A Detailed Look at the New Outer Shell Camera Straps

Photographers can be a stubborn bunch when it comes to their affinities for particular camera brands, formats, processing methods, etc. For me, camera straps are no different; once I find one I like, I stick with it. Admittedly, I have a lot of cameras and, for the most part, favorite straps for each.

I recently swapped out the straps on my most heavily-used analog cameras for two new rope straps from San Fransisco-based Outer Shell. I also started using their stabilizing wide strap for my primary digital camera setup, which I often cross-body carry while riding. Continue reading below for my thoughts on how these straps stack up in comparison to what I was previously using.

With the addition of two new rope straps for lighter cameras, Outer Shell has created a line-up of straps, all utilizing the same Op/Tech buckle attachment system. The wide camera strap for “active photographers” has been Outer Shell’s mainstay, undergoing iterative improvements over the years based on internal and customer feedback. The bespoke new wrist and cross-body straps are made from hollow-core accessory climbing rope and intended for use with smaller, lighter-weight, cameras.

Outer Shell’s Wide Camera Strap

I’m a big fan of carrying my camera cross-body on certain types of rides. Typically, if I’m documenting a tour or an event, I’ll store my camera in my V1 Fabio’s Fanny and intermittently across my body using a stabilized strap when I want it even more accessible. In the past, my go-to has been the Rider Strap from PS Bagworks, which features Peak Design Anchor Links and a removable cross-body stabilizing strap with Fidlock magnetic closure that’s easy to clip/unclip one-handed. As Outer Shell explains on their website, the action of unclipping a magnetic buckle and swinging the camera around is similar to using a messenger sling bag.

I originally purchased the Rider Strap because of the Anchor Links, which are rated at an astonishing 200lbs each, whereas the Op/Tech Mini QD Loops used on the comparable strap from Outer Shell have a tensile rating of 44lbs and carrying capacity of 2.5lbs. My Sony a9 with Sigma 28-70 lens weighs around 4lbs, so the Anchor Links seemed like the way to go.

Outer Shell’s stabilized Camera Strap, which I’ve recently switched over to, also features a removable cross-body strap with a Fidlock magnetic buckle for ease of access. Instead of using only 1″ webbing throughout, the OS strap doubles up with thicker 2″ webbing. This beefier surface offers additional weight displacement and prevents the strap from twisting when taking it on and off, and in and out of my fanny pack.

For me, the most notable aspects of this strap, however, are the quick-adjustment feature and replaceable anchor points. The ability to adjust the strap tension on the fly was a game-changer for me. Doing so ensures the most secure fit possible, and eliminated the bounce and sway that comes with a less-precise fit. I’m also using a tripod screw anchor with this setup, which I find adds a bit more security than attaching the stabilizer strap clip to the camera’s split ring. The only issue is that the anchor protrudes just enough to dig into my lumbar when the camera goes back into my hip pack.

Additionally, as noted above, the OS strap is equipped with Op/Tech Mini QD Loop anchors with the receiving end of the buckle affixed to the strap with a plastic slide, rather than stitched to the strap itself. This means that the anchors can be replaced if they break or swapped with something else (like the Peak Design Anchor Links).

My current camera kit consists of a Tamron 28-200 lens, which is considerably lighter than the Sigma lens I was using, weighing in at 2.8lbs total. While this is only slightly above the weight limit, the OS strap will enable me to remove the Op/Tech anchors and replace with Peak Design alternatives (Anchor Links), which I currently have on order. I think the Anchor Links will inspire more confidence in the strap’s carrying capacity. Another option for heavier cameras would be to avoid the quick-release anchors completely and affix the strap directly to the camera’s split rings. Just this week, Outer Shell started selling Anchor Links, so they can be included when ordering straps or other gear.

With all of that said, it is important to note that carrying a camera on a bike, outside of a protective padded enclosure, is probably not the best idea. While I’ve been doing it for years, I run the risk of severely damaging my expensive camera or, worse, crashing with my camera between the ground and my back, leading to potentially awful injuries.


– Removable sternum stabilizer strap (with Fidlock magnetic ‘slide release’ buckle)

– Adjustable length (22-40)” // Weight: 4 oz

– Ultra-tough molded nylon cord connection points made by OP/TECH USA (1.5 mm cord for compact cameras under 2.5lbs/1.13kg)

– For heavier cameras like DSLRs, easily remove the nylon cord connectors and use the webbing directly

– Included tripod-mount anchor, threads onto standard tripod receivers for an optional third anchor point


Outer Shell’s New Rope Straps

Building out their camera strap collection, Outer Shell just released two new models for lighter-weight cameras: a cross-body strap and wrist strap. While not as technical as their wide “active” strap, the new models incorporate some of the same features that make the original so useful. They’re made from hollowed-out accessory climbing rope, incorporate Op/Tech anchors, and each has a quick-adjust mechanism.

My Mamiya 7ii is my favorite camera and I use it a LOT. I’ve been relatively satisfied with the stock Mamiya strap over the years and, thus, haven’t had much of a reason to try anything new. The major flaw with most stock camera straps, though, is they are not easily removable. Have you ever tried to make long exposures in the dark with your camera mounted on a tripod and had the strap get all tangled up? Yeah, me too, and it sucks. Incorporating the anchor design from the wide strap, the new OS Rope Strap solves this problem with the included Op/Tech QD Loop anchors.

Additionally, like the wide strap, the Rope Strap is adjustable on the fly from 25″ to 42.” And it’s as comfortable as it is functional. The hollow-core rope is thinner than the stock Mamiya strap I’m used to, but its flat-laying double layer creates enough padding to distribute the weight of the 2lb M7ii when shouldered or carried cross-body.

The Wrist Strap is an elegant, yet practical, compliment to the longer rope strap. The Op/Tech anchor is thin enough to fit in the attachment point on my Contax T2, unlike some larger anchors. For folks wanting to use a shoulder/cross-body strap on a camera like the T2 that has only one attachment point, it is possible to attach one side of the camera strap onto the loop of the other anchor, effectively joining the two attachment points into one. Another option is to use a tripod screw anchor, sold individually, as a second attachment point. This method wouldn’t allow the T2 to fit in its stock case/sleeve, but it would add an extra bit of security.


– Adjustable length (25-42)” // Weight: 1 oz (31 g)

– Hollow rope construction lays flat

– Ultra-tough molded nylon cord connection points made by OP/TECH USA (1.5 mm cord for compact cameras under 2.5lbs/1.13kg)

– For heavier cameras like DSLRs, remove the OP/TECH connectors and use the webbing directly or upgrade to Peak Design Anchor Links (+$20)


Head on over to Outer Shell to see more about these straps and explore their collection of bags and accessories!