New Spider Monkey Accessory Holster System - Review

As a wedding photographer, I run around a lot and need to be ready for any moment. Because the day of a shoot can always bring surprises, I have a motto of always being prepared with extras of everything. Usually this means my assistant or I lug around a bag or two with extra flashes, batteries, and other accessories. I'm always looking for things to help me smooth out my work flow and make any wedding day easier to handle. So, when Spider Camera Holster released their new Spider Monkey for camera accessories at WPPI 2013, I was eager to try them out.

Spider Camera Holsters have had a good reputation of keeping your equipment accessible without hampering your movement or comfort throughout the day. If you don't mind having the “utility belt” look in front of your clients, Spider's easy clip on system allows you to keep your primary or extra camera at waist height without having to worry about them falling and breaking. The newest addition to the Spider group, the Spider Monkey offers the same concept as its predecessors. Instead of keeping a camera, the Spider Monkey is designed for some of your smaller pieces of equipment, such as extra flashes, light meters, and other accessories.

Spider Monkey Flash and Accessory Holster System-3

Upon receiving the Spider Monkey, I was pleased to find it was just as light and simple to use as other Spider devices. The first part that makes up the Spider Monkey is the belt clip. The clip is made out of sturdy plastic with a spring held clamp system to hold it in place. By squeezing on end of the clip, it opens to snap on or take it off of your belt. I appreciated that the clip is not exclusive to the spider belts that are sold. The clip can be attached to just about any belt I would wear to a wedding.

Spider Monkey Flash and Accessory Holster System-2

The other part of the Spider Monkey that secures your accessories is a Velcro strap with the Monkey Tab locking device. The strap is only about an inch wide but is about a foot in length giving plenty of room to fit around any small flash or other accessory. The Monkey Tab is secured to your accessory using a strong sticky tab. When I first saw the tab, I immediately grew skeptical. I live in Charleston which usually is a very humid place. I've had one too many pictures fall off my wall because sticky tabs gave way to moisture. To Spider's credit, the sticky tab has a fairly big surface area and seems to hold to the plastics of flashes particularly well. After sticking it on my flash, it didn't want to budge at all. To confirm it's security, I jogged around with it and let the flash bounce around a bit. Both the lock and tab held very firmly. Though this leaves me great piece of mind that my equipment will remain secure, it also means that once a tab is in place there's no swapping it around. In order to attach any given accessory to your clip, each device needs to have a separate Monkey Tab.

Spider Monkey Flash and Accessory Holster System-1

One downside to most Spider gear is the price. While their camera holsters offer great security, a single camera holster system is around $135. Not so with the Spider Monkey. I was pretty surprised to see that a complete single clip only costs $17. While each accessory you want to attach needs a separate Monkey Tab, sets of three can be purchased for $10 more.


What I Liked:

Versatility of use for any given accessory
Easy to clip and unclip an accessory into and out of the lock
Can be attached to any belt
Security of locking mechanism
Security of sticky tab


What I Wasn't Fond of:
Once a Monkey Tab is attached, it cannot be transferred


The Spider Monkey is an excellent simple device that can hold a wide range camera accessories securely at your side. The simple clip in and out system allows you to keep more pieces of equipment available without having to carry around extra bags. It can greatly enhance work flow in a fast paced work environment.


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Never have the Fstoppers review ANYTHING shitty... ever... Even gimmicks like this.

Mike Kelley's picture

Why would we spend time reviewing products that we hate? If I hate a product, I certainly don't want to spend a week using it, and hours writing about it, then going through the giant pain in the neck that is loading it all into wordpress.

I'm sorry but putting this in wordpress isn't THAT much a task.

And all the things you said in there are rather generic stuff that one can figure out just by looking at the gadget minus the "security" part...

I don't want to insult you directly, but quality has been down for a long time here and the readers keep mentioning it. Yet we see more and more "infomercials" on here so I figured you (as in Fstoppers, not you personnaly) made a few deals to fill up the treasury.

Nothing wrong there. Just don't expect the average reader to fall for such "reviews".

Mike Kelley's picture

Hah, yes, yes it is that much of a pain, especially when I can assure you that we aren't getting paid anything to write these reviews.

You are of course entitled to your opinion, and I am sorry to hear that you think the quality is down here. We produce more original content than ever before and have committed to not being a 'reblog' site for a few months now. Our percentage of original material grows every month. If you think that the quality isn't the same as before, that is unfortunate, but like I said, you are entitled to your opinions and to share them with us. If you have any ideas to improve the quality of the material on the site, feel free to write me at and I'll do my best to see what I can do and pass it on to other writers.

Not everyone will agree and if one tried to write posts and reviews to please everyone, fstoppers wouldn't be as valuable to those who appreciate it. I don't think the writers should respond too much on the comments made. I get why, but your articles should speak for themselves and to those who may find it useful. Those who don't can shoot something.

Mike; Don't worry about it. I do "Memory Books" for High School Reunions and everyone always wonders and/or blames me that their pictures look different online vs. in print. They accuse me of re-editing the pictures for the use online.......I have friends in OC SMUG MUG and PPOC who swear by you guys.
You and I both know that it's the backlite from the monitor that makes them look lighter online, the ICC profile and the color cal.
In short don't worry about it and keep up the good work. GOD Bless.
Ed Dansby

It took 'hours' to write five paragraphs about velcro and a mid-ninties phone holster?

Seriously, don't be a dick.

Insightful, Mr Strauss. Did that zinger take 'hours' as well?

If you are smart enough to figure out that Fstoppers never posts negative reviews, why not just assume a review is an informative endorsement of the product? Why do you expect it to be something it will never be?

Fstoppers owes you nothing. You are lucky you get a response from the author. Most large sites don't do that. Move on if you are so disappointed with the content.

No review is 100% in favor ever. One would be questionnable but almost ALL of them are one sided towards the "AWESOME" side of the spectrum.

They owe me nothing, I owe them nothing. this is why I feel free to tell them that it seems all too cute to me (and other mind you...), and he feels free to tell me off (sort of...nicer than you actually!)

I keep comming back because I remember the beauty shots in an Las Vegas suite, the iphone photoshoot, etc which were VERY informative and NOT turned towards gear buy guides and other consumerism crap.

I comme back because i'm sure they'll go back to those roots again! ;)

Sorry, I wasn't as concise as I should have been.

You were being a dick.

You actually told the author he was exaggerating about how much effort it took him to put together the article.

That is being a dick.

It's like the photographers fanny pack.

one of my camera bags is a canon EG10 wich is an actual fanny pack :D I love it!

This device is amazing - it simultaneously protects your flash *and* your virginity.

Another product for a need that doesn't exist!
Idiots and their money are soon parted...

That's what I thought until I borrowed one from a buddy. I do a lot of weddings for a large studio, and am always filling my coat pockets with bits of equipment. Carrying my cameras and flash(es) on my waist is so much more convenient. I had no idea. Now the only thing in my pocket is my specialty lens.

It is a bit pricey, though.

CL's picture

This again? Didn't Fstoppers cover this last month? Same thing with "multiple exposures" article. This regurgitating of the same things is getting old

The first post announced that they were released, this is an opinion about the product. Two totally separate concepts.

Not really. Just another money grab by people looking for fools to fleece.

Or you can make your own with a little ingenuity and $2.

is this review really necessary????

135$ for this kind of useless piece of gear. If you need to get quick access to your gear and you move flashes around, why not Retrospective Lens Changer 2 or 3. I use them when I go to location with speedlights. I've got second lens, four flashes and spare batteries + triggers in them and it stills protects them.

The Spider Holster is $135-- this is (only) $17.

Oh...Misread! My bad! But still, 17$ for that which is probably worth of 2$. Also, the flashlight is quite open to hits when it's on your hip. I'd rather use ThinkTank Speedlight bag or Lens Changer.

It's a very useful product. I did go with the Thinktank pro speed belt and a Skin 50 pouch instead and feel it is a very good alternative worth checking out.

steve carrillo's picture

i dunno about this with the flash unit being exposed and all. i like carrying my flash soft case on my belt, and placing the flash in there when i'm not using it. every flash comes with a soft case these days anyway, right?

Looks like it gets in the way of using a Rogue Flashbender and gels. My speedlight is almost never bare, so I'll pass.

Why didn't they make a coldshoe based mount? Much more secure... hang on, I think I'll go make my own.

People don't pay a cent for using this website and YET BITCH ABOUT THE ARTICLES! why don't you make a website and write some not-so-biased reviews then?!!!! even though the article and what they are reviewing didn't interest me, i'm not bitching about it. stop acting like the website is your slave and it must function the way YOU want.

Why don't they sell the belt clip separate to the monkey tab so that you can have a monkey tab on all your accessories and chose what to put on your belt? Also, what is the velcro for if the monkey tab is strong enough to hold your accessories?

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