Review: BlackRapid RS-4

rs4-04A camera strap is just one of those things; you have to have the “right one” that works for you, or you’ll go crazy. I bought a new Nikon not too long ago, and during a trip to the San Francisco Zoo discovered that what was a minor irritation, turned into a major pain in the neck with extended wear (pun intended). By the end of the 2 hour walk-through the strap had rubbed my neck almost raw, and I was definitely ready to try something different.

That “something different” ended up being a BlackRapid RS-4. I got it right before the holidays, so I wasn’t able to find the time to *really* wear it out in the field until recently.

The strap comes packaged rather simply, in just a mesh bag. Inside you’ll find some instructions, the strap, and connectors needed to attach the strap to the camera. Also included is a short clear plastic tube, which you might be tempted to toss away. Don’t – BlackRapid only included what they had to in the packaging, and you’ll need that tube.

After connecting the camera to the strap and adjusting it, I was quite surprised to find that it fit perfectly. One of the major issues I was concerned about was length. I’m a rather tall person, so I sometimes find that I have issues with the length of straps on things — messenger bags, backpacks, etc. most the time don’t fit me correctly. So I was very concerned about the BlackRapid strap. Reading their website told me that it was 60 inches long, which according to my rough measurements would be the appropriate size, but I was still concerned — until I tried it on.

One other minor issue was trust. You’ll have your camera suspended from your body via one attachment point, the tripod mount and when you’re walking around with it, you might find yourself wanting to hold onto your camera with one hand, just to be sure. This is not necessary. The strap attaches to the camera very securely, and it’s quite stable. I’ve carried mine around for about a total of 8 or so hours, and I never had any issues. I did have that gut instinct to hold the camera for the first hour or so, but all that did was make my hand sore.

If I do have any complaints about the strap, it’s the price. Since BlackRapid is a small shop and they don’t have the manufacturing capability of say, Lowepro or Tamrac, they have to charge a little more then you might expect for their product. Hopefully they can get some kind of deal in the future, because I have to say, I love this strap.

Available directly from BlackRapid, and you’re looking at a cost of $48.00 plus shipping.