(From company literature) The Vested Interest Khumbu Photo Vest. The Khumbu model has all the standard features of our other models plus some new features. It has thick comfortable shoulder pads that extend out to the edge of your shoulders. These shoulder pads provide extra cushion for heavy loads or if you are carrying a tripod over your shoulder. On the front of the vest is a detachable camera strap. It has adjustable straps that loop through the camera strap holders on the top of your camera.
The top pockets are exactly like the Magnum top pockets. The bottom pockets are exactly like the Magnum bottom pockets except the bottom right pocket is 1" taller. It will accept a Nikon 80-200 F2.8 zoom lens with the lens hood . All of our bottom pockets, on all of our vests, close with velcro for quick access and also have two heavy duty snaps on each closing flap for a more secure closure when you need it.
On the inside of the vest is a pleated mesh pocket located behind each bottom pocket. These inside pockets are good for filters and other accessories.
The back of the Khumbu vest has lash straps just like all our other vests. In the middle of the vest is a large tripod pocket with adjustable straps on the sides and a lid to cover the top if decide to carry a large lens like a 500mm. This pocket is padded and also has a drain hole in the bottom in case any water gets in when the top is open. This pocket will carry a Gitzo 300 series tripod. To each side of the tripod pocket is a lens pocket that is sewn on. These pockets are exactly the same as the detachable side pockets that come with the Magnum vest. They also have special hidden loops that allow you to attach a small padlock for security. These pockets will carry a Nikon 300mm F4 lens with a 1.4 converter. They are also perfect for water bottles.
Available Colors: Tan, Black, Camouflage, Navy, ODGreen
I you have a DSLR or two, some quality lenses (heavy lenses) and accessories, maybe a tripod or a super telephoto lens, you would normally be seriously challenged hiking around with your gear.
Even with less equipment, a traditional shoulder bag will strain your neck and shoulders. A backpack would require you to take it off to gain access to its contents. I my view — none of these options are practical and comfortable for hiking, when you quickly need to change cameras or lenses.
Enter the photo vest. Most photo vests are undersized and made of clothing. After a rain shower, the vest will become uncomfortable and heavy. How many photo vests on the market allow you take your 5D DSLR with a 70-200mm/2.8 IS attached and put it in your right pocket?
Not many, but the Khumbu vest allows your to do just that. And it is made of a soft and strong material (parachute technology) which is light and doesn't get wet.
The Vest is made of a strong nylon like mesh pieces. One left side front and one right side front and a back piece. The mesh structure consists of small holes of at least one millimeter, so it allows you to sweat. There is a strong zipper between the left and right front pieces, but I prefer the small strap with a clip. All three pieces are tied together with adjustable straps. If your lenses are not all that has become heavier over time, then this is really a great feature.
There is padding the right places around the shoulder, so the vest is very comfortable to wear despite a heavy load.
The pockets are sewn on the mesh. You have a huge lower right front pocket, a slightly smaller lower left pocket, and two smaller upper front pockets for carrying lenses. The smaller ones can contain a 24-105mm/f4 IS lens with the hood reversed. On the back side and front side of some of the pockets, there are several smaller or thinner sub compartments for flash cards and filters.
On your back are three lens containers, two "smaller" ones towards the edges and one huge one in the middle. The two smaller ones can contain a 70-200mm/f2.8 IS and the center pocket a 500mm/f4 IS or a tripod!
In addition there are straps which allow you to fold a jacket and tie it to the vest horizontally on your upper back.
The front has camera clip-on straps, so you can carry a camera in front of you, without a strap around your neck. I kind of like my OP/TECH Pro strap, so I am undecided about this feature.
The vest itself weighs next to nothing. When I got the shipping box from FedEx, I thought the box was empty, so I unpacked it at the FedEx office. But no, everything was in the finest order. The craftsmanship is first rate, no manufacturing slips at all.
Using the vest is very flexible, so I can wear it over a T-shirt, or put on my winter jacket and the vest without making adjustments.
It comes in several colors. Mine is black, as I often prefer black T-shirts. And it is more inconspicuous.
Are there any downsides? Fully loaded, I guess you will look like a stuffed donkey, and some people will give you the odd look. But so will carrying white lenses.
The real downside is the ordering procedure. You have to download a form, print it, fill it out, and send it to the manufacturer by snail mail. These days most customers would expect a standard online ordering procedure. My delivery took some months, but was accompanied by an apology for that.
I got the feeling that Vested Interest the personal business of one man, which could be an advantage if you need personal support or a vest customized for a specific purpose.
If you are in the market for a photo vest and want the best, most roomy, comfortable and durable available, then consider the Khumbu vest.