BlackRapid Sport Strap Review
One big problem I have while I’m out hiking and shooting photography is having my camera swinging side to side on my neck! In the process my camera seems to hit everything in its path, causing me to be one very unhappy person. This can make for a very frustrating and unenjoyable hike! Black Rapid has developed a solution for my problem with the BlackRapid Sport Strap for active photographers.
BlackRapid Sport Strap First Impressions
The BlackRapid Sport Strap slings across the body hanging on your shoulder while an underarm Brad Stabilizer Strap securely holds the strap in place. The camera rests on the opposite hip at the photographers desired length. I used the strap during a few hikes in Summit County, CO and while I was walking around town. My first thought was that I could barely tell the strap was on me. After I adjusted the straps and set the locking bumper for my camera I never had to touch them again. I was set to shoot. In this review I will dive deeper into the details of the strap and also take a quick look at another great product offered by BlackRapid, the Backpack Strap.
Comfort and Performance
When it comes to comfort you can’t beat the BlackRapid Sport Strap for the amount of padding it offers with minimal weight. The strap consists of 1 cm thick foam padding and is covered on the underside with knitted mesh and the topside with ballistic nylon. The knitted mesh allows the strap to breathe when it’s in place and the ballistic nylon makes sure that the strap will hold up during all your activities. The underarm Brad Strap does a great job stabilizing the main strap. The Brad Strap is 2.5cm wide and 50.5cm long. I am 6 foot and 170 lbs. I had plenty of length left on the Brad Strap and was wearing a coat during most of my testing. To ensure a tight streamline fit the Brad Strap is equipped with a clip to hold the extra length strap preventing it from getting caught on a random tree or rock.
The BlackRapid Sport Strap comes in both a left or right configuration and is offered in either a regular or slim fit. I have regular to a little wider shoulders and the regular strap fits me prefect. Most women would probably prefer the slim fit design. The main strap comes with two locking bumpers which allows you to set the limits for how far your camera can slide up or down. The bumpers did a nice job of keeping my camera exactly where I wanted it especially where it rested on my hip. BlackRapid did a marvelous job at thinking of the little things for this strap!
The fastener that comes with the BlackRapid Sport Strap is about as sturdy as they come and has a thick rubber washer providing a tight fit. The fastener attaches to the strap by a locking carabiner making for a secure connection between the two. If you’re worried about the locking carabiner failing while you’re climbing or biking, BlackRapid includes a plastic clip that provides additional security. During most of my hikes the locking carabiner was enough, however, if I were to use the strap during more intense activities I would definitely put the clip on for a little extra piece of mind. When it comes to performance the camera slid easily on the webbing and within seconds I was able to shoot. As I said earlier the strap is nice and solid allowing you to have a worry free day of shooting. The BlackRapid Sport Strap has a MRSP $73.95
BlackRapid Backpack Strap
I usually hike with a dedicated photography backpack (MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Panorama Camera Pack) to carry all my gear, but sometimes I like to just take my camera with me without all my camera gear or when I’m on a backpacking trip and can’t use my photography pack. BlackRapid has come up with a great alternative that fits on almost every backpack currently on the market. The Backpack Strap incorporates most of the technology of the BlackRapid Sport Strap, but instead of wrapping around the body the strap has two quickdraw carabiners. The two quickdraw carabiners attach to either side shoulder strap. Some packs have a loop for easy attachment. Mine didn’t, so I attached the strap to one of the load straps. The other quickdraw is then attached to either a gear loop or to the waist belt of the pack.
As far as setup goes it only took a matter of moments to attach the straps and I had an integrated camera pack! Just like the BlackRapid Sport Strap you have the same fastener system with locking carabiner and have two adjustable locking bumpers. When not in use the BlackRapid Backpack Strap can be stored in the included mesh carrying case. One side of the case also has a soft cloth to wipe off your lenses when you’re out shooting. The case has a carabiner, so you can attach the carrying case to your pack and have it easily accessible. This is a simple piece of camera equipment, but one you will get endless use out of. The Backpack Strap is very reasonably priced with an MSRP $34.95.
I think BlackRapid did a great job of combining efficiency and quality with these two camera straps. The BlackRapid Sport Strap offers stability when you’re out shooting and increased security for piece of mind that you’re not going to drop your camera during a hike or ride. Both straps offer great value and I would recommend both straps for any photographer that is on the go and active. I know you won’t be disappointed. Take a look at BlackRapids website for more information and check out some of the other straps they have to offer. www.blackrapid.com