The Billingham PhotoVest has evolved!
The latest evolution of the Billingham PhotoVest is one of the newest additions to the Billingham range. Designed to carry a serious amount of equipment securely with the style, craftsmanship and durability you’d expect from Billingham, it can be used either by itself or in conjunction with one of Billingham's camera bags.
The reason Billingham began making the original PhotoVest ten years ago was in response to bag owners who wanted the increased flexibility of carrying their key equipment in a way that gave them fast access and maximum freedom of movement. During those ten years, photography has undergone some radical changes, so Billingham decided to reflect that fact by updating their original design using advances in materials technology and feedback from photographers. The result is a comfortable, lightweight, fully lined PhotoVest that’s worthy of the Billingham name.
The Billingham PhotoVest is shorter than most - it's cut that way to prevent items in the lower pockets making contact with equipment in waist pockets, particularly when sitting, crouching or even driving. Whether walking or climbing the design also reduces the likelihood of items 'bouncing' off the wearer's legs - a common problem with longer jackets. To further increase comfort and mobility, the generous arm holes mean you won’t feel restricted even if you’re wearing several layers.
Another key design feature is that both sides of the PhotoVest feature identical layouts to the pockets inside and out. This helps to promote even weight distribution and makes using it more intuitive no more items getting ‘lost’ in oddly placed pockets. To further enhance accessibility, and prevent delicate items from getting scratched or even dropped, Billingham have made all the equipment pockets extra wide, so taking things out or putting them in, you won’t have to struggle even wearing gloves. The pen pockets too are wide enough to take just about any type of writing instrument.
The Billingham PhotoVest is made from a water resistant, plain weave textured nylon material. Billingham chose this over the many others tested because it’s lightweight, tough and machine washable so it not only looks good but it will stay that way. In addition, Billingham have chosen heavy duty, plastic coil zips throughout the PhotoVest because of their excellent reliability and long life. Where press studs are fitted, they are of the same high quality used on Billingham bags.
Billingham have paid particular attention to the size, shape and positioning of the pockets on the PhotoVest. Rather than simply make a sleeveless jacket with lots of places to carry equipment, they consulted with photographers to determine what they would like to carry on a typical assignment and where best to locate it. Consequently, Billingham haven't included any pockets to the back of the PhotoVest as photographers felt they would be detrimental to both comfort and mobility as well as being impractical in use. An even weight distribution makes the PhotoVest a very comfortable wear, so much so that it is often worn during plane travel removing the need to pay for another piece of luggage in the hold and significantly reducing the risk of accidental damage. Two large internal zipped pockets for personal effects, mobile phones, GPS units, memory sticks and cards, whilst longer items (up to 600mm) such as zoom lenses, or maps can be securely placed into the zipped pocket that extends from just above the waist right up to the shoulder on both sides. At the bottom of the PhotoVest a flap conceals two large zipped pockets that would be ideal for camera bodies or any other large objects. However, as everyone works differently, Billingham haven’t been too prescriptive about what is intended to go where.
One thing is certain: you’ll find plenty of places to store other essentials such as batteries, flash guns, filters, screen shades, portable hard drives and even mp3 players. Both sides of the Billingham PhotoVest feature a mid-chest, vertical pocket which is ideal for hand warming, whilst the zipped pocket that lies inside it extends up towards the shoulder to carry longer pieces of equipment such as lenses. A large, flapped upper pocket located on both sides of the PhotoVest allows the wearer easy access to equipment in regular use or which might otherwise hang down such as a light meter. For increased security or when working in rain or snow, the flap can be used to close the pocket to the elements.
As an alternative to fully closing it with the heavy duty coil zip, the PhotoVest can be securely held open with the tag to maximise ventilation whilst preventing the sides from excessive movement in extreme circumstances. In addition, with Digital SLR cameras in mind, each side of the zip has a fabric strip covering it which prevents it from scratching the LCD screen. Mesh lined vents across the rear further enhance airflow through the PhotoVest for increased comfort in hot or tough conditions.
Please see the final page in the PDF brochure for detailed sizing information
Please click here to view the full Billingham PhotoVest catalogue (opens a pdf in a new window, so may not work if you have pop-ups disabled or you do not have a pdf reader installed on your computer).