  Read reviews and choose the one that fits your needs.


Good Luck.


T. - www.wasatchreport.com

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
WR - thanks. What chest bag are you using for your video cam? Many of the chest packs I've seen look much larger than what I'd really need.
post #4 of 7
I have skied with a large camera both a simipro video camera or a SLR, it is not much fun so I got a smal pocket camera and a helmet cam. I have see photographers vests, check them out at B&H.
post #5 of 7

I ski with a Nikon D7000 (APS-C) DSLR with the 18-105 kit lens and a 70-300 zoom on occasion. I use a Lowepro AW102 sling pack. As you say, if I can fit the DSLR in it, it's probably bigger than you need for the Olympus.


It skis well, access is better than a backpack, but it's still clumsy. I can ski with it in front for short distances to improve the access, but I find the weight of the heavier DSLR in front is hard on my back, which I broke a number of years ago.


When it's in back, it rides well enough that I initially didn't feel any real compulsion to throttle it back from normal skiing without the camera. After a couple of nasty falls without smashing the camera or myself, I'm now a little more careful when carrying it. In one case, my skis hit a "stopper" and I double heel ejected and performed a 3/4 flip, almost landing flat on my back. Fortunately, I twisted enough so that I didn't land on the camera, and the bag protected it enough so that the impact didn't bother it.


If you can live without the 70-300 when you're skiing, you might be able to just tuck the camera under your coat. The EM5 is tough, so a little snow down your coat on occasion won't bother it.


I know someone who skis with a D700 (full-frame DSLR) in front, but the bag looks uncomfortably large. Of course, your Olympus is literally half the size of a D700.

post #6 of 7
I don't have a good answer to your needs but be careful with whatever you guys ski with to carry your cameras/camcorders.

A good friend of mine and a 30+ year skier suffered his worst ski injury (broken ribs & punctured lung) from falling on his camera pack.
post #7 of 7

Yeah, I was going to say the danger is in falling on the chest pack and hurting yourself.  I think that is more likely than hurting the camera.  I have a Panasonic mirror less/micro 4/3 dslr which with my 14-140mm lens on it is way too big to fit in a pocket.  I carry it in a back pack which means a lot if times I don't stop to get it out.   When I do, I will often ski a run or so with it hanging from my net inside my shell so I can easily stop for more shots.  


The best solution, and one I am looking for is to get a smaller camera that will do everything you want.  I am looking for one that can shoot a few frames per second and that also shoots decent HD video.  One with no shutter lag that has decent glass.  I may have to spend a lot more than I want to to get all that in a point-and-shoot/pocket sized camera though. 

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