Retake Review: The Cotton Carrier

Not long ago, I completed my field review test of the Cotton Carrier. After creator Grant Vetters read my review, he admitted to a manufacturing flaw that made the camera hard to unholster. Grant sent me another unit to test and this time I’ve achieved different results.

Previous Issues

Just to refresh your memories, my previous issues with the product was that unholstering the camera from the slots (both on the vest and the side-belt holster unit) proved to be hard to do. However, I did say that this can keep your camera very secure and you will have no problems feeling that your camera is secure. Jumping around with the camera holstered didn’t allow it to swing around the way that other holsters allowed.

Second Take with the New Unit

Grant told me in a previous email that the camera can and should ideally unholster as smooth as butter. This is true with the new unit sent to me. This issue also alarmed me a bit as I thought that my 5D Mk II would come out from the holster too easily. Jumping around with the camera holstered quickly solved this problem. The camera is secure as ever and it still allows me to take it out of the holster with one hand. The camera doesn’t swing around either (on the vest or the side holster.) This will be appreciated by photographers that need to move quickly from location to location, like sports or wedding photographers.

I tried a true torture test: I hung upside down with the camera holstered on my chest. It still failed to come out or swing around. Only until I really moved around vigorously was I able to get it out of the holster without the use of my hands. That’s the type of security that is very much appreciated by photographers out in the wild.

It still personally felt more secure with my 50mm F1.8 while hanging upside down because it’s the lightest of my lenses. My 24-105mm F4 L IS is a bit heavier but the Cotton Carrier was still able the handle the weight well. The 80-200mm F2.8 L felt a little more like the camera was going to fall out, but it didn’t. Once I was right-side up again, these problems went away and the system worked totally fine. If I needed to use it while shooting the Yankee parade again, I would. It’s a pleasure to keep on you though not the most fashionable item.

Who is this for (Second Take)?

Wedding Photographers: It’s still worth the investment and you can rest assured that you won’t miss the shot with your D3s around your chest holstered safely.

Events Photographers: You may prefer the side holster unit instead of the vest. The reason why is because this is really all you may need.

Photojournalists: Still a no, but it is an enticing product.

Sports Photographers: Having one camera on a monopod and your R-Strap on will still better suit your needs. However, this still can prove useful to you providing you don’t get a flawed unit.

Portrait Photographers: You’ll still love this.

Wildlife Photographers: Combine this with the Spider Holster and you’ll be set. Ditch the tripod.

The Cotton Carrier System retails for $139 on their website. They also sell the Vest Unit alone for $99 and the Side Holster for $59.



  1. Sky says

    nice :) good that they solved the issue. I hope that all the products they sell are flawless, not just the one they sent to you….

  2. Judd says

    I think your first review was the right one. Underwriters Laboratories never takes hand outs from the Manufacturer. This insures that you are getting an average unit, not a modified one.