The 6 Best Camera Straps For Hiking
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When you’re hiking with your camera and need a simple way to keep it readily available, the best camera straps for hiking are made of soft, durable materials like reinforced nylon, neoprene, or leather, offering easy access without sacrificing your comfort or your camera's safety. Top straps should easily adjust for a secure fit that doesn't limit your ability to move freely, and should evenly distribute your camera's weight so that the strap feels good and doesn't slip or sway excessively.
No camera strap will offer perfect comfort, but padding can help significantly. Thicker padding can be especially nice if your camera is heavy, but also consider styles with extra anchors and supporting straps to more evenly distribute weight and prevent too much movement. Different strap styles hold the camera in different ways, and the best placement will depend on the type of hiking you’re doing. For casual walks or flat terrain, a camera strapped to your shoulder, neck, or hip should do just fine. If your hikes involve a lot of ascents, though, a sling-style strap with an underarm attachment or a sling-style chest harness could give you better range of motion and keep your camera from jostling. If you hike with a backpack and don't want to get tangled in shoulder straps, a strap that clips to your pack could be ideal.
You’ll also want to think about how the strap works with your camera. Note how the strap is meant to attach to a camera and confirm that these attachments are both compatible with your camera. Connecting and releasing shouldn’t be difficult on any quality strap, but some offer extra convenient quick-release and locking mechanisms. Other perks to look for include a layer of breathable mesh, on-strap storage, and compatibility with other gear like binoculars and tripods.
Ready to document your next outdoor adventure? Consider adding one of these top-rated camera straps to your list of hiking essentials.
1. The Overall Best Camera Strap For Hiking
The Peak Design Slide Lite is a strong, versatile strap that works just as well for hobbyists as it does for professionals. It's made from smooth webbed nylon that features silicone grips on one side to prevent the strap from slipping. This is particularly useful if you prefer to wear the strap on your shoulder, but you can also wear the strap around your neck or cross-body style. Changing the configuration between neck, sling, or shoulder is pretty simple, thanks to the unique anchor system that can hold up to 200 pounds. While the Slide Lite can absolutely hold a heavy camera, its low profile strap makes it especially well-suited for mirrorless cameras or lighter DSLRs.
The strap comes with four disc-like anchor links that click into place — and offer one-handed quick release, too — which means it's super quick to reorient the strap. This flexible anchor system makes this three-in-one strap widely compatible with any type of camera and tripod (or even binoculars!) and it also comes with an anchor mount if you don’t have one but want to use it for attaching to the camera base. The length of the strap is also incredibly adjustable and easy to use — adjust to any length between 39 and 57 inches via two quick-pull handles. It's a sturdy strap, but if anything goes wrong, the Peak Design Slide comes with a lifetime warranty.
Positive Amazon review: “I used this extensively while hiking out West in the US. I love this strap and the ability to shorten it to keep my camera close to my body and to prevent the camera from bouncing around. In addition, I love the quick releases that allowed me to flip them up and extend the strap quickly to allow for shots. I used this strap extensively with my Sony A7r III and I love it! This strap is very versatile and comfortable.”
2. A Breathable Sling For Quick Access
If you prefer wearing your camera across your body while hiking, this quick-access camera sling offers above-average stability for cross-body wear. Unlike many straps designed to be worn this way, this sling strap comes with a padded 4-inch-wide shoulder strap with an underarm attachment, which helps with weight distribution and prevents the camera from twisting around at your hip. The padding is made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) foam and breathable mesh so that you get the added cushioning without overheating. The rest of the strap is made of nylon webbing, including the underarm strap, which can be removed completely if you don't like it. The main strap's length can be adjusted from around 36 inches to 66 inches at its longest, and attaches to your camera with a swiveling and locking carabiner that's made of zinc and brass. Once you've locked the camera in place, you can confidently wear it at your side and simply slide the camera up the strap when you're ready to take a picture.
The Sport X is designed to be worn on the left shoulder, with the camera resting at your right hip, so this may not be a good fit for left-handed individuals. It's compatible with most DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras and comes in three different adventure-inspired patterns.
Positive Amazon review: “For the last couple of years, I have been searching for a solution that allows the quick detachment of my camera for use on a tripod or monopod and sustains the camera out of the way while walking (without excessive sway) [...] The balance of the camera/lens while I walk is perfect.”
3. A Comfortable Leather Camera Strap
This high-quality, genuine leather camera strap is durable enough for hikes and fashionable to use in any scenario. It's made of full grain leather, and is padded with neoprene for extended comfort. It comes in Antique Cognac and Dark Truffle Brown, but there's also a primarily waxed canvas version in a few neutral colors as well. The manufacturer recommends cross-body wear for the most comfort, but some Amazon users also rave about how comfortable it is to wear as a neck strap. The strap measures a fairly impressive 63 inches long at maximum, but can be adjusted to around 30 inches at its shortest. Making length adjustments is simple, thanks to the sturdy belt-like buckles, and you won't have trouble attaching this to most DSLRs — as long as they don't exceed 6 pounds (lens included).
Positive Amazon review: “This strap, with [its] wide padded section really does make a huge difference. Worn around the neck the camera seems to weigh half as much if even that. Worn over the shoulder and across the chest I can almost forget the camera is even there.”
4. An Affordable Strap With Built-In Storage
If you're looking for a camera strap with storage, this USA Gear neck strap delivers. It’s made of 0.16-inch thick neoprene, which offers a bit of stay-put grip and more comfort than an average neck strap. Amazon reviewers comment that it’s soft and springy, which helps counteract the camera weight. This strap uses metal connecting loops and quick-release buckles to attach to most DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras, and is adjustable between 38 and 58 inches in length. But no matter how long you choose to wear it, the strap's main appeal (besides its low price) is a small storage pocket on either side that lets you stash accessories like SD cards and batteries.
The strap is available in more than 10 fun patterns, so you can really showcase your style. An added bonus for such an affordable price point: This strap comes with a 3-year warranty.
Positive Amazon review: “Got this strap to go on my fuji xt100. Love it! Nice THICK neoprene fabric, well stitched and cute! I love that I can adjust it to make it long enough to wear cross body. I used it for a week while hiking in Maine and it was perfect and I was never worried about the safety of my camera! My favorite part were the two pockets on the straps, one on each side. Held my lens cap and a cleaning rag perfectly!"
5. A Cross-Body Strap That Clips To Your Backpack
If you like to go backpacking or hike with a daypack, this backpack camera sling could simplify your life since it's designed to clip to a backpack without creating excess bulk or hassle. The nylon webbing is sturdy, adjusts in length from 20 inches up to 31.5 inches, and adds a negligible 4.52 ounces to your load. Attaching this strap to your backpack is also intuitive and versatile. You can choose which shoulder you'd like to attach the strap to, which could be helpful if you're left-handed or like to alternate sides. Two heavy-duty aluminum alloy carabiners allow you to connect the strap to the top and bottom of your backpack, near the chest and hip. A locking mechanism twists into place to attach to your camera.
Positive Amazon review: “After much research and trials, I settled on this strap for use on a 27 mile backpacking trip last summer. I like how the strap balanced the weight of the camera between both backpack shoulder straps, not placing all the weight of the camera on only one shoulder. [...] It was an expensive strap but did a great job supporting the camera."
6. A Sling-Style Camera Harness For A Really Secure Hold
While not strictly a camera strap, this sling-style camera harness allows for a wide range of motion for most body types. It fits waists between 25 inches to 57 inches and is compatible with most cameras and binoculars, though the manufacturer recommends using it with small to medium devices. This chest strap is made of heavy-duty nylon webbing with adjustable clips to create a snug fit against the body, which makes it a perfect accessory for outdoor activities including birding, hiking, and cycling. There's a simple twist-and-lock mount for affixing the camera at its base and locking it into the center of the harness, which means no bouncing or swinging. You can also comfortably wear this underneath a backpack. A few other thoughtful touches for outdoor adventures include a small pocket for small-item storage and an attached protective cover to shield your camera from the rain. Plus, the quick-release safety tether adds another level of security to ensure your camera is always secure and accessible while remaining easy to remove from the harness if needed.
Positive Amazon review: “Having your camera hanging, bouncing and slipping off your shoulder, making any hike with a heavy camera a real nuisance became a thing of the past with this gear. I was about to give up taking my camera with me for this hike in Peru when I found this and I couldn't be happier.”