I tested twenty some odd camera straps in the effort to find the best camera strap available.. Heavy Leather NYC provided 3 samples for me to test out: the Classic Strap, the Slingshot and the Wax Cotton Sling.
After testing all three, the Classic was by far my favorite. In fact, it was one of my favorite straps of all the straps I tested. It is lightweight, but made of a thick, super-soft Italian leather that is so comfortable to wear. Although it is light weight, the thick leather makes this a fairly bulky strap so it may not be ideal for traveling light. I took it with me to Costa Rica and it worked fine, but I would not have wanted to shove it into a smaller pack.
Costa Rica was super humid and the leather was a little sticky and uncomfortable in the hot, humid weather, but I think that would be expected of almost any strap. Even when I got caught in a rain storm, the strap was very comfortable to wear and was great for long hikes. The length was great and it was very comfortable when wearing around the neck or slung across the chest.
The build quality on this was really great and the nice leather went all the way through the attachments. I fell in love with this strap in Costa Rica mainly because of its attachment straps. Really short belt-loop style straps attach easily to the camera. Those are connected to the main strap with a metal clasp that is very easy to remove. This was so much more convenient than I would have ever expected. I used my Miggo Aqua a lot in Costa Rica because of the rain and there was no way I wanted to shove the whole strap in there so I could unclasp it and leave the attachment straps on to put it in the Aqua and then easily reattach it to the Heavy Leather NYC strap whenever I wanted. I also used the strap to add extra security when I was hiking or ziplining with the camera attached on a clip. It saved my camera in the jungle when the attachment plate on my clip actually came out of my camera and it fell off my waist. I had left the strap connected on one side of my camera and hooked the other clasp on my backpack so my camera stopped in mid air about a foot from smashing into the rocks!
You can currently pick up the Classic strap from Amazon for $95.
I was not as impressed with the two sling-style straps. The Slingshot is a heavy-duty thick leather strap and the Wax Cotton Sling is a heavy-duty cotton strap. Both straps are very well made, just like the classic strap. They are both very comfortable to wear and make access to the camera quick and easy. The only downfall I had was while I was wearing them with a backpack. The backpack would push the strap up my neck from time to time and that was not very comfortable and less easy to work with. I really like the quick release clips that attach to the attachment clip. They make it easy to take off the strap (and don’t leave a lot of excess material), which is becoming more and more important to me as I test more equipment. The attachment on these is the same used on many sling straps, the twisting screw that goes into the tripod screw thread. That is my biggest complaint with these. Because I use a tripod a lot, these could not be an every-day strap for me. I really liked using these when I was just taking my camera out for family outings or street photography, but I wouldn’t use them for hiking with a backpack or doing landscapes where I need a tripod (This has changed slightly for me now that I have a Leophoto L Bracket that has an extra thread so I can use it with an attachment like this).
Other than the look, the biggest difference in these straps is the area around where the camera attaches. On the Wax Cotton Sling, there is a little area that lets the camera slide up and down. This is awesome when it comes to shooting because the strap does not have to slide up and down as you bring the camera up to your eye. That makes it more comfortable for shooting, but it also means the camera is not as tight on your body and bounces around a little as you walk or run. The Slingshot does not have that feature so the camera holds tighter, but the strap slides on your body as you pull the camera up.
The Wax Cotton Sling comes in a few different colors. I tested the olive green and it was very classy looking. I liked that it added a little pop without being flashy.