What’s the Best Camera Strap for Travel Photography?

A couple weeks ago when I picked up my Canon 6D, one of the first things I mentioned was that I needed a new camera strap.  I’m sure I’m not the only one to realize that brand DSLR cameras come with terrible straps.  It doesn’t matter if you shoot Canon, Nikon, Sony, or otherwise, the regular camera straps, well, they suck.  It’s something I’ve never understood, how can one pay nearly $2000 for a camera and get a strap that is likely produced for about a dollar?  Why can’t these professional camera manufacturers start providing straps that are comfortable, or even just wearable?

Anyways, the good news is that there are a lot of off-brand camera straps from manufacturers that focus on these things specifically that are very good.  One of these brands, Indigo Marble, sent me over one of their specialty camera straps for me to test out.  This is my review of that product as well as some other thought regarding the question of what the best camera strap for travel photography may be, and what to look for when buying a new camera strap.

What’s Wrong with Regular Camera Straps?

Oh God, where to start?  I think anyone who has ever used them long term has had issues.  I’m going to go through this point-by-point in case Canon or Nikon is reading this (I can dream, right?).

  • Too Narrow: When you’re shooting professional cameras, they are heavy.  When you have a really narrow strap, the weight from the camera and lens is only distributed on that thin slice on your shoulder which can be painful after a while.  It can actually lead to back problems, too.
  • Wrong Material: It’s not that the material is bad, it’s just not the right material for a strap.  Not only does that phony leather on the strap get really hot and sweaty, but it sticks to your clothes so whenever you move your camera to shoot your clothing goes with it.  Nothing worse than wandering around with your camera strap causing you to have a giant sweat patch and strangely bunched clothes.
  • Wrong Attachment Location on the Camera: DSLR straps hook onto each side of the body at the top which really isn’t the right spot.  It causes the straps to get in the way.  In fact, a couple times I’ve even had the stray bit of strap at the end poke me right in the eye when I went up to shoot.  Also, when you’re shooting on a tripod the straps up there can whip around in the wind and cause sharpness issues.  Straps really should lock onto the bottom, or just one side of the camera.

Camera Straps

What to Look for in a Camera Strap?

If you’re looking for an off-brand camera strap, you have lots of options.  Moreover, it’s not like a good strap is that much of an investment.  If you’re a travel photographer, you are going to have the camera on your shoulder a lot.  So why not invest in a comfortable way to carry?  These are a couple things you should look at before buying something.

  • Wide Strap: The truth is, even if Canon made a wider strap, it would be so much more comfortable.  It distributes the weight of the camera across your shoulder and essentially makes the camera feel like it weighs less.
  • Spongy Material: The material that sits on your shoulder should be squishy and soft.  It shouldn’t feel it’s cutting into your shoulder.  It also shouldn’t be too sticky or your clothes will move every time your camera does.
  • Breathable:  The material should also be somewhat breathable so it doesn’t get really sweaty.  Leather, it’s a terrible choice, in my opinion.
  • Alternative Attachment Location: I like the straps that find a way to attach to the bottom of the camera body.  It means that the straps wont get in the way when you shoot.

Indigo Marble Camera Straps

Quick Review of the Indigo Marble Camera Strap

If you want to see this camera strap in action, be sure to watch the video above.

I’m a big fan of this strap so far.  It really is everything that I would hope in a camera strap.  The part that hangs over your shoulder is really wide and nice and soft.  It distributes the weight of the camera and lens so much that it actually doesn’t feel like I have that much weight on my shoulder at all.

The way the strap attaches to the camera is also very clever.  They use a bottom plate that locks into your tripod mount on the bottom of the body.  Then, there’s a hole which you hook the strap into.  Doing it this way not only makes sure the straps aren’t in the way, but it also allows the camera to rest at your hip in a way that’s ready for action quickly.  I also love how when you pull the camera from your hip to your eye to shoot, the strap on the shoulder doesn’t move at all.  Instead, all that happens is the camera slides along the nylon part of the strap smoothly.  It means that your clothing wont bunch at all when you’re shooting.

One thing I was a bit worried about when I got it was that I would have to take it off each time I wanted to set up my camera on my tripod.  However, I can simply attach my tripod quick release to the strap mount, essentially doubling up the mounts.  It’s easy.  And, of course, having the straps down here when mounted on a tripod means that if it’s windy outside, the flapping camera straps wont cause sharpness issues with long exposure shots.

Indigo Marble Camera Straps

Huge Discount for Brendan’s Adventures Readers

The folks over at Indigo Marble have been very kind in offering Brendan’s Adventures readers a huge discount on their camera strap.  If you buy one, use the promo code VANSON40 and you’ll get 40% off one of these awesome straps.  Click here to head over to their sales page to get one.

What’s Next on the Travel Photography Blog?

Lots of fun, that’s what’s next!  I’m going to be heading to Dinosaur Country here in Alberta to the town of Drumheller to do a couple days shooting.  I’m also going to head back to Jasper in a week to hit up ski season.  We’ll do some action photography as well as some other fun things.  Perhaps even dog sledding(!!!). I will likely have some other gear reviews mixed in there as well.  Stay tuned!



Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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30 Comments

  1. i disagree on this subject. I have tried three different straps and always revert back to the originals.

    Nothing is as light weight, comfortable or practical, at leat in my mind.

    I have tried a borrow mounting strap, which was always in the way of my tripod and created the same wind effect (easily solved be a single hand) or it had to be removed to use my tripod. I am not a fan of leaving my camera on a tripod without a strap if it’s windy.

    I used a “grip” style that was a hand strap on one side, it was great for shooting, but crappy for carrying it or on the tripod.

    So yeah, I’ve spent nearly $100 on straps, just to wind up using the $1 Nikon strap.

    Post a Reply
    • Dude, you should try out this strap then. I haven’t had an issue with any of the things you mentioned. It’s great on the tripod because it doesn’t get in the way, and you can still wear it while on the tripod. And, yeah, the hand straps suck. I never use one of those. But, really, I hate the typical straps, haha.

      Post a Reply
    • tried to use the VANSON40 promo code to buy an indigo blue strap and it wouldn’t work on the website [Amazon]. What’s up?

      Post a Reply
      • Not sure Dan, it has been working for everyone else. Give the people at Indigo Marble a shout, they might be able to answer your question or get you a different code.

        Post a Reply
      • I just bought one using a code. Worked just fine.

        Post a Reply
      • Just worked for me…. got it for $32!

        Post a Reply
  2. ” I’m sure I’m not the only one to realize that brand DSLR cameras come with terrible straps. It doesn’t matter if you shoot Canon, Nikon, Sony, or otherwise, the regular camera straps, well, they suck. ”
    Really, those Canon straps their DSLR’s come with are uncomfortable!

    This blog of yours is awesome, hit me up if you get a new post up!

    Thanks,

    Sergio

    Post a Reply
    • Haha, Sergio! There’s a new blog post every couple days, just come on back constantly, I promise new fun every week!

      Post a Reply
  3. Doesn’t ship to Canada… Too bad they don’t want Canadian customers. Not available on Amazon.ca either

    Post a Reply
    • Yeah, asked them about that. Told me that they’re looking for a solution. Should be available to Canadians soon.

      Post a Reply
  4. I’ll try this strap ’cause I need more straps for 2 cameras. I still like the Op/Tech USA- nice stretch on should easy and secure attachment to harness that stays on camera.

    Post a Reply
    • I also like to say with Op/Tech as I like to remove the center section when I do onto the tripod. Since I use a vertical grip and Manfrotto L bracket I don’t want to go onto the tripod socket. Op/Tech offers many options to make your strap work for you.

      Post a Reply
  5. Dude, I see you are from Canada. Do you have a supplier who will deliver to Canada free shipping at the discounted price you mentioned in the video? Thanks

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Gtoribio, the company is now delivering to Canada actually. So, just follow the link in the article and they can now ship to Canada. You’ll get the discount on the camera strap as well.

      Post a Reply
  6. Hello Brendan,

    I have been watching your videos for the last couple of months, and I am a very big fun of your youtube channel. I saw this review, and I just order one strap from amazon, thank you a lot for the discount! I will be recieving the package in a couple of weeks, and I will let you know my impressions about this gear.
    Looking forward to see more reviews and travel places from you.
    Regards,
    Marquicio

    Post a Reply
  7. Hello Brendan, Thank you for the review and the offer!! The discount doubled up on the already discounted price at Amazon. Sweeet!
    Waiting for the product to arrive to try out. Based on more than a hundred reviews 5 stars at Amazon, I presume it should be good. How long have I been scouring through reviews and products at all photo web site. My D800e is so damn inconvenient to carry, hopefully this will solve the problem. And if only I got this site before….

    One question I have is, my camera has the RRS L mount permanently mounted for tripod mount – will this get in the way? Or can I hook it up directly on the L mount. I can – there is some space in the L bend.Please respond when you can.

    Thanks
    Murali

    Post a Reply
  8. I bought a BlackRapid R Sport model strap, which has a similar carabiner/sliding attachment to the Indigo strap. I’ve had outstanding luck with the strap, I went all over Tokyo and parts north with it for a month of traveling and had no issues with discomfort or interference with it, even for hours-long walks. The strap has one benefit that the Indigo doesn’t and that’s adjustable locking points along the “glide-path” of the camera attachment. It makes it easy to lock the camera at different points, for instance if you want to be able to bring it up quick you can lock the bottom point nearer the top, or if you need to keep it behind you can lock the points near the bottom and keep it out of the way behind you. Also, the Sport model has an under-the-shoulder secondary strap which can help keep it from sliding around, although that wasn’t an issue for me, I did like having the extra support.

    The point that the Indigo wins by comparison is that the BlackRapid attaches directly to the tripod mount point, so you lose the ability to use a tripod and the strap at the same time. Since I didn’t walk around the city with a tripod it wasn’t an issue for me, but I can see where it would be useful to be able to do both. The only concern I would have would be if the aluminum base plate on the Indigo blocked the battery access on my camera.

    Bottom line, since you’ve used the Indigo, I’d suggest looking at the BlackRapid R series, they seem to be comparable.

    Post a Reply
  9. I use the Black Rapid strap for women. I love it most of the time but it does sometimes slip off my shoulder backwards when I move my camera up to eye level but most annoyingly I have to change out the tripod mount. Did I understand you to say that with this strap you can attach your tripod mount to the strap’s tripod mount allowing you to use the tripod while using the strap? If so that’s something Black Rapid cannot do.

    I therefore bought a Peak Design strap that attaches to the sides of the camera so I can leave my tripod’s quick release plate attached to the camera. But it isn’t as comfortable, although it’s more comfortable than the damn Canon strap, which I will never use again, and it does get in the way of the viewfinder sometimes. I hate that.

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  10. So where is the link to buy the strap? I coudnt find it !

    Post a Reply
    • I am trying to figure out how to put a discount code in Amazon

      Post a Reply
  11. Just got one and the code still works plus free shipping at Amazon! This is likely overkill for my new Sony a6000 but hey…more comfort than needed is better than less. There are several great aftermarket strap systems out there, this is one. Thanks for the discount and good presentation.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks for the update Dave! Enjoy the camera strap!

      Post a Reply
  12. THANKS FOR THE PROMO CODE — JUST ORDERED OFF AMAZON FOR $27. I’VE BEEN THAT GUY WITH THE FREE NIKON STRAP WRAPPED AROUND HIS WRIST FOR A YEAR NOW. GLAD TO HAVE FOUND YOUR REVIEW. KUDOS.

    Post a Reply
  13. I purchased this strap using the code. They took a very long time to ship it, shipped it out on the last day, when it was supposed to be received.and somehow it got returned to the a day later. I’ve never had anything not make it to my home and get returned to the seller. Then I try to repurchase, and they won’t allow me to use your code any longer. Worked the first time. Something shady going on. I’m very upset. Your review was great, this was exactly what I wanted.

    Post a Reply
    • Jenn, that’s so strange. Most I’ve talked to got their straps quickly and are loving them. I’m sorry about the issue. I’d maybe recommend trying again in a week or so. If you’re looking for an alternative strap, there are similar ones to this. But, I do love this version.

      Post a Reply
  14. Bummer-Amazon now wants $141 + $7.50 s/h. B&H asks $44.97, but doesn’t accept VANSON40 discount code. Guess I waited too long to order.

    Post a Reply
    • Yeah, I have no idea how that happened Dave. Here’s another option available of a similar strap that I’ve used and really like as well. It’s only $14.99: http://amzn.to/1L7A5kP

      Post a Reply
  15. Brendan,
    I liked your video on the Indigo Marble strap. BUT, when I clicked on your site to get the discounted I.M. strap, I was whisked off to Amazon, where as of today, May 9th, at least, they are out of stock. Do you have a similar discount arrangement with another retailer?

    Also, I want to praise you for not deleting that earlier post with its link to a video about the Peak Slider strap. I welcome any valid counter arguments you may make, so long as you indicate whether you actually directly compared it with the I.M. strap.

    That video argues against a strap that holds the camera at only one point, like the IM. Theirs holds the camera from the tripod mount AND one of the usually-employed strap attachment points. I must admit that that two-point hold does reduce a degree of freedom when the camera is dangling down by one’s side!

    The other virtue of the Peak Slider is the quick release straps. Can’t remember if yours does that as well. I know the IM plate is compatible with tripods.

    Thank you!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi David, yeah they’ve been out of stock forever. I don’t know what the deal is there. This is the one I’m using now, and I’m loving it: http://amzn.to/279gzMl

      Post a Reply

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