Comparing Black rapid hybrid breathe camera strap to a third party cheap strap


Camera strap comparison

Camera gear costs. Usually. Well, decent stuff costs anyway. So it's understandable that we look to save money where ever possible. Where do we look to save money though?

I received a Black Rapid Hybrid breathe camera strap to review and I already had a cheap strap from a few years ago. So it makes sense to compare the two. Although it's not a complete side by side review as the Black Rapid Hybrid breathe strap camera strap can hold two cameras, but it's good enough. 

I saw the cheap strap online and decided to give it a go with the intention on upgrading it if I liked it. That was my first mistake. The second mistake was using the cheap one.. See why at the bottom of the page!

When you first pick both straps up, build quality is immediately apparent. The Black Rapid strap is beautifully made and feels really nice to hold. The weight of the strap is very reassuring too. The shoulder pad is huge and very well padded. The cheap strap however, feels horrible straight away. The shoulder pad is significantly smaller in width, padding and length. It weighs next to nothing and the materials are clearly from a bin.. (Probably not from an actual bin but whatever).

Black Rapid hybrid breathe camera strap on the left and cheap camera strap on the right

Black Rapid hybrid breathe camera strap on the left and cheap camera strap on the right

Black rapid Hybrid breathe camera strap on the left. Cheap camera strap on the right. Showing the difference between the mesh shoulder pads.

Black rapid Hybrid breathe camera strap on the left. Cheap camera strap on the right. Showing the difference between the mesh shoulder pads.

 

Next is the strap itself. The cheap on feels like crap seatbelt. Nothing more. It's a smooth material an constantly slips and slides everywhere, shoulder pad included. The Black Rapid camera strap however is a thicker, less smooth material. And that's a good thing. It increases friction slightly which helps prevent the strap from slipping. An under arm strap further prevents slip. Another point to the Black Rapid.

Black Rapid Hybrid camera strap connector and 'Fastner' on the left. Cheap strap on the right

Black Rapid Hybrid camera strap connector and 'Fastner' on the left. Cheap strap on the right

Attaching the camera to both straps. The cheap on doesn't actually come with a fastener or anything. You have to buy one separately. The clip however, sucks! It's metal, which is ok. But the closing screw is very easy to unscrew, even by accident. There also isn't a secondary safety feature. So if the clip is unscrewed, it can easily open and potentially allow the camera to come off. Again, the Black rapid camera strap is vastly superior here too. The clips are made from high quality metals, the screws are very firm and the clips have plastic covers to prevent accidental openings. As you can probably tell, I love the Black Rapid camera strap.

The most important thing with camera gear is trust. Do you trust you equipment? I never trusted the cheap strap, and I had good reason not to! The thing used to allow my camera to swing like crazy when walking! I constantly had my lens crashing into things. The last straw was my camera literally falling from the clip itself! The clip had unfastened, and somehow managed to open. I noticed this when my camera hit the floor. Luckily it didn't break, but I've never used it again.

The difference in price at first seems steep. But if you have £3,000 camera gear hanging from the strap, can you afford to risk it on a cheap strap? The difference in price is negligible in comparison to spending on a new camera system because your strap broke it all!  

Be smart. Your equipment is only as safe as it's weakest link!

 

Read the review of the Black Rapid Hybrid breathe camera strap here.