After researching more than 20 products, USA Gear Digital Camera Harness Strap is my top pick of the best camera straps for hiking.
I started my travel and photography journey when I was ten. My dad is an amateur photographer and I have been on many photography trips with him to the mountains. I know how uncomfortable it feels to carry a camera around with a neck strap while hiking.
USA Gear chest harness strap is great for hiking because it evenly distributes the weight of your camera to prevent extra stress on your shoulder and neck. Say goodbye to neck pain! It also helps stabilize your camera and prevent camera swing.
Of course, if chest harness is not your favorite, you have several other options to choose from. Thanks to new technology and talented designers today, there are different straps designed for all types of photographers and hikers.
Keep reading to find out more!
- Best Overall: USA Gear Digital Camera Harness Strap
- Best for Backpackers: BlackRapid Backpack Camera Strap
- Best Wrist Strap (Love it or hate it): MoKo Braided 550 Paracord
Best Camera Straps for Hiking: Top Picks
There are many different types of camera straps but not all are suitable for hiking. The camera straps that I picked below will make your hiking experience more enjoyable.
1. USA Gear Digital Camera Harness Strap (Best Overall)
In general, a chest harness strap is more comfortable than a crossbody strap because the weight is evenly distributed. That’s why this strap from USA Gear is great because it helps reduce stress from your neck and shoulders.
Its quick-release buckle really makes sure that you don’t miss a thing because you can just grab your camera in a second and capture the moment!
This product uses Neoprene, a material that is perfect for different weather conditions and temperatures. Extra padding makes the straps more comfortable for your shoulders.
Another thing I love about this camera strap is that it has 2 built-in storage pockets to keep small accessories.
In addition, this strap works with most cameras such as DSLR, mirrorless cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Kodak, Sony, Panasonic, Pentax, and more.
Well, nothing is perfect. Some users think that this chest harness hangs the camera quite low and the camera is facing down. It may cause some discomfort when you carry a longer lens.
2. BlackRapid Backpack Camera Strap (Best for Backpackers)
I am not huge a fan of hiking with a large backpack, but if you like to carry your daypack with you to hike, this camera strap designed for connecting to the backpack is probably the best option for you.
This type of strap clips directly to your backpack buckle, so there won’t be any extra straps on your shoulder or neck. Extra straps can get messy sometimes.
Having trouble finding the right length? No worries! This backpack camera strap allows you to adjust the length of your strap base on your height & size.
It’s super easy and quick to connect your camera to your backpack. Connect two carabiners to your backpacks, and one to your camera.
Cam-Locks keeps your camera safe. It prevents you from accidentally unlocking your camera.
Make sure to tighten your camera with FastenR (the part you use to attach your camera to the carabiner), and close the lock on the carabiner.
Unlike other strap styles, this backpack strap can only be used when you are wearing a backpack. This is probably one of the downsides of it.
3. MoKo Braided 550 Paracord (Best Wrist Strap)
This camera wrist strap absolutely caught my attention. It’s stylish (almost looks like a bracelet) and of great value.
Wrist straps generally seem to be a bit weaker than normal neck/shoulder straps, but the fact is, they are quite strong. The Moko Camera Wrist Strap can hold up to 330lb (150kg). Quite impressive, right?
I also love its smart design. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and fashionable. And the strap is made from durable nylon material, so don’t worry about breaking it easily.
We all worry about dropping our camera right? With this wrist strap, you can easily adjust the length to fit your wrist and securely hold your camera.
Some photographers hate it because you basically don’t have freedom on one hand. Personally, I have nothing against it. It’s quicker to grab your camera than any other straps because literally, you just have it in your hand!
How to Decide Which Camera Strap Fits You Best
Choosing the wrong camera straps might cause discomfort and neck pain during your hike. That’s why it’s so important to consider the factors below when making your purchase.
The materials used in traditional camera straps are nylon and leather. There are other materials as well such as cotton, neoprene, paracord, etc. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some are more stylish while others are more comfortable and practical.
A leather strap, for example, can look so classy and comfortable but you wouldn’t want to use it on a hiking day because it can get quite heavy and make you sweat a lot due to its thickness.
Nylon strap also has its advantages such as waterproof, cost-effective, however, it might not be the most comfortable one to use for long hours of hiking.
For camera straps, there are three common styles and each has its own best using scenarios.
Neck/Shoulder Strap: The most common camera strap that photographers get. Although it’s not the best option for hiking or other outdoor sports, it is the most fashionable and versatile option. You know, photographers are stylish.
Wrist Strap: Goes around your wrist. If you like to use a handbag, you probably wouldn’t mind using a wrist strap. However, it’s not suggested for heavy cameras.
Chest Harness: Cross over your torso. Super recommended for long hours hike and if you like to hike light like me. It reduces the stress from the neck and shoulders and allows your arms to move freely.
The wider the better! Why?
Because a wider strap is more comfortable especially when you are doing a long hike because it distributes the camera’s weight more evenly. A thin strap is only good if you have a small or lighter mirrorless camera.
Even a few inches make a difference!
27-29 inches are the favorite options for neck-straps fans. 23-26 inches are great for shoulder strap lovers because the shorter length prevents the camera from swinging too much.
I like hiking with light gear, usually just a small backpack because I do suffer a lot of neck and back pain due to daily work. Therefore, USA Gear Digital Camera Harness Strap is the best choice for me. The options listed above are also worth considering.
I hope you find this review helpful. If you do end up getting one of my recommended camera straps, or have better camera strap suggestions, I’d love to hear some feedback from you.