You either love or hate camera straps, but regardless they have their place and add value to our workflow. And they’re the surefire way to avoid your camera from smashing painfully, wasting the small fortune you invested, as it just casually slips out of your hand.
Sure, a camera stray isn’t the sexiest thing around or the most exciting accessory, but finding the right one matters. And a good strap makes all of the difference in comfort and accessibility, so you don’t miss a shot. For beginners, the default branded strap included with your camera is sufficient. But, for enthusiasts and working pros.
Thankfully, gone are the days of bland and uncomfortable straps. And now you can easily find a more stylish and practical option.
Whether you want to reduce your load and strain or add extra security when shooting, there’s plenty of great options. And these once humble camera straps have evolved tremendously over the years. Today, there’s plenty of styles, strength, and alternative designs. In this post, we’ve created a detailed guide on how to assess camera straps. You’ll learn what factors to consider while looking at options. And we’ve also compiled a list of the top ten best straps in today’s market.
10 – SpiderPro Camera Holster
Founded by photographers for photographers, SpiderPro’s Holster 2 is the second iteration of their popular hip holster system. Released in 2018, this system allows complete freedom and movement of the upper body, bypassing all neck or back pain. Instead, it uses a utility-belt design with a strong stainless steel and aluminum construction. The belt then wraps around your waist using your trunk muscles to support a heavy camera.
It’s also fully padded for comfort, and Spiders installed a triple-action lock to ensure it won’t unbuckle accidentally. Like the predecessor, it uses a quick draw locking system with a holster plate attached to the camera’s tripod thread. This connection then neatly slides in and out of the hostler. But they’ve redesigned the entire system to increase the security of the connection.
Overall, SpiderPro’s holster remains a favorite amongst photographers who want a versatile and robust strap without the fuss. And it’s the ideal tool if you want a durable solution that protects your neck and back when using larger cameras.
9 – RucPac Slide Camera Strap
The RucPac Slide is a multi-use strap. Released in 2019, RucPac offers this strap in four color combinations and each attaches to either your camera’s loops or tripod thread. This strap uses reversible material that slides easily on one side and silicone for grip on the other. With a wide design nearly 2 inches wide, it spread the weight evenly across the body.
And it uses a three-button quick-release system that ensures security while withstanding a payload of 220 lbs (100 kgs). And you can even use this strap as a cross-body, shoulder, or neck strap, for added versatility.
Overall, the Slide is an excellent strap for larger camera setups. And it’s a strap built for professionals who need durability and comfort in the most demanding situations.
8 – Custom SLR Air Strap
Custom SLR’s Air Strap is the breathable, lightweight alternative to the acclaimed Glide One strap. Released in 2014, they launched this as a successful Kickstarter campaign aimed towards travelers in hot and humid climates. It’s a sling-style strap with an ergonomic design that spreads the weight evenly across the body. By default, it attaches to the camera’s loops, but the optional C-loop can connect to the tripod thread.
However, both configurations carry a maximum of 13 lbs (5.9 kg). The strap uses a cushioned neoprene padding and breathable vents provide superior airflow preventing sweat marks for more strenuous shoots. And it has a unique quick-adjusting slider, which keeps the camera secure at your side. But pull, slide, and you’re ready to shoot.
Overall, the Air Strap brings several premium features to an affordable entry-level price point. It offers superior craftsmanship in an easy to use and versatile package. And it’s a great alternative to traditional straps and the ideal option for beginners and enthusiasts.
7 – Cotton Carrier Skout
Cotton Carrier’s Skout aims to be the perfect compliment for outdoor adventures. Released in 2018, it’s a sling-style cross-body harness that puts your camera front and center—giving you quick and immediate access. Yet, it keeps it out of the way. This strap uses a nylon webbing with a padded shoulder strap, which evenly distributes the weight over a larger area. And it has their anodized aluminum hub, a custom quick-release system that twists locks for added protection. Plus, Cotton includes a safety tether for extra security and waterproof camera cover as a bonus.
Overall, Cotton Carrier’s Skout is ideal for carrying larger cameras, particularly with long telephoto lenses. And it’s a rugged and durable option perfectly tailored towards wildlife photographers and photojournalists.
6 – Peak Design Leash
Peak Design’s known for innovative bags, tripods, and clips. But in 2017 with the release of the Leash, they’re now a competitor in the camera strap segment. They offer this strap in two colors, both featuring ultra-slim dual adjusters and their latest Anchor Link system. This sling strap uses nylon webbing, which is both comfortable and lightweight. But it now offers multiple configurations, allowing you to use it as a neck strap, sling, or traditional shoulder strap if needed. Plus, you can even use it as a stabilizer for smooth pans during video recordings.
Peak Design has redesigned the quick-connect anchors with this release. And they’re now angled and thinner for easier sliding. They now also allow you to disconnect with a single finger. Yet, they still provide excellent stability and a superb payload rating of 200 lbs (90 kg).
Overall, Peak Design’s Leash is a versatile strap that’s ideal for larger camera setups. And it’s a well-engineered sling strap that offers unmatched adaptability and strength.
5 – Peak Design Capture Clip
The Capture Clip by Peak Design is easily the most versatile option of the category. Released in 2017, the V3 is their third iteration and best design to date. This clip style design uses an aluminum construction that attaches to virtually any belt or straps you have, including pant belts, backpacks, and several Peak Design bags. It uses an Arca Swiss style quick-release plate rated to withstand up to 200 lbs (90 kg) of weight. Slide your camera in place, and the plate keeps it secure and immediately accessible.
It also doubles as a tripod plate for Arca-type tripods, completely removing the need to take it off. As a package, it’s ideal for carrying a second camera without lugging around a bulky dual strap or harness. But, alone, it provides an excellent and versatile solution that’s virtually unnoticeable.
Overall, Peak Design’s Capture Clip is both innovative and convenient. And it’s an excellent option for a larger setup that’s entirely free of any leashes, straps, or cables. If you want the most straightforward way to attach a camera with the fastest access, look no further.
4 – Holdfast Gear MoneyMaker
The MoneyMaker by Holdfast Gear aims to be the ideal option for weddings, events, and photojournalists. And it’s easily the most popular. Released in 2013, Holdfast offers this sling harness in two sizes, with or without D-rings, and several colors.
Both versions use a dual sling-style design with a cross-shaped backing. This design helps the strap alleviate any pressure on the lower back and, instead, evenly spreads the weight throughout the torso for more comfortable all-day use. The strap also enables multi-camera shooting with several attachment points for security—allowing shooters to use up to three cameras simultaneously without changing lenses or using backpacks. And each camera rests by the hips or chest for quick and instantaneous access.
The full-sized version includes their D-rings to attach additional accessories, such as bags or pouches, so they’re always within reach—an excellent bonus.
Overall, the MoneyMaker is an outstanding option if you shoot high-end events, or you want a stylish strap for large multi-camera setups. It’s stylish enough to blend seamlessly into dress decor but offers superior versatility over traditional harness systems. And with an exceptional design, intricate craftsmanship, it’s quite a stylish holster that looks great with the functionality to back it up.
3 – ONA The Presidio Camera Strap
ONA’s Presidio is a high-end handcrafted leather strap that follows the same design from their acclaimed camera bags. Released in 2014, ONA offers this strap in five different colors from Dark Truffle to Cognac. By default, it’s a cross-body style strap. But you can wear it around your shoulder or neck as well, adding versatility. This strap connects to your camera loops, supporting up to a 6 lb (2.7 kg) payload. ONA’s constructed this strap from tanned Italian leather with chrome accents and a soft neoprene padding around the neckline for extra comfort and water resistance.
And its leather construction not only provides long-lasting durability, but it’ll also age beautifully with proper care.
Overall, given the color options and high-end finish, the Presidio is the ideal option for fashion-conscious shooters looking to add extra style to their setups. While not cheap, its build and design are worthwhile. And combined with its durability, it’s an excellent choice for those wanting a long-lasting leather strap for medium-sized setups.
2 – Black Rapid Breathe Curve
Known for their innovation, Blackrapid has released several popular camera slings, and their Breath Curve continues the tradition. Released in 2016, it focuses on comfort and functionality over style. This well-padded cross-body sling uses a nylon foam and polyester construction. And it’s flexible design can convert into a two-handed sling with the optional fastener. This strap attaches directly to your camera’s tripod thread, which creates an incredibly secure connection. And Blackrapid’s installed spring-loaded bumpers for quick adjustments or to limit the camera’s movement.
But they also lock and rest the camera upside down for stability with effortless access and hands-free operation. There’s even an optional underarm strap for extra security, making it a great option if you want to move quickly without fussing around.
Overall, Blackrapid’s Breathe Curve is an ergonomic option that’s well suited for mid-range setups. And it’s an excellent choice for those looking for a cross-body style strap with unmatched ease of use.
1 – Peak Design Slide
Peak Design’s Slide offers immense versatility and is a favorite amongst the industry. Released in 2017, this strap uses padded nylon webbing and attaches to your camera using their Anchor Link system, with two quick-pull adjusters for seamless changes to the length. This system provides two points of contact, and Peak Design includes a mounting clip that connects to the tripod thread. Combined, this system offers superior stability and a secure connection. And surprisingly, the anchors themselves support up to 200 lbs (90kg), making it easily compatible with all camera setups without the plate.
Like their Slide Lite, this larger variant also works as either a sling, neck, or shoulder strap, delivering the same level of functionality. And this strap integrates with Peak Design’s Bag & Clip systems so that you can attach it to a variety of other accessories. However, its higher carrying payload creates a studier package that’s perfectly suited for larger setups.
Overall, the Peak Design Slide is the best choice around. And it’s the most popular choice amongst both amateur and professional photographers with the best-in-class design to prove it.
Camera Straps Buyers Guide
Why buy a camera strap?
A camera strap has many useful purposes. Firstly, they keep your hands free to focus on other tasks when you’re not shooting. They also keep your camera secure and within reach. Secondly, they’re helpful if you often change lenses as they provide extra stability. And they’re the ideal tool if you shoot with multiple camera bodies. Overall, they deliver security and immediacy, removing much of the need for a backpack.
Now let’s cover the factors to consider when looking at options.
Material is a huge consideration when deciding between options. And you’ll have to evaluate both their aesthetics and their functionality. Today’s camera straps come in either: nylon, leather, wool, rope, or neoprene. But know, leather and nylon straps are the most popular options on the market. So it’s best to stick with these, as they’re the most proven materials around.
- Leather straps look the best and even better age. But, they’re usually heavier, uncomfortable when it’s hot, and lack grip. They’re also quite a bit pricier. But, if you want a strap that looks stylish and stands out from the crowd, they’re the best.
- Nylon straps are the most common and an excellent option for traveling photographers. They’re incredibly comfortable and relatively lightweight. But, they often have a more tactical swat look to them. But, for avid photographers, they’re the best option since they’re affordable and comfortable.
Neoprene is the material used to create wet-suits, making it ideal for varying temperatures and ideal for travelers.
How the strap connects to your camera is crucial, as not all connector types work with every camera. Attachments come in two varieties, either attaching to the loops on your camera or the tripod thread. And some manufacturers also have quick-release systems that can fasten to a belt or backpack strap.
How many cameras?
The last consideration is how many cameras you’d like to hold simultaneously. You can find clips or harness systems that hold up to three cameras. Depending on how you shoot, if using multiple camera bodies with set focal lengths would speed up workflow, it could be an area to consider. Typically, wedding, event, and photojournalists go for these systems. But, a dual strap is ideal if you shoot with multiple cameras.
Types of Camera Straps
There are quite a few different designs and styles of camera straps. We will cover the major types available below and their best uses.
You wear these straps on a single wrist. They’re quite a popular option today for smaller compact or mirrorless cameras. And they allow you to always have your camera in-hand without any fear of dropping. They’re ideal if you want your camera always in-hand and want the fastest possible access.
The hand straps are similar to the wrist straps but wrap around your palm instead. These deliver the same level of immediacy and functionality as the wrist straps but are better suited for larger cameras. And they’re ideal if you want to use the camera while shooting.
Neck strap sling around your neck and deliver support for longer shoots. They’re the most common straps on the market. They’re ideal for traveling photographers looking for hands-free shooting who use compact or lightweight mirrorless cameras.
The sling strap uses a single mounting point on the camera, usually the tripod thread, where both ends of the strap connect. The camera hangs on your upsidedown with these straps. And the camera glides along the strap when you want to shoot. These are ideal for photographers who travel with medium or large setups without the fatigue caused by other styles.
Shoulder & Cross-body straps
The shoulder strap hangs off a single shoulder, where the camera falls next to the same side on the waist. You can also sling these across your body to the opposite as a cross-body strap. Unlike the standard sling straps, these mount to your camera with two connecting points, typically the camera’s loops, not the tripod thread. This is the default style manufacturers include when you purchase a camera. These are ideal for small or mid-range setups. But, they can cause more fatigue than the sling strap since the camera bounces around while walking, particularly with heavier lenses. And shoulder straps are relatively insecure since they only hang on one shoulder.
Camera clips come in a variety of flavors. Some sling over your shoulder using a cross-body design, and the camera clips and locks into a central padding. Others clip onto your belt, shoulder bag, or a backpack strap. Some are dedicated belts with quick-release housing on either a single or both sides of the waist. In either case, camera clips provide immediate access to the camera, and they’re ideal for medium or larger camera setups.
Harness & Dual Camera Straps
The harness strap wraps around your body with multiple contact points and provides excellent support. They’re ideal for photographers who use larger camera setups or shoot with multiple camera bodies with different lenses.
Some straps come with nylon pouches or connect to other accessories such as messenger bags. If some of the bonuses we cover in this post are important, look for them while shopping.