Ah, camera straps. Some people love them, some people hate them. However, if you want the best chance of keeping your camera from smashing painfully onto the ground, then you kind of need one. Luckily, the camera strap market has gone far beyond the bland, overly branded, uncushioned offering often provided free with your camera.
Instead, you can choose the best camera strap for you. No matter whether you're all about style, or you just want something that will help lighten the load of your heavy camera gear, we've rounded up the best camera straps on the market right now.
• Read more: 50 best camera accessories
Whether you choose something slick and stylish, strong and sturdy, or just a well-rounded crowd pleaser, we've got something for everyone! If neck straps aren't quite your cup of tea, take a gander at some of our alternative options, including dual harnesses and side shoulder straps.
Best camera straps in 2021
If you're looking for a camera strap that's going to last you a lifetime, then look no further. This camera strap from Scandinavia-based company Woolnut is beautifully designed and manufactured. The outside of the strap is made of a special signature tanned full-grain leather that comes in either brown or black, while parts of the inside are lined with a wool felt.
You can adjust the length for use as either a shoulder or neck strap. The neck part has soft padding for comfort, while the ends have added metal rings for compatibility with most cameras.
This is a super comfortable camera strap to use and the quality of the materials and manufacturing is clear to see and feel. While the strap comes at a premium price, we feel it's worth every penny.
Fancy owning a Leica, but don't have the funds? Then this beautiful-looking strap could be exactly what you have been looking for - giving you the perfect piece of luxury without the price of the best Leica cameras. These straps are actually designed by hip photo community Cooph, and the thick rope coupled with leather detailing create a distinctive way of accessorizing the camera you do own. You get a choice of two different lengths - and nine different colors. For our money, the red version is the most distinctive.
A sling, shoulder and neck strap in one, the Slide exudes quality with a seatbelt-style strap and premium fittings, which include clever quick-release buttons to detach the strap. This is far from the most compact strap, though, making it tricky to squeeze into a tight kit bag.
With a vintage design ripped straight from 70s fashion, this retro-inspired camera strap from Capturing Couture is perfect for the fashion-forward photographer. The outside of the strap is made from decorative polyester ribbon (the image above is in Melody, but you can choose from a variety of designs). Meanwhile, the inside has neoprene padding covered with polyester velvet to help provide ultimate comfort for your neck.
With a maximum strap length of 59", you can even wear this strap across your body messenger-style for ultimate versatility.
While it’s billed as a strap for binoculars, this neck strap will attach to a camera equally easily. Its unique feature is a breathable, stretchy and very flexible neck pad. It also folds small and can be detached quickly, but the price still seems high next to the Matin strap.
• See also Best binocular harness
This well priced strap features a 6cm-wide neoprene neck pad that really spreads a load, although its square-cut edges can rub. Two clips will detach the pad, leaving the connected ends able to join and form a hand strap, albeit one that’s on the long side.
This is the most compact strap on our list, but this is unfortunately due to a design that's left the strap about as wide and comfortable as a standard neck strap. However, the Think Tank Camera Strap v2.0 does have a grippy coating on both sides that enables this to double as a shoulder strap. Meanwhile, extra hardware can usefully connect it to your backpack straps.
Designed to be worn across the body, the BlackRapid Sport Breathe Camera Strap drapes from the left shoulder to the right hip (there is also a version for left-handed photographers as well). This means that you can rest your camera upside-down at your hip, but it's within easy reach once you need to start shooting.
Perfect for sports or adventure photographers who want to move quickly without fussing about a camera hanging around their neck, side camera straps are a great neck camera strap alternative.
Based around a thick and highly flexible neoprene neck pad, which stretches slightly to better suspend a heavy load, Matin’s entry gets top marks for value. A textured rubber coating on the underside adds comfort and is easily cleaned. Two quick-release clips mounted close to your camera leave unobtrusively short sections of strap attached if the neck piece is removed, and these can be joined to form a compact hand strap.
Made from silk, camera straps really don't get much luxurious than this. This corded design comes from Kyoto in Japan, and is crafted using the braiding technique known as kumihimo – which is used as a belt in Japanese ceremonial clothing. The silk threads are designed to make the strap especially comfortable around the neck, allowing you to carry your camera set-up for long durations. With leather flaps to protect the attachment rings scratching your camera, these straps are available in black, blue, silver, khaki or red.
Perfect for wedding and events photographers, dual camera harnesses are great when you need to switch quickly between cameras without having to mess around with camera bags or pouches.
The Op/Tech Dual Harness enables you to comfortably carry two cameras or binoculars totally hands-free. With a U-shaped neoprene neck pad, this harness is designed to evenly distribute the weight of your gear while reducing shock. There's an adjustable back section and sternum strap helps you fit the harness comfortably and evenly balance your kit.
While currently only available in the US (unless you're happy paying import fees), this leather dual camera strap is designed to fit both you and your camera perfectly with adjustable straps. Made from leather, these straps attach to your cameras via both a tripod plate and the metal eyelets. This means you've got the ultimate security to ensure your cameras don't meet a sticky end on the pavement.
Available in both a stylish brown and a classic black, this dual camera harness is perfect for wedding photographers who need both comfort and style for their camera strap.
Best camera wrist straps
Best binocular harness
The best waterproof jackets for photographers
Best camera bags and cases in 2021
Best photo editing tools and accessories in 2021
Best drone accessories: essentials for your DJI drone and other quadcopters