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Any opinions on AP back mount vest?

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#1 JasonMcKelvey



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Posted 23 May 2004 - 02:08 PM

As an entry level product, I am very tempted by the AP vest. I don't expect it to hold up to Walter's work... but does it have value for the price? Why not start out with a front mount you say? Well, as a lot of the veterans turn to the back mounted vest, I just see it as preventive medicine I guess. An AP vest, Gold series arm and sled for about $20,000... I don't know... tempting. Am I using ignorant reasoning?

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#2 Ramon Engle

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 08:13 PM

Hi Jason. I bought an AP vest 2years ago. This is after using a crude CP vest then a Glidecam Gold vest then the very sexy PRO vest. Each vest was progressively better in function and form. I bought Brian's AP vest without the benefit of trying it. I suggest you try one on and fly with it for as long as you can before you purchase it. Find someone with one or contact Brian himself. You should have some reference to what is comfortable to you and what isn't. There are some guys who love BM vests and others who are more comfortable in their FM vests.
Having said all that, I highly recommend Brian's vest. I have never had the opportunity to try Walter's vest as a comparison. Brian's vest is a little heavy but delivers in construction and functionality. I love it. Brian's customer care is excellent as well.
A key issue as with any vest is the fit. The vest is possibly the most personal component in the equation. It should be glove like. You should not have to think about having it fit perfectly every time you strap it on. I've read your other post on getting started. If you'll be sharing a vest with other operators you'll be constantly adjusting and fidgeting to get things to "feel right" after someone else has been wearing it. Believe me it makes a difference to have a vest that no one ever touches. Yeah you could make witness marks and dial it in when it's "YOUR" turn but it won't be the same. Unless you buy Walter's custom fit vest the pads are pads. They learn to fit you over time. And that's a good thing. Communal gear has it's draw backs.

Just my 2ยข's
Ramon Engle
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#3 Mitch Gross

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 10:38 PM

I have an interesting new perspective on this. Okay, interesting for me. As a new Dad, I've been carrying my daughter around in the latest model Baby Bjorn "chest snuggly." It is essentially a vest that straps the baby in close to the parent's chest. Most of the models out there simply cross over the parent's shoulders and form an "X" between the shoulder blades, but the latest model Baby Bjorn (can you tell I researched this?) has the addition of a triangular solid pad that fills the lower back lumbar area, and is adjustable in the waist and shoulders. Yes, it rather looks like a cross between a front-mounted and back-mounted Steadicam vest. I can tell you that it is remarkably more cumfortable than the other designs which put all the pressure on the upper back and shoulders.

Why do I mention this? Because even a foam/fabric design can provide great comfort and support if it is properly designed and distributes weight and force well. The AP vest supports the lower back, which to me has always been key in the backmount concept. By working with and strengthening the spine, the vest aid's your posture instead of pulling against and compressing you spine, which weakens posture. With good posture the load is then distributed to the hips, which is the single largest bone mass in the body.

All this to say that even though I have never tried the AP vest, I can well-believe that it is still an improvement over front-mount designs. Again, this is for those who believe in the BM concept. I am of the mind that this vest has much but not all of the benefit of the Klassen vests.

By the way, the Baby Bjorn cost about $120, but there;'s no socket block. :D
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#4 Howard J Smith

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 10:59 AM

Hi Jason

If you are interested in an entry level BM vest then please also consider the new MK-V/Klassen Genesis BM harness.
This harness is around the same price as a FM as has all the wonderfull comfort and styling of the Deluxe. It is availble with either a low cost Alu arm. a standard carbon fibre arm or the new low profile carbon arm and the arms are all Deluxe compatible.
If you are around for Cinegear please come and try one, at our stand (MK-V & Klassen) or if not please contact either Walter or myself and we will try and arrange a demo for you.

I hope this is of some help
All the best

Howard J Smith MK-V
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