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Review: Spider Monkey - The Holster for Accessories

Overview : The Spider Monkey Accessory Holster Kit from Spider Camera Holster is a two-piece system that can hold a flash, light meter, battery pack, or other accessory on your hip. The small, durable, plastic resin base clip attaches to various belts, including the Spider belts, Lowepro's Street & Field series, and Think Tank's Steroid and Skin belts. Each of the 2 included tabs features a small disc-like protrusion that slides and locks into the base clip. The tabs feature 3M adhesive on both sides for secure attachment to your accessory and the attached touch-fastener strip, which wraps around your device to ensure an extra-strong hold. To release, push your gear against the base and lift.

This system provides a quick-draw method of retrieving gear since it eliminates the need to hunt through your bag for an item. Multiple Spider Monkey base units (sold separately) can be used to have various pieces of equipment at arm's reach.

Features :
  • Base with 2 Tabs
  • Holds Flash, Meter, Battery on Your Hip
  • Base Unit Clips to Your Belt
  • 3M Adhesive on Tabs for Gear Attachment
  • Tab Slides into Base and Locks in Place
  • Touch Fastened Strip Wraps around Gear
  • Push/Release Access
  • Fits Optional Spider Holster Belt

Quality/Usability : Having quick access to your gear is very important especially if you're a wedding, event or sports photographer. You'll want to carry necessary accessories without having to carry any bags or the need for an assistants.

So how would you carry accessories without a bag or assistant. Spider has released a new accessory called the Spider Monkey. It clips on to a belt and allows you to attach a flash, light meter, battery pack or other accessories.

The Spider Monkey packaging is simplistic. It includes the base belt clip and two velcro Monkey Tabs.

The Monkey belt clip is made of plastic with a spring clamp system to clip onto your belt. Squeeze the top of the clip and this opens the clip so that you can slip it over a belt. Let go and it clamps down. The belt clip reminds me of the swivel cellphone clip that clips onto a belt clip and the swivel tab adheres to the back of your cellphone or case.

The included Monkey Tabs consists of the base with 3M adhesive and velcro strap. The velcro strap is about an inch wide and about a foot in length, giving plenty of room to fit around any accessory. Unlike some velcro straps, the fuzzy velcro is the entire length of one side of the strap and the "hook" velcro is also the entire length of the strap but on the other side. So no matter how big or small the item is, it'll be securely attached.

The Monkey Tab is secured to your accessory (I applied the tab to my Canon 600EX-RT speedlite and Pixel TD-381 battery pack) using the included 3M sticky adhesive. It's great that this will prevent the accessory from sliding out of the velcro strap. Once the tab is applied, the flash wouldn't budge and I mean, it won't budge. If you need to remove the tab for whatever reason, it will take some effort but won't leave any residue. If you have multiple devices, you'll need a tab for each piece. One thing I'm not fond of this mounting solution is that you won't be able to transfer the tab to another accessory because it won't be reusable again.

There's one thing that our reviews stand out from the rest, we go that extra mile to try and find a solution not only to help our readers with alternatives but to hopefully give manufacturers helpful suggestions for improvements for future revisions/products.

I tried to find an alternative to the 3M adhesive so that I can reuse the Monkey Tabs without having to buy additional tabs or potentially damaging my accessories with sticky residue or worse. I wanted to replace the adhesive with some type of rubber gripping material. I contacted 3M and asked them if they had a gripping material made of rubber with adhesive on the back. They did and were able to send me a sample piece of the 3M™ Gripping Material TB400 to try. The actual retail product is called 3M™ Gripping Material GM400. I'm sure you can find some similar products from your local hardware store or craft store.

The gripping material was not as thick as the sticky adhesive. It was really thin with no thickness to it. I removed the sticky adhesive entirely leaving only a naked base but you can place the gripping material over the stick adhesive if you wanted to give it that extra thickness. This gripping material isn't like silicone rubber but it does a decent job. I placed it on my 600EX-RT and shook it for a good 3 minutes rigorously non-stop and it moved very slightly. Of course, if you didn't tighten the velcro strap enough, it will slide out. But at least now, I can reuse and apply the Monkey Tab onto other items.

If you mess up or need additional Monkey Tabs, for $15, you'll get three additional Monkey Tabs. But if you need extra belt clips, Spider doesn't sell them separately.

Conclusion : Overall, the Spider Monkey - The Holster for Accessories is a nice product and definitely gives you easy access to your accessories by clipping them to your belt. If you need two clips, it'll cost you $40. Since it comes with two Monkey Tabs, you can purchase an extra belt clip (like this or this) since the belt clip isn't anything special or custom. It would be nice if they offered them for sale separately. The one thing I didn't like is the adhesive. It's a one time thing and once you remove the tab, it's not reusable (maybe able to get more depending on how often you apply and remove). It would of been nice if they used a thin silicone pad. This would offered some friction but still let you reuse it on other accessories.

If the silicone pad was an option, a sliding tab with silicone pad or even just a small piece of silicone would help provide additional support. This would allow the user to adjust where the sliding tab would be located depending on the size of the item.

Manufacturer: Spider Holster
Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from B&H Photo (Kit) / Buy from B&H Photo (Extra Tabs) / Buy from Adorama (Kit) / Buy from Adorama (Extra Tabs)

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