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.
1. Matin Neoprene Comfort Strap
This versatile strap matches quality with affordability
Weight: 80g | Maximum length: 128cm | Material: Neoprene / Rubber
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.
2. Peak Design Slide Summit Edition Strap
Does the premium quality cushion the price?
Weight: 171g | Maximum length: 145cm | Material: Polyester / Neoprene
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.
3. Capturing Couture 2" Camera Strap (Melody)
If you want vintage style, then this strap is the way to go
Strap Length: 59" / 149.86cm | Strap Width: 2" / 5.08cm | Material: Neoprene, Nylon, Polyester
With a vintage design ripped straight from 70's 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.
4. BlackRapid Binocular Breathe Strap
This BlackRapid offering isn't just for binoculars
Weight: 38g | Maximum length: 95cm (approx) | Material: Synthetic rubber / Nylon
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.
5. OpTech Pro Loop Strap
Grab a strap at a reasonable price
Weight: 82g | Maximum length: 109cm | Material: Nylon / Neoprene
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.
6. Think Tank Camera Strap v2.0
This camera strap is thin, grippy and compact
Weight: 60g | Maximum length: 147cm | Material: Polyester / Silicone
It’s the most compact strap here, but that’s down to a narrow design that’s no wider or more comfortable than a standard neck strap. A grippy coating on both sides lets this double as a shoulder strap, and extra hardware can connect it to backpack straps.
7. BlackRapid Sport Breathe Camera Strap
Prevent neck pain with this side camera strap
Strap length: 36 to 65.7" / 91.4 to 166.9cm | Strap Width: 4" / 102cm | Tripod connector: 1/4"-20 Male | Material: Nylon
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.
8. Op/Tech Dual Harness - Regular
Spread the load with a dual camera harness
Material: Neoprene and webbing | Size: ChestL 34-44"/ 86-112cm | Attachment Method: 3/8" System Connectors | Load capacity: 15lb / 6.8kg
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.