It's crazy to think that when you plunk down hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars for a camera, you get an awful camera strap with it.
Factory straps are uncomfortable, not very functional, and, quite honestly, with CANON or NIKON or SONY in big, bright letters written across the strap, you're just begging thieves to target you.
I've been fortunate in that I've had the opportunity to test A LOT of camera straps over the years.
Below are just a few of my favorites, offered here to you as my top 10 recommended camera straps for improved comfort, durability, functionality, and safety.
These straps range from the inexpensive to the high-end, cotton to leather, and shoulder straps to slings.
Let's get to it!
Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo
Photo by Brandon Burk
Now that I've added a Nikon Z7 to my stable of gear, the MoneyMaker Solo is used more frequently with it.
This strap has all the hallmarks of what makes the original MoneyMaker such a fantastic rig.
Photo by Brandon Burk
The premium full-grain leathers not only look incredible, but they provide long-lasting durability and comfort, too.
Speaking of comfort, the contoured shoulder pad helps distribute the weight of my gear over a larger surface area, which keeps neck and shoulder fatigue at bay.
The stabilizer strap that loops under your arm helps keep the shoulder pad right where you want it on your shoulder, so there's no endless adjustments to be made to its positioning as you shoot.
Photo by Brandon Burk
This thing also has a Belt Anchor attachment, which, as you might've guessed, attaches your camera to your belt. Just a single one-handed motion releases the camera for a quick shot, and another one-handed motion re-attaches it to your belt for easier carrying.
As far as leather camera straps go, this is certainly one of my top recommended camera straps for 2019.
Tap & Dye Legacy Classic
Another top option for those of you that want a leather strap is the Tap & Dye Legacy Classic.
The leather used for this strap is flexible and soft, but doesn't sacrifice durability or strength, either. It's the best of both worlds!
I particularly like the wide cut of the strap - especially the large shoulder pad - which conforms to your shoulder to fit like a glove.
So, this strap hits on all cylinders from an aesthetic and comfort point of view, but what about durability?
Well, Tap & Dye didn't cut any corners there, either.
The strap is hand-stitched using weather-treated bonded nylon tiger thread. In other words, this stuff is super strong.
You won't find any fraying here - just a superbly made strap that will last you far longer than your camera!
Speaking of cameras, the durability and strength of this strap is ideal for big DSLRs, but the strap is streamlined enough that it can be used with mirrorless cameras too.
This premium leather shoulder strap is a jack-of-all-trades, and should be a top choice if you're on the hunt for a quality leather camera strap.
Peak Design Slide Lite
When I'm not using my Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo, my Peak Design Slide Lite is my go-to for working lean and mean.
Designed specifically for mirrorless cameras, the Slide Lite can be used as a neck strap, a shoulder strap, or as a sling depending on your preferences and needs.
This strap has two quick adjusters that make changing its usage format a breeze, so if you want to switch from using it as a sling to using it as a shoulder strap, the process to do so won't take but a couple of moments. This is important so you don't miss any shots!
And while the Slide Lite doesn't have a stabilizer strap like the MoneyMaker Solo, what it does have is a silicone-coated grip on the underside of the strap to keep it securely in place when it's being used as a shoulder strap.
And trust me - that silicone coating does a fantastic job of locking the strap in place.
But when it's used as a sling, just reverse the strap so the silicone side is facing up, and you can easily slide the strap back and forth to raise your camera to your eye.
I also appreciate that Peak Design made the hardware on this strap ultra-low-profile. This helps prevent snags when you're working in a crowd.
If you shoot with a mirrorless camera, this sucker is highly recommended!
Peak Design Slide
Like the Slide Lite, the Slide can be worn as a shoulder strap, neck strap, or sling strap, so you get that same versatility and functionality, but in a bigger, sturdier package that's ideal for DSLR cameras.
Also like the Slide Lite, the grippy underside keeps the strap in place on your shoulder, but you can flip it over and have it glide over your clothes when using it as a sling strap.
Peak Design's ingenious anchor system means there are two points of connection with your camera.
Not only does this improve the safety of your camera, but it also enhances security while making it a more stable way to carry your big, heavy DSLR.
The design of this strap is striking as well. It's simple, clean, and modern design looks great, yet blends in with your clothing so you aren't walking around with a strap that screams, "I'm carrying an expensive camera!"
Black Rapid Sport X Sling
I picked up a Black Rapid Sport X Sling nearly ten years ago when it was first introduced, and boy, was that a great buy.
I've since bought one of the new Coyote Brown colored ones, and it not only looks great, but is still uber functional and comfortable to use.
What impresses me the most about this camera strap is the new Quick-Detach connector that Black Rapid has designed.
The push-button connector is compatible with quick-release tripod plates (so long as it has a QD socket), which improves your workflow by saving you time.
The other claim to fame for this strap is its superb shoulder pad.
This thing is ergonomically designed for optimum comfort whether you're carrying your full frame DSLR or your mirrorless camera. The underarm stabilizer strap helps in that regard, as it keeps the strap tightly in place (but not too tight!) to minimize movement.
It's a workhorse of a strap, too - the durability of this strap is second-to-none, and will stand up to years and years of use and abuse.
Black Rapid Street Breathe
If an ultimately small and lightweight strap is what you're after, the Black Rapid Street Breathe strap might the recommended camera strap be for you.
Like the other run-and-gun straps on this list, the Street Breather features an underarm stabilizing strap to ensure the shoulder pad stays put, even if you're running from one shot location to the next.
The curved TPE foam shoulder pad is small, but highly comfortable and distributes the load of your gear in a way that keeps you comfortable.
The high-strength webbed nylon strap is strong and durable, and its buckled closures give you peace of mind from a safety and security standpoint.
The fact that this strap weighs a scant seven ounces is pretty incredible considering the features and functionality it offers.
It comes with a CR-4 connector and connector cover, an FR-5 fastener, and a dust bag for easy carrying.
Op/Tech USA Utility Strap-Sling
For budget-minded buyers, the Op/Tech USA Utility Strap-Sling isn't a bad choice at all.
One of the things that most impressed me about this budget-friendly camera strap is that it connects to the loops on the side of your camera. That means that your tripod socket is unencumbered so you can easily use your tripod without having to disconnect the strap.
Another feature I particularly like is the shoulder pad.
Not all inexpensive straps boast a comfortable shoulder pad, but Op/Tech managed to create one that'll give you hours and hours of use without fatigue. That's all thanks to the super thick neoprene padding that makes carrying your gear a dream.
Additionally, you can quickly connect the strap to your camera because Op/Tech included quick "Uni Loop" connectors in the design.
These connectors also feel strong and secure, and because you have to squeeze both sides to release them, accidental drops are a thing of the past.
JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap
If the Op/Tech strap above isn't quite your style, another budget-friendly option to consider is the JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap.
I'm a tall guy, so the fact that this strap comes in sizes up to XXL is really nice. There's also models specifically for men and women.
JOBY has integrated layered pad technology to ensure this strap is comfortable to carry for long periods of time. There's even a pivot ring that makes the strap more ergonomically sound by helping it conform to your body for improved comfort.
Designed for use with either a DSLR or mirrorless system, this strap gives you excellent stability by keeping your camera right on your person. In other words, as you move, the camera moves with you and doesn't dangle out from your body where damage might occur.
Because of this design, bringing your camera to your eye for a quick shot is a painless experience. The simplicity of this strap makes sure of that!
Think Tank Photo Camera Strap V2.0
The Think Tank Photo Camera Strap V2.0 is yet another example of how you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a strap that's far superior to the one that came with your camera.
With non-slip material on both sides of the strap, you won't have to worry about the strap sliding around on your shoulder or neck. That's true whether your camera is a full frame DSLR or a small mirrorless camera. Heck, this strap works with many video cameras as well!
With metal attachment rings, you get durability and functionality as they make the strap compatible with Think Tank Camera Support Straps for bigger rigs.
This strap is highly adjustable, too, so whether you're a tall guy like me or on the shorter side, you can adjust this strap to fit your needs.
Cotton Carrier Skout
A final option I'd like to recommend as one of the best camera straps of 2019 is the Cotton Carrier Skout.
This sling style harness allows you to carry one camera front-and-center so it's accessible for taking quick shots.
The beauty of this type of system is that your camera is easily accessible, yet it's out of the way - you don't have to worry about your camera clanking around on your hip as you walk because it's secured to your chest instead.
The twist and lock carrying system secures your camera, and yet, is easy to use so you can attach and detach the strap in a moment's notice.
The quick-release tether gives you a second layer of protection from accidental drops while the webbed design quickly slides over your shoulder and clips around your torso to make it easy to take on and off.
From a functionality standpoint, it doesn't get much better than this strap!