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Exovest VS. Ultra Vest

tiffen steadicam vest ultra vest exovest

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#1 Chad Hladki

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 07:59 PM

Hello all, I'm currently doing the proper research to assemble a rig in the near future, and I've tried out numerous vests and these two are my favorite so far. Just want to know if anyone has had any particularly good or bad experiences with either, just to help me weigh out my options. Thanks!

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#2 Lisa Sene

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 08:01 AM

Hi Chad,


Welcome! A vest is the most personal piece of a Steadicam you will have as it has the most direct contact with you. Sounds like you've tried both types on before - have you tried them on for shoots or in a workshop environment, or at a trade show? When I was deciding between an LX vest and an Exovest, I was able to try both at the SOA workshop for a week which really let me feel the differences. Ultimately I went with the Exovest, though I recommend you fully test out both the Ultra Vest and the Exovest and decide for yourself. If you haven't taken a weeklong workshop (SOA or Tiffen Gold), that is a great place to try out the different vests since you'll be operating shots rather than simply trying the vest on with a rig and walking around for a few minutes. That was critical for me because it showed me what each vest was like while operating; I felt the differences in weight placement in different positions, and noticed how my body felt in terms of being in balance with the rig in both vests. 


Another advantage of trying the vests at a workshop is there are plenty of instructors around to make sure the vests are fitted to you properly, and that you are standing and moving correctly. When I first tried the Exovest, I was still walking as if I were in a normal vest, which is counterproductive to using an Exovest. Chris was there and helped me, and I noticed a difference right away.


Happy flying!

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#3 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 08:57 AM

I know this isn't your question but I can't help my self...

I bought my first PRO vest in 1998 (it was vest 005).  When you get the vest you go to a tailor and get your measurements so the vest fit's perfectly.  I wore that vest for about 7 or 8 years and then bought my second.  I didn't have time to re-measure myself for vest number two so I just told them to use the same measurements.  Vest #2 fit like a glove and I had it for about 10 years???  I just (like two weeks ago) got PRO vest number 3 using the same measurements I had when I was 24 years old and it once again fit perfectly.  It took me about 3 minutes to align and adjust the straps and (apart from the lack of that 'funky smell') I couldn't tell the difference between the previous vests.  My point is for me the PRO vest fits perfectly.  

I can also say that in 19 years and 3 vests I've never had a single mechanical failure or issue and I put my vest through the ringer.

Finally I'd say I've tried several other vests on set while shooting and have never found one I liked as much as the PRO.  But to be fair, I have not tried the EXO or the Ultra.

As Lisa said, the vest is a very personal piece of kit and you have to find the one that works best for you.

My 2 cents.

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#4 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 09:53 PM

Love my Pro vest, for the last 10 years...
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#5 Adi Visser SOC SASO

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:53 PM

Love my PRO vest for the last 10 aswell!! 

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#6 Francisco Orozco Jr

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:30 PM

I personally went with the Ultra 2 vest as I found the EXO not to feel right for me at the time (weight distribution). However you do get the added benefit of the back mount for the EXO. I'd probably be happier with thinner pads on the U2 but aside from that it's solid. I'll hopefully get to try the Pro Vest one day as it always seems to sneak into the conversation haha
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#7 Shawn Wang

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 12:49 AM

Ive tried em all. Hands down PRO. 


Tho id argue. I haven't find a pair of gloves that fits me in my entire life. so I don't really know what "fits like a glove" means. 


when u wear PRO vest, its so minimal and light that makes u feel you wear no vest. 



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#8 axel ebermann

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 01:26 PM

I used to own an Ultra2 vest and got an Exovest instead. It fits me like a glove has improved my operating and 

my fatigue and recovering times have improved.

I LOVE how easy it is to take on and off.


Having said that: Some very capable operators I know did not fall in love with the Exovest as I do. A lot of it seems to boil down to personal preference and body type.

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#9 Christian Ramirez-Coll

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:17 PM

Hey, I saw this topic and wanted to know if anyone can answer this question for me. BH has a New Vest for sale and with free shipping for $4500.




This is a Goofy model. I thought switching to goofy was a matter of removing the socket part from the rods and putting them back in?

I may be completely wrong, can someone educate me?


Thank you.

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#10 Chris Van Campen

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:21 PM

Unless they changed something, the two screws on the socket block assembly come all the way out, then you can flop it over to the standard operating side. That's how mine works, but it's an earlier model...


Ha! I just noticed in the picture they mirrored it to look goofy. Weird...

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#11 Jerry Holway

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:01 PM

Answered on the Facebook forum, but yes, vest can be flipped. A bit more work on the waist panels (if it is really set fully goofy) but it only takes 10 to 15 minutes for the full flip, which allows the socket block to be set at its lowest. A temporary flip (just flipping the socket block) takes about 1 minutes or less.

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