This guide will walk you through our picks for the best camera harnesses available right now. As well as helping you avoid a sore neck or back after going out on a shoot, these camera harnesses give you easy and quick access to up to two cameras simultaneously.
Cameras are heavy. Despite the onset of the age of the mirrorless camera, many photographers are still using their trusty DSLRs. Besides, fit a long zoom lens to a mirrorless camera and like any DSLR it’s a considerable weight to hang around your neck if you rely only on the neck strap in the box.
Sure, you can invest in one of the best camera bags (opens in new tab), best camera backpacks (opens in new tab), best camera holsters (opens in new tab) or even one of the best camera straps (opens in new tab). However, if you really want to evenly distribute the weight and maximize what you can carry with almost zero discomfort then only a camera harness will do.
The basic concept behind the camera harness is that it sits over the torso and both supports and secures a camera on the photographer’s chest. Look for an easy clip-on, clip-off system, Typically they employ a proprietary adaptor that screws into the tripod thread on the bottom of your camera.
With a harness in place your camera will be safe, comfortably supported and easily accessible so you can do everything from hike hands-free through the mountains to work a long day as a wedding photographer. All without your back and neck getting too tired.
You can expect all kinds of extras from a camera harness, with some offering add-on holsters for additional cameras or lenses and others stuffed with pockets for storing accessories like memory cards (opens in new tab) or a spare camera battery (opens in new tab).
There’s a camera harness for every conceivable set-up, but choose wisely to make sure your top choice will work for you. Here we've included the best camera harnesses of all different types, including some dual-camera harnesses, so whatever kind of photographer you are there should be something here that helps you take the weight off and go hands-free.
Best camera harnesses in 2022
Need to carry two cameras? Or one camera and a pair of binoculars while on a wildlife trip? Essentially a regular harness and a side-holster, the CCS G3 is all about eschewing a camera backpack. By keeping the weight of one camera on the chest and another on the waist it feels balanced even when used with two heavy DSLRs, though it makes sense to keep the heaviest on the chest. It uses a clever twist and lock system with clasps rotating through 90º to be slotted in and out. The clasp fits to your camera’s tripod thread and thankfully also sports its own tripod thread. It’s thus easy to remove and replace a camera really quickly. We found it best to leave a camera strap on the chest-mounted camera, but remove it from the camera in the side-holster to avoid tangles. That slide holster can also be attached to the shoulder straps of a camera backpack, making the CCS G3 handy even on days when you decide not to actually use it.
Here’s another design for carrying two cameras that’s ideal for wedding photographers, but this time there’s no chest pad and a lot less hardware. A leather harness that’s fully adjustable, it consists of two padded shoulder straps that envelope the shoulder blades for extra comfort. That’s much-needed because from each side can hang a camera. The two halves are joined using a sternum strap that's easy enough to clip-on and clip-off.
Made from leather, there are two ways the straps attach to a camera; either to a camera’s metal eyelets – where the manufacturer’s strap is typically attached – or directly to the 1/4-inch tripod thread. That’s a nice touch since some photographers will want to keep tripod plates attached to the bottom of their cameras even when using a harness.
Carrying everything on their chest certainly isn’t for everyone. Designed to help photographers schlep a DSLR or mirrorless camera and a spare lens during a shoot, this innovative product from Cotton Carrier comprises a SlingBelt that goes around the waist, a lens bucket for attaching to it, a DryBag for protecting a lens and a SlingTether camera strap. At its core it’s all about how a camera fixes to SlingBelt; a clasp screws into its tripod socket using an Allen key. With that in place it’s a cinch to lift and replace your camera with a twist-and-lock movement. That clasp also has a 1/4-inch thread of its own so you can still mount a camera on a tripod. We’re not convinced most photographers are going to use the DryBag much when a camera bag is better, but the SlingTether is an excellent camera strap and a nice add-on that could easily be used without SlingBelt.
Read more: Cotton Carrier SlingBelt & Bucket System (opens in new tab) review
Although this simple harness is designed primarily for binoculars there’s no reason it can;t be used with a small camera. Like the OpTech BINO-CAM harness also featured here, it consists of a simple wearable harness that you put on as you would a coat, slipping your arms into two loops. They’re joined on your back by a leather pad. And the straps are fully adjustable. Also like the OpTech BINO-CAM harness the Zeiss Comfort Carry Harness uses loops to attach to a camera’s strap eyelets, with clips to attach – and easily detach – a camera from the harness. Do the latter and the two clips can be attached to each other to form a small carry handle for your camera.
If you like the idea of a chest harness but don’t like feeling restricted then the Skout might be for you. Instead of a pad across your chest the Skout is built around a much smaller, kite-shaped pad that sits diagonally and is secured using one shoulder strap that attaches at the waist. Securing the camera on the pad involves a twist-and-lock mechanism on the camera and on the harness that uses a clasp fixed to your camera’s 1/4-inch tripod thread. An Allen key is provided to make it a tough and true connection and there’s a small zipped pocket on the back of the pad to store it in.
In use it can look a little odd, but it works well for travel and urban photography and keeps a camera handy and hands free without involving too much hardware.
Read more: Cotton Carrier Skout review
Yes, you get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay a lot. If you use a small compact or mirrorless camera wearing a prime lens for street photography – or you just go hands-free – then a really simple device like the OpTech BINO-CAM harness should work well. It’s rudimentary stuff, with two loops around shoulders joined-up by Uni-Loops that attach to a camera (or a pair of binoculars). Using its clasps it’s possible to clip-in and clip-out a camera really easily. We tested the non-stretch webbing version, which we found to be effective with a small camera if all you really want to do is leave it idle and hate traditional camera straps, though it’s also sold as an elastic version.
Can you strap a GoPro to your chest? Of course! The best action cameras are classic hands-free devices and there are plenty of scenarios where GoPro’s harness works really well. Designed primarily for skiing, mountain biking and hiking, Chesty features a central pad with a breathable backing strung between two adjustable shoulder straps that can fit over ski jackets. There’s a large quick-release buckle let clasp built-in to that pad whose size adds some extra stability, though its large size also makes it easy to release.
Read more: The best GoPro accessories (opens in new tab)
The third incarnation of the ThinkTank Pixel Racing Harness requires accessories. It consists of two shoulder pads and a sternum stapos, but instead of being secured around the shoulder blades the ThinkTank Pixel Racing Harness secures behind on a belt. Two different belts – one padded and one thin-skinned – are available. There are no fewer than 23 accessories for the belt and the harness – all with built-in rain pouches – including lens pouches for up to 600mm lenses (which use vertical zippers) that hang down from the belt, a camera clip, and gear pouches galore. Able to adapt to what a photographer needs and no more, this modular system is ideal for those that like to wear their camera gear.