We’ve gone through many different camera straps over the years. Like camera bags, straps are one of those things that, for some reason, have never quite perfectly fit our needs. We’ve searched high and low for the best strap solution over the last 6 years.
We’ve used the stock neck straps that came with our cameras, attempted to make our own camera straps, bought various third party straps, sling straps, leather straps and even ditched the neck straps altogether. Can the Peak Design Slide strap break through as the perfect camera strap?
We’ve been using the latest Peak Design camera straps: the standard sized Slide and Slide Lite models on our Sony a7III and a7S bodies. Thanks to the generosity of Hunt’s photo, we’ve had the opportunity to test these straps for several months, and now we’ve put together our thoughts on them both. Hunt’s was also kind enough to offer our readers 20% off Peak Design gear by following our link.
Design, Build and Aesthetic
The Slide and Slide Lite straps are contemporary designs, made from a nylon webbing that feels similar to a car seatbelt. The larger Peak Design Slide strap lives on our larger Sony a7III body, which is often mounted with our larger lenses, like the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6. The smaller Peak Design SlideLITE strap supports our smaller Sony a7S which usually has the smaller lenses, like an adapted Voigtlander 35mm f/2.5 Color-Skopar, attached.
The straps come in either “Black” or “Ash” grey strap colors. We chose the “Black,” which looks like a very dark grey, particularly due to the glossy sheen of the nylon strap.
Other than their size, both strap designs (the regular and Lite) look very similar in design and function, but there are subtle differences.
The Slide Lite strap, while less broad, is also made of much stiffer nylon webbing than the regular Slide strap. I personally think that the regular Slide’s broader strap and less stiff nylon makes it a bit more comfortable than the Slide Lite. The regular Slide strap also has a length of padding inside the center section of the strap, making it feel softer and more supportive.
Both straps are comfortable to use, but the bigger brother comes out ahead for us, almost solely based on feel.
On both straps, one side has a length of silicone rubber grip, while the opposite side is slick, naked nylon strap. The slick side is preferable to use when used as a neck strap or sling strap, in order to allow for fast adjustment. The grippy side is for use as a shoulder strap, to keep it in place.
The quick-adjusters on the straps are constructed with a combination of plastic and aluminum alloy hardware.
There are small red stitching highlights (or blue on the Ash colored strap) and some of the hardware on the adjusters is anodized red. All of the metal or plastic hardware is very nicely machined and molded and maintains a very high level of quality and aesthetic appeal.
The small “Anchor Link” lugs that attach the strap to the camera are also highlighted with a red ring. Overall, the hardware is clean and simple looking with a premium feel.
Even after 5 months of use, our straps look like they’re new. I expect to get many years of use out of these Peak Design straps.
Real World Function
Functionally, the strap works as either a sling strap, neck strap, or shoulder strap.
When using as an across-the-chest sling or over the neck, the adjusters allow the length of the strap to be adjusted quickly.
The Anchor Links feature a very thin, but very strong, loop of cord that allows them to be installed on the camera lugs quickly. It’s much nicer than the typical webbing on stock camera straps because it allows for more degrees of freedom in movement and strap position and is not prone to torquing if the strap gets twisted.
Also included is a low-profile “Anchor Mount” that can screw into any 1/4″-20 tripod thread on a camera. We prefer looping one Anchor Link onto the screw-in Anchor Mount (or the Peak Design Tripod Plate for the Capture Clip) on the bottom of the camera in order to force the camera to sit in a lens-down position.
The lens-down position is a more comfortable way to carry big heavy lenses, like our Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6.
In practice, I found the slick side of the Peak Design strap to be particularly slippery. So, if quickly throwing the camera over a shoulder, it’s super important to make sure that the rubberized side is against the shoulder so that it doesn’t immediately slip off. Because of the design of the strap length adjusters, this orientation of the strap is actually counter-intuitive: it places the adjustment unlocking mechanism towards the photographer’s body. It’s not a problem; I like having the option of both a slick and a grippy side. It just takes some getting used to for the best function and security.
Where the design of the Slide strap shines is in use as a sling strap or a neck strap, with the slick side of the strap against the photographers body.
For a limited time, our readers can save 20% on all Peak Design Gear at Hunt’s Photo. Just follow this link.
In this use scenario, it’s super easy and fast to unlock the adjusters and change the length of the strap to the perfect position.
Sometimes I want my camera strap short and around my neck and other times long and over my shoulder, with the camera at my side. The Slide strap makes it possible to change between these drastically different lengths in just a couple seconds.
One criticism I have of these straps is the aluminum locking bar of the strap length adjusters. It’s a U-shaped machined piece of anodized aluminum that flips either up or down to lock the adjustment of the strap. Functionally, it’s brilliant, but it poses a small problem when attempting to store the camera in a bag with the strap attached. The hard edges of the aluminum locking mechanism are hard enough to scratch or abrade upon equipment. For this reason, I usually try to remember to remove the Slide strap before storing it in my bag.
One of my absolute favorite functions of the Slide strap is actually being able to not use the strap at all. With the quick-releasable Anchor Link system, the Slide strap can be removed very quickly from the camera, without fussing with webbing lugs or weaving a strap through a slip lock. Just press in on the Anchor Link and slide it out of the Slide strap’s lug. Sometimes all I want is a wrist strap and the Peak Design strap works perfectly in conjunction with the wrist straps we already keep on our a7III and a7S.
Very often, I shoot on a tripod and dangling straps always pose an issue. They get in the way of the ballhead adjustments, swing in and catch the wind, and can be a catch hazard if someone is walking by. So, being able to rapidly remove the strap from the camera when shooting on a tripod is probably my favorite feature of the Peak Design Slide strap. Nothing to swing in the wind and shake the tripod, out of sight and out of mind. Then, when it’s time to move on, I can quickly click the Anchor Locks back in the Slide strap lugs and carry the camera around my neck.
As a bonus, if you already have a strap you love but want the best attachment/detachment method, Peak Design sells the Anchor Links and Lugs for installing on any camera strap of your choice.
Conclusions and Verdict
The Peak Design Slide and Slide Lite straps are the best camera straps we’ve used so far. They’re not perfect, but they’re close.
The straps are nicely designed and built, fast to adjust, and fast to remove from the camera. Photographers using this strap will just need to be mindful of the metal adjuster hardware as a possible source of gear-scratching when storing a camera in the bag with the Slide strap installed.
Our favorite feature of the Slide strap is the Anchor Link system for secure attachment and fast removal of the strap.
Peak Design Slide/Lite Strap Pros:
- Anchor Links offer fast installation and removal
- Adjusters are very fast for changing the length of the strap while worn
- Top-notch build quality
- Regular Slide strap offers comfortable fit, even with large lenses
- Included Anchor Mount allows for additional strap mounting positions
Peak Design Slide/Lite Strap Cons:
- Adjuster metal locking bar may scratch gear in storage
- Slide Lite strap is not padded and is also stiffer, making it a little less comfortable than the regular Slide strap.
Peak Design Slide Strap Verdict: 4.8/5
Peak Design Slide Lite Strap Verdict: 4.3/5
Thanks again to the team at Hunt’s Photo for providing us with the Peak Design Slide and Slide Lite straps for this review. Without them, this post would not have been possible. Also, thanks to Hunt’s, you can follow our link to save 20% on Peak Design gear from Hunt’s Photo. For Reference, this is all the equipment mentioned in our review:
- Peak Design Slide Strap (Black / Ash)
- Peak Design Slide Lite Strap (Black / Ash)
- Peak Design Anchor Links
- Peak Design Capture Clip
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