Raptor Waistcoat - a great piece of kit

We’ve just had this review in of our Raptor Waistcoat from one of our regular customer’s George Riddell. George is a wildlife photographer/filmmaker, having taken this up as a hobby 5 years ago. Some of his work is simply superb, so check it out here: www.eyesopenwild.co.uk. He’s a really approachable guy, so if you have any questions you would like to put to him, just ask away!

I had the pleasure of taking a Raptor Waistcoat up to the Isle of Mull with me 6 months ago and I've worn it an awful lot since, in fact, it's always in my car when I go out filming or taking photos of wildlife, be it Scotland or down South.  When the weather turns a bit for the worse, my Linnet Jacket goes neatly over the top of it.

Now I often go out with just the Raptor and my camera on a tripod to save weight so when I'm wearing it I don't need a rucksack or bags. The quality of the waistcoat (and of course the Linnet Jacket) is amazing. Very sturdy and with 13 (yes 13!) pockets (more about those later). It's neat, clean build looks fantastic, and waist adjustments help keep it snug against your body.
A thing I find very useful is the shoulder epaulette straps - as I don't like having my binoculars round my neck, the strap clips under the epaulette (a strong popper holds it there) and it can hang safely by my side instead of in front of me.

The fabric is lovely. Doesn't rustle when you're trying to be quiet, and is as tough as anything, making it a capable piece of clothing, which will last a long time, in any sort of weather. Also I often (as I'm a big lad!) have trouble with jackets and waistcoats digging in under the arms. With the Raptor, that is not a problem at all, in fact it's very comfy to wear with plenty of room for layering. 

Pockets are all in the right places when you want to access the contents, and are very strongly stitched with very strong poppers so they can be opened with one hand. The variety of pockets and what I keep in them is as follows:

  • 2 large front low which hold my smaller lenses (50mm, 24mm and 105 macro), microphones/wind breakers, and even my Z-Finder Viewfinder when off the camera. I can even get a DSLR with a 50mm lens in one too and I've had an iPad also inside them. These pockets have elasticated sides making it easy to get at the contents, and also house 2 zippered inner pocket for valuables.
  • 2 large front upper pockets are big enough for a small lens, cleaning clothes and even a pair of gloves in one and sandwiches in the other. Behind these pockets are also 2 zippered pockets for valuables, notebook and emergency whistle (always handy if out alone and I've used it in the past).
  • There are also 2 zipped inner lower pockets and 1 more with a velcro strap.
  • Lastly, there's 1 inner and 1 outer "bum pocket" which can easily hold a shell jacket/top (perhaps not the Linnet though, but I've never tried). Here you can also fit in a kneeling pad (I use a gardening kneeling pad to save my poor knees getting scraped).
All in all, it's one great piece of kit that I use all the time!

So, take a look at our Raptor Waistcoat. If you are into wildlife photography (or indeed any form of photography), or simply want a really tough load bearing garment for your travels, then we think you will be pretty impressed. If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01934 877333 or sales@countryinnovation.co.uk. We will be delighted to help!

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