The best camera strap for hiking and backpacking

The Best Camera Strap For Hiking And Backpacking In 2023 (+ Alternatives)

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Are you looking for the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking? Here’s my top pick for both durability + versatility:

My top choice is The Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3 (with Plate)!

The main problem with using a traditional camera strap for hiking and backpacking is that you can’t stop your camera from swinging, which is not only annoying for you, but also potentially bad for the camera.

This clip is the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking because it keeps your camera securely in place while you hike, which eliminates both of those issues.

It even beats even a camera harness (another alternative in this list) because a harness still puts pressure on your body like a strap, causing soreness (and sweat).

I’ve dealt with the issue of my camera hitting things when I hike (especially on archaeological excavations where I’m hiking around the tel, or in underground tunnels and more all day)! I usually end up holding the camera in my hand, and that becomes impossible when you have to use both hands in parts of a hike – besides being downright annoying.

Here’s a video that shows how it works:

Read more about the camera clip below – including pros and cons – and then see the other alternatives included in this list to make the choice for what’s best for you!

📸 👉 All of the camera strap options in this list are excellent choices for both left- and right-handed photographers.

When it comes to choosing the best camera straps for backpacking, there are certain things to look for in a camera strap. At the same time, you may want different things for various levels of activity and comfort – short or flat hikes are not equal to steep climbs – so read on to find your perfect fit!

The Best Camera Strap For Hiking and Backpacking (+ Alternatives)

Sarah taking a photo of the monastery at Petra in Jordan, which requires a hike!

1. Overall Best Camera Strap For Hiking and Backpacking: A Camera Clip (aka, not a strap at all)

The Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3 (with Plate) isn’t a camera strap, but it does you one better: it’s a clip that stops the movement that a strap necessitates, making it an excellent choice for hiking and high-activity situations.

The clip is basically a camera mount that you can clip onto a backpack strap, belt etc.

Pros

✔️ Holds cameras (DSLR, Mirrorless, Point-and-Shoot), as well as lenses, GoPros or binoculars with the peak design adapter plates and kits

✔️ Lifetime Warranty included

✔️ Has a quick-release button that can withstand over 200 lbs of force

Cons

✔️ You have to have a strap of the correct size it can clip to

✔️ The plate doesn’t work well with tripods, so you’ll need a separate one for those

✔️ Screws come loose for some people over time

Specs

  • Made of strong and light aluminum
  • Measures 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Weighs 5.1 ounces
  • Excellent quality
  • Holds over 200 lbs of weight
  • Best for mirrorless cameras
  • Works on straps 2.5” (6.4 cm) wide x .88” (2.2 cm) thick
  • Comes with a wrench for the hex screws and a carrying pouch

You’ll love this camera clip if you’re looking for a better solution than a strap, and for something more sturdy for backpacking (especially more active hiking and other activities)!

📸 Buy the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3 (With Plate)

camera DSLR photography - the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking doesn't even have a strap!

Wondering how it will feel to carry your camera like this? You can always attach a wrist strap like this one (also made by Peak Design, that also comes with anchor links) so you have something to give you more confidence when removing and replacing your camera from the clip!

dslr camera photography - best camera strap for hiking and backpacking might not be a traditional strap!
A traditional camera strap doesn’t always do the trick!

2. Best Camera Strap For Hiking and Backpacking: A Camera Sling with Clip-ons for Backpack Straps

The BlackRapid Camera Sling with Clip-ons for Backpack Straps actually clips onto your backpack straps so you can avoid the weight all going behind your neck/shoulders, not to mention the sweat issues! It’s still a cross-body strap, it just distributes the weight better via your backpack.

Pros

✔️ Carabiners are the clips, so they can be attached to anything

✔️ There are spring-loaded bumper locks for your camera, as well as strong locking carabiners for security

✔️ Adjustable length for different heights and comfort level, and can be used for right- or left-handed photographers

Cons

✔️ You’ll still need a backup strap for when not wearing a backpack

✔️ Might be awkward to change out the lens if you have additional lens in your backpack

✔️ The carabiner attaches to the camera tripod mount, so with a lot of activity the screws will naturally loosen (there is a safety tether included for additional safety, which helps with this)

Specs

  • Dimensions: 6.01 x 1.41 x 2.41 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Nylon Webbing, 31.5” adjustable length
  • Spring-loaded bumper locks
  • LockStar ConnectR cover to secure carabiner
  • CR-3 ConnectR Locking Carabiner
  • Camera Safety TetheR
  • FR-5 FastenR Breathe
  • Snap-Link Carabiners for backpack
  • Backpack-compatible cross-body strap

You’ll love this camera strap if you’re a backpacker who always has your backpack on, and wants to distribute the weight to take it off one shoulder or your neck but still with a camera strap!

📸 Buy the BlackRapid Camera Sling with Clip-ons for Backpack Straps

the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking - photography in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan

3. Best Camera Strap For Hiking and Backpacking: A Sling-Style Camera Harness

The Cotton Carrier Skout Sling Style Harness is perfect for the intense hiker, and for inclement weather – it comes with a weather cover, and since the harness holds the camera next to your body, it really protects your gear. Also, it only goes over one shoulder and has less bulk than many harnesses out there!

Pros

✔️ Patented lock and twist mechanism to keep your camera safe and secure, and cuts out bouncing of camera while hiking

✔️ Comes with a 3-year warranty and a weather cover

✔️ Easy to get on and off (doesn’t go over your head)

Cons

✔️ Have to use a separate tool for a tripod

✔️ Some people don’t like the connecting mechanism in reviews (while others are fine with it), so it’s something you’ll have to try for yourself

✔️ Best for lighter/smaller cameras for security

Specs

  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 8 x 2.7 inches
  • Weight: 7.1 ounces
  • Weather cover and case included that hooks to the harness
  • 3-year warranty included
  • Quick release camera tether included to prevent against accidental drops
  • Patented twist and lock mechanism keeps camera in place and ready to use
  • Hard-anodized aluminum hub with slotted hole for adjustment and tripod use.
  • Made with Lexan camera mounts, hand-tooled anodized aluminum hubs, and polypropylene nylon webbing and straps.

You’ll love this harness if you have a smaller or more lightweight camera, and want to be able to move around while hiking and not have to watch your camera or hold it in your hand to keep it from swinging!

📸 Buy the Cotton Carrier Skout Sling Harness

the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking - sometimes you need a camera strap that works with you!

4. Best Camera Strap for Hiking and Backpacking: A Versatile Camera Strap for Everything

The Peak Design SL-BK-3 Slide is a camera strap that goes above and beyond the other typical straps: it has connectors that can bear up to 200 pounds, plus it’s made with materials that make it better. Basically, it’s just more versatile than other camera straps.

Pros

✔️ You can configure this strap for neck, sling or shoulder strap use

✔️ Quick connecting buckle, anchor connectors, and hex wrench and carry bag included

✔️ High range of length adjustment with internally-padded webbing for comfort

Cons

✔️ The included plate is not suitable for tripods, so you’ll need your own tripod plate

✔️ The clips can wear out over time and with use, but they include a warning system and you can purchase replacement clips

✔️ There are multiple parts/pieces to configure, which requires a bit more set-up than a regular strap

Specs

  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 0.012 ounces
  • 3 straps in 1
  • Includes 4 quick connectors
  • Includes a quick connecting buckle
  • 2 quick-pull adjusters
  • Comes with hex wrench & carrying bag

You’ll love this camera strap if you want something that’s a classic camera strap, but that you can more easily make into a cross-body strap, and more easily use to take photographs and adjust as needed.

📸 Buy the Peak Design Slide Camera Strap

the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking - taking photos while hiking is different from other types of photography!

5. Best Camera Strap For Hiking and Backpacking: A Leather Camera Strap

Sometimes, you just want a comfortable camera strap without all the bells and whistles. Some people hate having the added set-up some of these require, besides ring connectors.

If you’re looking for just a great camera strap, the MegaGear MG1515 Sierra Series Genuine Leather Camera Shoulder or Neck Strap is great for backpacking because it will hold up a long time (hello, leather – as long as you’re not vegan, in which case, go back to the Peak Design SL-BK-3 Slide Strap)!

Pros

✔️ Genuine leather, which makes it comfortable and durable

✔️ The strap is secure, soft and adjustable, and nonslip, and can be carried over the shoulder or around the neck

✔️ Fits all cameras universally, without needing any added parts or set-up

Cons

✔️ It’s leather, so it will show some wear and tear as leather does; however, leather will last and is durable

✔️ No quick-release mechanism

✔️ Not very adjustable and shorter in length

Specs

  • Dimensions: 45.16 x 0.24 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.76 ounces
  • Genuine leather
  • Comes with ring connectors to connect the strap to the camera

You’ll love this leather camera strap if you want a classic camera strap that’s stylish while being simple, comfortable and durable!

📸 Buy the MegaGear Genuine Leather Camera Strap

the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking is something that will be safe and secure as you hike and move around!

6. Best Camera Strap for Hiking and Backpacking: The Spider Holster

The Spider Holster, much like the other non-traditional strap options, takes the camera’s weight (and sweat) off of your neck and shoulders – it goes on your waist/hips! They have ones for DSLR and Mirrorless, plus options for if you’re carrying two cameras of either kind – and, if you buy one for a single camera, there’s an add-on you can buy if you decide to carry two cameras!

It comes with the belt and holster(s), plus a camera plate (or two, depending which one you buy).

Pros

✔️ Easy to use with attachable plate system, similar to the camera clip

✔️ Your camera locks in with a self-locking design, but there’s also an optional “quick-draw” release position so you can quickly grab your camera without having to unlock it

✔️ Has a universal mount for compatibility with all tripod adapter plates

Cons

✔️ Some people have trouble with the screws being loose (possibly Fuji camera issue)

✔️ You’ll have to test it to see if it’s a comfortable option for you personally

✔️ For traveling, it can be a bit bulky – especially compared to the Peak Design Clip!

Specs

  • Plates are made with Stainless Steel
  • CNC machined aluminum frame & stainless steel Anti-Twist Spider Pins and triple-lock buckle for security
  • One size fits most: the belt adjusts from 28″-50″ (71-127cm).

Here’s a video so you can see how it works:

📸 Buy the Spider Holster

Important Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Camera Strap For Hiking and Backpacking in 2023

Sarah taking pictures at tel Gezer in Israel doing archaeology - shadows

✔️ Price

Consider your budget before buying your camera strap. How much are you willing to spend? Once you know your budget, then decide which strap to purchase.

✔️ Materials

Materials like Nylon, Neoprene and Leather are the best for camera straps because they’re the most durable, comfortable and breathable – especially for backpacking and long hikes.

✔️ Features

Features to look for in the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking:

  • Adjustability – lets you move more and keeps your camera from moving too much
  • Padding for comfort
  • Supporting straps
  • Breathability (Mesh)
  • Durability – make sure it’s going to last a long time, or if not that there’s some kind of warranty or lifetime guarantee in place

Must-Have Camera Accessories for Hiking and Backpacking

best camera strap for hiking and backpacking

✅ SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Cards

SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Cards are the best for DSLR, Mirrorless and Point-and-Shoot cameras. They prevent many issues with photography and video that happen with lower quality memory cards.

📸 Buy SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Cards

✅ Best Tripod for Hiking and Backpacking

This lightweight, 4-in-1 tripod is easiest to bring for hiking and backpacking, and can be used for cameras, smartphones, and as a monopod and trekking pole!

📸 Get a Lightweight 4-in-1 Travel Tripod

✅ Portable External Hard Drive for Backups

Seagate is one of the best brands for these, and they hold up well – plus, this one is 2TB so it’ll last awhile! You always want to back up your photos and videos on the cloud and on an external hard drive for safekeeping!

📸 Buy a SanDisk Portable Hard Drive

✅ Waterproof Backpack

The Peak Design Everyday V2 20L waterproof hiking backpack will fit your camera and accessories. It’s also top-rated by reviewers and companies!

🎒📸 Learn More About the Peak Design Everyday V2 20L backpack here

✅ Waterproof Camera Insert Case

You need somewhere to put your camera when it’s not being used, or if the weather really acts up: this insert case is water-resistant, and it fits into any backpack or bag, making it perfect for backpacking!

📸 Get the Waterproof Camera Insert Case

Conclusion: The Best Camera Strap For Hiking and Backpacking

the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking is something that doesn't make you hold your camera the whole time to avoid discomfort, sweat and the camera swinging everywhere!
The best camera strap for hiking and backpacking is something that doesn’t make you hold your camera the whole time to avoid discomfort, sweat and the camera swinging everywhere!

Choosing the best camera strap for hiking and backpacking depends on a few factors: your own individual preferences and needs, plus the best products that exist on the market. I hope this list of options helps you find your perfect backpacking camera strap to help you get more phenomenal photographs!

Check out these posts for more photography tips & info:
📸 The 5 Best DSLR Cameras Under $300 In 2023
📸 How to take amazing landscape photos
📸 The Best Cameras for Surf Photography
📸 Amazing Lake Photography Ideas (Full Guide)

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