Picking the right camera strap for your hike trip can be daunting and difficult with so many different choices. Finding the best camera strap for hiking that fits your needs can be simple and easy. The list below provides you with the top options at many different price points so you can make the right choice for your hiking preferences.
Top 13 Best Camera Strap for Hiking
1. Peak Design Black Slide Camera Strap
The Peak Design Black Slide Camera Strap is well-designed, durable, secure, and comfortable for photographers on the go. With a nice, wide strap, it won’t dig into your neck and will hold the weight of a heavy camera up to 200 pounds.
The design makes it possible to be worn as a sling, shoulder, or neck strap. It glides smoothly over clothing in sling mode due to internally padded nylon webbing so you’re able to pull it up easily when you want to take a photo and has a grippy side that protects against slipping while carried on a shoulder, making it very versatile. It features an Anchor Link system that can be easily attached and detached from the camera, providing dual points of connection thus stabilizing your camera to a higher degree than traditional sling cameras.
Clearly, there was much thought put into the design for maximum functionality and camera safety. Whatever your hiking trip throws at you, you can be confident that this strap will keep your camera safe and sound.
Sample customer review… The combination of anchor links and quick-connectors is the centerpiece of a thoughtful and flexible design. You can use these anchors and connectors not just with the wide, adjustable neck strap/sling but also with the narrower leash and the wrist strap, also sold by Peak Design. The strap material is very light and strong: some compare it to seat belt material, which it is like. It folds up quite small for storage in a little sack that comes with the kit: the advantage is that it can be detached and then stashed in a camera bag or backpack quite easily. The strap material moves smoothly over clothing so you can deploy the camera at eye level very quickly. The strap buckles allow for easy length adjustment. You can switch quickly between camera bodies by putting anchors on all that you have. Peak Design also sells the links and connectors separately, thereby allowing you to outfit a favorite neck strap of another manufacturer that you may not wish to abandon (I used a set on my Crumpler Industry Disgrace strap). Peak Design has offered very well and versatile.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
2. Sevenoak SK-MSP01 Multi Carrying Chest Vest System
The Sevenoak SK-MSP01 is exceptionally designed for photographers who enjoy hiking and prefer a well-balanced system, capable of holding two cameras at a time. Constructed with nylon and mesh fabric, it is both durable and comfortable to wear. The harness wraps around the body and, when tightened correctly, will keep both cameras from moving around during any physical activity.
The locking system is secure and durable to withstand lengthy use, equipped with quick and easy release from the plates located on the chest and hip. This harness is affordable and great for hikers that prefer to keep away from neck or single shoulder straps that often swing around during movement.
Sample customer review… I’ve had my eye on the Cotton Carrier dual camera harness but couldn’t bring myself to spend the $160 for it. I found this Sevenoak SK-MSP01 for $40 and thought it’s got to be close, right? When it arrived I was impressed with the overall quality and comfort, I wasn’t crazy about how the tethers attached with key rings to my cameras. I went to the Cotton Carrier website and saw that they sell their quick-release tethers, which are way better, as an accessory item for $7.00 each. I picked up two of them and now this rig is complete! I highly recommend this item, but also order some of the quick-release tethers from CC. Still way cheaper in the CC system.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
3. BlackRapid Hybrid Breathe Camera Sling
The BlackRapid Hybrid Breathe Camera Sling is another great sling-style option that has the capacity to hold two cameras or one camera and a pouch if you would prefer having extra storage at one hip. The padded nylon strap provides comfort for the user on long hikes.
The most interesting addition is the stabilizing BRAD underarm tether that assures the strap won’t slip off your shoulder during fast-paced activity on rugged or flat terrain while hiking. In addition, Spring-loaded bumper locks can be slid along the length of the strap to limit any excess and uncomfortable camera movement.
Sample customer review… Great Pro-Quality camera strap/sling. Very comfortable and works well for its intended purposes. Have used it for shooting on-location portrait sessions, outdoor and indoor sports. Definitely a HUGE benefit of having the ability to carry 2 cameras so you can have wide-angle and zoom lenses easily accessible. It is easy to switch from one camera body to the other which is especially important when shooting sports. I have not used another strap like this to compare it to but at this time I have no complaints relating to this one. I would not hesitate to recommend this to fellow photographers.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
4. BlackRapid Backpack Camera Sling
If you’re looking for something that you can take with you on heavy-duty backpacking trips, this strap is sure to get the job done! It is designed so that you can easily hook it directly to your backpack in two spots, allowing it to hang safely in front of you while you’re hiking. They help to ensure the safety of your camera by giving this strap a locking mechanism that will hold onto your camera so you can focus on hiking. It also has the option to hook onto either shoulder, which can especially come in handy if you’re left-handed.
Sample customer reviews… My camera + lens are a bit heavy, and I was looking for something better than my old neck strap for hiking. I bought this and liked it. The strap distributed the weight pretty well and my camera was very accessible. The setup works fine with my longish lens, Canon 70-300L with hood. This strap was a huge improvement over my old neck strap and a vest carrier that I had tried previously.
I normally wear a camera vest that happens to have D rings on both the front and back of the shoulders. I ordered two of these, and I can now carry two cameras by simply clipping them to the vests D rings without having to have all of the additional shoulder pads/straps/etc of a traditional two-camera carrying strap. The locking slides are a big improvement over the original Black Rapid design, and it helps minimize camera swing while moving around quite a bit better.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
5. Cotton Carrier CCS G3 Camera Harness System
The CCS G3 Camera Harness from Cotton Carrier delivers both great durability, with premium materials, and a perfectly balanced fit for your camera on the chest. With the harness securely wrapped around the chest and back, your camera won’t be bouncing around as you trek along on your hike. It nicely spreads a load of even your heaviest camera across the body to alleviate neck and shoulder pain.
It is certainly the best harness on the market with a patent twist and lock system for great security and stability for all conditions. It even has a lens hold-down strap that will keep the camera and lens flat against your body for even less movement against your body than other similar models available. There are backup camera safety straps that attach the camera to the vest for extra protection, so when you do detach from the locking system, your camera will be safe from accidental drops during shots.
This even includes a weather cover for your camera in case of any unpredictable rain or conditions while on your hike. This harness is guaranteed to work perfectly to keep your camera secure, a twist away so you won’t miss that shot on your hike.
Sample customer review… Purchased the Cotton Carrier G3 1 Camera Harness (Grey) for my photographer daughter. She had been complaining about neck pain from her Canon 7D hanging from the strap around her neck after multi-hour photo shoots. This did the trick and more. No more neck fatigue. The camera held safely no matter how she moved. Sadly, several hours in, one of the shoulder straps sew points on the chest failed. Still, the carrier held onto the camera, no risk to the equipment – a plus in my opinion that despite a strap failure, the camera was still safe. As for the product itself, it is of a high-quality design with solid good materials and is lighter than either of us expected. I think our situation was a fluke judging, by the way, the rest of the carrier appears to be made. There are a couple of nice spots to tuck away extra CF cards. We love how the straps and connectors are set in such a way that they won’t pull out of the connectors without serious force applied, very nice attention to detail (Once had a different camera case that went around the waist from another maker and the strap would pull out of the clasps if we were not careful.) Good price for the quality and utility of the carrier.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
6. Cotton Carrier Skout Sling Style Harness
The Skout Sling Harness from Cotton Carrier keeps your camera safely secured on your chest in a beautifully fashioned harness that wraps around your back for maximum comfort and accessibility. It’s another great hands-free option that keeps your camera from bouncing around while active with an adjustable strap.
The strap is easily fitted to the body by slipping over the shoulder and then clipping around the torso. It features an aluminum hub enabling a twist and lock system using a slotted hole attached to the camera. As an added safety feature, it comes equipped with a quick-release tether to further prevent accidental drops.
Another great added feature is the weather bag it comes with. With 16 inches of clearance, this included bag is perfect for protecting your camera against any unwanted or unpredictable weather that is experienced on your hike.
Sample customer review… I am a short “curvy” woman, so a lot of the options for camera slings and harnesses don’t really work for me, especially when I am using my long lens. I ordered this for a trip with a lot of hiking planned, hoping it would work to keep my camera at the ready, but save my arms the load. Anything at the hip would have my camera bouncing around my knees, and anything on a backpack strap would be very awkward. Tried the Skout Sling out today and it is perfect. I have a 16″ torso, so I secured the harness about at mid-sternum. I can easily walk with my Nikon 200-500mm with hood attached, hands-free. It is a little awkward to take out of the holder but gets easier each time I do it, so I think that is just user adjustment. The camera is steady, secure, and comfortable hanging straight down, or turned slightly to one side. The harness is comfortable, even under a backpack. I hardly noticed it was there. The only downside is having to use a separate tool to detach the hub if I want to use a tripod. Going to try the Arca adapter to see if that helps. If so it will be a perfect solution!Read more reviews at Amazon.com
7. Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3
If you’re hiking with a backpack, look no further than the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3, another amazingly durable and innovative choice from Peak Designs. The sleek metal clip can attach to any strap or belt up to 2.5 in. wide and 0.6 in. thick and can withstand over 200 lbs. of force.
It is also equipped with a backplate that can screw into your camera and be secured onto the clip by sliding into place. It features a quick-release lock on the clip that keeps your camera instantly accessible at all times and safe from any physical activity while hiking.
Sample customer review… I used the “temporary” fasteners on a hiking bag and while I *DID* end up fastening them a few times over the course of a hike, I never felt like they were unsafe or that my camera was in danger of falling. I’d say every five or so times I took my camera out, I’d make sure to tighten the screws, and I’d never had to tighten them much, and sometimes I wouldn’t have to tighten them at all. I suspect this wouldn’t be necessary with the “permanent” fasteners – tightened with an Allen wrench – but the convenience of being able to move the clip to other bags was worth it for me…Everything was a vast improvement when compared to how I’d hiked in years past, either using a strap or tossing all of my gear into the back. I found myself finishing five or more mile hikes with no shoulder or back pain, and it was incredible not having to stop, unpack my camera, and then repack my camera every time I wanted to take a photo. It was a quick “unclip”. I had also seen someone else say that the margin of error for clipping the camera in was a bit fickle, but I had no issues at all. Everything fits together with a satisfying click, and while I started my trip with the camera strap around my neck as a backup, I would have been totally confident in taking the strap off by the end.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
8. Altura Photo Camera Strap
The Altura photo camera strap is a great option. It has a quick release and safety tether. The adjustable neck strap provides a comfortable fit. The strap is light and comes with a soaked metal plate to securely fasten in the camera. You can wear the camera any way you choose and it even comes with a pouch for storage.
Sample customer review… I’ve been using the Altura camera strap for about 6 weeks now. In that time, I’ve taken the camera on at least 8 or 10 family outings that lasted several hours or more. This strap is comfortable! I’ve worn the camera for hours at a time. The pad on the strap distributes the weight well. With the old neck strap, my camera spent most of the time hanging from our kids’ stroller when we went to these events. Not so anymore! I have not had problems with the pad sliding out of place. When I lift the camera to use it, the camera slides easily on the strap. The few times the pad moves, it’s usually when I am moving around while I have the camera up and ready. The strap makes it easy to get back in place, though. There are “keepers” on the strap itself that you can set – when I move the camera back down, the camera slides freely until it reaches the keeper, then pulls the strap into the right position. (There are two keepers, one for each end, so it works the same way in the other direction too!) I really like the features Altura put into this strap. The zippered compartment is nice for a couple of small items, like a lens cleaning cloth, spare memory card, or maybe even a spare battery if you are lucky (the battery for my camera is just a fraction too large to fit, but oh well). The safety tether is one feature that got me interested in the Altura over some competitors with similar overall designs.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
9. HiiGuy Camera Strap
The HiiGuy camera strap is a padded sling great for neck and shoulder comfort. It’s an adjustable strap up to 32 inches long with a screw mount and safety tether. It comes with a zippered pocket great for the storage of SD cards and batteries or chargers.
Sample customer review… I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew there had to be a better way to keep my camera with me while walking around all day, waiting for that perfect shot. I am a photography student and I’m just starting to figure out all the details of being a professional. One of the first things I learned is that you always have to be prepared for that shot and never wear your camera strap around your neck. (I already knew that one… that will lead to back pain and damaged cameras!) I was in a hurry and was looking for a strap that was affordable and with good reviews. I also wanted it to have a safety tether as well. This strap worked out perfectly. I wore it for two straight days at Disneyland and ended up with almost 1000 photos due to the ease of use of this strap. No back or shoulder pain either! It makes my camera feel more at home at my side. I have most recently used it for a trip to the mall where I followed my son with autism around, chronically the difficulties and excitement kids like his experience. This makes wearing my camera like second nature. No back pain and my camera are ready for use! I am less likely to miss that shot that I didn’t know was there!Read more reviews on Amazon.com
10. Peak Design Slide Lite
Another amazing option by Peak Design, the Slide Lite can hold all the way up to 200 lbs, allowing you to carry even heavy DSLR cameras with you on your hiking adventures. It can be worn in many different ways, depending on what’s the most comfortable for you. While it may not offer the stabilization that some other camera straps offer, this one will give you comfort and strength. It has a silicone grip along one side to ensure that it won’t be sliding back and forth, no matter where you put it.
Sample customer review… I really wanted to see this strap in person before purchasing, but I took the leap and am glad I did. I purchased this strap to replace the OEM strap that came with our Nikon D5100. That strap was fine, I just found myself wanting something a little longer so I could take photos without having to change the position of the strap around my neck or arm. The slide lite strap works great for me. Plenty long, and the option to attach to the left side and bottom make it great for wearing the camera in sling mode. I like this mode as it really allows for taking pictures without removing the camera from my neck. I haven’t had any issues with the strap sliding/extending on its own due to weight. The most it carries is a Nikon D5100 with an 18-200 mm zoom lens. The thickness of the strap is perfect, with no complaints of being too narrow and digging in. You can flip over the apex of the strap on your shoulder to engage the traction bumps to help secure the strap a little more.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
11. Keyhole Hands Free Camera Harness
An affordable hands-free option, the Keyhole Hands-Free Camera Harness is a great option for hikers. It comfortably holds your camera against your body, keeping it steady during your trek and preventing any swinging or banging into anything or your person. Weighing 3 ounces with an adjustable 1-inch strap it is ideal for heavier DSLRs and longer hiking trips with lots of gear to carry.
Sample customer review… I bought this to use with my Rebel t4i, which I had not yet had out on any kind of real excursion. I tested it out on a hike up Guadalupe Peak in Texas. It worked as advertised. You just need to be sure your backpack has the right straps in front for it to anchor to. (Common 1-inch straps.) It completely saved my neck from the strain of the camera strap, and it was so simple to reach down and pull the camera up to snap a picture. I even liked the lens cap keeper strap. The camera did not bounce around but held steady, and it was really simple to slip it back into place. I can’t imagine taking a long hike like that without this harness. It does make taking the pack off a little more complicated because you need to lift the camera out and unbuckle two more straps than normal, but considering the benefit, that’s worth a couple of extra seconds. The only thing I wish it had was a screw hole in the knob you screw into the bottom of the camera. Then you wouldn’t have to take the knob off to mount the camera on a tripod. Also, it would be nice to have some kind of keeper for the knob when the harness is being stored. I was afraid I’d lose it before I got there to use it.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
12. Matin Neoprene Fast Access Sling Strap Camera Belt
The Matin Sling Strap Camera Belt is another great option that ensures comfort while hiking with a neoprene padding in the strap. This the perfect strap for someone who would be more comfortable carrying their camera, with a reinforced diagonal strap rather than one around the neck.
The strap size sits at 15-inch length and 2.5-inch width. The diagonally placed strap reduces the strain on the neck from traditional camera straps and helps offset the weight of carrying a heavy camera with the long padded strap that extends onto the chest, taking away some pressure it would exert on the sternum and ribs.
The positioning of the camera on the hiker’s side allows for convenient access, with the help of a detachable 120° rotating quick release buckle. Another great added feature point is the built-in DSLR holder that prevents the camera from slipping while positioned behind the body.
Sample customer review… I decided to purchase a strap, dedicated only to my heavy lens. This lens is a Sigma 120-300 sports lens, that when it’s attached to 5Ds, weighs almost 10lbs or over 4kg! It is really heavy, but I just can’t resist the flexibility, quality, and that f2.8 on 300mm. If you don’t know what that means, let me make it very clear. A 5Ds with a Canon 70-200 2.8 II attachment (which is considered a relatively heavy lens) is a bit more than 5lbs! After a lot of research, I decided to buy this strap over the Black Rapid Sport because I had understood from reviews that this strap has more comfortable padding. So, as you can see in the photos, I attached the strap to my lens, not the camera, and put it like this in my bag. I used this combination for the first time at a wedding a few days ago, and it was so amazingly comfortable. Of course, I didn’t expect it to magically reduce the weight of my lens, and this strap held the lens super comfortably and tightly on my shoulder the entire time. The first thing that I did when I opened the package was to test the strength of the buckle. With my hands, I tried to tear the strap apart by pushing it in different directions, to make sure it doesn’t fail under my lens pressure. The result: the buckle didn’t give a thing that I was trying to break. So it was good. Also, it was very important for me to make sure I don’t accidentally open the buckle, and these wise craftsmen have thought it ahead. There is a third lock button on the buckle that makes it very difficult to open with one hand.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
13. Trekking 12313 Single Comfort Camera Strap
The Trekking Strap is a great option for both amateurs and pros alike at a great price. Wearable in two different ways, around your neck or across a shoulder, it has nice padding for extra comfort for a long hike. The strap is even adjustable so you can fit it to your shoulders just right.
It features durable clips that release quickly from your camera at a moment’s notice. Additionally, it includes two compartments for memory cards and batteries or anything else you might want to hold outside of a backpack in an easily accessible location. Extra storage is always a plus when you want to maximize space on a lightweight hike.
Sample customer review… I love this strap! I initially bought it because it’s one of the few straps around that has pouches big enough for batteries. I now have three. The padding is a nice feature, but the thing I really like is the way the quick disconnects are configured. The male and female disconnects are on opposite sides, so when the shoulder strap is disconnected, the two short straps can hook together to make a handle. It comes with two pairs of short straps, so the shoulder strap can be used on a camera bag with one of the pairs, and on the camera with the other pair. My only complaint is that the stitches on the upper side of the strap padding wore out after over a year of heavy usage. It is repairable.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing The Best Camera Strap For Hiking
Choosing the right hiking camera strap for your next trip isn’t as easy as you might think. Before you choose, here are some things you should consider to help you make the correct purchase for your specific purposes.
This is a pretty standard option for holding a camera in a secure and easily accessed place. If you’re looking for a less expensive option there are a lot of choices available for cheap. However, a neck strap can put considerable strain and pressure on the back of your neck especially if you’re planning on taking longer hikes with rougher terrain. Getting one with a lot of extra padding may be a little more expensive but worth it in the long run.
If you have a heavier camera, this might be a better option than a neck strap. It will take the pressure and weight off your neck especially if you have a history of neck problems or pain. However, it will put the weight on one shoulder so you should be sure to get a very padded one that might be a little more expensive but definitely worth it for longer trips. It may not be the best option if you’re carrying a backpack since the shoulder strap might interfere and make it uncomfortable.
This is a great option if you want to keep your camera on your belt or backpack without having any straps putting any strain on your shoulders or neck. While it’s a really cool way to carry around your camera outside your backpack, it really only works with smaller cameras. Your giant DSLR probably won’t fit comfortably on the holster.
A Chest Harness is a two-strap system that crosses over both shoulders, wrapping around your torso that will give you great support for heavier cameras. It can also be a great option for two cameras which some models accommodate. The biggest plus about this design is the camera weight being evenly distributed across your body, taking the strain off just your shoulders or neck.
Chest Harnesses offer a lot of extra safety to prevent accidental drops with the more expensive versions being the best in this aspect with top-notch holding systems that give easy access to the camera at all times. The best plus is the reduction of any excess camera movement against your body that can often be problematic on a long hike.
When finding the right camera strap for you or someone you are buying it is important to know what features will be the most beneficial. Everyone is created differently with features that are tailored to suit the needs of different aspects. Hopefully, after reviewing this list you have found the best camera strap for hiking that fits your needs.
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Written by Kathryn Timmerman and Alyssa Batzer
How do you carry your camera while hiking?
Ideally, you would want your camera to be accessible while you’re hiking. An easy way to do this is to attach your camera strap to your backpack. It’s suggested that you have the right gear to protect your equipment and a proper place to store your camera when you’re not hiking.
Do professional photographers use camera straps?
Many professional photographers use camera straps but it will depend on the person and the type of work they are doing.