Are you still using the strap that came with your camera? If so, you could be making a big mistake. Most photographers learn that they need to upgrade their camera strap in the same way they quickly expand beyond their basic kit lens. Fortunately, there are a whole lot of models for you to choose from. A shoulder strap, wrist strap, and slide strap just constitute a few of the designs available to you.
But that doesn’t help much if you don’t know what you should be looking for. HotRate can help with that. Our review guide provides bite sized analysis of 10 of the best camera strap models available today. We follow that with a dedicated shopping guide that can expand your knowledge of these essential camera accessories.
- 10 Best Camera Straps
- 1. Altura Photo Rapid Fire Camera Neck Strap
- 2. Peak Design Black Slide Camera Strap
- 3. TARION Camera Strap
- 4. USA GEAR TrueSHOT Camera Strap
- 5. OP/TECH USA 6701062 SLR Wrist Strap (Black)
- 6. BlackRapid Breathe Curve Camera Strap
- 7. Think Tank Photo Camera Strap V2.0
- 8. Custom SLR Camera Strap System
- 9. waka Camera Neck Strap
- 10. Alled XN01-0943 Camera Strap
- Camera Straps Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Camera Straps
1. Altura Photo Rapid Fire Camera Neck Strap
Are you seeking out a strap that provides you with quick access to your camera in addition to keeping it safely secured to your body? The Altura rapid fire strap might be the best choice for you. This camera strap arguably finds the best balance between accessibility and security due to the presence of both a quick release system and a safety tether. The metal plate is sturdy than the plastic so often seen in models like these, and it comes with rubber gripping to prevent scratches and other damage to the underside of your camera. In an especially thoughtful move, Altura included a zipper pocket large enough to carry memory cards, batteries, and other useful camera accessories.
2. Peak Design Black Slide Camera Strap
Want a camera strap that you can wear in a variety of different ways? Look to the Slide from Peak Design. It can be worn as a slide, shoulder, or neck strap. This is a serious piece of equipment too. It sports a slim and comfortable design, but the high-quality anchors can support an astonishing maximum weight of 200 pounds. It's also one of the most abrasion resistant models on the market today. This slide strap is one of the more expensive models on our review list, but the Peak Design Slid is one of the best choices for nature and adventure photographers who spend a lot of time out in the wild.
3. TARION Camera Strap
The Tarion vintage camera strap is one of the cheapest models you'll find, but that doesn't mean it's cheaply produced. In fact, it's our clear choice for the best budget camera strap available. It's simple in design and execution but should suit the needs for amateur and even hobbyist photographers. The cotton and PU construction is surprisingly durable, and it sports a retro look that's fashionable without being ostentatious. And the simple metal loops means that it's compatible with any modern camera you'll find. It's heavy enough to carry up to 10 pounds, and the anti-slip design provides you with assurance that your camera will always be secure.
4. USA GEAR TrueSHOT Camera Strap
Camera straps don't have to be purely functional. They can be fashionable as well. USA GEAR has produced one of the most inexpensive adjustable straps around with the TrueSHOT, but one of the biggest selling points here is the sheer variety of different colors and patterns you can choose from. It's not just about aesthetics either. This is a tough built strap with reinforced stitching and a non-slip surface design to prevent any unfortunate mishaps. The neoprene padding around the neck is designed to distribute the weight evenly across your neck and provide you with a comfortable feel even when you need to carry your camera around all day.
5. OP/TECH USA 6701062 SLR Wrist Strap (Black)
If you need a durable but inexpensive wrist strap for your DSLR camera, this model by OP/TECH is one of your best options. It doesn't do anything particularly out of the ordinary, but it executes the fundamentals exceptionally well. The neoprene strap is both comfortable and secure, and it's capable of holding cameras up to 10 pounds in weight. A security slide allows it to fit snugly regardless of the size of your wrist. And since it connects at portions of your camera's body designed to hold weight, you don't need to worry about it putting undue pressure on your tripod mount or camera housing. It's also available in four different colors, and it includes a quick disconnect system.
6. BlackRapid Breathe Curve Camera Strap
The Breathe Curve by Blackrapid is one of the most comfortable camera straps available on the market. This cross-body strap includes a breathable netting mesh for your shoulder, but it doesn't cut corners on safety measures either. Blackrapid has included a tether that adds an extra level of security for keeping your camera in place. This Blackrapid strap is also highly compatible. By making use of a durable locking carabiner, it provides an exceedingly high level of security that will work with practically any camera on the market. The Curve is one of two models offered by Blackrapid, and it's better suited for comfort during shorter periods of time than the similar but slimmer Blackrapid Sport.
7. Think Tank Photo Camera Strap V2.0
The Think Tank is one of the simplest camera straps we've found, but that actually works to distinguish itself in a market defined by sometimes extraneous innovations. It's a highly functional camera strap that's appropriate for both professional and amateur photography, and its simple design makes it a best choice whether you're carrying DSLR or mirrorless cameras. It sports a slim design and a small profile that means it can slip easily into camera bags without taking up too much space. Rubber grips make sure that it stays suspended appropriately on your shoulder even when the strap gets twisted around.
8. Custom SLR Camera Strap System
People who practice professional photography understand how useful it is to always have your camera body at the ready, and that's a high priority feature for this model. While it may look like a conventional cross-body strap at first blush, it makes use of an innovative cinch system that lets you tug your camera right up the length of the strap. The quick release buckles swivel, too, allowing you to rotate your camera however you please and readily detach it from the strap. Comfort has also been prioritized here. The over the shoulder component is ergonomically and split strap design that more evenly distributes the weight on the shoulder of the customer.
9. waka Camera Neck Strap
Waka's model is a sling style strap that offers one of the best balances of versatility and pricing. Available for less than $20, it makes use of a highly padded shoulder for a more comfortable fit even when you're trying to carry a heavy SLR camera, and the strap itself is fully adjustable to suit a variety of different body types. It's universally compatible with any camera that uses a 1/4 inch mount, and that's a huge benefit if you find yourself regularly using a tripod for your photography. It also comes with a zipping pocket that can carry any number of different photography accessories.
10. Alled XN01-0943 Camera Strap
The XN01-0943 may not be the sexiest camera strap around, but it does sport a cool retro design and provides everything you need for basic photography for less than $10. If you're working within a tight budget, it's one of the very best camera straps you'll find. The section around the neck includes an elastic band for reducing stress on your muscles as well as a non-slip layer to keep your camera secured even in strenuous conditions. The simple connectors are universal and simply connect to the top corners of your camera. This is also an adjustable strap that fits just about anyone.
Camera Straps Buyer’s Guide
Finding the right camera strap is a highly personal thing. Depending on the type of photography you perform and what feels comfortable to you, different designs are going to be better than others. That’s why we’ve included as diverse a variety of camera straps as possible on our review list, and it’s also why we’re including the guide below to help you understand the options available. We’ll cover all the key specs in varying levels of detail so users can shop for their next camera strap with confidence.
The most important question you need to ask yourself when buying a camera strap is its style. This will tell you how you’re meant to wear it and how you attach it to your body. As a result, it’s going to take up a significant portion of our guide, but it’s well worth examining all the styles available so you can find the best strap for your camera.
If we felt like stock camera straps were sufficient for most people who practice photography, there wouldn’t be a need for this list. But it’s important to understand the features of a stock camera strap so you can better contextualize the features available in the best camera straps.
A stock model is usually a leather camera strap or made from faux leather, and while that may lend a classically stylish look to the camera strap, it comes with some pretty meaningful disadvantages. A leather camera strap is less breathable than the materials in the best camera straps, and it tends to be neither breathable nor offer grip over your shoulder or the back of the neck. And unlike models made by other strap manufacturers, it usually bears the logo of the camera brand prominently.
If you want the best camera strap for shooting photos on the fly, you may want to wear a wrist strap. This type of camera strap is much smaller than its contemporaries because it dangles the camera by your wrist. But they also tend to be highly secure, so you don’t need to worry about dropping it.
That said, this type of camera strap tends to be far more niche. For one, it essentially forces you to constantly keep your primary hand occupied. And since it means carrying the weight of the camera directly in your hand, a wrist camera strap is generally only going to work with smaller models like point and shoot and mirrorless cameras. DSLRs are more or less out of the question. Wrist straps are best used in tandem with camera bags. You can load them up as you head out for a shoot and then pull out the strap when you’re in the thick of things.
Hand straps are similar to wrist straps, but they’re intended to be held in your grip the entire time. If you want a strap that will keep your camera secure as you’re shooting it, hand straps are the way to go. Just keep in mind that your primary hand will be even more limited than it would with a wrist strap. For that reason, we recommend these types of camera straps primarily with studio photographers who are working in controlled environments and preferably for those who have assistants who can share the responsibilities for staging and lighting.
We generally don’t recommend straps that are designed exclusively to be worn around your neck. While most come with padding that can help reduce the strain, all but the most lightweight cameras are going to cause you pain pretty quickly, and the aesthetic of wearing a camera around the neck is generally regarded as amateurish to many photographers. We don’t want to dissuade you completely, but we consider it as the worst choice for anyone who plans on carrying their camera with them for any length of time. They can legitimately be a health concern, especially with a heavier DSLR camera.
Many shoulder strap models can be worn around the shoulder, the neck, or some combination of the two. Also known as sling straps, these straps hang over one shoulder and position the camera on your opposite hip or your stomach. A sling strap offers the best weight distribution of any camera strap because of that design, and that makes it an ideal choice if you’re regularly occupied with long photo shoots. You can wear a sling strap all day with little concern about overriding pain, and it’s the design favored most by outdoor and urban photographers who want to have their camera readily accessible for long periods without having to worry about rooting around in camera bags.
This is our preferred choice for most users, but it does come with some downsides. With this type of strap, camera access is more limited than on other models like hand and wrist straps, and you want to make sure you get a secure model because if the straps breaks, you could end up destroying your expensive camera. Since these are the longest camera straps around, your camera is also going to be more prone to bouncing around and is potentially more vulnerable to theft. They also tend to be some of the more expensive camera straps on the market.
Camera straps are essentially just a belt of fabric, so it might seem on the surface like there’s not a whole lot of factors to consider. But there’s more going on here than you might realize, and understanding the important qualities to look for in a strap can make life much easier for you. We’re going to share with yo the important qualities to look for when shopping for a strap.
At HotRate, we normally assign a lot of weight to brands. There’s a reason why some companies have earned a reputation in their communities and other have floundered. But you don’t need to concern yourself too much with strap manufacturers. While companies like BlackRapid and Peak Design stand at the top of the pack, there are so many manufacturers making quality goods that limiting yourself to the biggest names means running the risk of missing out. Features and materials should be your top priority, not the logo printed on the surface of a strap.
A camera strap can be made from a wide range of different materials that vary from cotton to leather to synthetic materials. When trying to find the right materials for your strap, your main consideration should be where it comes into contact with your body. Your objective here is to look at materials that are going to create the most comfortable experience when worn for long periods of time.
For this reason, there are two main factors to look for. Spongey materials are always ideal, because they counterbalance the weight of your camera. A soft and foamlike strap for your shoulder will make the camera feel less heavy and also prevent the strap itself from cutting into your neck or shoulder. Also look for materials that are breathable, especially if you intend to wear it for long stretches so you don’t have to worry about sweat buildup. The ideal materials here will feel soft and lightweight on your shoulder but not stick to your skin. That allows the strap to adjust naturally as your camera moves naturally.
Most camera straps are simple, black, and boring in terms of raw aesthetics, and for many photographers, that will be just fine. But a good camera strap can be a fashion accessory too. If you’re looking for a strap that’s not ordinary and black, there are a number of fashion forward models available for you. We recommend the TrueSHOT from USA Gear and the wrist mounted OP/TECH USA 6701062 which each come in a variety of fashionable different designs and colors.
The presence of pockets in a camera strap may seem like a minor thing, but it’s one of the most useful features you’ll find. If you want to travel light and ditch your camera bag completely, they’re practically a necessity. These small pockets often include space for batteries, memory cards, or any number of other important gear that you’ll need during long shots.
Every strap needs a way to connect to your camera, and while some models use more esoteric technology, most anchor points fall into one or two categories.
- Connecting rings may take the form of a single carabiner or a pair of rings. Fortunately, any camera you find is going to include hooks into which these can be attached, and that means that a strap in this style is going to be compatible with any camera you own. All you have to do is clip them into place, and the fact that they anchor on both sides of the camera means they achieve a great center of gravity. In addition to their high level of compatibility, they also tend to cost less money.
- More serious are anchor points that attach via a tripod plate. Tripod plate models anchor to the tripod hole that many cameras offer, and since you’re screwing them directly into the hole, they tend to be incredibly secure. That’s an especially worthwhile boon for a heavier DSLR camera. The final advantage here is that you can mount these on a tripod without having to remove the strap. Just keep in mind that not all cameras come with tripod holes, and the additional effort means it’s more of an investment to attach or detach your strap. Most of these types of straps are designed for use with quarter inch holes.
Regardless of what type of anchor points you choose, you should always use metal rather than plastic anchors to attach your camera. High-quality aluminum connectors can mean the difference between a quality model and a shattered camera.
The dimensions of a camera strap are potentially the most important thing to consider when shopping for a model that can be worn around the neck or shoulder. There’s no one size fits all camera strap, so you should instead look for the model that feels most comfortable to you. A camera strap that’s too short is going to make your camera feel heavier and get in your way. If a camera strap is too long, your camera is going to bounce around more, be less readily accessible, and be more vulnerable to damage.
You should ideally be looking for models that will rest your camera just above your hip if you’re opting for a sling model. If you’re unsure, there are plenty of camera straps that offer adjustable lengths, and that’s an option we highly recommend. They allow you to find the perfect fit.
Less important but still worth consideration is the width of the camera strap. We generally believe that wider straps are better since they do a better job of distributing the camera’s weight and are less prone to getting tangled up. But the thickest straps on the market can sometimes feel unwieldy. This is a situation where we highly suggest that you try before you buy.
Most camera straps can hold up to 10 pounds of weight, and that should be more than enough for most cameras. But DSLRs can be heavy, and the last thing you need is for your camera to snap your strap. If you work mostly with mirrorless cameras, any strap should suit your needs. But if you’re using a combination of a heavy camera and a heavy lens, you’ll want to take both of those into consideration as you scrutinize your options. Also keep in mind the potential weight from anything you might be carrying in the strap’s pockets if there are any.
While we recommend that you keep your eyes peeled for straps that come with a warranty, it honestly doesn’t need to be your highest priority. About half of the straps you’ll find come with some sort of warranty, and they can range from a month to a lifetime guarantee. That’s a worthy consideration if you just want to test a strap out. If you aren’t sure what variety of strap is best for you, you can essentially treat a 30 or 90 day money back guarantee as a trial period. And a lifetime warranty ensures that you’ll never have to invest in another strap again.
That said, if a model snaps and destroys your camera, the strap manufacturer is unlikely to reimburse you the cost of your expensive equipment. For that reason, the quality and durability of the strap itself should always take precedent over the inclusion of a warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Attach Canon or Nikon Straps
We get a lot of questions about how you need to attach camera straps to specific camera brands, and the answer is the same across the board. Almost every strap you find is going to be designed with universal compatibility in mind, whether that means attaching it to the rings along the side of the camera or screwing it into the tripod base.
Where to Buy Camera Straps
Most physical retailers aren’t going to offer a huge selection of camera straps, and for that reason, we suggest your first and last stop should be Amazon. While you can go to a physical store to help figure out the length and style that best suits you, you’re going to find the best variety at the Amazon marketplace.
It’s amazing how much easier a simple belt of thread can make your life, but if you find yourself carrying your camera for hours at a time, the difference might amaze you. Our list contains a ton of great models that balance safety against comfort. We hope our list and guide can provide you with the camera strap that you need.