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Ultra Strong and Durable Non-Slip Camera Straps — UpStrap

2012-02-13 - Send Feedback
Related: James W
UpStrap Camera Straps

Looking for perhaps the most durable and thoughtfully designed camera straps on the market? Then look no further than UpStrap Camera and Shoulder Straps.

These are the most thoughtfully designed straps that I have yet seen, with variants for light to very heavy DSLRs.

For example, the portion that connects to the camera offer options for the different types of camera lugs; the designs address the critical issue of wear and tear on the connecting fabric (more on that below).

The UpStrap line incorporates quick-release models, kevlar or nylon fabric and a variety of non-slip pad sizes, as well as a safety strap and/or wrist strap.

The strap designs take these factors into account:

  • The type of attachment (quick release or not);
  • The type of camera lug to which the strap will attach (use Kevlar for the slot-type attachment, which can cut into fabric);
  • Strength of the strap;
  • The size of the pad desired (smaller or larger, depending on camera weight).

I tend to prefer a quick-release strap when shooting in the field with a lot of tripod use (because the strap can flap around in the wind). But the quick-release approach also has the downside of a bit bulkier strap because of the quick-release join; I use both types, and it is my sense that the thick rubber pad of the UpStrap is unlikely to flap around as much as other brand straps, which are lighter.

An alternative to the UpStrap is the OpTech ProLoop Strap, which is not as sturdily built, but has the advantage of some stretch to the neck strap. I suggest trying both brands to see which one best suits your own preferences in terms of comfort and durability and your own particular type of “carry” and shooting.

Type of attachment — lug or slot

Canon tends to use the slot-style attachment, which can fray the strap fabric. Nikon uses a ring-style attachment (better design IMO), which won’t fray a strap.

UpStrap webbing designed for the camera lug to avoid premature wear


Upstrap also offers accessories, like a TSA lock, camera cable lock and LCD cloth.

UpStrap Accessories

Reader comments

Bill B writes:

I've been using the UP straps for many, many years and echo your sentiments. Two of the benefits of these straps over others which I think should be mentioned are:

1) Made in the USA. It's a small business and very responsive.
2) The rubber pad NEVER falls off your shoulder. It is quite easy to sling a couple of cameras and not worry about them sliding off your shoulder even with nylon material as slick as a Patagonia nano pullover. If the fabric has any texture to it the rubber sticks like velcro yet is easy to remove and does not damage wool or sport coat fabrics.

DIGLLOYD: When the weather warms up, I’ll have another take on strap comfort and “hold”; I cannot evaluate fully until I go to warm-weather clothing.

James W writes:

Indeed, the UP-Straps are my favorite, too. Especially like the Kevlar design because it is the essence of simplicity with one continuous strap made of woven Kevlar holding the camera with no plastic clips that could detach or fail.

Alfred Stegmeyer has a great UP-Strap product, so it is regrettable that he won't stock the slotted clips that are needed for attachment to some cameras and provides little assistance to customers trying to find the camera specific clips so that they can buy his UP-Straps. This can easily turn installing an UP-Strap into an incredible hassle. For example, to make a Kevlar UP-Strap for a Hasselblad V camera I had to buy a leather Hasselblad camera strap to cannibalize the two slotted Hasselblad camera clips – time consuming, annoying, expensive, plus it just doesn't feel quite right to have to cut up a perfectly good leather strap to harvest the end clips. With Nikon cameras, the triangular attachments required multiple purchases to get real ones that weren't counterfeit and actually worked. Even worse with Rolleiflex TLR camera strap alligator clips – I spent an absurd amount of time and effort looking for slotted clips without success, was forced to buy a new Fotodiox strap to cannibalize the clips, only to find that Fotodiox changed the design so that the strap they ship has clips double riveted to the leather strap end – not slotted clips as shown in the Fotodiox sales images – so no way to attach the UP-Strap's Kevlar loop to the Fotodiox clips I got instead of what I ordered. So I now have a Fotodiox strap that I don't especially like, I've wasted lots of time searching, and I'm back to square one looking for (unobtainium) slotted Rolleiflex TLR alligator clips.

P.S. I stopped trusting leather straps after a beautiful genuine Leica strap failed – the leather tore – and dropped the Nikon SLR it was holding onto the concrete sidewalk. Was incredibly lucky that it landed on the edge of my protective UV filter which was destroyed leaving the camera and Nikkor lens completely unscathed. Whew! So much for all the internet discussions proclaiming that UV filters offer no lens protection!

DIGLLOYD: No solution is perfect I suppose.

After any impact, do not assume the lens is unscathed in an optical sense, even if it appears physically unaffected— something I know from personal experience when I bashed my Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon into a rock.

Richard G writes:

Here in the UK I never found a proper good strap. I ordered the Upstrap 2 years ago and am very happy. I would definitely recommend the product, even for other uses than camera (shoulder bags, etc.).

Stephan F writes:

I don't share your opinion on the UpStraps. The only good thing is that they don't slip off the shoulder. But:
- they are expensive.
- they are ugly .
- they give a very bad balance to the strap while handling, especially when you try to put it around your neck.
- with a little longer hair, they hurt every time they get in touch with the hair.

Worst, the rubber falls apart after approx. one year (I had 2 of them, both had the same problem: it starts with those little burls). Conclusion: never again!!

DIGLLOYD: I’d rather have a plain strap that one with NIKON or CANON emblazoned on it (the “steal me” strap), and as for expense it’s a tiny fraction of what my cameras cost. Anyway, the 60-day MONEY BACK GUARANTEE makes it a no-risk proposition..

I’m puzzled by the “balance” comment, and as for me, too little hair is my problem. I cannnot speak to the rubber issue, but this seems surprising in terms of what I see in the construction. And presumably the company would stand behind their products if something like this happened.

James W responds to the “hair” comment from Stephan F:

Actually, I also prefer the UP-Strap because it is more comfortable. Any strap is uncomfortable when it is on the back of your neck and pulling on hair. But when you deliberately place the UP-Strap rubber on the back of your shirt or jacket below your exposed skin and hair, it grips and stays in place on the fabric where it does not hurt.

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