Category: Camera Gear
Works With: Anything
I was going to ditch the standard review format for this post and instead make a gallery of different objects hung on my belt Using the neat little Spider Monkey accessory holster.
That was until I discovered that the adhesive tab that helps hold the Monkey’s Tab onto the target accessory is not reusable. Well, that might not be strictly true. It might well be reusable, but I will never find out because it is almost certainly unremovable.
What It Is
The Spider Monkey is like a miniature version of the same company’s Spider Holster, a ridiculously safe and sturdy gadget for hanging a fully-loaded DSLR on your belt. Like the Spider Holster, there are two parts: a hook which clips onto your belt, and a nubbin which attaches to the gear you want to hang.
But where the bigger Spider Monkey uses a metal pin screwed into to the camera’s tripod socket, and a heavy metal belt-hook, the mini monkey opts for plastic and Velcro.
It’s just as secure, but much lighter, and perfectly suited to its job.
Attaching the strap is easy. You wrap the Velcro-like band around, say, a flash or light meter, and if you want something more permanent you remove the waxed paper covering the sticky adhesive pad. The inside of the hook-and loop is actually grippy enough not to slip off the strobe, but if this is clearly meant to be used with the sticky pad in a belt-and-suspenders manner.
Once in place, that sticky pad is going nowhere, so make sure you get the positioning right with just the “velcro” strip before you commit.
The belt hook just slides over your belt, with a metal spring closing its jaw so it can’t slip off.
You can jump around with this baby attached and it’ll stay on your belt. Even Batman would be happy with its staying power.
To mate the two, you just slide the strap-side’s tab into the waiting slot on the belt hook. A spring-loaded nubbin clicks into place in the hole in the middle of the tab and secures everything. You can jump around with this baby attached and it’ll stay on your belt. Even Batman would be happy with its staying power.
To release, you press a button on the top of the belt hook, which releases the nubbin and therefore the whole docked gadget. After a couple of goes, you’ll be doing it automatically.
Another nice touch is that the “velcro” is a double-sided strip, with the hooks on one side and the loops on the other. This means that you can stick one end over the other in any order. That is, you never have to check to see if opposite faces are correctly aligned because they always are.
I’ve been walking around with this timer clock on my belt for a few days now and the Spider Monkey just keeps it there at my side, ready to be stopped, started or reset (I haven’t been outside because I don’t want anyone to think I’m a suicide bomber). In short, it works perfectly.
Once you’ve attached a device, there’s no going back. I’ve tried and pried at the tab and it remains resolute: it’s not coming off.
There are a couple of niggles, though. One is obvious form these photos: once you have attached a device, there’s no going back. I have tried and pried at the tab and it remains resolute: it’s not coming off. If this was my actual purchased device and not a review unit, I’d be pretty pissed off. Unless I’d stuck it to the right thing first time, in which case I’d be elated about the security of the thing.
Which brings us on to the second “problem.” The Spider Monkey won’t work with just anything. The best target appliances are mostly rectangular in shape, and with a flat surface for the sticker to stick to. That said, if something is too irregular you probably won’t want to hang it from your belt anyway.
Spider Holster makes clear on its product page that the Spider Monkey isn’t for use with cameras, but if your camera is a small one, then I| don’t see why not. This clock of mine weighs in at just 330 grams (including the now permanently-affixed strap), and it barely tickles me or the support mechanism. You could easily get up to a kilo before I’d even begin to worry.
For the price, they’re pretty much unbeatable.
Presuming you’ve read this review (and you have, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this…) and you are armed with the knowledge of the tenacious adhesive on the tab, then you’re good to go – buy a basic kit ($17) and add a three-pack of extra tabs ($10) and you’ll be happy. The only accessories I carry these days are copious spare batteries and a lens cap, all of which fit in my pockets. But if I was still a regular strobist I’d be all over these belt mounts: For the price, they’re pretty much unbeatable.
Product Name: : Spider Monkey
The Good: Handy, lightweight, strong, small enough to be unobtrusive. Cheap.
The Bad: Non-removable straps limit utility.
The Verdict Great at what it does. Just be careful where you stick it.