The best camera straps

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With most cameras coming with their own strap when you buy them, you might be forgiven for asking why anyone would want to buy one. But the one that you get for free from the camera manufacturer, is likely to be pretty basic, and emblazoned with the brand name in big lettering. 

If you want to travel with something more subtle, or with more style – a different camera strap may be the answer. Third-party straps also can offer more padding and support – allowing you to carry your DSLR or mirrorless camera in more comfort. We've picked out half a dozen straps that may persuade you to make the extra investment...

Spoiler alert

The Matin Neoprene Comfort Strap offers the winning combination of comfort and flexibility.

Read on to find out more...

1. Matin Neoprene Comfort Strap

Ease the weight with this versatile strap

Weight: 80g | Maximum length: 128cm | Material: Neoprene / Rubber

Comfort and easily cleaned
Lacking in features

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 quality cushion the price?

Weight: 171g | Maximum length: 145cm | Material: Polyester / Neoprene

Quality strap and fittings
Tight squeeze in the kit bag

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. BlackRapid Binocular Breathe Strap

Not just for binoculars

Weight: 38g | Maximum length: 95cm (approx) | Material: Synthetic rubber / Nylon

Breathable, stretchy neck pad
A bit pricey

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.

4. OpTech Pro Loop Strap

Grab a strap at a reasonable price

Weight: 82g | Maximum length: 109cm | Material: Nylon / Neoprene

Wide neck pad
Square-cut edges tend to rub

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.

5. Think Tank Camera Strap v2.0

Thin, grippy and compact

Weight: 60g | Maximum length: 147cm | Material: Polyester / Silicone

Non-slip coating on both sides
Narrow strap can cut in

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.

Read more:

The best camera bags and cases in 2018
50 best photography accessories in 2018