REVIEW:  UPstrap Non-Slip SLR Shoulder Strap

    Average


 

I have kind of a tradition that when I get a new camera body, I always get a new strap for it.  I donít scavenge from another body, and I never use those gaudy factory ones.  In recent years, itís usually been a Tamrac N-35, but this time I decided to try something new.

A lot of big time pros have been touting the UPstrap Non-Slip SLR Shoulder Strap.  The UPstrap actually comes in three different models for carrying different items, but itís the SLR version that weíll talk about here.  Itís described as being for cameras over 2.25 pounds, and features "a single 60 inch piece of 1100 pound test 3/8" web, which will adjust in length from 56 inches to as short as 14 inches.  The patented polymer double sided non-skid pad is molded to the web.  Standard metal sliders and plastic keepers attach to the camera in the normal manner."

Attaching the UPstrap to your camera is a bit daunting at first, but if you remain calm and study the directions carefully, eventually you can figure out the correct sequence to follow.  When properly fitted, itís obvious that the slender strap is plenty strong enough to hold even the largest professional SLR and lens with complete confidence.

The nubby non-skid pad does an excellent job of holding in place on your shoulder regardless of the material of your clothing.  The leather strap on the Tamrac N-35 would slide on smooth fabrics like leather or nylon, but not the UPstrap.  It sticks like glue on even the slickest surfaces.

The product description for the UPstrap makes it clear that its designers intended it as a shoulder strap, not a neck strap, and they do not recommend using for that purpose.  When handholding a camera, I always throw the strap over my neck as a safety precaution against dropping it.  I donít let it dangle; it just gives me a backup in case the camera should slip.  The UPstrap works just fine in this way.

On the negative side, the narrow web straps get easily twisted.  If you donít care about that, it isnít a problem, but I seem to be forever untangling them.  The polymer pad is very thick, which makes it kind of heavy for the narrow straps, which exacerbates the tangling problem, and is kind of chunky to pack in the camera bag.  The manufacturer promises a "new super safe quick release that you can add to your current strap" is coming soon, which will help somewhat with that.  Quick releases have always made me very nervous, and I usually do not use them, but Iím curious to see what they have in mind.  At $32, itís a bit pricey for a camera strap, twice the price of the Tamrac N-35.

The jury is still out on this one.  I find myself missing my more conventional strap.  But it does what it was designed to do extremely well, so Iím going to stick with it and see if I can get used to it.

You can find more information and order UPstrap products at www.upstrap-pro.com.

UPDATE:  Despite the otherwise positive press, after several months of usage, I've downgraded my rating for this item to three stars.  The UPstrap has been removed from my camera and I've gone back to a Tamrac N-45.  The UPstrap did its job and did it well, but quite frankly, it drove me nuts.  The straps are plenty strong, but their thinness makes them prone to twisting, so I was forever untangling the thing.  The non-slip rubber pad is rather heavy, so it encouraged the tangling, and when I threw the strap over my neck, it would pull the whole thing down my back.  The UPstrap was designed to work solely as a shoulder strap, so I can't criticize it for that, but it didn't work out for me.  Your results may vary.

 

RATING SCALE
     A must have!
     Recommended
     Average
     Mediocre
     Don't bother

 

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