Dude, it rocks...
( that's for Sanjay
Yes, read the thread. Here are my personal interactions with the Exovest. ( Some of this may be in the other thread already )
First of all, I've worn just about all of the vests out there. The area of pressure in the upper back is handled quite well with a combination of foams in the pad- including memory foam. I can adjust the 4 waist pads as I wish, and did so when I first got the vest. This allowed me to place them exactly at the pivot points of MY Pelvis. It is reasonable to say that people's girth, height, width and depth of pelvic saddle and so on are somewhat unique. Since I can adjust the placement of the pads, I can have them resting on the 4 points of my pelvic saddle. Everyone can.
The tools-free latches for the front and rear rods allows a user to adjust the length while wearing the vest- a great improvement over the prototype knobs that were used. One can unlock all rods and raise or lower, then lock the rods and try flying the rig and see if it sits better or not. ( One does NOT unlock the rods when wearing the arm and sled
The ability to raise or lower the arm bridge is a real treat- it gives me a secret 4-5 inches of lens height with the turn of 2 knobs. Useful ! Additionally, we all like our arm bridge in a slightly different spot. This design allows for tools-free fine-tuning.
The lack of lower lumbar compression is the biggest positive to me. Again, the rotational force has to go somewhere and - like the backmounted Klaussen or Sauvé vest, the rotational force is moved higher up on the back of the torso. As is the case with the backmounted, use of high end modern foam padding helps.
I wear this vest for hours at a time doing live t.v. I can sit comfortably in it. Since the major comfort benefit with Exovest is that the four pivot points shift with the rolling of my hips and clavicle/ shoulderblades, I can both stand still and walk with better comfort and less torso stress than previously.
Reduction in pad-to-body surface area means less sweating from foam rubber pressing against me everywhere. I don't find I sweat around the waist pads, but yeah I sure do sweat against the main upper back pad. It washes as well as any other professionally made pads. My process? Leave it to dry in sunlight when I can. Wash in Cold water with a cap-ful of Woolite. No harsh soaps, no OxyClean, certainly no fabric softener. The pads seem like the day I got.
I won't be leaving this vest, it works for me. Find a way to try one, get instructions on how to adjust and fit it, and use it for a few days on a job. Every change of vest is a significant change for any Operator- no matter what brand or how well made it is, it's something NEW. For my part, I've owned and worn a Model I, Model II, Master Series, Custom made carbon fiber, Flyer and now Exovest.
This one wins the day.
Hope this is helpful.
Best to all,
Peter Abraham, S.O.C.