Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: BosStrap Camera Sling

I'll start this by saying I don't like traditional camera straps. For me, they are uncomfortable because they put the weight of the camera on my neck and that gets tiring during a day in the field. Even when I had a camera strap, I rarely used it over my neck. I normally carried my camera in my hand. I would sometimes sling the camera over my shoulder, but that's about it. I don't like having my camera bouncing around in front of me. I also don't like the "tourist" look of camera straps and they often get in the way while shooting. Most camera straps attach in a semi-permanent fashion and are difficult to remove. They're the same kind of problems presented by binocular neck straps before chest harness carry systems were developed.

So I began looking for a different method of carry. I found a couple of sling systems that looked interesting. I liked the fact that a sling puts the camera at your side rather than directly in front. The first slings I found attached to the camera via the tripod socket. During my research, I discovered a couple of issues that made me think twice. The biggest issue was that by attaching the sling to the tripod socket, the camera was carried in the upside down position which put all of the weight on the tripod socket. I found that the major camera manufacturers don't recommend the tripod socket for this purpose. It's not intended to hold that weight. The other issue with that attachment method is you have to remove the sling system in order to use a tripod. That may not be a big issue for some people, but I decided to continue looking for other options. I liked the sling idea and concentrated on finding additional products that were similar.

Enter the BosStrap Camera Sling System. I haven't been this excited about an accessory in a long time! The BosStrap Sling has been nothing short of a joy to use! It's lightweight, strong, adjustable, easy to remove, and can be used with multiple camera bodies.

The BosStrap was developed by an amateur photographer of 40 years with a background in mechanical engineering. The strap is made from the same material as seat belts. It's very soft, yet very strong. The strap is 1 1/2" wide, eliminating the need for a bulky shoulder pad. It has two buckles which allow for a wide range of adjustment depending on your body size and clothing.

BosStrap camera sling

There are only two pieces to the system - the BosStrap sling which goes over your shoulder, and the BosTail which attaches to your camera strap lug. This solves the issue I mentioned about the tripod socket. By attaching to the actual camera strap lug, the BosStrap carries your camera upright using a point designed to hold the weight. It also keeps the tripod socket free for use.

The BosTail attaches the same way a standard camera strap would, except that it has a metal ring at the end. It is recommended that the BosTail be attached to the camera strap lug on the left side of your camera. The BosStrap has a metal ring with a TriggerLoc clip that clips to the ring on the BosTail.

BosTail attached to left camera strap lug

The TriggerLoc clip allows you to quickly and easily attach and detach your camera to and from the sling. If you have multiple camera bodies, you only need one BosTail on each camera and you can use the same sling when changing cameras.

TriggerLoc clip attached to BosTail

Setup of this system is very easy. Once you have the BosTail on your camera and have adjusted the BosStrap to fit you, you're good to go! The metal ring on the BosStrap slides freely up and down the sling and makes the system very fast. The BosStrap itself remains stationary on your body. The camera is moved quickly from your side to eye level by the sliding metal ring. If you want to remove the camera, simply open the TriggerLoc clip and the sling can remain over your shoulder.

These next photos show the BosStrap sling in place and you can see how the camera is positioned. The black adjustment buckles on the BosStrap should be worn on your back. This keeps the front side free so the metal ring can slide up and down with the camera.

Front view - BosStrap over right shoulder
Side view
Back view - note adjustment buckle is on the back

The instructions tell you to wear your camera on the right side (BosStrap over left shoulder), but it can be worn either way and the BosTail stays on the left camera strap lug for either side. I wear mine so my camera is on my left side and I prefer to have my camera facing backwards. If I were to accidentally bump into something, I would rather bump into it with the back of my camera than the front of my lens. That's just a personal preference, though. The nice thing about this sling is you can wear it on your left or right side with your camera facing forward or backward - whatever works best for you.

I have found the most comfortable positions for my camera to be either just above or just below my hip. When I want to use my camera, I simply grab the lens barrel with my left hand and bring the camera up into shooting position. Because there's no strap attached to the right side of the camera, there's nothing to get in the way of vertical shots and no annoying strap getting tangled up in your shooting hand.

From a practical field use standpoint, the BosStrap is fast, secure, and easy to use. It's very comfortable and keeps the weight on your shoulder rather than your neck. Because the sling is made from seat belt material, it has a very low profile and doesn't get in the way of other activities. This carry system keeps your camera out of the way when you need to be hands-free.

The BosStrap Camera Sling is made in the USA and costs $39.95 and is available at many online retailers. I got mine directly from BosStrap and shipping was fast. If you have more than one camera body, you can order BosTails individually. I love this carry system and, as I've said before, if I didn't think it was a quality product, I wouldn't recommend it. As a disclaimer, I am not associated with BosStrap and was not asked to write a review. I'm doing it simply because I think it's a great way to carry my camera and wanted to share the information.

This system may not appeal to everyone and I'm sure it's not the perfect solution to every carry problem. However, if you're unimpressed with traditional camera straps like I am or you spend a lot of time in the field, this may be a solution worthy of consideration.

I do have to give props to my little girl who took the photos of me wearing the BosStrap! It saved me from having to set up another camera with the self-timer and all that jazz. Thanks, sweetie!

 BosStrap Website


Carole Meisenhelter said...

interesting product, sounding quite comfortable to work with. I agree with the neck-weight issue since I have ongoing neck problems myself, this BosStrap could be a good investment; thanks for an informative guide/article. Oh, and cudos to your little one and her great photographic shoot too.

Liz said...

Very interesting post. Thanks BJK! Great shooting by your little girl.
I am rather jealous of your camera gear!

TexWisGirl said...

i like the sliding ring design. definitely makes it handy. and the side carry, too - not clunking in front of you the whole time. looks like a great product for someone who does a lot of field photography and/or hiking.

it looks like you have another photographer in the family! :)

Amish Stories said...

I know your serous about taking pictures with a camera like that, and maybe one day ill buy something of that quality for my own picture taking. Richard

chasity said...

it does look comfortable... now only if it were pink with flowers on it.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Look out, BJK! Little K is in the house! :)

Coloradocasters said...

Nice! I use a neck strap for my smaller digital cameras. Strapping things up keeps them from falling in the water. Great stuff.

Dawn said...

I've been hating the neck strap and bouncing camera and wondering what to do. Fancy item....good review.

barbara l. hale said...

I have one of these and love it. It makes carrying the camera around for long periods much more comfortable. I thought I would only use it sporadically but it is on my camera all the time these days.