My wife and I each have a Cotton Carrier, we've only used them a few times. Sad part is we wanted them when we lived in Montana and worked in Yellowstone. We ordered them and they were back ordered at the time, so by the time we got them, we were back in the real world.
I've worn mine a few times while out on the boat, and it makes the camera really accessible with your hands staying free for maneuvering the controls, and keeps the camera from shifting on the boat seat and falling, which is a non-stop thing while on a boat.
My only gripe is the geeky thing you mentioned is really bad if you're wearing it in public. It draws more attention that bringing out a white lens...LOL Now hang a white lens off of a Cotton Carrier, and forget taking pictures, you'll spend the entire time answering questions.
I cant wait to get back out hiking again and be able to use it to it's fullest advantage. I've also found that I dont twist the locking setting for most of my usage. I simply let it fall down in which holds it 99% of the time. Maybe if I was hiking or biking I'd lock it in, but not when just holding it while on a boat