I have been using Cotton Carrier for a year and I have to admit that this is a great solution. The harness is comfortable and easy to put on. There are several adjustment options with different straps allowing better fit. To me the best part is that I can still wear my 90-liter Osprey pack on my back and it does not interfere with the harness in any way. Straps do not overlap, they don’t cause any pain to my arms. The lack of having to remove the backpack was particularly appreciated in August 2019, when I crossed difficult Rohacze ridge in Western Tatras with over 30 kg on my back.
Of the things that I liked is an additional belt, with Velcro fastener, which helps to attach the lens to the harness (it could have been a bit longer thou). It makes strapped equipment stay in place, it does not move sideways, I can run with it, jump. Amazing. It is especcially useful for most exposed sections of the trails, secured with chains, where it is necessary to move clinging to the rock with a high the risk of breaking the lens.
The harness has 2 pockets – on the back and in the front. While the back one seems to be useless to me (packing anything there while carrying a heavy backpack could cause severe back pain), the front one is useful for small accessories. I usually carry a tripod key there – I never had a good place to store it and I kept loosing it over and over again. It is now in the right place. When I want to tighten the bolt, I can grab the key right away. The kit comes with a rain cover which can be attached to the lens at any time. A practical solution, considering that you have equipment out all the time.
After using CCS G3 for a year, I bought an additional holder which can be attached to the belt to mount an additional body. During trekking I use it rather to attach the lens (it has to have a collar and a foot – e.g. 70-200 F / 2.8). After reaching the destination, it becomes a useful solution when I would like to shoot without a lot of gear on limiting everything to only two bodies and two lenses.
Cotton Carrier has recently launched a lens pouch that can be attached to the harness, which seems like a very reasonable idea. When using the equipment, I thought it lacked the quick lens change possibility. While I could keep the 12mm Laowa in my pocket during trekking, after attaching it I was left with no place to keep my 70-200.
Pricewise, the harness looks very decent. $159 is not much considering convenience and safety of your equipment. In my case, I saved much more on potential repairs. There are often discounts available, it is easy to get it even 25% cheaper (just enough to cover customs and tax if you buy it from overseas:)). In Poland, the harness is only available at Cyfrowe.pl, but also only upon request. On the market you can also find Chinese copies of the harness costing around $40, but to be honest, wearing equipment for tens of thousands dollars, I prefer to pay the difference, get better quality harness and feel safe while shooting. It is the same as with photo backup – there are people who do it, there are those who do not do it yet. I guess it is not worth learning from mistakes in this case.
There are not many downsides to the harness. At first I was worried a bit about attaching the braces at the back with Velcro straps, but many hours of testing done with 70-200 or 150-600 attached, dispelled my fears. For peace of mind, after adjusting, you can sew them or ask the leatherworker to install additional snaps. Personally I don’t see such a necessity.
During long treks, with the body and long lens attached – such as 150-600, the lens due to its length rubbed my belly. When it happens for 3-4 or more hours it can be uncomfortable. That’s why I usually have 24-70 or 70-200 attaches. There was no problem with 150-600 during short treks thou. What I also noticed is that during intensive physical activities, material parts can soak up sweat. During a 3-week trip to K2, when using equipment every day, on 20-kilometer routes, even I noticed the necessity of washing it ;) In everyday situations, access to the washing machine is usually not limited, so this should not be a problem.
I did not notice any more cons. To sum up, in my opinion the equipment works really well, I can recommend it with full conviction. I haven’t found a better solution so far, but well doesn’t mean I won’t keep looking.