Outside magazine, October 1996
The one drawback of an slr is that it's too bulky and heavy to stow in a coat pocket. An SLR isn't tough enough to withstand dust and water if you sling it around your neck, and if you stuff it safely inside a backpack you're sure to miss a priceless shot. To realize an SLR's potential, you need a camera-specific carrying case.
If all you're carrying is the camera, a midrange zoom lens, and a few small accessories, try the Topload Zoom 2 from Lowepro ($40; 707-575-4363), the TeleZoom Pak from Tamrac ($46.95; 800-662-0717), or the Action Telezoom from SunDog ($39; 206-251-8410). These small, form-fitting cases can be worn over the shoulder, on a belt, or on an optional chest harness--the best option, as it prevents the case from bouncing or interfering with your backpack hipbelt.
If you carry more, try Lowepro's slick Orion AW Belt Pack (left). This nifty unit ($198) will hold a camera, four lenses, a flash, and more. It comes with a small daypack that clips in above the belt pack and helps distribute the combined weight. When you see a great shot, the Orion won't hinder your chances; simply
unclip the belt pack and swing it around for fast access to all your gear.