Make: Flight Vest
Available: I got mine through a friend; I'd say your best bet is go online.
Cost: $139.99-$149.99 Canadian
Weight: 3.44 lbs
Dimensions: 4" H x 21" W x 24" D
Material: High tension nylon; super durable shell with heavy duty clip closure on the front and adjustable side straps
Special: Back pocket includes a Hydrapack (I'll get into that particular cutie later) but there are also many pockets that can be used for tools, lenses, camera gear, cell phone, wallet, keys, etc. Whatever you need to bring with you.
Unintended use: Put weighted sand bags in and used as a weighted vest by a friend training for the ATS (police physical).
They aren't super cheap, but they're extremely useful, and worth every penny I spent on it. Delivered it cost me just over 100$, I think. I'd done my research and looked around at a couple options for slugging my camera gear around the course. I've used back packs in the past, but found that they aggravated a pre-existing shoulder injury. Whatever I chose it would need to be able to carry approximately 15 to 20 lbs of camera gear, enough water for a 2 hour hike, and it'd be nice if it had a separate, easy access pocket for things like energy bars and my cell phone.
So I found the Ogio Flight Vest, turned onto it by some of my buddies out west who wear them when trail riding and when marking race courses. I figured it was worth giving a try and, if all else failed, B had a great vest to wear when he was working.
I got the vest just before going out west last year for the nationals and wore it for four days, two sets of back to back days, with 15 lbs of gear, food and water for up to 10 hours a day and, you know what? That crippling shoulder pain I had experienced when I had been wearing my backpack in the previous year was gone. I was incredibly impressed by that. Last year my shoulder pain had been so unbearable that sitting in the truck, going through the mountains between Alberta and BC was almost beyond torture. This year: Nothing! I could have gone and done shoulder presses and push ups after.
So I mentioned the hydro pack. It's a 2 L Ogio cell that hooks into a D ring sewn into the top of the vest and protected by the same high density nylon which is, as I was going to find out at Xtinction, actually water proof! One fault of the Ogio system, in my opinion, is the hose that connects to the bottom (the opposite end that you put into your mouth) comes loose very easily. This happened to me at Xtinction as I was about to set out for the main event. I lost about half my water into my pack and didn't notice until I felt the cold dripping on the back of my leg.
Good news was even with the loss of the water my camera gear, which was at this point 2 lenses and my Pentax body, a flash and a digital camcorder (that I would give to Amber Giroux to take some great video for me), was dry! Nothing happened to it. It wasn't even a little wet. I simply poured the water that had been pooling in the bottom of the pocket and away I was.
It also has quick access pockets for my SD cards, my business cards, cell phone and I can even take an energy bar or two with me (and for those who know me, there are two things I usually forget to do on race day: eat and drink, both can be problematic).
It's a one size fits all deal. There are adjustable straps on either side and for me I have them strapped tight, but if someone else bigger, like say B, wanted to wear it, all he has to do is open the straps up a bit and he's ready to go.
It's highly functional. It stores water and whatever else you need to carry into the bush. If you're thinking about buying one, just buy one already!