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another raving DSD vest review

Rich Cottrell

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So here is yet another raving review of the DSD back mounted carbon fiber vest.


Daniel and Walter make a great product! I can not say enough about the quality and their support.


I first got to try a back mounted vest at NAB this year [2003]. Daniel was there and I got to ask many questions about the vest and fly a MK-V rig with one.

Before this point I thought the idea of a back mounted vest was obvious, but at $9000 I was a big skeptic. After playing in one, I realized how great the DSD vest really is, and I decided if I were ever to replace my vest I would seriously consider the DSD vest.


But at $9000 I was just not too sure about it.

But then I thought of the extra cost this way:

If you buy a new DSD vest, we are talking $4-5 thousand more then a normal vest. At the time I was 27 and I had a previous back injury. I figured $5000 extra bucks? maybe 10 to 15 years steadicam?, that?s like $400-500 a year. That?s like 40 bucks a month. So the question became for me? "would I pay $40 bucks a month extra to have a back mount vest and maybe a longer career due to less back problems?

Probably, but $9000 is a shit load of cash. More then I paid for my car at the time.


Then Daniel Sauve Designs offered a $500 discount on their vest so I seriously started thinking about the thing again.

And then I was able to work out an installment plan with Walter so I sent my deposit check and the rest is history.

I now own vest #112 and do not regret it the decision at all.



I will not bother to tell you about how great this vest works ? there have been many posts about this-- but I will tell you about the customer support I got from DSD and Walter Klassen.


After getting my vest I had a nice multi day show in the studio. It?s a cooking show called Epicurious, and it is currently on the Travel Channel. We would tape two days and them take the rest of the week off, so I had a lot of time to play with the fit of the vest. I even had a few conversations with Walter during this time about how to get a better fit with the vest.


At the end of the series, I decided something was just not right with my vest. The DSD vest fit better then my Model 2, but not as good as it did in Las Vegas at NAB.

At time I was getting the infamous "numbness" at times when I had the rig on for a while. This was just no good.


I had someone take a bunch of pictures of me in the vest with and without the rig on, and I emailed them to Walter that very night.

The next morning [i think it was the very day after I sent the pics] I got a call from Walter.

"Richard, its Walter here? I got your pictures. Thank you very much for sending them. Kornel and I have been looking over them and we have decided that vest is just too tall. What we are going to do is build you another harness? We think no matter what we try you will never get as good as a fit as you should with that vest, so we are going to make you another with a lower profile."


I was floored.

After going up to Toronto to pick up my original vest I got to see all the work that goes into this vest and that made it easier to understand why it costs so much money.

But these crazy Canadians decided that the best thing to do to get me a proper fit was to build me an entire new vest from scratch!


I kept the old DSD vest until I got the new vest a month later. It showed up one day before a huge live gig for me so I got to put the new DSD vest to the test the next two days covering ABC?s Thanksgiving Day Parade here in Philadelphia.

It was great.



And most importantly, no more numbness while I was in the stupid rig for hours.


I mailed Walter the older DSD vest and the rest is history.

I might have been one of the last people to buy a DSD/Klassen vest before the big breakup, but suffice to say I will never have a problem getting it survived.


I do not know of many companies that would jump through fiery hoops to please their customers. From day one Daniel and Walter treated me with respect and care.

Walter has never said this but I think his customer policy is to "Dazzle the customer."


I do not know many companies that can say they do this? do you?



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I've also been in the middle of the breakup. I've talked extensively to Walter and gotten exactly the kind of support and promises of fixes at any cost from Walter

you are talking about. Your experience is appearantly not unusual. Part of the value here is the support. maybe like realestate the big three are support support and support (with different meanings eh)


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