Kodiak Leather Buffalo Leather Pilots Bag- $249

A quality and stylish briefcase is a real attention grabber and is a key element to a fashionable men’s and women’s wardrobe. Briefcases can hold the minimal – laptop and a few folders or the carry all – books, tech, folders and even cloths as an indispensable travel companion. 

Kodiak Leather’s Pilot Bag seems to fit the bill for both office and travel in its style, function and durability. 

About Kodiak Leather Co.

Kodiak Leather Co. of Utah is a startup in Lehi, Utah founded by Jared Morse, an outdoorsman who was frustrated by the lack of reasonably priced leather bags that would hold up through all the wear and tear of daily use. This inspired Jared to create Kodiak Leather Co. and our custom leather bags. After finding only the highest quality leather and hardware, he set out to build a bag that would last a lifetime.

Fast Forward 4 Years…
After having 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns, the Buffalo Leather Satchel, The Classic Weekender Duffel, the Sitka Leather Messenger, and the most recent Yukon Garment Bag,  they have come full circle on offering a wide variety of travel bags , briefcases (similar to the satchel and the messenger), as well as some smaller, everyday carry items like journals and wallets.


The Pilot Bag is made from a thick top grain buffalo leather and a high grade thread. Premium brass hardware and YKK zippers are used in the bag.

The bag is available in 2 leather finishes: antique brown and dark walnut (pictured). The dimensions of the bag are 5 “deep x 18″ length x 14″ height. The bag has 2 zippered exterior pockets and 2 pouch pockets with a magnetic snap closure. Behind the flap that covers the pouch pockets there is a pocket that has a velcro tab to keep it closed.

There are 2 zippered main compartments with a laptop pocket and dividers. There are also interior side slots for cards, a device pocket and 2 pen holders.

The interior of the bag is lined with a dark brown fabric liner. On the sides of the bag is a strap and buckle system to cinch in the bag.

The removable strap is a combined use of quality nylon and leather. In addition to the removable strap there are two regular top handles with a 2 snap closure.


This bag can easily serve as your carry all office and travel companion to hold a laptop, cords, accessories, books, folders, clothes, and even camera gear. The outside pockets and flaps make ideal spots for wallets, passports, keys, passes, newspapers and other small gear to place in while traveling. Heck, having a newborn son, I would even consider it as a very convenient and classy baby bag that could make many other dads envious.  


The buffalo leather used for this bag is soft and lightweight and has a very stunning antique distressed finish. The zippers, as stated above, are of high quality making it easy to zip and open when full. Although some many prefer more buckled hardware as opposed to the magnetic snap closures on the front pocket, I appreciate the convenience of getting in and out of the pockets quickly. I’m not a huge fan of the velcro tab in the front pocket but understand why it was put there. I see the velcro wearing out in time but it is a very small detail that does not bother me in the grand beauty and construction of the bag. 

The bag overall has a great feel to it when carried with the snapped handle or the shoulder strap. The weight is evenly distributed and as mentioned before, is not super heavy like a lot of leather bags on the market. I feel confident in saying that my shoulder and back will not suffer if carrying this bag for a longer period of time (unless of course you have very heavy cargo).


Let’s be real- most leather briefcases come with a hefty price tag. Understandably so given the materials and labor that goes into making them. What I am very impressed with about this pilots bag and all of Kodiak Leather Co. products is a very fair price that does not, in my opinion, sacrifice the quality or integrity of the product. The Pilot Bag is a welcome addition to my leather bag collection and one that I look forward to using for many years and handing down to my son. Check it out this bag -here- as use code: ‘ABANACH20’ to receive a generous discount for taking the time to read this review!

Hawkesmill England Borough Leather Camera Strap Review – £115.00

A good camera is an investment, and a good strap is a crucial part of protecting that investment. Many cameras come with a basic, cumbersome strap that can at least prevent your camera from falling. There are lots of upgrades out there that are easier to use or higher quality. How about a strap that also makes your camera more beautiful? The Hawkesmill Borough Leather Camera Strap offers just that. You should think about using PaydayPact if you are in the midst of a financial emergency and require fast money for your camera.

About Hawkesmill

Driven partially by the ‘Made in England’ movement, the artisans at Hawkesmill made a goal to create the best camera bags and straps possible: “very stylish, incredibly durable and yet functional.” They source from reputable, ethical manufacturers in Italy, England, and America. Hawkesmill creates products with the quality of the product in mind, not the cost. Products that they’re proud to use themselves and are second to none.

Leather & Construction

The leather used for the Borough is famous Horween Chromexcel. Chromexcel is known for being both soft and durable, and is a really great choice for a camera strap. The recommended max weight is 5lb, which is probably wise to adhere to for this thickness. While Chromexcel is tough and will last ages, it’s not as bulletproof as harder leathers and will stretch a bit over time.

All construction is done by hand in England. The leather is cut and assembled together precisely with rivets.


The best part about using Chromexcel for the Borough is how incredibly soft it is. You’ll love feeling the nice, wide pad of this strap against your neck. One hidden feature I discovered is that the Borough has a reversible aspect to it. The lovely outer black part is finished and smooth, and the inner part is still somewhat fibrous. As a result, with the finished side out, the Borough has some grip and will stay in place more. However, if you flip the smooth finished side in, it slides nicely for readjusting. This is a feature I’ve seen other strap makers advertise and is handy.

The length of the Borough is adjusted with buckles, a pair on either side. One is near the neck pad and the other is sort of built into the mount. This is a flat-mount camera strap, so you’ll need to be sure that’s the kind your camera has (or it’s fitted with a v-shaped split ring). Since the leather needs to slide through the flat mount regardless, Hawkesmill went ahead and made this portion adjustable as well. Adjustments with a buckle aren’t as fast as other techniques, but are very reliable. The Borough has a good range of length flexibility.


This is simply a beautiful camera strap. I can’t imagine another strap better complementing my Pen F. The black leather and silver fittings match the camera both in color and sheen, and it’s a show stopping combination. It’s hard to describe that certain something that a beautiful item does to enhance the experience of using it, but the Borough has it, no questions asked.


I love hanging the Hawkesmill Borough Leather Camera Strap around my neck. It looks great, feels great, and performs well. The price is on the high side for a camera strap, but I think Hawkesmill lives up to their promises of a superior product. If you want to love your strap as much as you love your camera, this might be the one for you.

Cecilia Black Leather Mirrorless Camera Strap Review – $72

While I’m by no means a professional photographer, I sure do enjoy taking pictures. Like many of us out there, my camera is full of random images –family, friends, my horse, pretty scenery, and the occasional leather item for a review of course. I’ve carted that thing a lot of places and but never had anything to carry it with except the generic strap it came with (and let me tell you, that thing really chafes.) So when I received this beautiful Cecilia Black Leather Mirrorless Camera Strap, I was over the moon. And after using it for a couple weeks, my initial reaction has stood the test of time. Cecilia has literally saved my neck!

About Cecilia

In name, Cecilia is a relatively new company, having officially started in 2013. But the family who owns it has been in the leather business since 1898. With five generations of experience under their (presumably leather) belts, it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing! They’ve combined their knowledge of leather with their passion for photography to bring photographers the highest quality goods out there. Plus, their website is dang cool. They’ve worked with photographers, both pros and hobbyists, to make sure their products meet real-world standards. And they’ve created a beautiful online gallery of pictures taken by these amazing artists, so if you’re looking for some inspiration be sure to check it out.

My Experience

My first impression was one of stylish and functional simplicity. The box the Mirrorless came in was not fancy. But I liked that because it really let the beautiful, full-grain Argentinian leather speak for itself. Once out of the box, I could immediately feel how soft and supple the full-grain Argentinian cowhide leather was. I couldn’t find a flaw in it! Everything from the stainless steel key rings to the sliders and keepers positively screamed ‘quality.’ I was impressed.

The New-In-Box Mirrorless Camera Strap
Simple, yet appealing!

I’ll admit that after my initial excitement wore off, I started to get a little worried about how thin the straps were. My camera isn’t the lightest model out there and I tend to take it places that can be hard on equipment (like on a 7-mile hike/boulder field scramble to the top of our local 12,000-foot peak). I was concerned that it wouldn’t be able to take the strain. But then I wore it around for a couple weeks and I have to say it’s stood up very well. In fact, it still looks like it did when I opened the box the day it came in the mail! While aesthetics aren’t the first thing I think about when picking out camera equipment, I do appreciate the fact that this camera strap still looks good after some use. As far as durability goes, I’d definitely give this strap an A+.

Speaking of aesthetics, I really like the Mirrorless’s quiet elegance. I think this strap looks incredibly classy and professional, and would look at home at anywhere from a Congressional press conference to a friend’s backyard wedding. It’s designed to be discreet. However, if you’re the type that likes a little color and pop in your accessories, this probably isn’t the strap for you.

Cecilia Black Argentinian Leather
The black Argentinian Leather is an elegant but low-key choice.

But, if you’re looking for comfort this strap is a great option. Like I said earlier, it literally saved my neck – from a lot of discomfort and chafing, that is! The inside padding is Neoprene and man, is it comfy. I mostly wore it cross-body, tightening the straps so my camera wouldn’t bounce around as I was clambering across boulders, and I appreciated how easy to adjust it was. It also sat very nicely when I just hung it around my neck. Normally I hesitate to carry my camera off the shoulder because I’m afraid of it sliding off and crashing to the ground. But this Cecilia strap provided a solid enough grip that I wasn’t afraid to carry it that way for short periods of time. All things considered, this strap is very comfortable and I would recommend it to anyone who has that characteristic as their first priority.

Though this Mirrorless strap has many great features, I do have one complaint. Cecilia used stainless steel keyrings as the mechanisms that attach the strap to the camera, and I found connecting them to be very difficult. They’re stiff and hard to pry apart. After about 15 minutes of trying, I did finally succeed in getting an opening large enough to push through my camera’s eyelets. But the steel was still so tight that it actually left a groove in the edges of the eyelets as I twisted it on. On the flip side, once the strap was attached, I wasn’t at all concerned about it coming off my camera. But attaching it was tough, and I didn’t like how it left marks on my camera in the process.

Stainless Steel Key Rings
These stainless steel key rings are tougher than nails – and tough on the fingernails.


Though I really struggled with the steel rings that attach the strap to the camera, the rest of its construction is great. It’s comfortable, it’s classy, it’s incredibly well made, and it’s able to take a beating. Personally, I think that the Cecilia Black Leather Mirrorless Camera Strap is a great combination of style and function. Its versatility makes it easy to take anywhere, from vacation to a paid photo shoot. In addition, its durability makes it a great value for the price. If you’re looking for a comfortable, sturdy, and discreet camera strap, this is a great one to consider. 

4V Design Classic Camera Neck Strap Review — $107 (€94,90)

As an editor for a leather blog, you start to think about the accessories you use on a daily basis that aren’t leather but should be. This led to my hunt for the perfect camera strap. I found a pretty good one that I’d like to tell you about—4V Design’s Classic Neck Strap.

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About 4V Design

4V Design is a seriously classy company.

They’re from Italy. And they’re passionate about photography, so they design accessories for photographers. Stylish, Italian accessories. They’re sort of anti-establishment too, “just love and passion,” as their creed says. They’re about quality and individuality. And that philosophy echoes in the details of this product.

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This camera strap is made from vegetable-tanned Italian leather, or Tuscany cuoio, as the natives say.

Two pieces of 14mm-wide leather are layered and then stitched together. The edges are then hand-painted for an elegant finish. The tips have a 10mm a synthetic strap sewn into them (a military-grade polyamide, light but resistant to wear and tear). You use these to connect the strap to your camera. You also have the option to add the quick-release clips in between the strap and your camera, which makes it super easy to detach the leather strap.

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I was surprised when I actually put the strap on. The padding for your neck feels pretty good (I hadn’t realized I would care about the ergonomics, but it’s kind of nice). They say it’s made of suede, though the neck part seems to have a plastic covering of sorts with the 4V logo printed across it. Not sure how it’ll feel through the hot summer months, but I like it so far.

The strap comes in two widths: large (20mm) and medium (14mm). The thicker width fits best with a full-sized SLR. I got the medium which matches my smaller MILC.

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I only have one gripe about this camera strap. I’m a lightweight, 5’11” with a shorter torso. With my build, I had to cinch all the straps to their shortest settings to get the camera to fall above my beltline. Don’t get me wrong—it fits, but you have a lot of extra leather and polyamide hanging out. I remedied this by removing the quick-release clips, which saved about 3″ on each side. I was bummed to lose the quick-release feature—it’s cool to detach the strap so fast—but I never actually used it anyway.

That said, this really is a beautiful piece of equipment. One of my favorite parts is actually the fastener—I love the look of the ring over leather. I ordered the “brown,” but they also sell black and “natural,” which is lighter, more of a sand color.

This is rare for me to say, but the photos on 4V’s site are actually more awesome than mine. (No, they’re not kidding when they say they care about photography.) If you’re not awed by their aesthetic, go peruse their site. You will be.


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BestLeather Conclusion

The 4V Design Classic Neck Strap costs €94,90. They take orders through PayPal, so don’t worry about converting currencies. They also offer free worldwide shipping, which is not a bad little perk. Your total will be around $106 in US dollars right now.

If you’re a professional photographer, this a home-run investment. It’s comfortable, sturdy, and stylish, and I guarantee it’ll boost your style points with clients.



74Street Bags Multicamera Photographer Leather Harness Review – $269

One of my favorite things about working with the leather industry is that I get to see firsthand how different companies create and design products with a similar function. Leather photography accessories have been a staple of any young or seasoned photographer for a while now, and 74Street Bags has contributed to the offering with an excellent piece, the Multicamera Photographer Leather Harness.

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Mircea & Daciana Bule are the powerhouse couple behind 74Street Bags. Mircea is a licensed fashion designer and he has been handcrafting with leather for more than 20 years. He is referred to as the brain of design and handwork and Daciana, a manager by profession and a fashion design student, is  “the brains of the business along with being Mircea’s apprentice in learning more and more everyday about the vast skills needed for handcrafting leather.” This Romanian duo designs and creates some unique bags – which seem to be very popular through their Etsy storefront, which shows a 5 star rating and healthy sales. This second time around we are reviewing the Multicamera Photographer Leather Harness from 74Street Bags.



The Multicamera Photographer Leather Harness is hand constructed with full grain leather and metal pins and D-rings. The leather has been sourced with imperfections and marks that make each piece unique. This specific leather has a nice matte finish that looks good with anything, but also provides plenty of support for two heavy cameras.

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The entire harness is hand-stitched by the couple, and after long inspections I could not find any crooked, missed, or compromised stitches. It is obvious that 74Street Bags takes much time and care in each product construction. The harness is also built using two pieces of leather, stitched together to make an even stronger, more dependable accessory for your expensive photography gear. Overall the harness’ construction is top-quality, and I would expect nothing less because it carries around thousands of dollars worth of cameras.



74Street Bags has done a good job at combining style, quality, and function in one leather product. The harness is extremely easy to use, as you just swing it on, attach your photoshoot camera, and begin your shoot. This specific harness was designed for carrying two cameras, one on each side of the body. The metal pins are easy to adjust for body size, and the metal sliders flow freely on the leather shoulder straps. This makes for a smooth and efficient shooting motion that every photographer can appreciate. While the camera clip on system also functions well and will continue to do so for a while. Don’t let the thinness of the small clips make you nervous. Daciana has assured me that the clips are designed to support more than 80kg (176+ lbs)…which is way beyond the normal load that any photographer will connect to these straps.



74Street Bags creates products that appeal to people on several different levels. The attractive, easily scuffed leather and metal hardware combine to make a piece that will not only be a solid addition to your photo accessories, but also a conversation piece when worn. The patina has already started to change a little, and it will definitely get better with age. Many people have flocked to the 74Street Bags’ Etsy store because their products have a story, are extremely well built, and guaranteed to last a lifetime, and it is easy to understand why after using the Multicamera Photographer Leather Harness.



I have thoroughly enjoyed using the Multicamera Photographer Leather Harness from 74Street Bags. The harness will make an excellent addition to any photographer’s collection and will work well for many years to come. Priced at $269.00, the harness is an investment that I believe photographers should make.

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Holdfast Gear Small Roamographer Review – $525

Photography has a special place in my heart. I have always been interested, I have invested thousands of dollars into high-quality camera gear, and I actively attempt to get better everyday. But, when I first purchased my camera, I entirely forgot about a strap to hold it and a bag to safely and beautifully secure it. Thankfully I have the opportunity to review the Holdfast Small Roamographer Bison Camera Bag. This luxury, vintage inspired camera bag is quite stunning, and having seen other beautiful and well-built products from Holdfast, I am beyond excited to have received this camera bag.

Hold Fast Roamographer 1


Matthew Swaggart founded Holdfast Gear in 2011 with three values in mind: taste, logic, and faith.  As a photographer who has traveled the world, Matt understood the burden of carrying around pounds of equipment for hours or days at a time.

With an appreciation for the design aesthetics of the past and the need for functional equipment that would hold up even under the most austere conditions, he founded Hold Fast Gear.  His company offers a growing line of products designed to suit the needs of the on-the-go photographer.

Today, Matt keeps his notebooks close with ideas for new products, and plans to launch at least 10 new products within the next year.  He takes pride in the ethical production of all of his products in the USA while providing sustainable jobs to the Oklahoma economy.

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The Small Roamographer bag is handcrafted with American bison leather, with two large belted straps and a post to secure it. The small bag comes with a hefty shearling-lined strap for over the shoulder carry, with an extra lobster claw clasp to fasten a camera or extra gear. There are also double handles for hand carry. There are two large external pockets on the outside of the bag, marked with the HoldFast logo. The bottom of the bag supports itself with metal studs to keep the bag stable and clean.

The bag is lined with blue and white striped fabric, with 2 interior sleeve pockets. The removable red foam insert has 4 exterior pockets, 1 interior document sleeve, 1 exterior padded iPad pocket, 2 removable dividers and 1 removable dual lens sleeve. The insert is customizable to whatever configuration works best for you and your gear.

The most remarkable part of the bag’s construction is its hinged, Gladstone-style opening. This means that the bag stays open as wide as possible so you can grab your gear and swap out lenses with ease. This is really an amazing feature for on-the-go photographers.

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As I said, this bag works extremely well for photographers who are on-the-go. Its customizable insert, wide-mouth opening, and lobster-claw straps are all details that have obviously been thought through by people with experience hauling camera gear.

The only real issue I’ve experienced with this bag is that there are a LOT of straps. To get in the bag you have to undo two heel-bar straps as well as the post latch. I’ve found myself leaving the two straps undone for most of the day if I need to get in and out often. The body straps can be secured to the back of the bag, leaving only the post latch, so that helps. This isn’t a huge issue, as the straps do keep my camera gear very safe and secure, but if you are strap-adverse, you may want to consider this.Hold Fast Roamographer 8

The Roamographer comes in two sizes – Small and Large. My small Roamographer bag is 14.5″ L x 9″ H x 8″ D, on the exterior, and the insert takes up 12″ L x 7″ H x 6.5″ D. The smaller bag is recommended for mirrorless and rangefinder gear. I easily fit my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, two lenses, my Go-Pro, a small tripod, and more. The larger bag measures 18″ L x 14″ H x 10″ D, and is recommended for DSLR gear. We will have a featured review of the large Roamographer coming soon.

This bag comes in two body colors, black and brown, both with light brown straps. The bison leather gives it a beautiful and unique texture that’s offset with the lighter colored straps.

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This is a bag that gets noticed. There’s a reason the Roamographer is making a splash in photography circles – it’s unique, it’s extremely functional, and it’s constructed impeccably. The Holdfast Small Roamographer Bison Camera Bag will keep your camera (and many more after it) safe and secure, while looking incredible. The price tag is steep, but remember that this is an extremely well built bag with a number of features that you will find invaluable.

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Buffalo Jackson Everett Leather Camera Bag Review – $149.95

Buffalo Jackson sells a multitude of your classic leather goods – wallets, belts, and briefcases. Today we will take a look at a more unique leather item – the Everett Leather Camera Bag specifically designed to carefully hold your camera and accessories.



The Everett series of bags including this camera bag are made in India using goat leather tanned through their local traditional tanning and processing techniques. Goat leather is significantly thinner than traditional cow leather making it more pliable and lighter which is good for the back. The downsides to using thinner, softer leather means the leather is more prone to damage and tears particularly if not regularly conditioned or maintained (I have personally experienced this multiple times). This particular bag appears relatively well made for an Indian goat leather bag. All edges are double stitched and the strap hardware seems to be a bit larger gauge and sturdier than what I traditionally see in these imported goat bags from India or Pakistan. The hardware is made of brass and zinc. Potential areas of weakness and breakdown are the single-layered leather loops to which the strap clips and the fact that the straps are made from multiple pieces of leather sewn together end-to-end. The bag measures approximately 12 x 9 x 5 ½ inches.

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The Everett Leather Camera Bag has a full cushion padded interior that can be removed. There are extra built-in overlying Velcro padded flaps to help hold everything in place even if the bag is turned upside down. The removable padded interior appears to be made of a velour-like fabric to help cuddle your valuables.  There are also a surprising number of additional compartments including an external open compartment and an external zippered pocket. Internally there is an additional open pocket and a zippered pocket. I was able to easily fit my camera, light diffuser, and flash into the padded cushions with additional space for cables, accessories, and a lens. The padded compartment can also be removed for extra space and to transform the bag into a more versatile carry-all style.




The Everett Leather Bag comes in the standard natural goat leather color which is described by Buffalo Jackson as “Camel.” The leather and hardware already have that distressed look with variable patina which helps bring that “vintage” look to the bag. The green canvas interior is a nice natural color contrast with the leather. Although the color and look of goat leather is great, one of the downsides to anyone who has experienced these types of bags is the smell associated with the local tanning techniques. Though visually appealing, these bags have a sharp pungent smell that I can best describe as a blend of vinegar with a hint of cat urine that is more noticeable in closed spaces like a car or closet. Wash your hands after heavy use and don’t expect to be using this bag as a makeshift pillow during a camping expedition.



The Buffalo Jackson Everett Camera Bag is a fair purchase at $149.95. It is surprisingly detailed in design with excellent cushioning for a goat leather-style bag. Your back will thank you for not having to lug around unnecessary poundage in addition to your camera equipment. Like most imported goat bags, be prepared that the “leather smell” is not going to be the same as an American cowhide bag. The thinner leather is also more prone to failing at stress points, particularly with the rotational stresses placed at the flat strap loops, but these Buffalo Jackson bags come with a 3 year manufacturing warranty so don’t be afraid to enjoy your bag on your expeditions – just don’t go crazy.

HoldFast Gear Money Maker Luxury Leather Multi Camera Strap Review – $215.00/$400.00

I moonlight as a photographer and have shot everything from portraits and weddings to sporting events.  I prefer full-frame DSLR cameras and the accompanying glass that goes with them for all my shoots.  However, carrying that much equipment can make you feel like you’re carrying Sisyphus’ rock at the end of a long photography session.

When I was offered the chance to review Hold Fast Gear’s Money Maker Luxury Leather Multi-Camera Strap, I took it without hesitation. The company claims it will allow you to carry up to 3 cameras comfortably for long periods of time.  While I couldn’t justify the purchase of a third camera to my boss (read “wife”) for this review, I have plenty of glass to give it a thorough test.


Matthew Swaggart founded Holdfast Gear in 2011 with three values in mind: taste, logic, and faith.  As a photographer who has traveled the world, Matt understood the burden of carrying around pounds of equipment for hours or days at a time.

With an appreciation for the design aesthetics of the past and the need for functional equipment that would hold up even under the most austere conditions, he founded Hold Fast Gear.  His company offers a growing line of products designed to suit the needs of the on-the-go photographer.

Today, Matt keeps his notebooks close with ideas for new products, and plans to launch at least 10 new products within the next year.  He takes pride in the ethical production of all of his products in the USA while providing sustainable jobs to the Oklahoma economy.



We’ll be looking at two versions of the strap today, both similar in function, but different in form:

American Bison Leather (Mahogany): The genuine bison leather on this strap came from Colorado.  Measurements average 35.8 mm across and 5 mm thick.  Half of the thickness is due to the cream glove leather lining on the inside of the strap. There are four black D-rings on the front of the strap designed for carrying accessories. The two large buckles on the back allow for adjustment of the shoulder opening, having 9 adjustment holes spaced 25 mm apart. Dark grey punch-through rivets hold everything together including the leather securing the D-rings, the buckle straps, the cross piece, and the camera sliders.


The camera sliders are constructed of a massive D-ring, an equally massive, nickel-plated swivel, a fold-over leather strap secured by 4 rivets, and ¼” screw mount to attach to the tripod  mount on your camera.  As if that wasn’t enough, they also added a safety catch made of nylon and a plastic swivel that mounts to the lug on the left side of your camera.

Overall weight comes in at 1 pound, 14 ounces (840 grams), making it a little heavier than the bridle leather strap.

Tan Bridle Leather: We mention here only the differences between the straps.  This strap measures 33.5 mm across (-2.3 mm) with a thickness of 3.2 mm (-1.8 mm).  Of note, this strap is not lined with the cream glove leather. The hardware is all nickel-plated rather than black, including the rivets.

Overall weight comes in at a lighter 1 pound, 9 ounces (700 grams), and beside the bridle leather being naturally a bit stiff when it is new, those are the major differences in construction of the two straps.


Because the overall design of the straps is nearly identical, I spent the majority of my time testing the functionality on the American bison strap.

My first chance to give the strap a real test was at a wedding reception photoshoot.  I attached my primary camera – a Canon 5D Mark III with battery grip and various lenses, and my secondary camera – a Canon EOS Rebel T3i with 50 mm prime lens.  The weight was significant, and would be a good test of the strap.


I had no problems sliding the camera into position for any type of shot I wanted to take.  Carrying the cameras around for over 2 hours, I barely noticed the weight of the cameras.  The strap is that comfortable.  While initially concerned that the free-hanging cameras would bang against my leg or the surrounding environment, it was easy to adjust their position and prevent this from happening.  If you’re someone who uses telephoto lenses of 200mm or more, you’ll want to be a little more careful in cramped environments.


The other issue I encountered was minor: getting the split ring on the lug of my camera and mounting the screw to the camera.  It took some finesse with my large hands to get the split ring on the lug.  Now that it’s there, I may never take it off.

I occasionally do shots low to the ground and found it easier to remove the camera from the strap.  This took a little time if you’re someone who finds themselves doing this often.

Overall, I was very impressed with the ease of use and comfort of this strap, and found it very useful for the run-and-gun type of shooting that defined this wedding reception.


Matt uses a chromium salt tanning process to give the bison leather its softness and texture, and then a vegetable-based re-tan to bring back the form of the leather. The cream leather padding on the underside of the strap adds to the comfort and the beauty of the strap.

Hold-Fast-Gear-Money-Maker-Luxury-Leather-Multi-Camera-Strap-002The bridle leather strap is an English bridle that is vegetable-tanned, drum dyed, and stuffed full of waxes and grease to make it weather proof.  While initially stiff, it has the advantage of molding to the user after repeated use.


The hardware on both is beautiful and heavy duty at the same time.  Large buckles and D-rings give these straps a flare that will make them get noticed. While the functions remain the same, the strap you choose is purely a matter of looks and what you prefer.



At the price point of $215 for the tan bridle leather strap and $400 for the American bison mahogany strap, the Money Maker Luxury Leather Multi-Camera Strap is a great investment. Like all quality leather products, it isn’t inexpensive; it is an investment.  Having not known about this product before I was asked to review it, I didn’t know what I was missing. I’ll be able to save my shoulders years of wear and look good while doing it.

As of this final writing, I also had the opportunity to use this strap at an 8-hour wedding shoot on September 19th, 2015.  With my 5D Mark III, battery grip, 70-200mm lens, and attached speedlight, I had some serious weight riding on my shoulders.  In addition, I had my second camera, a Canon T3i with 50mmm lense as my backup, riding on the other strap.  At the end of the day, my shoulders felt great – the strap performed that well.  Now if only Matt could invent something to make my feet a little less tired.

If you want a camera support system designed and built by a seasoned photographer that is attractive and functional, Hold Fast Gear has got it right.  With twelve models, there is plenty to choose from when trying to satisfy your sense of adventure.

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In our last review with Wotancraft, we were introduced to their striking Ryker camera bag which combined a compact sized carry with excellent craftsmanship and detailed features. Unlike Biz Markie, Wotancraft is no one trick pony, they offer a full selection of carry options. We were very excited to review one of their larger and more rugged bags, The Wotancraft  Ranger Camera Bag + Waterproof Insert Combo Set.

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Wotancraft’s Ranger is primarily fabricated from their W.A.L. (Water-repellent, abrasion-resistant, lightweight) waxed canvas. All metal hardware is used for the buttons and buckles. The large front flap is made from specially ordered sheepskin and the strap is constructed from full grain leather. All straps are reinforced with a Box X pattern stitch for added strength. The removable interior is a U shaped foam padded insert with a microfiber interior, and features removable velcro padded partitions for separating gear.

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The same interior configuration for the padded insert is used in the waterproof insert which Wotancraft describes as a “Waterproof insert made of hovercraft-grade thermoforming technique, making the insert fully waterproof all the way up to the zipper height. The zipper itself is YKK water-repellent zipper with edge sealing, capable of sustaining temporary drowning when fully zipped.”  

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So yeah, you can totally take this bag crocodile shooting. If one tips your boat, just rest assured that while you might not be found, at least your camera will be intact. The bag itself (excluding inserts) weighs in at 3lbs 8 oz. The microfiber insert weighs just over a pound and the waterproof insert comes in at 1lb 11oz. Bag dimensions are 12” high, 16” wide and 7” deep.


If you’re carrying expensive camera equipment, rest assured it will be very protected in the Ranger. The U shaped insert offers ample foam padding on the bottom, sides and top. This bag is able to carry multiple DSLR’s and lenses. The smaller side pockets are great for memory cards and spare batteries. The flap allows quick access to your gear, and you can zip up the main compartment when you feel the need to keep your contents secure. Just by handling the bag, one can notice how much thought went into functionality. The button snaps have small finger pockets under them to allow you to close them one handed by pinching them shut rather than pressing.

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The Ranger is more than just a camera bag. Thanks to the removable inserts, the Ranger doubles as a great overnight bag, I was able to smartly pack for a overnight stay. You can fit a 15” laptop no problem, and the interior zippered compartment is great for tablets or books. The bottom has leather straps great for attaching a tripod or spare jacket as well making this bag a great option for someone desiring a multipurpose carry option.

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The great thing about the Ranger….is that it actually looks just as good if not better than it does in pictures. It’s rugged without being over the top, and refined enough to transition from outdoors to city effortlessly. Waxed canvas, much like leather, only gets better with age, so expect character to develop with use. The grey canvas will be more forgiving and be able to hide stains and markings which I really appreciate as well. With an aesthetic that really conjures up adventure, the Ranger really lives up to its namesake.

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Good looks, versatility and quality construction make this bag a triple threat. With a hefty price tag of 549.00,  The Wotancraft  Ranger Camera Bag + Waterproof Insert Combo Set isn’t for everyone. If you really like the bag but don’t feel the need for the waterproof insert you can nab a Wotancraft Ranger for $499. Either route you go you’re getting a top notch bag that does a lot more than carry your camera.


ONA Bags “The Brixton” Review – $439

About a month ago I decided it was time to invest in a quality camera for all my photography escapades. I wanted a professional quality camera that didn’t require 20lbs of clunky, additional gear to haul around. I decided to go with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. I have thoroughly enjoyed the camera and lenses I have. But I did forget one thing: a quality camera bag. I began searching for leather camera gear to review and I found ONA Bags. This stylish leather company graciously agreed to a review and I jumped all over the opportunity. “The Brixton” is truly an outstanding camera bag.

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ONA Bags was founded in 2010 with the goal to provide stylish, high-quality camera gear for creative professionals and photographers. Based out of New York City, this company is dedicated to perfect design and functionality. “Our design process is driven by a desire to create products that complement your style and protect your gear. We believe that your camera bags and accessories should be rich and imaginative, like the photos you love to take.” It is immediately evident from The Brixton that this style-conscious leather company is passionate about quality leather goods.

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Like all ONA products, The Brixton is constructed using premium full-grain leather. The Italian-tanned leather has been treated with a light wax finish that is easily scratched and marked which gives the messenger an extremely attractive patina. The Antique Cognac color is contrasted by the antique brass tuck-clasp closure and darker brown waxed-cotton canvas. Built 13.5” long by 10.5” high by 5” deep, the Brixton is designed to carry a camera, up to three lenses, a 13” laptop, and other small camera accessories such as batteries, caps, and filters. The inside consists of four moveable dividers made out of closed-cell foam. The dividers can be taken out or moved around to allow adequate space for the lenses or camera. On the bag’s exterior, two front and side pockets provide ample storage for the additional small gear you may carry. The Brixton is an extremely well designed and constructed camera messenger bag that will protect your expensive camera gear in style.

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I have taken this bag on more trips than any bag I own, and this is in only with 5 weeks of use. The Brixton is the perfect bag to take with me, even when I don’t plan on taking pictures, although we all know that some of the best shots are spontaneous and planned last second. This leather bag functions as more than a bag to carry your camera. Because it has been built with so much passion and personality, I have found that I enjoy using the bag exclusively as a messenger that happens to also perfectly hold my camera. The laptop sleeve and moveable dividers are healthily padded and protective, so I never worry that any of my gear will not be adequately secured.

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My favorite functioning pieces of this messenger are the brass tuck-clasps. Never once have the claps opened by themselves. It is pleasing to know that your camera gear is safe, especially when the total value in my messenger exceeds the value of my 1970 VW Beetle. On a typical day out with the Brixton, I have my Olympus camera, a macro lense, a 12-40mm pro lense, two small body cap lenses, a GoPro Hero 4, an extra camera battery, extra SD card, camera charger, and a few other small items. I’ve never run out of room with all of this gear, and the bag is also never too heavy, even with my MacBook air inside. The Brixton is an impressively flawless functioning camera bag that I enjoy taking everywhere I go.

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The Antique Cognac color is perhaps one of my favorite colors of leather I have worked with. As mentioned earlier, because the leather has been waxed, it is easily marked and scuffed up. I personally only enjoy certain functioning bags to develop the patina everyone seeks after. The bags I want to develop patinas are the bags I take on trips and other ventures. I do not want my business or professional bags to be marked or scuffed. The Brixton is my number one adventure bag, so the patina and marks it has already develop are very welcome in my eyes. Every time I use The Brixton I am pleased with how it functions, feels, and especially, looks. Photographers in Banff, Mt. Bachelor, Portland, and pretty much everywhere I have taken the Brixton ask about it and what I think. Every time I tell them I have enjoyed every moment of its use, and if you are searching for a stylish bag to hold a solid amount of camera gear, ONA Bags has several choices for you.





ONA Bags has impressed me from the very beginning. Their line of products is unmatched in the leather camera gear market, their employees are respectful and earnest, and the bag I own has been flawless. I couldn’t ask for anything else from a leather company. If you are an established professional photographer or even an amateur like I am, taking a look at ONA Bags and investing in a quality leather camera bag will not be a decision you regret. At $429, The Brixton is a fantastic choice and will outlast your expensive camera gear. Head over to their website to check out some leather camera gear that you deserve.

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Photography can be a very rewarding hobby and just about everyone dabbles in it at some point. So if you’ve mastered the Starbucks macros and decided to get into some serious picture taking, you’ve likely bought a camera body, lens, SD cards and a plethora of other gadgets. Now you’ve got all this great gear and no place to carry it!  Before you buy that cheap black nylon case from Best Buy, I’d recommend researching some quality leather alternatives like the Wotancraft Ryker Camera Bag.

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Aside from having a ridiculously cool brand name, Wotancraft has an interesting backstory. When we reached out about the company’s past, they replied as such:

 We created WOTANCRAFT ATELIER back in 2008. We shared the same crazy love for Panerai diving watches, but are just too frustrated to realize that none of the aftermarket leather straps are worthy of the inspiring and nostalgic military background of Panerai. At one point, we figured that if no one else is up for it, then maybe we should be the ones to make it happen. The guys at WOTANCRAFT are very intuitive when it comes to our creations and aesthetics. In 2010, when our friend walked into our atelier carrying a WWII Swiss Army backpack and a Leica M6 camera, right then we made the decision to create tough, rugged and military inspired camera bags, which lead to our launch of the “City Explorer” series, with military-hovercraft-grade waterproof inserts that people have never seen before in the camera bag market.We are continuously growing, not in business size, but in our ambition for greatness. Our existing lineup of products are being enhanced through generations, because we want to make every creation our classic, not fashion items that are created and discarded per market trend. Same goes for aesthetics. Many of our friends make fun of us having “old souls” living in our bodies, because we don’t make our products “teen-friendly” enough. But that’s the way we are; if you want to stay true to yourself, pleasing everyone is just not an option.

For those wondering, Wotancraft is named after Wotan. In Germean mythology he was the god of war and victory. Atelier is the French word for “workshop.”

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The Ryker is a medium sized bag coming in at roughly 11” long by 9” tall and 4.5” wide. At 3 lbs 3 oz  it’s lightweight without feeling cheap. Wotancraft provided us with some insider specifics about the leather used:

We use thick, full grain leather for all products, where the pores and skin textures are still visible, and we manually trim the leather if different parts require doing so. This is a lot more work and more costly than padding materials beneath thin leather processed by provider (how cheaper bags in the market are made), but for us this process has to be done to ensure the right look and hand-feel when bending the leather.

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We are also very specific in the leather characteristics that we use. The leather trim and shoulder strap on a Ryker bag is tanned with vegetable agents such as Quebracho, Chestnut and Acacia, which gave the bag an overall scent of fresh sweetness. We could have easily chosen leather that smells like ordinary leather and does not cause any love-or-hate contradictions, but for us love outweighs all others. It’s the same with the grain texture on the Ryker bag, we just love the specific hand-feel of such texture, and elegantly accentuated by the smooth oil-enriched trim and velveteen lining.

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All metal hardware is used for the buckles and rivets. Bronze YKK zippers are used with a rustproof coating. An incredibly soft, padded velvety interior is used to protect contents.


The main functions of a camera bag for me are to protect the contents and to provide fast access. The Ryker has a magnetic flap which reveals a top loading zippered compartment. This configuration provides more overall protection but with the small cost of an extra step in accessing your gear. The adjustable, padded shoulder strap is very comfortable and provides great cushioning when carrying heavy loads. Even after a long day of shooting around town, my shoulder and traps held up fine.

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Thanks to the padded inserts and velcro walls I can securely pack my lens and body with virtually no wiggling around when on the move. The interior slotted pocket is great for carrying a 7” tablet or thin books. The smaller exterior storage options include the zippered pocket which is handy for smaller loose items such as memory cards or film.

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The Ryker will typically fit around 3 lenses and a camera body depending on your actual gear. I like to pack minimally so I had my 35mm, body, and 70-200mm lens all in the bag with no issues. The only features lacking that would make the bag easier to use for me would be a handle along the top so I can carry it briefcase style when not using the shoulder straps, and possibly buttons instead of magnets to increase the flaps secureness.

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The Ryker is easily one of the most handsome camera bags I’ve come across. The large panels of whiskey colored leather contrast beautifully with the dark brown pieces. The hardware demands attention and I ironically find myself snapping images of the bag rather more so than anything else! The real selling point visually is the Ryker’s ability to look good in a variety of environments.  Whether on the trail or in the city, this bag never looks out of place. Another great benefit is it looks like a messenger bag so you’re not advertising the fact that you have expensive camera gear on you. Looks good with an axe too, which is a major plus.

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Wotancraft’s Ryker Camera Bag’s looks and quality is head and shoulders above any option found in a big box store. At $379 it is pricey, but once you hold it in your hands the cost will likely seem justified. If you’re on the hunt for a bag that will securely protect your camera gear and look picture perfect in the process, I’d recommend checking this bag out.


2CentsLeatherShop Custom Leather Camera Strap Review – $46.90

The stock strap on my trusty Nikon was becoming a pain. The nylon edges were starting to fray, causing a very uncomfortable rash on the back of my neck. The adjustable buckles were nearly impossible to adjust to on the fly as well. Looking for a better option to carry my camera, I tried out the 2centsleathershop custom leather camera strap with great results.

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2centsleathershop is an Etsy store operated by Marijana Cuzela and her partner. Located in the heart of Europe, Marijana started the brand after the collapse of the leather industry in Slovenia. Taking the skills learned, 2centsleathershop is passionate about crafting high quality handmade leather goods ranging from wallets to iPad portfolios. 2centsleathershop is also willing to work with customers to further personalize the products offered.

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2centsleathershop offers camera straps with several different unique patterns and colors. The strap reviewed was in brown. The strap is crafted from premium vegetable tanned leather which naturally darkens over time to produce even richer hues. Three strips of leather are used to form the main body. Two pieces form the adjustable sides that attach to the camera and are riveted to the strap that goes around the neck. Small keyrings are placed on to the camera’s strap mounts that work in conjunction with the trigger snaps to easily remove the straps from the camera. All hardware is solid brass and the edges are coated and polished. The straps can be raised or lowered by a little over 3 inches.


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My main gripe about my previous strap was that adjusting the length was a real chore. On the 2cents strap you simply pull the floating keeper up out of the way, pull the strap from the brass notch and place it where you need it. No having to coax a stubborn nylon strap loose here! I was able to adjust the strap longer for across the shoulder carry to shorter for over my abdomen in less than 15 seconds.

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The soft leather is very comfortable on my neck and the weight is evenly dispersed over the wide strip across the neck. I wasn’t nervous at all with the camera hanging, the brass hardware inspires confidence that your gear will stay put. The quick release snaps are a godsend for when you need to remove the strap from your camera.

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The strap also converts to a wrist strap for extra support when snapping pictures. 2centsleathershop demonstrates this well in their video.


This leather strap looks great and adds much needed character to most typical black SLR cameras. I also really appreciate the fact that while stylish, it’s also very low key. When traveling and snapping photos, I don’t feel comfortable with a large name brand printed on the strap around my neck signaling to everyone I have an expensive camera on my person. 2centsleather also offers personal initials, up to 3 characters at no additional cost.  We got the BestLeather.org initials (BLO) and it really adds to the appreciation of the piece. The brass hardware accents the leather handsomely as well.

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If you’re looking for a camera strap that is easily adjustable while also being comfortable and of course, leather, then you should check out 2centsleathershop Custom Leather Camera Strap on Etsy. Priced affordably at under $50 dollars and the free option of monogramming make it an appealing choice.

Gordy’s Camera Straps – $19 & $49

As a society, we benefit dramatically by those folks who look to solve a problem for themselves and then see their solution blossom into a successful business. Often times this seems to occur with the simplest of items – items that seem to get overlooked because they solve a common problem and blend into life’s activities with ease. Such is the case with Gordy’s Camera Straps. Continue reading “Gordy’s Camera Straps – $19 & $49”

Cecilia Alpaca Wool and Leather Camera Strap Review – $90

Cecilia Camera Strap

Cecilia manufactures and sells alpaca wool and leather camera straps. They have a unique website and it is interesting even if you are not in the market for a camera strap.

At their website, you can purchase from a diverse assortment of alpaca wool and leather camera straps or you can peruse the unique photo gallery they have collected. The photo gallery consists of narratives or photo essays. These narratives are a collection of three or more pictures that tell a story and the essays are produced by internationally recognized photographers. The idea is their website is more than just an online store for camera straps – it is a website dedicated to photography.
Cecilia Camera Strap around neck
Cecilia says they are part of a family leather business that has been around since 1803; but they don’t disclose the name of the business. Are they creating a mystery? or would most people never recognize the name of the family business, anyway?

We are reviewing the Cecilia charcoal baby alpaca wool with brown leather camera strap.


The wool in the camera straps are made from handwoven Peruvian baby alpaca wool and the leather is made from full-grain Argentinian cowhide. There is a precision-engineered nylon webbing running through the interior of the strap. This has a tested 250 pound tensile strength and it is supplemented with polyester to make it more comfortable. This nylon/polyester webbing is from mills, here in the United States. The hardware is made from a zinc-alloy, called Zamac.
Cecilia Camera Strap in hand
Full length, the strap is 58 inches (147 cm) and is adjustable from 26 to 52 inches (67 – 134 cm). The neck length is 20 inches (51 cn) and 1.5 inches (4 cm) wide. The tab length is 19 inches (49 cm) and 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide.

The tabs are the pieces that connect the strap to the camera – they are little straps in themselves and consist of three layers: leather, nylon and leather.


The full grain leather gives the straps their strength and durability. The alpaca fibers are hypoallergenic, do not easily absorb water and have a high tensile strength.

The strap in review was given to one of my photographers. She told me she was worried the edges would be itchy but found alpaca does not have that “wooly-itch.” She said they are quite comfortable. The strap has a low profile and a professional appearance.

Attaching and adjusting the strap on each side was time consuming. But the battle is worth the effort because the Cecilia strap does not have “strap slack” getting in the way of her fingers while she is working the camera. This is a big deal because she has constantly fought this with her other straps.
Cecilia Camera Strap tab view
Note: These pictures were taken by this photographer. The model in the pictures is her husband.


The alpaca wool comes in over twenty natural colors. According to the website, manufacturing Alpaca textiles and hand-weaving them are a Peruvian tradition and an integral part of their culture. Cecilia does more than import the alpaca wool; they have hired people local to the wool – people with centuries of experience – to weave these into the beautiful designs they offer.

The deep color of the leather and the supple feel come from the tanning process they use. And, as we mentioned earlier, they only use full-grain leather. The hides come from Argentina but are finished in the USA.
Cecilia Camera Strap hanging around


The strap has a professional appearance and it is comfortable. However, one of the greatest features is the design, using the tabs, prevents the straps from getting in the way of your fingers while taking pictures. If you have a camera, BestLeather recommends that you take a look at the Cecilia camera strap and get one.
Cecilia Camera Strap posing

E3 Supply Co. DSLR Wrist Strap Review – $23

David Browning and Mai Kato, owners of E3 Supply Co. come from two separate fields of business. David owns and operates a custom motorcycle shop, East Third Motorcycle Club, and prior to that he was shooting fashion and editing music. Mai was a graphic designer. These two minds came together and, using the inspirations found from the simplicity of vintage motorcycles, the recognition that simplicity is necessary and better in photography, and the knowledge of design in modern society, created E3 Supply Co.

The E3 Supply Co. is based and run in New York. They specialize in camera straps, building each piece by hand from high quality materials. Using their combined knowledge of the different aspects of design, David and Mai create high quality, simple, and functional products.


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The DSLR Wrist Strap is built simple, but strong. It is a half inch strip of leather bound together by hand waxed hemp cord. Seems simple enough.

The leather is a heavyweight cowhide, which is brushed on the underside for next-to-skin comfort. It is a thick and solid leather, one that will definitely stand up to the abuses of photo shoots and excursions into the forest.

E3 hand waxes the hemp used to bind this strap together, which is definitely cool. Hemp is a strong material and they wrap it heavily, so you need not worry about this thing coming apart. It is built to last. Another strap that we have reviewed from E3 Supply Co has been in service for a year now and shows little sign of degradation.

The connection between the camera and the strap is a simple steel keyring, one that will absolutely catch and hold the camera if it were to fall. I know because I have tested it. With a direct connection between the camera and the strap, you don’t need to worry about destroying your $3000 investment; once this strap is connected to your wrist, the camera is not going anywhere.


The strap is simple and does away with the needless bulk of a neck strap. It looks clean and it is definitely aesthetically pleasing, much more so than the stock nylon straps of DSLRs today.

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To test the function of the strap, I attached my DSLR with one of the stock lenses to the strap, then to my wrist, then I let it go. There are two factors which play into the strength of this strap. The materials and the length.

Leather is a tough and durable material to be using, which is why I love it so much. It’s extremely difficult to tear and cut if you take care of it properly. Thus, dropping a few pounds onto it in a jarring motion isn’t going to cause the leather to break a sweat. And the hemp cord is extremely durable as well, especially in the way that E3 used it.

The camera only will fall a few inches before the strap catches it, so you really need not worry about your investment falling to its demise on the concrete.

There is a minimalist aspect to the function of this strap as well, which seems to be the case in a lot ventures with leather. Simple is always better. Taking away the bulk and constraints of a full neck strap, it creates much more versatility in shooting. For instance, you can easily get interesting shots from different distances and angles. The fact that you are not hindered by the length of a neck strap really frees you in photography, opening new avenues of artistic expression.

BestLeather Conclusion

Most DSLRs are sold with a neck strap, a piece of nylon which goes around your neck to secure the camera. I’ve been using the stock strap since I bought my camera and have always been a bit annoyed by the bulk of it and have always thought it was unnecessary.

The only constraint to your photography becomes the length of your arm; it opens up new ways to shoot. And for only $23. For that reason, if you are in the market for a new camera strap for your DSLR because you are annoyed with the lack of freedom a neck strap provides, you have stumbled upon the answer: The DSLR Wrist Strap from E3 Supply Co.. If you, however, would prefer a neck strap with the same aesthetic as the wrist strap, E3 also makes a neck strap, using similar design and construction.

Check out the E3 Supply Co Etsy page here.