There’s an axiom regarding cameras: the best camera is the one you have with you. A camera in your backpack requires stopping, removing the pack and pulling out the camera before finally taking a picture, which leads to some memorable shots being missed. The Universal Keyhole hands-free camera harness from Backcountry Solutions aims to keep your camera up front and ready to use.
The Universal Keyhole is a set of straps, buckles and a sturdy plastic plate to hold your camera securely to your backpack’s straps. Unlike a simple neck strap, the harness stabilizes the camera on your chest and eliminates bumping and swinging. It connects to your camera with a round knob that has a ¼-inch-20 tripod bolt. The knob gets threaded into the camera’s tripod opening and then slotted into the plate of the harness. A tether attaches to the lens cap with hook-and-loop squares.
Setup is not complicated and is aided by the best documentation we’ve seen in a long time. Lots of color images show the various assembly steps, and suggestions for customization are included. This system works on SLR, DSLR, mirrorless and compact cameras, camcorders and even smartphones with a special adapter.
A binocular bracket is also available. MSRP: $54.95
I installed the Universal Keyhole on my camera bag and headed out to photograph the first blooms of the year. My full-frame DSLR with a heavy macro lens felt strangely light as the harness evenly distributed the weight onto the straps. Not having to stop, take off my pack and remove the camera before photographing the subject at hand meant I took more pictures. Not having to reverse the process kept me moving along, looking for the next subject to photograph. The value of having a camera ready when you need it is priceless.
— George Sherman, Trailer Life IT Support Specialist
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