I have the good fortune to get to play with a lot of camera gear and accessories, and a lot of those things are very cool. There are new lenses, and nifty digital storage devices, and all sorts of other electronic gizmos. But I have to say, of all the things that I’ve looked at over the last six months, the one camera accessory that I use every day, and that I would unequivocally recommend to any shooter, is the UPstrap. That’s right, depsite the cool high-tech gadgets that are sitting around me as I write this, what I’d like to recomend to you right now is a camera strap.
There are many different models of UPstrap, designed for cameras of different size and weights, and you can see them all on the UPstrap web site. I’ve been using several different versions, but since I primarily shoot with a Canon EOS 5D, I’ve been mostly using the UPstrap SLR Quick Release-QR. Before the UPstrap, I’d been using the stock shoulder strap that came with the camera.
The UPstrap web site will give you details on the quality of their components. Cool terms like "kevlar embedded web" and "stainless sliders for worry free camera connections" are bandied about, and there’s no doubt that all of the UPstrap component parts look and feel great. I’ve lugged the strap through Death Valley and South Africa and there’s no wear and tear visible. Plainly, these things are built to last.
But durability is not a huge issue for me, because I’ve never actually had a strap break. I’m fairly careful with my gear and try to keep my kit clean and in good shape. Nevertheless, it’s nice to know the thing is built to last.
What sold me on the UPstrap is the non-slip pad that sits on the shoulder part of the strap. Simply put: they’re right. This thing just doesn’t slide off your shoulder, even when you’re wearing something slipper like a windbreaker. The 5D is not a light camera, especially when it’s fitted with a larger lens, and while any weight will tend to make you hunch your shoulder, with just a little time spent with the UPstrap, you’ll quickly come to realize that you don’t have to support the camera to keep it from sliding off. You can keep your shoulder relaxed, and the camera will simply stay where it is. Over a long day of camera lugging, staying relaxed can make a huge difference.
The QR strap includes two quick-release connectors that allow you to easily remove the bulk of the camera strap. When packing your camera in a bag, being able to remove a big part of the strap and pack it elsewhere can make it much easier to sandwich things into your bag. The Quick Release connectors are the only thing I’d like to see changed on the UPstrap. On the camera end, they’re both female connectors, but if there was one of each gender, then you could snap them together to create a small hand strap.
The smaller UPstraps are as well-made, and are well-suited to any type of camera. I’m also impressed with the price. While fifty bucks may seem a little pricey for a camera strap, (and other UPstraps are cheaper) bear in mind that this is a component that you will use every time you use your camera, and it’s the one component that affects your posture and comfort more than any other. For a product this well-made, I think UPstraps pricing is very fair.
So, if you’ve been actively looking for a new strap, or if you find yourself getting tired when carrying your camera, or you’re just itching for a new accessory, check out the UPstrap. It’s really the ultimate camera strap.