I’ve been using an UPstrap on my SLR for a couple of years now, and have previously posted about how it’s possibly the best camera accessory I’ve ever used. While something as seemingly simple as a camera strap may not sound like much to get excited about, once you use the UPstrap, you may find yourself becoming something of a camera strap connoisseur. (Or even more fun, a camera strap snob.) A whole new batch of UPstraps have been released, offering the UPstrap advantage to cameras of all sizes. Read on to find out why you might want to give up on your stock camera strap.
First and foremost, what makes the UPstrap so special is the patented non-slip shoulder pad. Made of extremely durable rubber, and covered on both sides by a grid of raised nibs, the UPstrap shoulder pad simply doesn’t slip when it’s hanging on your shoulder.
Because it’s so stable, you never have to hunch your shoulder, no matter how heavy your camera rig. Even when wearing a slick windbreaker, I find that the UPstrap stays right where I put it. I carry a fairly heavy SLR (Canon 5D Mark II) so fatigue and neck pain can be a concern after a day of lugging the camera. But if you can manage to not hunch, you’ll be able to go a lot farther without shoulder and neck pain. At first, it can take some concentration to not lift your shoulder, but as you learn to trust that the UPstrap won’t slip, you should find that you can walk around in a much more relaxed posture.
My old UPstrap was just beginning to show a slight bit of fraying around the edges where it scrapes the rigid metal loops on the 5D body. So I was very pleased to see that UPstrap has released a line of new Kevlar-reinforced straps designed specifically to address this problem. While the non-slip pad is the deal-maker for the UPstrap, you’ll find that the rest of the strap is not a compromise. The strap material is rated to hold 600-2500 pounds, while the plastic quick releases found on some models are rated at 300 pounds. This is not a strap that will easily break.
My favorite feature of the UPstrap is that the long middle part of the strap can be detached by unhooking two quick releases. This means I can get the bulk of the strap off of the camera very easily. When packing, this can make it much easier to fit the camera in a smaller bag, and more importantly, when shooting on a tripod, it means I can quickly get the strap off. When shooting in wind, this keeps the strap from flapping around and shaking the camera.
The quick release mechanism is also my only complaint about the UPstrap (though it’s a minor one). The quick releases on the straps that stay connected to the body are both the same gender. If they were opposite, then I could take the middle of the strap out, connect the two remaining quick releases together and create a nice hand strap. This is a minor complaint, but it’s something that would add a tiny bit more functionality.
UPstrap has done a good job of producing a range of products designed for different sized cameras. In addition to the large UPstrap I use on the 5D, I’ve attached a smaller one to the Panasonic GF-1 micro four-thirds camera I’ve been playing with. Equally well-made, the smaller strap offers the same non-slip design as the larger, and means I don’t have to give up my comfortable strap when I switch camera.
You can also buy some extremely beefy, heavy-duty connecting clips for attaching the strap to heavier items such as a tripod or camera bag. These are a very nice addition to the UPstrap line.
Wonderfully designed, extremely well-made, and very reasonably-priced, the UPstrap is the one camera accessory that I can unquivocally recommend to any photogarpher, with any type of camera.