Mountainsmith Descent AT Chest Pack Backpacks

Descent AT Chest Pack

This unique chest carry camera bag comes with its own shoulder harness system, for easy ergonomic front access use. Unclip the harness and the chest pack becomes compatible with a wide array of 2010 Mountainsmith camera pack shoulder strap systems for logging that extra kit along. See specifications for compatibility and recommended camera body sizing. Made with 100% recycled PET ReDura. Sized for Nikon D60, D40 / Canon EOS 450D Rebel XSi or similar. Compatible with 2010 versions of Quantum / Spectrum / Borealis AT / Parallax.

User Reviews (1)

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Mad Dan   Intermediate [Sep 16, 2012]

The pack has nice room and padding for an SLR and a lens.

The great thing about a chest pack is the ability to also carry a backpack at the same time and the easy access of the SLR because it stored right on your chest. In that regard, this design is a winner.


The lower straps from the back harness have female ends who's straps are not adjustable. The adjustable male ends are on the lower part of the pack itself. This means that you have to reach the opposite arm across your chest and around the pack with the male end and hold the female to anchor it while pushing the male end into it. If you have a large chest it is difficult.

I was hoping that a chest pack built by Mountainsmith would be good for someone who wants to carry an SLR backcountry. The Descent AT hangs somewhat loosely off the chest so it swings when skiing or mountain biking and it bounces somewhat when hiking at a brisk pace. Even with the shoulder straps cinched as tight as they can be.

The looseness of the pack causes the top of the back harness rides up on the back of the neck. With a camera and two lenses (one large), this creates a sore neck. I workout regularly and I still find myself holding an arm under the pack to relieve my neck.

It seems to me that a strap that encircles the upper part of the rib cage would hold the pack close to solve the swinging problem and reduce the amount of weight on the back of the neck.

If the lens is long it and the camera in the the camera will hang over the second lens. My camera now has a rub mark on it. This is not one of the flaws I am referring to in the first paragraph, given what I'm trying to stuff into a chest pack, it makes sense.

This chest pack is a good start but it has a couple of design flaws that I've reported to Moutainsmith (but the response was the equivalent of a polite smile).

Note: While Mountainsmith makes a backpack for this chest pack, it is strictly for camera equipment. For people who want to spend time outdoors, want the quality of an SLR and need to carry more than camera equipment, that won't do. I would think there is a market for people who want both.

Mountainsmith should get credit for creating a chest pack with room for an SLR and a lens. It makes a lot of sense. If you want to carry a backpack and have quick access to your camera and a spare lens , there isn't much else out there. If you can live with the neck pain on long outings, this is the best choice right now.

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