Why I Always Hike with the Matador Camera Base Layer

You want to bring your camera hiking but don’t want to haul around a full camera bag? I've been there. Having invested so much into a DSLR or film setup, you still want to have some protection.

Enter the Matador Base Layer ($60). The Base Layer is like a sleeping bag for your camera: it pairs a nylon face fabric with 600-fill down insulation to keep the contents padded and safe. If the weather turns nasty, a hidden rain fly pulls out of a hidden stuff pocket, slips over the padding, and is secured by a simple clip.

Using the Base Layer is easy—simply drop your camera in lens first, roll up the bag's top (which looks a lot like a dry-bag closure), then clip it all together. It unclips in seconds, so you won't miss any spontaneous shots as you fumble around with your camera case. 

The pouch fits most DSLR and mirrorless cameras with small lenses (no 70-200mm F2.8's). It easily stores my old Ricoh KR-5 film camera with a 50mm lens attached. In short, if you're looking for something to add a little protection to your camera body without adding much bulk to your pack, the Base Layer is a great option.

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