Save Your Neck: Domke PhoTOGS Vest REVIEW

The Domke PhoTOGS Vest is incredibly functional and versatile. It has room for just about anything you could possibly need on a photo trek (except a large tripod, of course). I'm talking lenses, backup compact camera, light meter, H2O, lunch, bear spray, pens, business cards—more room than I have stuff.

Overview & Key Features
The construction details are amazing. The Domke PhoTOGS Vest is made of 100% machine washable cotton and is clearly crafted with care. The yoke and back are ventilated mesh for comfortable summer wear, and there's a snapped strap on the very top so it's easy to hang. Also, you can adjust the girth via cinch straps on either side. Shoulders are padded and quilted. Full-cut for comfort—you can wear it over anything from a tee shirt to a winter jacket.

The vest zips in front, but can be held closed using the strap with snaps located near the middle, so on warmer days the vest can be left unzipped without the side pockets swinging around. It's designed to be a cargo vest; therefore, the manufacturer recommends shoppers purchase their normal size.

There are 12 pockets in all. The largest two are flap-covered bellows (cargo) pockets that are lined with water-resistant nylon fabric. There's a double stash pocket on the back and two very handy inside pockets. Domke even includes a removable clear acrylic holder for your press pass or other ID.

Afraid you'll look like a dork? So did I, for about 15 seconds; then, I realized that practicality overrules vanity. As a fly fisherman, I've never hesitated to wear a multi-pocket fishing vest. And I've never heard even one trout snicker because of my attire (although I once saw a carp making an obscene gesture in my general direction). Nowadays, I can't imagine fishing without a vest.

Unlike my fly vest, which has little bugs hooked all over it, the Domke PhoTOGS Vest is quite handsome and stylish. It's available in sand (khaki) or black. Here is where I feel obligated to say that I wish it also came in gray urban camo. But that's just me.

In the Field
Comfortable and fun. Roomy and durable. If you don't fill the back pockets you can wear it while seated in a car—or in a diner. Cyclist? The Domke PhoTOGS Vest was made for you.

Even Weight Distribution
Like millions of other Americans, I suffer from Degenerative Disc Disease. It's incurable but also not all that grim. In my case, carrying a heavy camera around my neck for a few hours can be extremely painful. This is a big reason why I often pursue alternative ways to carry my photo gear.  The Domke PhoTOGS Vest, properly loaded, provides supreme weight distribution and keeps backpain at bay.

Try it—you'll like it. The Domke PhoTOGS Vest is one of those products that makes you wonder how you ever got along without it. I find very little to nag about. That said, I would like to see a Velcro-covered area on the flap of the back pocket to mount a morale patch, Shutterbug logo or "Slow Moving Vehicle" warning.

Is it Domke or Tiffen?
The Tiffen Company, the legendary photo and video accessory brand that was established in 1938, owns and distributes Domke products as well as Steadicam, Lowel location lighting, Davis & Stanford, Stroboframe, Zing and Tiffen Filters. The Tiffen Company has earned numerous awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and multiple EMMY Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Price & Availability
Domke PhoTOGS Vests are available in black or sand (khaki) and can be ordered directly from DOMKE for $129.99.

Also available from Amazon with free shipping for Prime members.

Visit the Domke Store on to shop for more products offered by Tiffen, including Domke camera bags, Tiffen filters, Davis & Sanford tripods and filters for drones.

Savvy shoppers know bargains are offered at the Domke Outlet on Tiffen's website. This particular product is not listed there, but a lot of other cool stuff is.

If You Enjoyed This Article
Click here and copy the URL to bookmark my weekly photography post.

Become a Member of the Shutterbug Community
Register for a free account. Sign up for our newsletter. Spend five minutes (or less) uploading your best shots once every week or so. Potentially become a Shutterbug Photo of the Day winner. Enjoy viewing the fantastic work being done by thousands of photographers all over the world—and add your images to the enduring collection.

—Jon Sienkiewicz


(As an Amazon Associate, Shutterbug earns from qualifying purchases linked in this story.)