Bag and accessory manufacturer WANDRD recently announced a new range of camera straps, all featuring an ingenious new attachment system that will appeal to anyone who loves minimalism.
WANDRD kindly sent me the three new products and I’ve been testing them almost daily over the last month. The Sling Strap is for your regular and large-bodied cameras, complemented by the Wrist Strap, which is self-explanatory, and the Neck Strap, a lightweight loop and anchor that’s ideal for compact cameras.
What makes WANDRD’s new straps distinctive is the new attachment system which looks alarmingly insecure at first glance, but proves to be rather smart and hard-wearing on closer inspection. Each connector uses a snap-gate-style carabiner that sits alongside a slim loop made out of an insanely strong material called Hypalon. This loop hooks through the metal attachment point on your camera and then clips into the carabiner.
The strength offered by the Hypalon material means that the Sling Strap is rated up to 100 lbs (45 kg), while the single loop of the Wrist Strap is rated up to 75 lbs (34 kg).
This attachment system brings a number of benefits. Firstly, you can have one strap for multiple cameras. Attaching and removing the straps is slightly more fiddly when compared to Peak Design’s anchor system: I have large hands and a climber’s fingers, and prising back the snap gate to then tease out the slim loop is not something that I’d like to attempt drunk or in cold conditions.
The second advantage of this system is that there’s nothing left dangling on your camera when your strap is removed. This means not having to attach flappy things to every camera you want to use the strap with or remove those flappy things when you want a flappy-free camera.
The tradeoff is there, however: Peak Design is quick but leaves dongly things to dangle; WANDRD is clean but requires a little more work, consistent sobriety, and warm weather. Personally, it’s a trade-off that I like.
The material of each strap itself is recycled nylon (thumbs up for sustainability). Basically, it feels like a seat belt but smoother and softer.
Sling Strap: $54
Attachment system aside, the Sling Strap is a fairly standard design, offering good girth for comfort and some blobs of silicone in the center so that it grips your shoulder slightly to reduce slippage. The adjustment points have generously sized loops in which to hook a finger for lengthening and shortening and changing the length of the strap is smooth and secure to the point of feeling slightly satisfying.
Tucked behind a flap of material underneath the loop of one of the adjustment points is a flathead tool for attaching or removing the quarter-inch screw of the camera plate which ships with the strap. More on this later. It’s hidden away sufficiently that you don’t need to worry about it scratching anything when stuffed inside a bag.
Wrist Strap: $29
The Wrist Strap is simple and effective. The loop is more than big enough to get my oversized hand into. Tightening and loosening are easy and smooth.
The only metal on this wrist strap is the carabiner. Because this doesn’t quite reach far enough to press against the rear screen of my camera, I’m not afraid to leave the Wrist Strap attached to my camera when I throw it into a bag. This is a small bonus over the more refined but slightly heavier Cuff made by Peak Design which has a metal slider.
Continuing the comparisons for a moment: the advantage of Peak Design’s quick-release anchor system is that you can put your camera down and disconnect without having to untangle yourself from the strap. Peak Design then employs an ingenious magnet to allow you to fold the Cuff away and turn it into a bracelet. More of a subtle difference than an advantage, but if you’re constantly picking up and putting down your camera, this might be something to keep in mind.
Neck Strap: $24
There’s not much to say here. It’s a loop of material that can attach things, much like a lanyard. There’s nothing to adjust. It’s rated to 75 lbs (34 kg) which makes it great for those incredibly heavy point-and-shoot cameras.
The Small Details
The attachment system is innovative, giving you a lot of flexibility and ease of use. There are a few small considerations, however.
Canon users should keep in mind their cameras’ attachment points are smaller and much lower profile when compared to the likes of Sony and Fujifilm. For this reason, the Sling Strap ships with two Hypalon adapters which need to be threaded through the camera’s attachment points. Once in place, this is where you thread the Hypalon loop of the strap, but the holes feel very slightly too small for this to be a simple process. When you come to remove your strap, you’ll want to unhook the Hypalon loop from one half of the Hypalon adapter and then close the Hypalon loop back into the carabiner so that the Hypalon adapter doesn’t get lost. Sound fiddly? Yes. And if that Hypalon adapter gets lost, you have a useless strap.
In addition to the adapters, the Sling Strap comes with a camera plate (see the product photo above) that screws into the quarter-inch thread on the bottom of your camera, allowing the camera to hang inverted when the strap is slung over one shoulder. This is my preferred method of carrying larger bodies.
Unfortunately, this plate doesn’t leave enough space between itself and the camera for the Hypalon loops to be threaded. The Hypalon adapters can’t be threaded either. You can thread the plate before attaching or partially attach the plate and thread it before tightening it up with the flathead tool concealed in the strap. This is not ideal.
This seems a curious oversight. I understand the desire to give the camera plate a low profile so that it doesn’t stick out unnecessarily far, but the inability to thread it easily makes it impractical. Notably, there’s no demonstration of the camera plate in use on the WANDRD website.
I asked WANDRD if there was something that I was missing and they responded: “Through the design and development of the Camera Plate, our Product Team focused on creating the most minimal and low profile design they could. They made the tolerance of the gap between plate and camera really tight to help accomplish that focus. We have heard from some customers that the rubber spacer ring thickness variance combined with the variance of how tightly a person attaches the plate to their camera can cause the pass-through functionality to be too difficult, and it is something we will be taking a look at!”
As a result, I can’t recommend WANDRD’s Sling Strap if you appreciate having your strap attached to the base of your camera. For me, this is a disappointment as I like to attach a grip to my Sony a7 III when I’m spending a day shooting with larger lenses, and having my strap attached to the base is my preferred option.
This is an innovative new attachment system coupled with some functional straps that are ideal if you like to swap between cameras and prefer steering clear of Peak Design's anchor system. However, anyone wishing to attach the Sling Strap to the base of the camera should be aware of the limitations due to some odd design choices that feel like an oversight. This could easily be resolved if WANDRD tweaked the profile of the base plate to create more space, but as it stands, if you want to attach it to the bottom of your camera, this is not a good option.
What I Liked
- Innovative attachment system
- Simple and effective
What I Didn't Like
- Base plate attachment undermines the option of being able to swap out the Sling Strap quickly