Okay. I have to partially reverse my previous position on Peak Designs camera straps. Familiarity overcomes contempt.

I have composited myself into this background. I shot the "Kirk" shot in 
the studio against a gray background. Beats using a tripod and a self timer out in the sun.

I have a new strap attaching method for conventional, "old school" camera straps. It's a little complicated but it's so secure. The other day I had to unstrap one of my Leica SLs to put a Buff gaiter on the strap. The Buff gaiter is a tubular cloth construction meant to worn by humans as a protective scarf keeping your neck safe from UV. I figured if it's good enough for a photographer it just might be good enough for my camera. By running the strap through the gaiter tube I can...... oh wait.... I wrote a whole blog post about this in 2014. On the 28th of July. Right around this part of the year. To learn more, read here:


Anyway, I spent a hot afternoon using the new, white and gray Buff device (as described in the link just above...) and then I disassembled the strap and fully intended to re-strap the camera the next morning. But the boy's accident superseded the strapping agenda and time became unfixed. So when I reached for my favorite SL (and yes, they each have a personality...) it was strap-naked. Not wanting to spend time on my more rigorous strapping modality I instead pulled the much maligned Peak Designs strap out of the "reject" drawer and attached it. The work of seconds instead of minutes. And then I headed out the door. 

It's really the first time I've seriously tried the cross chest carry of a camera since, well... never. 

I always carry a camera over my left should in a traditional strap that has some built in stickiness that helps prevent shoulder slide. On the Peak Straps that stickiness is on the wrong side of the strap so I decided to go with the flow and at least attempt the cross body carry. I adjusted the strap length for comfort and headed out for a long morning walk. Hoping to get in three or four miles before the humidity returns and the afternoon heat becomes oppressive and dangerous.

Everything worked out okay. I got used to pulling the camera up from the side to shoot and letting the slippery strap slide around. It was fine. I guess I could get used to it if I really needed to. The quick attaching and detaching is the primary selling point for me. Maybe Peak Designs could do a thinner strap with the sticky friction stuff on the correct side and the same round quick release parts included. That might actually be a good strap. 

From an aesthetic point of view I felt as thought I'd fashioned a camera strap out of a 1975 Chevrolet Nova seat belt. Same basic material and same color schemes. Hopelessly tacky. 

But, usable and not at all uncomfortable. See? I can change my mind. Under temporal distress. 

As a partial and lukewarm apology I've decide to put up a link to their site. I am not affiliated and no one. Literally, no one, is paying me.



pswann said...

Hey Kirk, be careful of the sticky stuff if your Peak Designs strap (like mine) is a bit older. The intense Austin heat caused the black rubber to melt and it ruined a good UV shirt. Well, I still wear the shirt, but it looks like there is a tire track across one shoulder where the melted rubber stained the fabric.

Jim Metzger said...

I've been a fan of Peak cross body straps for years, I carry one size thinner than recommended for a full size DSLR with big lenses. I have an "L" bracket on my camera and the strap attaches to the left upper lug on the camera and the bottom of the bracket right around where the tripod screw is. This allows the lens to naturally fall into a downward position keeping the camera tighter to my body.

I also use their wrist strap, it takes the pressure off when handholding for a long time like during a wedding.

I have never and I mean never had a strap that didn't slide off my shoulder.

When carrying for a long time I really like to change the length of the strap to locate the camera on different parts of my body and you can slide the camera behind you for bending down.

I'm a fan

Kirk, Photographer/Writer said...


"Tire tracks all across my back...." Jimi Hendrix.

That sounds like a materials engineering problem for warm weather use. Noted!!!

JC said...

I give it three days. Okay, two.

Re said...

You might like the Peak Design Leash strap. It is thinner, about 1 inch wide and has no sticky stuff. It glides smoothly as you move it.

I use them on a Leica SL2s and other lighter cameras with no problem. It is, of course, primarily a cross-body strap, but that is what I prefer.

re welch

Jim said...

Ok - you like the concept but hate the strap itself. Go over to Etsy and you will find every imaginable strap all made with Peak Design connectors. Maybe the best of both for you :}

Gilly said...

My peak design strap also didn’t stand up well to the heat and humidity of Queensland and S.E Asia. The black stuff started to come off however I contacted the company and they replaced it with a new one which arrived a couple of days later. I am happy to report the new one has held up really well to constant use. It is nice to use gear from a company that stands behind its products.
One other piece of peak design gear I have bought is the 45 litre backpack, this is one amazing bag for traveling as it can also double as a camera bag with the optional inserts. It has seen lots of use and held up really well, it looks super smart to boot.

Unknown said...

You made my day with this post. I confess that I have tried every strap that you have recommended because, you know, "real photographers don't use cross-body straps". None of them has been "sticky" enough to stay put on my sloping shoulders. As a further confession I have fallen in love with both the Peak Design wrist strap and the "slidy" body straps worn across the body. I may not look cool but it feels safe and I find raising the camera to the eye quick and intuitive.

Rich said...

LOVE mine, which is the thinner type

David Mantripp said...

I really don't understand the "real photographers don't use cross-body straps" thing. It's been my preferred way of wearing a camera for approximately forever. With the PD straps I can adjust very long and have the camera practically behind my waist, which is both comfortable and quite stealthy. Much harder for some drive-by thief to grab as well. Hanging a expensive camera precariously off one shoulder seems both risky and uncomfortable to me. I guess "real photographers" all develop a pronounce hunch on their favourite shoulder :-)

As for Peak Design I have to say I like the straps ("hopelessly tacky"? Well, its all subjective, but I don't find the grey strap with blue stitching and leather insets "tacky"), but the rest of their product line is just hopeless over-complicated and over-engineered. The strap connectors go do with a rethink too, they're way too bulky.

Not A Real Photographer

Anonymous said...

If you don’t like the straps, you can get a set of Peak Design connectors that you can use on any strap. I like the quick connections, so I converted a couple of my straps.

Dick Barbour said...

OK, now I expect Putin to leave Ukraine, rain to fall in the Austin area, and Sony to make a usable menu system. These will all go perfectly with the miracle of Kirk's use of and mild praise for Peak Design!

Tom Farrell said...

I came to the unhappy conclusion long ago that I have abnormally narrow shoulders. I’ve never had a strap that didn’t slide off. If I tried a shoulder carry. Cross body for me, preferably a silk cord type that slides easily.

Kirk, Photographer/Writer said...

David, Of course, as a "real" photographer my left shoulder is about three inches lower than my right and I am in constant, searing pain. But I look so good!

I just bought PD's "Leash" in light gray. I'll play with that one for a while and see what works.

I reserve the right to make breathtaking changes of mind at any time. Maybe I'll really come to love the cross carry. And maybe I'll give up trying to look cool. Maybe.

Bassman said...

I have one PD Slide Lite and one Leash, and two Cuff wrist straps. I have connectors on both cameras and on both shoulder bags. I can put either strap on a camera in seconds if I’m going bag-free, or put the Slide Lite on a bag and the Cuff on a camera if I’m using a bag. If I’m traveling with a camera backpack, having no straps on the bodies makes them much easier to pack. Similarly with the shoulder bags - they can hold all of my accessories and go into my luggage strapless.

I’ve always preferred the cross-body strap - it’s more secure and I avoid shoulder malformation.

Kirk, Photographer/Writer said...

It's a crazy stew of cameras straps out in the real world. But the PD stuff in serviceable. I relent.