Choosing the Right Camera Strap
There are so many different camera straps out there. From holsters to clips to the classic neck strap, it can be hard to tell which one is the best for your camera. But you can narrow it down by, among other things, considering your needs as a photographer.
If you don’t take your camera on long hikes or multi-hour shoot days, you’ll probably be able to get away with a camera strap that has less padding. But if you travel a lot or regularly trek into the wilderness with your gear, you’ll need something that can take a bit of punishment.
Straps made of materials like nylon or leather are durable and have the added benefit of being difficult to cut through, a plus when traveling with a camera / lens combo that costs as much as a small car.
What kind of shooting rig you use is also important. Are you lugging a big DSLR or a slim mirrorless setup? If mirrorless, you might want a slimmer strap because you won’t need to redistribute as much weight — a heavy DSLR can dig into your shoulder after a while when using a skinnier strap.
Lastly, think about your aesthetic preferences. Do you prefer low-key and functional, flashy, or even vintage? Whether you want an understated design or something with the subtlety of a high-vis construction vest, a good camera strap is an opportunity to reflect that style.
If you’re sick of the branded strap that came in the box with your camera, read on to check out some of the best camera straps we could find.
- ✓ Configurable design lets you wear the strap different ways
- ✓ Comfortable and quick-adjusting
- ✓ Not very expensive at around $ 65
- ✗ Might not be right for someone who wants a leather strap or a bolder aesthetic
Peak Design gets the top spot on our list with their Slide Camera Strap. There are fancier straps out there, but the Slide eschews flash for good design. You can wear it over the neck, or reconfigure it into a sling strap if that’s your preference.
Peak Design’s proprietary connectors also make it pretty easy to get the strap on and off your camera body. The included adjusters make tightening or loosening the strap simple.
The Slide is designed with non-slip grips and cushioning for comfort and comes in a few different neutral colors, so it’ll go with just about anything you’re wearing to that wedding gig or event shoot. If you don’t want to use leather, however, you’ll want to look into a different strap.
Mirrorless or DSLR, you’ll be able to lug your gear around with one of these — their website says the Slide is capable of supporting up to 200lbs. We really don’t recommend walking around with a whole person on your neck, but hey, you could if you wanted to.
- ✓ Great value for the price
- ✓ Non-slip silicone grippyness built in
- ✓ Works with other Think Tank accessories
- ✗ Not the best looking strap out there
- ✗ Not as comfortable for long wear
Slim, strong, and designed for functionality Think Tank’s Camera Strap V2.0 does its job and does it well. At around $ 30, it does the job for much less than comparable camera straps from other makers.
The Strap 2.0 works with other Think Tank accessories and the 100% nylon construction means you can expect it to hold up for a while. It’s got silicone strips on both sides for grip, so you won’t find your camera sliding around too much.
This strap doesn’t have a lot of padding, so it’s better for quick shoots or short street photography jaunts. This truly is a camera strap with nothing extra added on.
The design of this strap is run-of-the-mill black and gray, a color scheme that blends into pretty much anything. Think Tank designed this accessory for functionality and value, so it’s exactly a stand-out or impressive-looking strap, but it’s not bad-looking either.
Best Budget Camera Strap
- ✓ Works with Peak Design’s system of accessories
- ✓ Easy to adjust
- ✓ Looks good
- ✗ Doesn’t work well with Sony or other small-body cameras
Sometimes you don’t want a big neck strap, or using one can be impractical. That’s where Peak Design’s Clutch Camera Handstrap comes in. Not distractingly chunky, the Clutch wraps around the hand and adjusts with a clip the same way their other camera straps do.
It’s got just enough padding to protect your hand and is designed to look good as well as function properly. Pull it tight to secure it to your hand when moving around, and loosen it again to access the controls.
That said, you may want to avoid this strap if you use a Sony camera. Sony users have said this particular hand strap isn’t very compatible with their full-frame mirrorless bodies, or smaller camera bodies in general. You may want the Slide camera strap instead.
If you want a little more freedom of hand movement, a wrist strap might be more your thing. Gordy’s is a small business that makes highly-reviewed custom leather wrist and neck straps for a very good price.
Best Hand Camera Strap
- ✓ Unique, stylish construction
- ✓ Made of soft and durable silk cord
Handmade in Japan from silk from multicolored thread, the Artisan & Artist ACAM-316G straps look amazing. The silk fabric makes these straps both comfortable to wear and strong enough to hold heavier DLSR cameras, even over long periods.
Because it is a specialty handmade product, the ACAM-316G carries a higher price tag, but it’s worth the money if you have it to spend.
However, this strap is not meant for the wedding photographer looking for a double-body holster, as it pairs better with a lightweight setup. Instead, this Artisan & Artist strap is especially good for mirrorless shooters looking for something fashionable.
- ✓ Padded shoulder area with extra storage pocket
- ✓ Easy to use once you set it up
- ✓ Comfortable to wear for longer periods
- ✗ Sling-style might be awkward at first
BlackRapid’s Classic Retro RS-4 is a no-nonsense strap with low-key styling, perfect for people who want something well-made and understated that will keep their camera securely out of the way.
Worn across the sling-style body, the large padded shoulder area adds comfort for long shoot days and the strap itself is easily adjustable for the best fit. A quick-release carabiner lets you detach the strap from your camera without the fuss of similar setups, plus there’s a small gear pocket built into the pad.
Sling straps aren’t everyone’s thing, but this one provides a degree of comfort and practicality that might change your mind if you’re on the fence. The camera hangs upside down, so it’s easier to grab the grip of your camera and quickly start shooting.
A sling also puts the camera’s weight across the shoulder instead of the neck for more comfortable wear, so if you need to have your camera on you all day, this is a great choice.
- ✓ Good value for the price, as it’s slightly cheaper than the Slide
- ✓ Made of sturdy nylon webbed
- ✓ Comfortable to wear
- ✓ Easy to adjust
- ✗ Might get uncomfortable with a super heavy setup
The slimmer version of the classic Slide strap, the Slide Lite gives you the same adjustability and comfort you get from the larger version. This is better for mirrorless cameras due to its slimmer appearance, but it can still hold heavier DSLRs with an attached lens. Just like the Slide, this strap is rated for up to 200lbs of weight.
The silicone grip on one side means the strap won’t move around until you want it to, a plus on long hikes with a lot of walking. Plus the nylon construction and smooth fabric make the Slide Lite durable and comfortable enough to wear out in the wilderness all day. You can use the included fastener system to wear this strap sling style, over the shoulder, or around the neck — whichever’s most comfortable.
All that said, you may want to consider a wider strap if your setup is heavy. Thin straps tend to dig in when attached to heavy cameras and worn for longer periods of time, so if you’re rocking a NatGeo wildlife lens, maybe go with the original Slide instead.
Best Camera Strap For Hiking
- ✓ Well made and durable
- ✓ Good to travel with
- ✓ Looks great and will only look better with time
Lucky’s flagship Standard 53 is an affordable leather strap without sacrificing quality. Hand-made from quality nubuck leather by a small company in Australia, this strap is rated for up to 110lbs of weight and includes a quick-release system for removing it from your camera without a fuss.
It comes in a range of colors that look great and will get that amazing weathered look with use. If you like a vintage look, this is a good accessory to consider.
Slash-proof webbing and strong leather make this a good travel strap too, as it’s harder for would-be thieves to cut through it and make off with your gear. The Standard 53 features tastefully minimal branding, but is customizable with elements like initials or a logo.
At just under $ 100 the Standard 53 is not cheap, but it competes excellently against more expensive leather camera straps on the market.
Mirrorless shoot? Lucky makes slim straps and wrist straps, too.