Best Camera Straps

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
299 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best camera straps

Last Updated November 2019

Some people take up photography as a hobby using just a smartphone camera. As you want more control over the camera settings and image quality, you’ll likely upgrade to a dedicated digital camera. After using a digital camera for a short while, photographers quickly figure out that carrying the camera requires some planning, depending how far you’re going. A smartphone camera slides into your pocket, but with a larger digital camera, you need a more practical solution.

Many photographers settle on a camera strap. With a strap, you can use your arm, wrist, neck, or shoulder to support the weight of the camera. The strap keeps your hands free while making the camera quickly available to shoot.

Selecting a camera strap depends on the kind of camera you have and where you’ll be taking it. We’ve collected information you need to know to pick the best camera strap for your equipment and needs.

Always test the integrity of your camera strap in a safe area before wearing it. You don’t want the camera to slip and fall to the ground because it couldn’t handle the weight of the gear.

Key considerations

Camera straps are available in a few different configurations. Some may want only one type of strap, while others may be able to make use of multiple strap designs, depending on the particular photography situation they’re facing.

Wrist

A wrist strap is the simplest type of camera strap. It consists of a tight loop that slips over the wrist, with one hook or buckle that connects to the camera.

The wrist strap is made for smaller cameras, but photographers occasionally use them with larger cameras. Wrist straps provide quick access to the camera for spontaneous photos.

Some wrist straps consist of materials that float, making them popular with waterproof cameras. Should you drop the waterproof camera in a lake or pool, the strap keeps it afloat until you can retrieve it.

Neck or shoulder

A traditional neck or shoulder camera strap connects to the camera at two points and fits over the neck or shoulder. It’s easy to lift the camera with two hands and begin shooting photos quickly.

When using the strap around your neck, the camera will hang on your chest. It may bounce around a bit as you move. If you slide the strap over your shoulder, the camera will rest near the hip. On your hip, it’s more secure and bounces less.

Neck/shoulder camera straps sometimes have quick release buckles so you can detach the camera. Additionally, these straps often have padding to make them comfortable to use.

Backpack

The most secure type of camera strap is the backpack style, which consists of two straps that slide over each shoulder, holding the camera tightly to the chest. Most backpack style camera straps have a lot of padding, and you can adjust them to tighten or loosen the fit.

Should you need to grab the camera quickly for a shot, however, a backpack style strap is not desirable. Quick release buckles can help with this issue.

A wrist strap is a convenient type of strap for small cameras. You’ll be able to gain a steady grip on the camera quickly with a wrist strap, so you’re ready to shoot photos fast.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

  • Width of strap: A thinner strap is common for small cameras, while wide straps are popular with large cameras. A wide strap will have more padding and won’t dig into your skin as much as a thin strap will.

  • Quick release buckle: This type of buckle has two latches that you push in at the same time to quickly disconnect the camera from the strap. If you’re using a backpack style camera strap, a quick release buckle is a must-have.

  • Weight limit: Any camera strap you pick must be able to support the weight of your gear. For heavier photography gear, you’ll need high-quality materials that won’t fray or break. Many times, a particular camera strap is rated to work with certain camera models, so you can match the gear’s weight to the strap.

  • Strap materials: The camera strap may consist of different materials. Nylon is very common for straps, but leather and neoprene are available, too.

  • Buckle materials: For the greatest level of security, the buckles should be metal. Camera straps may also use a sturdy plastic in the buckles.

  • Adjustable length: Commonly, a neck/shoulder camera strap allows photographers to adjust the length of the strap. Then you can carry the camera at any height on your chest or hip for comfort.
EXPERT TIP

If you’ll be shooting photos for much of the day, having padding in the camera strap can make the process comfortable.


Staff  | BestReviews

Camera strap prices

Inexpensive: Basic camera straps cost $5 to $15. These straps may have lower quality materials or plastic in their construction. We wouldn’t recommend putting a lot of stress or weight on them.

Mid-range: Mid-range camera straps cost $15 to $40. They do the job for most photographers, giving a good mixture of security, durability, and comfort.

Expensive: Expensive camera straps typically run between $40 and $100. These have high-end materials that last a long time. They should have metal buckles and connectors. Some have special features like extra padding, breathable fabrics, or the ability to hold two cameras.

DID YOU KNOW?

Camera straps occasionally contain moisture wicking fabric, which makes them comfortable to wear on a hot day.

Tips

  • For heavy gear, use a shoulder camera strap. A shoulder strap is more secure than a neck strap, and it holds the camera steadier as you walk. Heavy gear may cause neck strain during a long photography session when using a neck strap.

  • Always double check the connections. A loose buckle or connector can mean disaster for your camera. Each time you use the strap, check the connections to ensure they’re secure. A loose connection could fail, leaving your camera smashed on the ground.

  • Look for a safety strap addition. Some camera straps include an extra strap that serves as a safety strap. Should the primary strap fail, the safety strap catches the camera before it falls to the ground.

  • Watch out for cats and dogs. If you have a strap attached to your camera at all times, be careful if you have pets in the area. A camera strap dangling over the edge of a table is a tempting item for a cat or dog to try to grab for play. The pet could pull the camera to the ground.

  • Pay attention to the strap when shooting. If you aren’t careful, your camera strap may bunch up as you’re holding the camera, leaving part of the strap in the shot. You’d hate to have that once-in-a-lifetime photo ruined by part of a camera strap inside the frame.

Other products we considered

When shooting with a waterproof camera, you’re going to want a floating wrist strap, just in case you lose your grip. The Tethys Camera Strap Float is bright yellow, a color that’s easy to see from afar. One of the most comfortable camera straps is the USA Gear Camera Strap Chest Harness. It has a dual strap design, similar to a backpack, and the camera rests high on the chest. When you need to be able to shoot in a hurry, the Altura Photo Camera Wrist Strap is easy to use. It keeps the camera close at hand at all times while securing it. A simple camera strap is the USA Gear TrueSHOT Camera Strap. It’s available in multiple colors with quick release buckles at a reasonable price.

Professional photographers should look for a camera strap that can hold two models of camera at once. Each camera can give you immediate access to different features.

FAQ

Q. Do I want a camera strap that matches my brand of camera?
A.
Although it can be fun to have a strap that splashes the name of your camera brand on it, this isn’t always the best idea. From a distance, others will be able to see the brand of your camera printed on the strap. If it appears you have an expensive camera brand, thieves may be more interested in your camera.

Q. What materials do manufacturers use to create camera straps?
A.
There are a few different materials available for camera straps. Nylon is the most common, as it’s lightweight and durable. Leather camera straps deliver style and durability, but you’ll sacrifice comfort. Neoprene is softer than the other two materials, but it’s not long lasting. The cushioned areas in the strap may have some synthetic foam in them.

Q. What color options are there for camera straps?
A.
You can find almost any color of camera strap, though if you want something other than basic black, you’ll need to do some searching. Gray is the most common color after black. For leather straps, many are found in a natural brown color. Occasionally, you’ll find multi-colored straps with fun patterns.

Q. Will a quick release strap come unclipped inadvertently?
A.
Although this may happen occasionally, it’s unlikely. With a quick release on a camera strap, photographers have to apply pressure in two spots at the same time to disconnect it. This is almost impossible to do accidentally. If a quick release strap fails, it likely occurs because the photographer didn’t secure the strap properly before starting to shoot.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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