There’s no lack of cross-body camera straps on the market (or on the shelves where I stow my gear). So when Custom SLR‘s new Air Strap—a Kickstarter project that raised over $132,000—landed on my desk last week, I wasn’t sure whether I’d use it or just add it to the “try-it-later” pile of accessories awaiting testing.
One of my biggest gripes with camera straps (and camera bag straps) is that their shoulder pads are often too large and too inflexible to be really comfortable for someone like me who doesn’t have broad shoulders.
Air Strap’s shoulder pad, however, is constructed out of neoprene and is thin enough to be flexible and has a little bit of stretch, so it doesn’t dig into my shoulder or neck. While the pad is still a little wide, it’s contoured and fits pretty well. One of Custom SLR’s marketing points is its “breathable vents and air wicking fabric.” Because it’s been a little chilly on the east coast, I can’t vouch for the promise that the pad will “channel heat and sweat away from your shoulder,” but my guess is that it will. More importantly, it doesn’t cut into my shoulder or neck.
The actual straps attach separately and feature plastic buckles designed to allow the straps to swivel while positioning the camera for shooting. Attaching the straps to the camera lugs is a little confusing, though and no directions were included in the box. Fortunately, there’s a YouTube video that clearly explains how to set up the strap according to which shoulder you’re going to use it on. This is critical since one side has a quick adjust slider to shorten or lengthen it for shooting/carrying. Once that’s done, and after a couple of tries, the Air Strap works pretty well when you want to move the camera to your eye. Check out the demo below to see it in action.
The Air Strap can be attached via the camera’s lugs or via an optional ($39.95) C-Loop accessory, which allows the strap to rotate and seems like the best option. Either way, the Air Strap—from my limited time with it—seems like another good option for photographers who want a comfortable cross-body camera strap.
Custom SLR exceeded their Kickstarter goals and will be available to order from Custom SLR in the Spring for $19.95! That’s such a great price that we’re double-checking to make sure it’s correct.