Most amateur photographers don’t give much thought to the slings around their cameras. But to echo Ken Rockwell, the internet’s chosen camera sage, branded straps that arrive with new bodies call unwelcome attention. Not only does your gear become more susceptible to theft, but straps screaming “Canon” or “Nikon” can also blow your cover in a crowd, making authentic moments and interactions more difficult to capture. Play down your presence with a sling that’s casual and cool, preferably made of premium leather or mil-spec webbing, which both earn points for durability and comfort during long bouts of wear. Here are the seven to consider depending on your weapon — or weapons — of choice.
Topo Designs Camera Strap
Best for the Outdoors: So it’s not the quietest strap out there, but the Topo Designs Camera Strap is a worthy option for adventure photographers looking for a little heft against the elements. It’s made of ultra-strong 10.5mm climbing rope, available in a number of different colors (including blue, green, brown), with rugged sliplocks that attach to your camera’s lugs for added security around your neck.
DSPTCH Heavy Camera Sling
Best for Professional DSLR: The DSPTCH Heavy Camera Sling, constructed from mil-spec webbing, measures 1.5 inches across in order to widely distribute the weight of a big DSLR across your shoulder. It also features US-manufactured plastic buckles that make it easy to install it on a backup camera.
Travelteq Camera Strap
Best for Travelers: This elegant strap from luxury brand Travelteq is handmade in Italy from premium Florentine leather. Available in navy and tan dyes, it is equipped with adjustable metal buckles and a hidden pocket for a spare SD memory card. We recommend it for mid-sized digital camera systems that can’t fit in your pocket, such as the Fujifilm X-T1.
Great State Classic Pro Strap
Best for 35mm Rangefinder: Designed by Oregon-based brand Great State for 35mm street photography a la Robert Frank, the Classic Pro is made from burnished cowhide sourced from the respected Herman-Oak Leather Tannery in St. Louis, Missouri. Detailed with leather lug guards to protect your camera, it features the brand’s signature slide buckle for quick adjustments on the fly.
Tanner Goods SLR Camera Strap
Best for Analog SLR: Constructed from premium Horween Chromexcel leather, the Tanner Goods SLR strap attaches to your camera with high-density nylon cords that won’t damage the body. It also features an adjustable shoulder pad and detachable lugs for quick removal for shooting from a tripod. Like your your dad’s analog SLR, the leather, available in several different dyes, only gets better with age.
Tap & Dye Classic Wide Camera Strap for Hasselblad
Best for Hasselblad: Hasselblad performance is often considered in a class of its own. The cameras’ design is no different, with a unique set of lugs allowing users to attach a strap. The Tap & Dye Classic Wide Strap for the Hasselblad (part of the brand’s Legacy collection) is made from two-tone, seven-ounce Chromexcel leather, handcrafted to order by brand founder Justin Waldinger in his Long Island-based studio. The Hasselblad hardware attachment, compatible with all Hasselblad 500C and CM models, is connected to the strap’s leather with durable steel rivets.
HoldFast Gear Money Maker Harness
Best for Multiple Cameras: It’s hard to beat the utility of the HoldFast Gear Money Maker Harness, which anchors two cameras at a time via metal D-rings that fit into the tripod mount on your cameras. Available in a range of different leathers and finishes (including water buffalo and python hides), the system couples with a number of upgrades, such as the Sightseer Lens Bag and the Camera Leash, allowing wearers to carry a third camera.